The Embassy of the United States of America in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is pleased to announce the academic year 2020-2021 Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) competition for BiH.
The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) provides a diverse group of emerging student leaders with a scholarship for one semester of non-degree academic study at a U.S. college or university. The program is sponsored by the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and aims to recruit participants from underrepresented, non-elite backgrounds, who have not had other opportunities to study in the United States. Successful applicants can expect an in-depth exposure to U.S. society, culture, and academic institutions, as well as opportunities to enhance their professional skills.
Apply online for the 2020-2021 Global UGRAD Program from November 4, 2019 through December 31, 2019 at 23:00 local time.
The scholarship covers:
- Travel (international travel to and from the United States for the program and travel within United States to required program events). World Learning secures travel arrangements
- Payment of tuition at the assigned host institution
- Funding for books
- Payment of room and board at the assigned host institution. Participants are housed in campus facilities with American roommates
- Limited accident and sickness coverage that meets the requirements of J Exchange Visitor Program regulations. This coverage is not all-purpose health insurance and it is subject to specific limitations including, but not limited to, pre-existing conditions, dental, and vision care. It is not intended to replace the participants’ regular medical insurance plan, which should be maintained or secured during the scholarship period at the participants’ expense
- A small monthly stipend
- Pre-departure orientation at the U.S. Embassy in BiH in Sarajevo
- Virtual arrival presentation
- In-person end-of-program workshop in Washington, DC
- Reimbursement of out-of-pocket program related expenses for finalists, subject to conditions and limitations. For example, reimbursable expenses may include domestic travel to required program events and procedures, certified English translation fees, or medical clearance related fees
- The program does not cover passport related fees.
Additional Program Information:
Participants are enrolled in full-time, non-degree, undergraduate coursework chosen from their host institution’s existing curriculum in order to allow for substantive interaction with U.S. faculty and student peers, and for exposure to U.S. academic and classroom culture. Participants will be required to take one, 3-credit U.S. studies course to enhance their understanding of the United States. Participants will live in campus housing facilities with American peers, and will be required to participate in twenty hours of community service. There will also be a virtual arrival orientation and an in-person end-of-program workshop.
Participants are not able to choose their host institution. Instead, participants are placed at the most appropriate host institution based on students’ academic interests. The program includes a diverse roster of over 70 host campuses across 43 states, including colleges and universities in rural and urban areas. Program coordinators and host institutions work together to ensure a good program fit for participants. Host institutions provide a high level of academic, cultural, and personal support to participants through resources such as career centers, tutoring centers, and international student centers. While preferences for a fall or spring semester placement should be indicated and will be considered, final placement will be made by the program. While host institutions offer comprehensive curricula, the program cannot guarantee the availability of specific courses.
Global UGRAD is a non-degree program. Successful participants receive a program certificate of completion issued by the U.S. Department of State. The program does not assist with credit transfers between participants’ U.S. host and home institutions. It is the students’ responsibility to verify with their home institutions whether any credits accumulated during the Global UGRAD program will be transferred. Candidates should be prepared that this aspect may delay their graduation from their home university. The program cannot guarantee enrollment in specific courses for the purposes of transfer.
All academic fields of study are eligible. Per J-1 visa regulations, interested applicants in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacology, or other clinical fields of study, should note that direct patient care, including animal care, is not permitted, and therefore academic coursework and/or program activities at participating U.S. institutions may be limited.
Global UGRAD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or disability. Students from non-elite or less-privileged backgrounds—from rural and urban areas—are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to those who have had little or no prior experience in the United States or overseas.
The Global UGRAD program is open to anyone who is/has:
- At least 18 years of age by the start date of their program in the United States
- A BiH citizen currently residing in BiH and qualified to hold a valid BiH passport
- Completed secondary education in BiH
- Enrolled in good standing in a full-time undergraduate program at an accredited university, public or private, in BiH
- Completed their first year of undergraduate study prior to starting the Global UGRAD
- Has at least one semester or equivalent term to complete at their home university at the conclusion of Global UGRAD. The program cannot be the final academic term of a participant’s undergraduate study
- A solid command of written and spoken English. A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score is not required at the time of the application. Finalists and alternates are required to take the TOEFL exam and achieve a score of 45ibt. Subject to conditions and limitations, pre-academic English language training for participants with inadequate TOEFL scores may be possible. Participants who are enrolled in the pre-academic English language training will begin their program in the fall semester and will continue with coursework in their fields of study during the spring semester
- Able to begin studies in the United States in August 2020 or January 2021. Selected participants may not defer to a later date
- Cleared by a physician to participate in the program(finalists only)
- Eligible to receive and maintain the exchange visitor J-1 non-immigrant visa required for the program. Participants do not have to pay fees for a J-1 visa, but need to be interviewed by the Embassy’s Consular Section
- Committed to returning directly to BiH after the completion of the program for a minimum of two years. As J-1 visa holders, participants are subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement.
- Preference will be given to those who have had little or NO experience in the U.S. or outside BiH.
The Global UGRAD program is not open to:
- U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents
- Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside of BiH
- Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Employees are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment
- Immediate family members (i.e., spouses and children) of U.S. Department of State and USAID employees. Immediate family members are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment
- Current World Learning employees and their immediate family members.
How to Apply:
Interested applicants must apply using the official Global UGRAD online application form on the World Learning Student Portal. Before you begin, please review the online application resources which include step-by-step application instructions, letters of recommendation format, and essay writing tips. After national selection, nominations are reviewed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) who makes the final selections. Selected candidates will be notified of their status as finalist or alternate in spring 2020.
Candidates are encouraged to obtain requested application items as soon as possible. No additional information can be added after the application deadline.
The online application package must include:
- Complete application form
- Two essays based on indicated themes(400 to 600 words each)
- Readable academic transcripts for years of university study, as issued by the academic institution. Documents are accepted in local language at the time of the application. If certified English translations are readily available, they should be included. First year university candidates only must include transcripts for years of high school study, if university transcripts are not available. Finalists and alternates must provide official, updated academic transcripts with certified English translations
- Two letters of recommendation (reference). One recommendation must be academic and written by a professor or assistant professor from the candidate’s major field of study. The second recommendation may come from a non-academic aspect of the candidate’s life and work. The online application form provides the reference format and instructions. If the recommendations are not in English, an accurate translation must be attached
- Readable copy of BiH passport biographical page
- Optional portfolio for fields of study such as art, architecture, or other relevant ones
- Non-required, supplemental materials that further support the application are accepted.
Applicants must register on the World Learning Student Portal in order to access the online application.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Online Application:
- The registration process requires account confirmation. World Learning will send at the registered email address an email with instructions and a new link to log in; follow email prompts
- World Learning can reset passwords for applicants who have problems with the registration process. This is only possible after confirming that applicants are attempting to sign in with a registered email address (i.e., after having already completed the first-time log-in procedures)
- Given the global application window for around 60 countries, it can take two to three business days for World Learning to complete a password reset. The Embassy cannot assist with password reset requests
- The user name is always the full email address that the applicant used in order to apply. For example, Good.Morning@ugrad.com would be the user name and not Good.Morning
- Do not use special characters/accents for the registration process or the online application. The system only recognizes the English alphabet
- Review your work! Only click “Submit” if you are 100% ready to do so. Until then, click “Save.”
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in BiH’s Academic Exchange Coordinator with program related questions, including eligibility ones, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. When emailing, use the subject line: “2020-2021 Global UGRAD.”
- Contact World Learning with any technical questions regarding the Student Portal, applicant account, and the online application at: email@example.com.
- For more information regarding the program, visit the Word Learning’s webpage for Global UGRAD.