Contact: Communications & Marketing
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Delta State University welcomed five new international students to campus as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Eurasia & Central Asia (Global UGRAD). Joining the Delta State family are Sirojiddin Aslonov from Uzbekistan, Ecaterina Dancenco from Moldova, Susanna Movsesyan from Armenia, Davit Stepanyan from Armenia, and Akzer Yeshmukhanbetova from Kazakhstan. Dr. Gokhan Karahan, director of the Center for Economic Education and Research, and Robin Boyles, director of the Office of Institutional Grants, successfully submitted Delta State’s first Global UGRAD application this past spring.
The Global UGRAD Program aims to advance youth leadership and promote mutual understanding by providing one year of non-degree US study to undergraduates from 12 countries of the former Soviet Union. In addition to their academic studies, Global UGRAD fellows perform community service, explore American traditions through the unique Cultural Passport to America program, and hold one-semester internships.
The Global UGRAD program is highly competitive, averaging over 3000 applications per year with a 5% rate of acceptance.
The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Eurasia & Central Asia is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State and is administered by the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX). Since 1992, nearly 4,000 participants have completed the program, increasing diversity on over 140 campuses throughout the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii.
IREX is an international nonprofit organization providing leadership and innovative programs to improve the quality of education, strengthen independent media, and foster pluralistic civil society development. Founded in 1968, IREX has an annual portfolio of $60 million and a staff of over 500 professionals worldwide. IREX and its partner IREX Europe deliver cross-cutting programs and consulting expertise in more than 100 countries. For more information about IREX, visit www.irex.org.
To complement the academic program and ensure that fellows receive a well-rounded introduction to
American values, institutions and people, fellows will participate in a special enrichment program entitled Cultural Ambassadors Passport to America. Some of the activities involved are:
Arts & Music: This theme will introduce fellows to high cultural and popular culture on campus and in the community, such as concerts, theater productions, art exhibitions, and the campus literary magazine.
Holiday Celebrations: Through the holiday celebrations theme, fellows will learn about national secular and religious holidays (all participation in holidays with a religious significance will be strictly on a voluntary basis.) This theme will also help fellows understand American family customs, as they join friendship families to celebrate a holiday.
Sports & Leisure: This theme will expose fellows to the sports, hobbies, and games that Americans enjoy during leisure time.
Daily Life: This theme will give fellows insight into how everyday Americans live (outside of the dormitory.) By cooking and sharing meals, visiting shops, and shadowing American acquaintances at work, fellows will learn what life looks like for Americans in their community.
Local Pride: All communities have features and people that inspire pride. This theme will introduce fellows to the places, institutions, and individuals that make their host community special.
Community Life: Through the Community Life theme, fellows will learn about civic institutions, community activism, and volunteerism. They will participate in student government or observe community government institutions to see Americans’ commitment to civic life in action.
"We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the few universities across the nation to receive Global UGRAD students,” said Karahan. “They were truly awed by southern hospitality just in the first week of their nine-month stay here. I am extremely delighted that the university as well as the Cleveland community literally embraced our exchange students with open arms. With their help and understanding, we can probably make this program a lot bigger and contribute toward more diversity at Delta State."
Please contact Dr. Karahan, the project director and campus coordinator for the Global UGRAD program, about other potential opportunities for community involvement and host family programs. He can be reached at x4195 or at email@example.com.