Alumni Update: Macedonia

by Martina Dimoska, Global UGRAD 2016-17 at Kent State University

Below Martina remarks upon one of her most influential experiences during her Global UGRAD program. Enjoy!

Alumna 5I was in a seminar in Miami, Florida and after that I participated in a N.A.S.A. radiation workshop program. It was invite only with one of the most established names in the radiation field and industry. I am so grateful that it happened and I cannot be happier! The workshop was from November 6th to November 8th in the N.A.S.A. Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Palo Alto. Dr. Madhulika (Lika) Guhathakurta, the lead program scientist for new innitiatives at N.A.S.A. Ames, welcomed us. She was incredible! I truly look up to her.

The goal of this technical interchange was to explore ways to enable data-rich characterization, forecasting and monitoring of space radiation environments relevant to NASA science, aviation and deep space exploration. We were divided in several groups covering different fields and I was in the deep space radiation group which was so various and the largest and I learned incredible, amazing things!

Alumna 7Aside from the fantastic work that we were able to develop in such a short time and the amazing team spirit with fruitful presentations, we also had a panel discussion with amazing speakers such as Jason J. Dunn one of the founders of the company Made in Space. From the industry we also had Nathalie Carbol, Florence Tan, Tom Bogdan and Hugo Wagner. If you research their biographies you’d be stunned too! <3

I did not see anything in San Francisco because I was not leaving NASA from morning till night. I just could not. It’s a huge part of me. It’s my calling. It’s where I belong and I am destined to be at.

It was the best experience of my life.

National Braille Literacy Month

by Inho Seo (South Korea, Global UGRAD 2017-18 at the University of Southern Indiana)

The month of January is National Braille Literacy Awareness Month, so we asked a Global UGRAD, Inho Seo, to tell us about his experience using braille. We are very lucky to have such as diverse group of Global UGRADers who can give us insight into different abilities and ways of life!

Inho photo

A smiley Inho Seo outside of the Google Headquarters building

Braille helps me become independent.

The first time when I knew about Braille was at a special school for the blind. I became totally blind when I was seven. My parents didn’t know about how to educate me because they hadn’t thought of any disabilities in their life before. I couldn’t go to local school because they also hadn’t taught blind students and hadn’t wanted to teach them, so I had to be staying at home for a year. My parents searched high and low for me, and finally they made me go to special school for the blind when I was eight. Continue reading

Meet Our New Teammate, Himani Reddy!

Himani Reddy

Himani Reddy

Himani Reddy will join the Global UGRAD Team as a Program Officer for East Asia and the Pacific.  She previously served as a Program Officer (contractor) at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) where she coordinated the Fulbright Specialist Program and pre-departure orientations for Fulbright Scholars and Students. Prior to her time at ECA, Himani served as Special Assistant to the CEO at InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based NGOs, where she assisted with project management, writing, and editing. Himani also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Youth Literacy Coordinator in Arlington, Texas, and as a Research Assistant at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. Himani has a Masters in International Affairs from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Asian Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. She speaks Telugu and Hindi.

Journalism with a Pulitzer Prize Winner

by Soumayani Ghoshal (India, Global UGRAD 2017-18 at Chatham University)
Soumayani - Pulitzer Prize

Soumayani Ghoshal with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and managing editor of the Pittsburgh Gazette, Sally Stapleton

Global UGRAD, administered by World Learning, has always strived to provide the best experiences for their Global UGRADers. From instilling a sense of confidence in each of them to making them believe in their potentials to create a change, they have been successful in creating dedicated leaders year after year. Being a finalist this year was a surreal experience and the numerous opportunities that I had during these four months has been life changing.

I have always been inclined towards writing and therefore the field of Journalism has been of great interest. Chatham, my host university in Pittsburgh offers a great course in news writing and editing. The interactive classes and discussions widened my horizons and gave me a deeper understating of print and digital media in the United States. I was also delighted to be part of the our student newspaper, the Chatham Post, as the news editor for the semester, which kept me engaged in college among various other fun activities.

One of the most memorable experiences at Chatham was the time I got an opportunity to visit the office of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the city newspaper. It was a two-day affair where I shadowed a journalist around the city for the day and also had the opportunity to attend all the meetings at the news agency and learn about every detail that goes into publishing a newspaper. The amount of research and planning that goes into the process is very impressive. I could also draw parallels between the Indian and American news’ houses as I have interned with newspapers back in my home country. Something that was very different and quite impressive was the systematic approach and the technological advancements that the Post-Gazette had in their office.

Interacting with some renowned personalities like the Pulitzer Award winning journalist, David Shribman, the executive editor of Post-Gazette, and Lillian Thomas, a local news editor was a dream come true. The managing editor, Sally Stapleton, had a very insightful conversation with me. Learning about her journey as a journalist inspired me to follow my dreams.

I believe that this cultural exchange program not only helps you understand the American system of education better but also prepares you to take up new challenges, embrace differences and overcome obstacles with courage. It is a wholesome experience that leaves you with a desire to create a change, making this world a better place.


