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November 1, 2023

Global UGRAD Student Application

The 2024-2025 Global UGRAD Student Application is now open!

Deadline: December 15, 2023

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) provides a diverse group of emerging student leaders with a scholarship for one semester of non-degree academic study at a U.S. college or university. Global UGRAD is a program of the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and aims to recruit participants from under-represented backgrounds who have not had other opportunities to study in the United States. Successful applicants can expect in-depth exposure to U.S. society, culture, and academic institutions, as well as opportunities to enhance their professional skills. The program is highly competitive and merit-based. Finalists will be selected based on academic excellence, leadership potential, and their preparedness for study in the United States.

All participants will be enrolled in full-time, non-degree, undergraduate coursework chosen from their host institution’s existing curriculum. 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 20 hours of community service activities. Many Global UGRAD alumni have built upon the experience to receive Fulbright grants, obtain prestigious international internships, and work in business and government in their home countries.


Global UGRAD is open to all academic fields of study and does not discriminate based on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or disability.

Note: It is important to note that per J-1 visa regulations, applicants interested in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacology, or other clinical fields of study, should be aware that direct patient care, including animal care, is not permitted, and therefore academic coursework and/or program activities at participating U.S. institutions may be limited.


The Global UGRAD Program is open to anyone who is/has:

  • Applicants are over 18 years of age.
  • Applicants must be a citizen of Albania.
  • Applicants must be studying in Albania.
  • Scholarships will be granted to students who are currently enrolled in full-time undergraduate programs only, having completed a minimum of their first semester of study. Participants must have one full year remaining at their home institution after the Global UGRAD Program year.
  • Applicants should demonstrate leadership potential through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.
  • A solid command of written and spoken English (English Language training for some finalists is possible);
  • Preference will be given to those who have had little or no experience in the United States or outside of their home countries.
  • Eligible to receive and maintain a U.S. student exchange visa (J-1) required for the program.
  • Applicants are required to return directly to their home country after the completion of the program.


Individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible for the Global UGRAD Program:

  • Citizens and permanent residents of the United States.
  • Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside of their home country.
  • Local employees and immediate family members 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.
  • Current World Learning employees and their immediate family members.


A complete application consists of the following components:

  • The completed application form
  • Two essays
  • Copy of passport bio page or ID Card
  • Official academic transcripts for years of university study (with English translations)
  • Two letters of reference (with English translations). One reference letter must be academic and written by a professor or assistant professor from the candidate’s major field of study. A second reference may come from a non-academic aspect of the candidate’s life and work.

English Language Ability

A TOEFL score is not required at the time of application. Selected candidates will be requested to take the official TOEFL test. The program will cover the cost of the official test. Applicants must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 48iBT.


All interested candidates must APPLY ONLINE!

Get Started! Click on 2024 Global UGRAD online application, to begin your application!

The deadline is December 15, 2023, 5:00 p.m. EST (11:00 p.m. Albanian Time).

FOR ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS please contact: CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov    

To register for the Program and complete the UGRAD application, please use Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. We do NOT recommend using a mobile phone or Internet Explorer. Don’t use special characters/accents. The system only recognizes the English alphabet. Review your work! Only click “submit” if you are 100% ready to do so. Until then, click “save”.

(Please read all instructions and information carefully before completing the application)