Islamabad (D.Times): 17 students from Gilgit Baltistan— out of 75 from all over Pakistan – were given a pre-departure orientation on Friday here at Islamabad Serena Hotel. The students will travel to the United States under Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD). Officials from the U.S. embassy in Pakistan and Director of the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) were present on the occasion. They extended their congratulations to the successful students and wished them all the best.
The students were briefed about the program, travel details, visa regulations, U.S. culture, campus life and the expectations that the program seeks in general. The orientation facilitators touched upon how to spend the time effectively in the U.S. during the visit.
The students will travel to the U.S. to attend classes with American students. They will give presentations about life and culture in Pakistan and will also witness community initiatives. The students are largely expected to learn new ideas, to revisit the stereotypes and to enhance mutual understanding. More than 500 Pakistani students have availed of the opportunity since the program began in 2010.
All the 17 students from Gilgit Baltistan posses good academic standing, vigour for community service and unshakeable determination to do something in life.
Arfa Shaubnum and Qamar Zaman are students of BS Economics at Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, Shakir Hussain is doing his BS in Physics from GC,University Lahore. Afshan and Seema are in BS Environmental Sciences in Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi. Four were students are from Karakuram International University, Gilgit-Baltistan.
“It was indeed a matter of immense happiness to be part of the Global Undergraduate Exchange Programme. I consider myself fortunate to be part of the program. I belong to Hakis (Gupis), a remote region of GB and was selected for a program that has an international stature. I owe thanks to Allah and many people around me”, Said Shakir Hussain Shakir.
“It is a marvellous opportunity to see things differently as I would bring a new prospective. I would represent the soft image of my country in the U.S. and will bring back new ideas” he elaborated.
The selected students for Global UGRAD program will leave for the United States in the first week of January, next year.
The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program for Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan) is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the United States Department of State, and administered by IREX.