The International Education Services Office at NMU is collaborating with World Learning to bring students from other nations to campus for cultural exchange and opportunities to learn at American institutions. Ahmad is one student attending NMU this fall through the Global UGRAD Pakistan Program (IREX), which enables youth leaders from underserved populations across Pakistan to have opportunities to study abroad. He was selected for the program by his alma mater back home.
At the request of the Global UGRAD-Pakistan program, participants’ last names will not be used in this publication. The U.S. Department of State sponsors the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) in Pakistan with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.
Ahmad is a junior environmental sciences major from Lahore City, Pakistan. He said after being selected for the program he was eager to learn more about the diverse culture of the United States in addition to gaining more knowledge about his field in a modern education system that NMU could provide.
“I like this place very much—the cool air and fresh, clean environment,” Ahmad said. “I enjoy it a lot.”
His favorite memories in America so far include eating biryani, the national dish of Pakistan, his host family abroad made for him, hiking up Sugarloaf Mountain and visiting the shores of Lake Superior. He said he ultimately would like to get a doctorate in environmental science.
“Then, I would like to join some organizations that are working for nature like the World Wildlife Fund and also have internships and experiences,” he added. “I also plan to join the Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan.”
Back home, Ahmad is the vice president of a group that fights against child labor. He plans to work more for the organization after returning to Pakistan and earning his degree.
NMU’s International Education Services Office fills out an application in February or March to host students from other countries each academic year. World Learning oversees the Global UGRAD-Pakistan program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
“Through US-based training and practical experience in leadership positions, community engagement, and in their professional fields, undergraduate students gain the skills needed to implement long-term civic and economic changes in their communities, building stability through increased local capacity and cross-cultural understanding,” their website states.
This collaboration aligns with the university’s strategic focus area of global outreach.