Kosovo Undergraduate Exchange Program
By spending one academic year at an American university or community college, Kosovo UGRAD students develop a nuanced understanding of the United States and share their country and culture with America. Following the program, Kosovo UGRAD students return home to finish their university studies, share what they have learned with others, and contribute to the development of their home communities.
Kosovo UGRAD is a program of the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo, U.S. Department of State, and is implemented by IREX.
• Promote youth leadership and community participation and increase cross-cultural understanding between Kosovo and the United States; and
• Strengthen U.S./Kosovo relationships by preparing youth to use the skills and knowledge acquired in the U.S. to serve as community leaders and “cultural ambassadors.”
Citizens of the United States and Kosovo lack opportunities to get to know one another and engage in substantive dialogue. Through their programs of study, exploration of U.S. culture, and integration into U.S. communities, Kosovo UGRAD students develop lasting relationships with Americans, leading to increased mutual understanding between the people of the United States and Kosovo.
Undergraduate Study: Kosovo UGRAD students are placed at accredited universities and colleges throughout the U.S. for a year of full-time study.
Community Service: Kosovo youth give back to their American host communities by contributing a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer work during the year. Kosovo UGRAD students have opportunities to volunteer in a variety of settings, such as after-school tutoring and enrichment programs, blood drives, community fundraisers, homeless shelters, and senior centers.
Internships: In addition to their second-semester academic studies, students complete part-time internships, through which they gain experience in the American workplace and develop relationships with people in local businesses; Congressional, city, and county government offices; nonprofit organizations; and other institutions.
Country Presentations: Students each give two required presentations during the fellowship, sharing their country’s histories and traditions with Americans at their host institutions and in off-campus settings such as schools, retirement homes, and Rotary clubs.
Cultural Passport to America: At the start of the fellowship, each student receives a “Cultural Passport to America,” which is modeled after a U.S. passport. For participation in cultural events and activities, Kosovo UGRAD students receive Passport stamps from their university and college advisors. Through the Passport, students present how they have explored various aspects of U.S. culture and the linkages they’ve forged with Americans over the program year. The Passport also guides students in reflecting on how they’ve served as cultural ambassadors for Kosovo while in the United States, and on their plans for sharing U.S. culture with their communities when returning home.