Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan)

Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan)


The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan) provides a diverse network of youth leaders from across Pakistan with the opportunity to attend American universities and colleges for nondegree academic study.

During a semester of undergraduate classes and community engagement, participants strengthen their leadership, academic, and career-preparedness skills while building relationships with Americans. Participants return home as engaged leaders committed to tackling pressing challenges in their communities and fostering greater understanding between people of the United States and Pakistan.


US flag and US Department of State

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.

Quick Facts

  • Since its inception in 2010, Global UGRAD-Pakistan has supported nearly 2,000 participants from across Pakistan. In 2019, all participants were “first generation” exchange participants to the United States.
  • In the 2018–2019 academic year, participants studied on 83 campuses in 39 states including Washington, DC. At 35% of these universities and colleges, participants were the only students from Pakistan studying on campus, increasing the understanding of students, staff, faculty, and the surrounding community of Pakistan and its culture.
  • Strengthened Leadership Ability: 95% of 2018–2019 participants reported greater confidence in their leadership skills after completion of the program, and 100% reported an overall increase in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes important to leadership development such as learning to organize their time, develop plans to solve a problem, and identify new ways to achieve a goal. 89% of alumni respondents have served in a leadership role in Pakistan in the past six months.
  • Engaged Community Leaders: The 2018–2019 participants volunteered over 6,000 hours of service with organizations in their American host communities, and 90% agree that they will be active in their communities when they return to Pakistan. Nearly 90% of alumni respondents have engaged in community improvement activities in the past six months.
  • Essential Academic and Professional Skills: Over 90% of fall 2018 participants have developed learning strategies to fit their learning style, and over 90% improved their ability to network with professionals.
  • Building Mutual Understanding: 95% of 2018-2019 participants report a better understanding of American culture after program completion and have shared the culture of Pakistan with over 17,000 Americans in their U.S. host communities.


  • Strengthen participants’ academic and career preparedness skills
  • Enhance participants’ leadership skills and experience
  • Contribute to increased understanding between Americans and Pakistanis through participants’ engagement in their host and home communities.
My time in the U.S. on the Global UGRAD-Pakistan program taught me everything about the intricacies of effective leadership. Bakhtawar, fall 2017 alumna

Project Activities

  • Undergraduate study and academic skill-building: Participants attend a semester-long, academic program at U.S. universities and colleges, which includes coursework in their fields of study and in an American studies topic. Participants work with mentors or take an additional course to strengthen their academic skills.
  • Community service: Participants give back to their American host communities by volunteering a minimum of 20 hours during the semester. Participants volunteer in a variety of settings, such as after-school tutoring and enrichment programs, health fairs, community fundraisers, and disaster relief.
  • Country presentations: Participants give at least one presentation on Pakistan, sharing their country's history and traditions at their host institutions or in off-campus settings such as schools, retirement homes, or Rotary clubs.
  • Digital Cultural Passport: Participants receive virtual “stamps” in their Digital Cultural Passport for participation in cultural events and activities. Through the Passport, participants demonstrate how they have explored various aspects of American culture, the linkages they’ve forged with Americans throughout the program, and their plans for sharing American culture with their communities when returning home.
  • Alumni programming: Global UGRAD-Pakistan alumni are eligible to apply for small grants to conduct community engagement activities in their home communities. Alumni gain opportunities to continue to apply and enhance their leadership skills.




  • Education
  • Youth
  • Leadership
  • Asia
  • Pakistan