Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD)

Your ride to the American dream is just a program away, and that program is, Global Undergraduate Exchange Program or more commonly known as UGRAD. UGRAD is a fully-funded four to five month-long program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). UGRAD gives its participants the once in a lifetime opportunity to have an educational and cultural experience of studying in U.S. colleges and universities. The program includes pre-academic English language training, academic coursework, service learning opportunities, professional development workshops, and cultural enrichment activities.


UGRAD is designed for undergraduate students of all academic fields from seventy different countries of the world including: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, North Macedonia, Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza), Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe


Program Benefits:

  • International travel
  • Full tuition fees
  • Room and board expenses
  • Medical insurance
  • Incidental allowance
  • Monthly stipend
  • Allowance for books and course materials



Participants must:

  • Be between the age of 18 to 25 years old 
  • Be currently enrolled in a undergraduate degree program at a college or university in home country
  • Be in the 13th or 14th year of their formal education 
  • Have a solid command of written and spoken English (English Language training for some finalists is possible)
  • Not be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Be eligible to receive and maintain the U.S. student exchange visa (J-1) required for the program


Application Process:

The global undergraduate program operates in two cycles each year, Spring and Fall. Applications usually open around November each year. UGRAD applications are available online worldwide via this link. All the required documents and personal information along with personal statements are supposed to be submitted online by the applicants.

COVID-19 Update:

As the pandemic pressed most educational institutions to shutdown or move to distance learning mode, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has temporarily paused all ECA-funded exchange programs. For news and updates regarding the global UGRAD program, click here.

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