Global UGRAD

From left to right: Fernanda, Hector Raúl and Jeffrey 2019 Global UGRAD Fellows in Washington D.C, November 2019
From left to right: Fernanda, Hector Raúl and Jeffrey 2019 Global UGRAD Fellows in Washington D.C, November 2019

UGRAD 2020 – Open call for applications

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.

Please note that this is a very competitive scholarship and only candidates who fulfill all the requirements listed below will be taken into consideration. Take time to read all the information on this page and prepare a successful application that reflects your leadership and commitment to the development of your community.

About the program

This program is sponsored by the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and aims to recruit participants from underrepresented, non-elite backgrounds, who have not had other opportunities to study in the United States. Successful applicants can expect an in-depth exposure to U.S. society, culture, and academic institutions, as well as opportunities to enhance their professional skills.

All participants will be enrolled in full-time, non-degree, undergraduate course work 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 twenty hours of community service. There will also be a virtual arrival orientation and an in-person end-of-program workshop.

Who is eligible?

Applicants must fulfill all the following requirements:

  1. Applicants must be Guatemalan citizens with no dual U.S. citizenship.
  2. Applicants must be studying at a university based in Guatemala.
  3. Applicants must be eligible to obtain a J-1 Visa.
  4. General point average (GPA) from 85 points out of 100 in the Guatemalan system or in the top 15% of their class. This must be proven with documents issued by your university.
  5. Scholarships will be granted to students who currently are enrolled in full-time undergraduate programs only, having completed a minimum of their first semester of study. Participants must have at least one semester or an equivalent term left to complete at their home institutions upon completion of the Global UGRAD Program.
  6. Applicants must demonstrate leadership potential through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.
  7. Applicants must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 45ibt.
  8. Preference will be given to those who have had little or no experience in the U.S. or outside of their home countries.
  9. Applicants are over 18 years of age.

How can I apply?

The application process is done online. You must go to this link and create an account:

After you create an account you will be requested to “Create a Profile to get started”.

Please note that the application must be completed in English. Applications submitted in Spanish will not be reviewed. You will be asked to write an essay on a specific topic (600 words maximum).

You must also upload the following documents (only .pdf and word documents are accepted):

  1. Academic Letter of Recommendation: To be completed by a university professor familiar with the student’s work in his or her major field of study.
  2. Personal Letter of Recommendation: To be completed by a professor familiar with the student’s work in his or her major field of study, OR from an employer. Recommendations should not be from family members or friends.
  3. Photocopy of the information page of your passport or DPI
  4. Official Transcripts: Document issued by your university. It must include your General Point Average (GPA) and the ranking. For example, that you are the student number 10 out of 25 in your class.
  5. Portfolio and samples of your work: related to your bachelor’s degree.

Relevant dates

Applications are open from November 4, 2019 to December 31, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EST

The interviews will take place in the first two weeks of February 2020. They will be conducted in English and last about 20 minutes. If you are selected to participate you will receive an email with more information. If you do not receive an email inviting you to an interview by March 1, 2020 this means that you were not selected to the next stage of the process.

Selected fellows will travel to the U.S. in either August 2020 or January 2021.

Which expenses are covered by the Global UGRAD Scholarship?

This scholarship covers the candidate’s expenses of the visa, travel, lodging, university fees, and medical insurance.

More information:

Applicants are required to return directly to Guatemala after the completion of the program.

Candidates can ask for guidance at the local EducationUSA office:

EducationUSA Guatemala
Walt Whitman American Center – IGA
Ruta 1, 4-05, zona 4
T 2422-5590

Meet our Alumni