Alumni Update: Mozambique

Euclidio “James” Alberto, UGRAD 2013-2014, Endicott College

Euclidio “James” Alberto at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Everyday when I wake up I remember one of my favorite quotes “If we do not like the results we are getting, we must change whatever habits that keep us from having the same results. To measure our goals we should appreciate every single progress we are making towards our bigger plans”. Growing up in Mozambique I had the opportunity to meet and build strong friendships with tourists and American Peace Corps volunteers. At the time I was a 16 year-old boy trying to sell cashews and seafood in order to survive and pay for my studies. Time passed and during my junior year studying history of politics and public management at a local university  (Universidade Pedagogica Maxixe), a former Peace Corp volunteer sent me a link to apply for Global UGRAD. I remember telling her that I didn’t think  I could qualify. Two weeks before the deadline she told me that it was my last “warning” and I should apply.  That is when I finally started the process, and I am glad I did take the decision. I was the first Mozambican to be selected as a Global UGRAD scholar (2013-2014) when the program was introduced in Mozambique. Continue reading

Firdaus’s Journey with Global UGRAD

by Firdaus Bin Ahmad Azman (Malaysia, Global UGRAD 2016-2017 at Florida Gulf Coast University)
Firdaus photo

Firdaus at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport holding his university’s sign with two friends

My journey began on October 18, 2016, when Morris Deri, now an alumnus for the program, was undergoing his exchange semester at Minnesota State University Mankato. During his semester, he approached me with the prospect of applying for the same program. To put things into perspective, it was a flagship program performing under the Fulbright Grant, a highly coveted scholarship sought by applicants of great stature and contributions. Knowing his idiosyncratic aptitude, it didn’t surprise me when he secured the spot. I on the other hand rest at the opposite end of the spectrum, and making it through the selection process was not an auspicious odd for me to hold. In all fairness and unbeknownst to most Razakian, prior to my degree, pursuing stellar results was not in my best interest.

Continue reading

Call for Host Institutions!

World Learning is currently accepting applications to host international students for the 2018-19 academic year. The host institution application is primarily used for the Global UGRAD Program; however, we also use it to gauge interest in other partnership opportunities through World Learning, such as Fulbright Specialist, EducationUSA Academy. The Global UGRAD Program will support 250 students from 60 participating countries in the 2018-19 academic year.

Global UGRAD is a valuable international enrollment tool for universities.  It adds diversity to campus and the students contribute valuable perspective in the classroom.  Alumni go on to be master’s degree students, Fulbright recipients, and/or leaders in their respective home countries.

World Learning seeks a varied cadre of universities to host these dynamic undergraduate students.  Interested?  Apply now! 

To apply, please follow this link.  Once you have registered at the link, you will receive an email with a unique url to your institution’s application.  You will be able to share this url among different offices on campus.  If this becomes difficult, we are also able to provide a .pdf of the application.  Please see the attached brochure or visit our website’s frequently asked questions for host institutions if you have any further questions about the Global UGRAD Program.



ELT Holiday Adventures

By Mohamed Sadek Bouanane (Algeria, Global UGRAD 2017-18 at Saginaw Valley State University)

Mohammed in front of the Hollywood sign

After a long semester of hard work, involvement in different student activities, and maybe a bit of partying, I was very excited for the upcoming winter break. Having already visited nearby Chicago and even New York City, I could not wait to explore the west coast of the United States. I began planning to visit three major cities, including San Francisco, Los Angles and Las Vegas. I booked the flights, buses and hotels a month before the trip. Joining me on this trip was my friend Walaa from Egypt, who has a lot of experience traveling to different places.

Continue reading

Alumni Update: Turkmenistan

by Aleksandr Kinyakin (Turkmenistan, Global UGRAD 2016-17 at Juniata College)

Much time hadn’t passed between my unforgettable international experience as a Global UGRADer, and when I was granted a new scholarship for an exchange year in Austria. The organization that I’m thankful to is similar to that of World Learning, but it’s called OeAD and operates in Austria. OeAD is Austria’s main organization for international mobility and cooperation programs in education, science and research in Europe and worldwide. It has existed for more than half a century and obtains 50 million in funds available for a number of scholarships. My scholarship program is called Ernst Mach grant for internationals to study, research and lecture in Austria. However, I could not have applied for it unless my home university wasn’t a partner of a specific Austrian university.

I started my application even before my Global UGRAD journey in spring 2017. Luckily, after an intense competition (which is always the case with scholarship applications) me and two other women from my home university were awarded Ernst Mach scholarships. Since mid-September 2017 I have been studying at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Steyr School of Management. The name tells you that it focuses rather on practical knowledge, which drives my interest in almost all the courses that I take. The majority of professors are managers and heads of local and international companies, mostly in the automotive industry. I have enjoyed my studies a lot so far. Continue reading

Global UGRAD Alumni Corner: Justice Khor

 Written by Justice Khor (Malaysia), Global UGRAD 2016-17 at California State University Monterey Bay


Flashback to almost a half year ago, when I was sitting in the LGBTQ safe zone training class at California State University Monterey Bay. I saw people coming from different walks of life, but mainly young people coming together to learn about the LGBTQ community. But suddenly there’s an elderly man. He drags a chair and joins the class. To break the ice, we had to tell everyone the reasons we sign up for the class. When it was the elderly man’s turn, he said: “My name is Joe, and I am here because my son is gay and I love him.” At that exact moment, I knew I wanted to make a documentary about him. Continue reading

Words of Wisdom – Global UGRAD Application Tips and Tricks

Whole Group2The Global UGRAD application for 2018-19 closes on December 31st at 5:00pm EST. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this amazing program! Current Global UGRAD participants, alumni, and staff shared with us their best advice for applicants. You’ll also find a list of resources for you at the end of this article. Best of luck on your applications!

When you doubt yourself…

“We may fear to apply for any opportunity because we might think we are not good enough, or we lack skills or experience. But remember, it is because of these reasons that we need to apply for any opportunity and get it because it will help us grow. If we are already good and full of skills or experience, we do not need to apply for anything because there is nothing else for us to learn.  When you feel like you’re hopeless to get it, other applicants might have the same thought.” – Maneth Nay, 2017-18

When you feel your persistence waning…

“If you didn’t make it the first time you applied, try again. Don’t give up!” – Tinashe Madamombe, 2016-17

When you think about just going to bed…

“No matter what, even if you might or might not get accepted, finish the
application! Fully complete every task!” – Gantuul Narmandakh, 2017-18

Continue reading