UGrad - Iqra Sadia Rao
I came to know about the #Global UGrad Exchange Programme from my senior. It's a one-semester long program for Undergraduate Students, in which you are placed in a US University as Cultural Ambassador of Pakistan.
I filled out my application on the last date because of a busy schedule at my University , thought to give it a try without having much hopes. I wasn't even sure whether or not my parcel had been received by the #USEFP Office.
But Luckily after a few months I got the call to interview. ( I still remember asking the co ordinator weirdly few times, Okay So I am shortlisted? Lol)
The selection process was extensive.I came to know that I was one of the lucky 400 students out of 4000 Applicants. Your Personal Statement is the most important, and should be kept to the point.
The interview was very short, and in my experience it was mostly about how you introduce yourself to the panel. Most of the decisions they make are done in the first few minutes.
Shortlisting after interview was nerve wrecking.( with time patience was ending) But Alhumdulliah, I was selected among 100 students all over Pakistan.
Application, Interview and then visa wait; it's a long process and in total it took around 8-9 months in processing. But I got preparation time just 2 weeks. Packed my bags and so excited for New Chapter.
I was placed in #Kansas States University to present Pakistan. I gave presentations on Pakistan and answered questions they had about Pakistan and it's Culture.
I also got a chance to choose subjects other than my compulsory Engineering ones, and selected Entrepreneurship. That enabled me to become a Social Entrepreneur (#WomEm), working with plan9 Herself initiative .
Got selected for funding and Training program from a #US incubation Centre which I will be pursuing soon. Alongside working experience as an Engineer.
I traveled and made friends from around the world - China, India, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Thailand, France and alot other places and made friends for a lifetime who are still in contact with me.
You get exposure and build up your strengths living independently.
I gave a seminar in my University and helped almost 100 student Applicants after I returned in their applications.
The time is surely worth all the effort. And Remember great things NEVER come easy so set Goals and WORK HARD.