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Global Undergraduate Exchange Program

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program is a program offered by 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. Participants will begin their program in either fall 2024 or spring 2025.

Applications must be completed and submitted not later than December 15, 2023.  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, medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacology, or other clinical fields that require direct patient/animal care.

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. 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 full-time undergraduate degree program at a university located in Bahrain and must have completed his/her first semester of undergraduate study prior to starting the Global UGRAD Program. Part-time students or correspondence students are not eligible;
  • Is in good academic standing at any accredited university in Bahrain, public or private;
  • Has at least one year or an equivalent term to complete in Bahrain upon completion of the Global UGRAD Program.  The program cannot be the final academic year of a student’s undergraduate study;
  • Has demonstrated leadership potential through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities;
  • Is at least 18 years old of age;
  • Is eligible to receive and maintain a U.S. student exchange visa (J-1), which is required for the program;
  • Is committed to returning to Bahrain after completion of the program.  Participants 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.
  • Preference will be given to those who have had little or no experience in the U.S. or outside of their home countries.
Individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible for the Global UGRAD Program:
  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States;
  • Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside of their home country;
  • Anyone who has already graduated from university
  • 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


Online Application:

Interested applicants must complete the Global UGRAD online application https://worldlearning.org/ugrad  by December 15, 2023. A full and complete Global UGRAD student application package includes the following documents: completed application form, copy of passport bio page, academic transcripts for years of university study (in English), two letters of reference (in English), grade equivalence between local grading system and U.S. grading system, and academic transcripts for grade 11 and grade 12 (with English translations, if in Arabic).

 For more information on the program: Please visit World Learning’s Global UGRAD website  and the Global UGRAD Facebook page .