NESA UGRAD 2012 Undergraduate Student Exhange selections
The Near East and South Asia Undergraduate Exchange Program, NESA UGRAD, is a part of GLOBAL UGRAD, a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

NESA UGRAD will award scholarships to outstanding students from countries of the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia for one-year of undergraduate, non-degree studies programs in the United States at a diverse network of accredited two- and four-year institutions. Participants will be enrolled full-time and will live on-campus with an American roommate. Participants will not select host institutions and placements will not be changed. Possible fields of study include, but are not limited to, the humanities, arts, social sciences, mathematical science, natural and physical sciences, and applied science.


Competition for the NESA UGRAD program is merit-based. Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, national origin, or gender. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The competition is open to anyone who:

Is a citizen, national or permanent resident qualified to hold a valid passport issued by the country from which applicant is applying;

Is completing his/her final year of secondary school or enrolled in first-, second-, third-year full- time undergraduate study at the time of application at a registered academic institution in his/her country and is in good academic standing.

Part-time students or correspondence students are not eligible;

Is between the ages of 18-25;

Submits a complete application with all required documents by the application deadline;

Is able to begin the academic exchange program in the United States in August 2012;

Is able to receive and maintain a J-1 visa;

Is committed to returning to his/her home country after completion of the program; and

Is proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application.

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

U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States;
Individuals currently participating in academic, training, or research programs in the United States;
Individuals currently residing or working outside of their home country;
Individuals who will complete his or her undergraduate degree prior to August 2012;
Individuals who are younger than 18 years old or older than 25 years old prior to August 2012;
Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. government for a period of more than six weeks and who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of application;
Individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years;
Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State during the period of their employment and for one year following the termination of employment;
Immediate family members of U.S. Department of State employees for a period of one year following the termination of such employment. This provision does not disqualify self-supporting members of families who live apart from their parents;
Persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a crime (excluding minor traffic violations); and
Current employees of affiliated cooperating agencies/consultants and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings) for a period of one year following the termination of such employment.

The NESA UGRAD Program is conducted as a merit-based open competition. After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel of academic specialists and/or academic exchange specialists. Chosen semi-finalists will be interviewed in their home country. All applicants will be notified of their status in spring 2012.

Selection panels will use the following criteria to evaluate applications (not in order of importance):
• Academic excellence
• Cross-cultural interest
• Demonstrated leadership potential
• Demonstrated proficiency in written and spoken English (If you were selected as a finalist, you will be asked to provide TOEFL or TOEFL-ITP official test report. A special exam session will be arranged by the Embassy for the finalists.)
• Flexibility and suitability as an exchange student
• Commitment to returning to their home country after completion of the program
• Preference will be given to students that represent disadvantaged and nderrepresented
communities with no prior experience outside their countries

- Complete Application
- Two recommendation letters: applicants must have a recommendation completed by two different people for a total of two recommendations. If the recommendation form is completed in a language other the English, there must be an accurate translation, which may be done by the applicant.
- Official Transcript
- Personal statement in English, minimum of 450 words and not to exceed 2 typed pages
- A copy of applicant’s passport or government-issued identification
- Passport-size Photo
The deadline for applications to be submitted for the NESA UGRAD Program is Sunday, January 23rd, 2012.

No application will be returned to the applicant after the end of the competition.

Should you have any inquiries, please send them to

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