Global Undergraduate Exchange Program

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (formerly known as the Near East/South Asia – NESA – Undergraduate Exchange program) is a program of the U.S. Department of State that awards grants to outstanding students for one semester of undergraduate, non-degree studies at a diverse network of accredited U.S. colleges and universities in the United States.

Applications are must be completed and delivered in hard copy by hand to the U.S. Embassy not later than December 28, 2017 at 3:00 P.M.  Full program details and application requirements are below.

Global UGRAD participants will be enrolled full-time in undergraduate course work chosen from a host institution’s existing curriculum, to allow students ample opportunity for substantive interaction with U.S. faculty and student peers, and opportunity for exposure to U.S. academic and classroom culture. Participants can be enrolled in any field except Law and Medicine.  Participants will be required to enroll in at least two courses in their major and at least one course in a U.S. Studies field. Participants are required to participate in a minimum of twenty hours of community service activities during the program. Participants will live in dormitories with American students. This is a non-degree program and it will be the students’ responsibility to check with their home institution regarding the transfer of credits accumulated during the program.

Participants will be placed by the program administrators at the most appropriate host institution based on students’ academic interests. The length and start date of each program will depend upon the student’s placement and on whether students need to attend a pre-academic English Language Program prior to the academic program.

The Global UGRAD Program will pay for a participant’s:

  • J-1 visa application;
  • Round-trip coach class travel from participant’s home city to host institution in the United States;
  • Health insurance;
  • Tuition and mandatory university fees (including required books and supplies);
  • Room and board (housing and meals); and
  • Monthly stipend for incidental expenses.

Eligibility Requirements:

Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, national origin, or gender. Persons with disabilities, as well as persons from underprivileged backgrounds, are encouraged to apply. Competition for the Global UGRAD is merit-based and open to anyone who:

  • Is a Bahraini citizen and residing in Bahrain;
  • Is currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at a university in Bahrain and must have completed his/her first year of undergraduate study prior to starting the Global UGRAD Program. Part-time students or correspondence students are not eligible;
  • Has a good academic standing;
  • Has at least one semester or an equivalent term to complete in Bahrain upon completion of the Global UGRAD Program.  The program cannot be the final academic term of a student’s undergraduate study;
  • Has leadership potential through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities;
  • Is at least 18 years old of age;
  • Is able to start the program starting August 2017 or January 2018;
  • Is able to receive and maintain a J-1 visa;
  • Is committed to returning to Bahrain after completion of the program and may not stay on for degree study in the United States as transfers and extensions will not be permitted; and
  • Has a solid command of written and spoken English.  Please note that limited consideration will be given to candidates who have very strong qualifications in all other respects but who need one semester of pre-academic English training before beginning their Global UGRAD semester of studies.
  • Individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible for the Global UGRAD Program:
  • S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States;
  • Individuals currently participating in academic, training, or research programs in the United States;
  • Individuals currently residing or working outside of Bahrain;
  • Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. government for a period of more than six weeks and who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of application;
  • Individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years;
  • Individuals who do not have a cleared report by a physician to participate in the program (Medical reports should only be submitted when selected for the program);
  • Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State, during the period of their employment and for one year following the termination of employment;
  • Immediate family members of U.S. Department of State employees, for a period of one year following the termination of such employment. This provision does not disqualify self-supporting members of families who live apart from their parents;
  • Persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a crime (excluding minor traffic violations); and
  • Current employees of affiliated cooperating agencies/consultants and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings), for a period of one year following the termination of such employment.

Online Application:

Interested applicants must complete the On-line Application by December 28, 2017. The online application should include copy of passport bio page, academic transcripts for years of university study, if available at the time of the application (with English translations, if in Arabic), academic transcripts for grade 11 and grade 12 (with English translations, if in Arabic), two letters of reference (with English translations, if in Arabic), and grade equivalence between local grading system and U.S. grading system.

Hardcopy Application Package to be submitted to the embassy:

A complete application package includes: a print out of the online application form, copy of passport bio page, academic transcripts for years of university study, if available at the time of the application (with English translations, if in Arabic), academic transcripts for grade 11 and grade 12 (with English translations, if in Arabic), two letters of reference (with English translations, if in Arabic), and grade equivalence between local grading system and U.S. grading system.

  • The application and supporting documents should be enclosed in an envelope (not a folder) and addressed to the Educational Specialist.
  • The application and documents should not be stapled.
  • The application and supporting documents will not be returned to applicants (please do not include original documents).

A hard copy of all of the above must be completed and delivered by hand to the U.S. Embassy not later than December 28, 2017 at 3:00 P.M.

For more information on the program: Please visit The Global UGRAD Website and Global UGRAD Facebook page.