Endicott College is pleased to welcome new international students on campus as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan). Joining the Endicott College family is Iris.
Iris (who does not have a last name) is from Lahore, Pakistan and arrived in the United States a little over a month ago. She is taking courses in bioinformatics, pathophysiology, racial and ethnic diversity, Spanish and guitar. Iris will spend the spring semester at Endicott living in the residence halls and becoming immersed in the culture and community.
A recent memorable event was experiencing her first snow storm (and subsequently two additional large storms). Iris was looking forward to the storm, but did not realize that it would be a storm of historic proportions! She had no idea what to expect from a blizzard, but she has survived the snow and freezing temperatures we are all a bit more accustomed to. According to Iris, “She has just begun her very short journey at Endicott and she can't wait to discover more.”
In a first-hand account written of her experience so far, Iris continues: “Her amazing host family gives her the first taste of American culture- a taste she will cherish forever. The faculty welcomes her into the classrooms with open arms, and one teacher even lends her own guitar to her for the whole semester. What surprises her the most, however, is the hospitality the president (Dr. Wylie, a.k.a. Doc) of Endicott College shows to her and her fellow internationals. ‘I can never imagine my president back home spending time with students like this!’ she tells Doc at one of the dinners he has held for the internationals.”
The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan) program builds the capacity of a diverse group of youth leaders from underserved populations across Pakistan. Through U.S.-based training and practical experience in leadership positions, community engagement, and in their professional fields, undergraduate students gain the skills needed to implement long-term civic and economic changes in their communities, building stability through increased local capacity and cross-cultural understanding.
Through semester-long programs of study, exploration of U.S. culture, and integration into U.S. communities, Global UGRAD-Pakistan students develop a broad and nuanced understanding of U.S. values and become citizen ambassadors who support expanded diplomatic and development partnerships.
In addition to their academic studies, Global UGRAD-Pakistan students perform community service and explore American traditions through the unique digital Cultural Passport to America program, which provides students with a framework for comprehensively exploring various aspects of American culture broadly and systematically. While interacting with Americans in the community and on campus, Global UGRAD-Pakistan students develop a more well-rounded perception of American culture. They go on to share this understanding of the U.S. with friends, family, and others in their communities back home.
Global UGRAD-Pakistan students are also “ambassadors” for Pakistan. Many of them are the only representative of Pakistan on campus. Their unique perspectives and backgrounds enrich the learning experience for American students. Global UGRAD-Pakistan students also give presentations about their home country and cultures at local schools, rotary clubs, elderly homes, and other locations, reaching thousands of Americans each year.