Conn welcomes U.S. Department of State Global UGRAD-Pakistan exchange student
Connecticut College has a new international student on campus this spring, thanks to a partnership between The Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement at Connecticut College and the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan).
The Global UGRAD-Pakistan program, part of a broader U.S. Department of State effort to promote greater understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries, places participants at U.S. colleges and universities for one semester of non-degree academic study. Participants are also encouraged to explore U.S. culture, participate in community service projects and interact with Americans at their host institutions and in their host communities.
“The Walter Commons was drawn to the mission of this cultural exchange program, which is to provide students from underserved populations across Pakistan with opportunities to develop academic, leadership and community engagement skills while experiencing life on an American college campus, and to foster mutual understanding between the United States and Pakistan,” said Amy Dooling, associate dean of global initiatives and director of The Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement.
An economics major at his home university in Pakistan, Mustafa (Global UGRAD-Pakistan requests participating students be identified by first name only) is spending the spring semester taking courses on corporate finance and econometrics, as well as a course on U.S. politics and a seminar, “Media, Culture and You.” He has also been exploring the region, interacting with an American host family and working with the New London Area Food Pantry.
“For a society to grow and prosper, alleviation of hunger and poverty is the first step,” Mustafa said. “I am working at a food pantry in the U.S. so that I can take ideas back to my country, where we have many philanthropists working to [alleviate food insecurity], but we don’t have streamlined and controlled platforms for doing so.”
The Global UGRAD-Pakistan program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affair, with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX, a global development and education organization.