Global UGRAD

Global UGRAD

2023-2024 Application process is open! Deadline is December 15, 2022!

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. Global UGRAD is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State and aims to recruit participants from underrepresented 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.

All participants will be enrolled for one semester in full-time, non-degree, undergraduate coursework chosen from their host institution’s existing curriculum. 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 20 hours of community service. There will also be a virtual arrival orientation and an in-person end-of-program workshop.

If you have any questions about Global UGRAD recruitment in Russia, write to 

Program Design

Global UGRAD participants will study at accredited U.S. colleges and universities, and engage in community service, professional development workshops, and cultural enrichment activities. They will be enrolled full time in undergraduate course work at the host institution to allow ample opportunity for substantive interaction with U.S. faculty and student peers, and for exposure to U.S. academic and classroom culture. Host institutions will offer instruction on topics including academic research and writing, critical thinking, time management, note-taking, and studying for and taking tests. Students will be required to enroll in at least one course in an American Studies field, such as U.S. history, literature, art, or government. Participants will live on-campus.

Participants cannot choose their host institution and will be placed at the most appropriate college or university based on their academic interests.

All academic fields of study are eligible.

*Per J-1 visa regulations, interested applicants in medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine, pharmacology or other clinical fields of study, should be aware 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.

The program is fully sponsored by the U.S. government, and includes:

  • international travel from home city to U.S. host university,
  • tuition at U.S. universities and living expenses,
  • pre-departure orientation in Russia,
  • virtual arrival orientation,
  • in-person end-of-program workshop.

*International passport fees are not covered and are the responsibility of the applying student.

This is a non-degree program, so students should check with their Russian university whether any credits accumulated during the UGRAD program will be transferred.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates should be highly motivated and demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities. They must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program in Russia and have at least one semester to complete at their home institutions upon completion of the Global UGRAD Program. The UGRAD program cannot be the final academic term of a student’s undergraduate study.

Global UGRAD is open to all academic fields of study and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or disability. Students with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

The Global UGRAD Program is merit-based and is open to anyone who fits the following eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be a citizen of Russia.
  • Applicants must be studying in Russia.
  • Scholarships will be granted to students who currently are enrolled in full-time undergraduate programs only, having completed a minimum of their first semester of study. Participants must have at least one semester or an equivalent term to complete at their home institutions upon completion of the Global UGRAD Program.
  • Applicants should demonstrate leadership potential through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a command of written and spoken English. The language test will be required of those selected as finalists or alternates.
  • Preference will be given to those who have had little or NO experience in the U.S. or outside of their home countries.
  • Applicants must be committed to return directly to their home country after the completion of the program.
  • Applicants are over 18 years of age.

Individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible for the Global UGRAD Program:

  • Citizens and permanent residents of the United States;
  • Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside of Russia;
  • Citizens of countries other than Russian Federation, currently studying in Russia;
  • 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; family members are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment;
  • Current World Learning employees and their immediate family members.
  • Graduate students;
  • Alumni of FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange Program), Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Institute, and Between the Lines Creative Writing program.

English Language Testing

All students nominated by U.S. Embassy Moscow as principals and alternate candidates for the Global UGRAD program must take the English languge test. Vouchers will be provided for nominated students to take the official test.

Application process:

The Global UGRAD Program application is be available online (till December 15, 2022): Global UGRAD online application.

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox work best when completing the UGRAD application. We do NOT recommend using Internet Explorer.

Please read all instructions carefully before completing the application, and review all fields before making any submission online. The application can be saved and submitted at a later time. All forms in this application are to be completed in English.

Incomplete or incorrect applications will not be considered.

A complete application package includes:

  • Online application,
  • Academic transcripts (with English translations), first-year students can submit their school certificate with grades.
  • Two letters of reference (with English translations). One recommendation should come from your university teacher, and the other should be written by a professor/teacher, OR an employer, coach, or any supervisor or authority familiar with your extra-curricular activities.
  • Copy of international passport biographic information page (if you do not have an international passport, please include a copy of the main pages of your internal passport).

More information is available at the Global UGRAD website and Global UGRAD Facebook page.

If you have any questions about Global UGRAD recruitment in Russia, write to 

Application deadline is December 15, 2022.

Applications will be accepted from November 1, 2022 to December 15, 2022 for the 2023-2024 academic year. Participants will be placed at a U.S. university in either the fall 2023 semester (August –December 2023) or spring 2024 semester (January to May 2024).

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