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What is Global UGRAD? – Why Zim UGrads Should Apply

Business & Career

What is Global UGRAD? – Why Zim UGrads Should Apply

With that being said, make sure you participate in class and you are in good academic standing.

South Carolina Aquarium

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program, alternately known as Global UGRAD is a program is sponsored by the US Department of State with funds from the U.S Government and administered by an organisation called World Learning. It awards scholarships to students who have demonstrated leadership in their home communities and are pursuing a degree in any field of study. World Learning provides participants with tuition and fees, campus housing, a meal plan, and a modest monthly stipend. Do not fret if you’re not in STEM, they do not discriminate.

“The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (also known as the Global UGRAD Program) provides one semester scholarships to outstanding undergraduate students from around the world for non-degree full-time study combined with community service, professional development, and cultural enrichment.”

After a nudge from my sister and one of my lecturers I started the application process. It took them holding me accountable for me to see it through to the end and with 8 hours to spare I successfully handed in my application. I am currently pursuing a BSc. in Forest Resources and Wildlife Management at the National University of Science and Technology, I have been placed at Presbyterian College in South Carolina.

  • Have you completed at least one year of university?
  • Do you have a full year before you graduate?
  • Are you a leader committed to making an impact in your community?
  • Are you keen on learning more about other cultures?
  • Would you like an opportunity to complete one semester of study in the United States of America?

The Global UGRAD program is the right program for you. For more eligibility requirements, you can visit the website.


What a wow. I told myself that I wouldn’t believe it until I had actually arrived and settled in. Heavy on that Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will perfect everything that concerns me.” I am super grateful to God and excited for this new chapter. #globalugrad #globalugrad #usdepartmentofstate #worldlearning

♬ Real Love Baby – Father John Misty

Why should you apply?

1. You will be equipped with skills and knowledge that will be useful in your career. For example, I am enrolled in a class called “Wilderness” and it is a combination of philosophy and conservation, I have learnt the “Leave No Trace” outdoor ethics which hadn’t been covered in my university’s curriculum. We also have one outing a month and I will get to travel and see different landscapes, this is a dream for anyone in wildlife management and forestry.

Doing my labs for biology is a breeze because they have state of the art equipment.

2. I don’t know about you but I am excited at the prospect of learning about other cultures and telling people about mine. I thoroughly enjoy telling people about my background, my home city and being awestruck by the differences between the cultures. You get to clear the misunderstandings about your home country, no we do not use lightning to charge our electronics.

You get to meet people from different walks of life, so far I have interacted with people of 13 different nationalities, during the workshop in Washington D.C. all the other UGRADers will be present, I will meet a whole lot more. You know Myanmar from the Atlas, it is so enriching to actually meet the people from these places in real life.

Venezuela, Japan, India, Taiwan, Myanmar, Kenya, Zimbabwe, France, Palestine, Ukraine, USA

3. You get to network, my host university organises a number of events where students can get involved and meet key players in different disciplines.

4. Your outlook on life changes tremendously. Studying abroad has opened my eyes and day by day I am developing my critical thinking skills. Why are things the way they are and what can be done to improve the situation? I am enrolled in a statistics class and my professor always emphasizes that we should not leave his class just knowing formulae but with an investigative mind as well.

Sometimes numbers lie, we need to think independently.

5. All work and no play makes Jabulani a dull boy. You get to try out new hobbies and go sight-seeing!

I’ve gone bowling for the first time, I went to my first ice hockey game and I visited the city of Charleston. (Historical sites, museums, galleries and restaurants galore) I visited the Aiken-Rhett House Museum.


Now that you’ve been sold! What does the application process look like?

1. Get an official interim transcript from your university.
2. Two letters of recommendation.

  • One from one of your professors
  • The second one could be from a professor as well but it could be someone who knows you in a somewhat professional context, no friends or family can write this.

With that being said, make sure you participate in class and you are in good academic standing so when the time comes, your professors actually know enough about you to write a meaningful and compelling recommendation.

3. Official identification documents (your ID or passport)
4. Last but definitely not least, you are required to write two essays.

Applications tend to open on the 1st of November. All the best!

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An introvert keen on doing the "Lord's work"...The salt of the earth and the light of the world. I am also all about self development and anything that has to do with sustainability and the environment.

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