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The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program
November 1, 2023

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) 2024-2025

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The U.S. Department of State and World Learning are pleased to announce that the competition for the Global UGRAD Program for undergraduates for the 2024-2025 Program is now open. Applications will close on December 15, 2023 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

Program Description

In 2024-2025, Global UGRAD will provide one-semester, non-degree scholarships to approximately 250 undergraduate students representing all world regions to study at U.S. colleges and universities. The program includes virtual pre-academic English language training (if needed), academic coursework, service learning opportunities, professional development workshops, and cultural enrichment activities.

The goal of the program is to provide a substantive exchange experience at a U.S. college or university for a diverse group of emerging and committed undergraduate students  Ideal candidates for this program must show  through a sustained high level of academic achievement, commitment to community, and extracurricular university activities.

Program Design

Global UGRAD participants will be enrolled in undergraduate coursework at a U.S. college or university to allow ample opportunity for substantive interaction with U.S. faculty and student peers, and for exposure to U.S. academic and classroom culture. Global UGRAD participants will live on-campus with U.S. peers. The program will include a pre-departure orientation with representatives from the U.S. Embassy, a virtual arrival orientation from World Learning, and a program symposium, either in-person in Washington, DC or virtual.

Important: All academic fields of study are eligible. Per J-1 visa regulations, interested applicants in majors such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacology or other clinical fields of study, please 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.

Campus Placement

Participants will be placed at a U.S. university in either the fall 2024 semester (August-December 2024) or spring 2025 semester (January to May 2025)

Students cannot choose their host campus. World Learning will place students at the most appropriate host campus based on students’ academic interests. The Global UGRAD Program includes a diverse roster of host campuses throughout the United States, including colleges and universities in rural and urban areas, and Minority Serving Institutions.

Credit Transfers

The Global UGRAD Program is a non-degree program.  The Global UGRAD Program does not assist with credit transfers between participants’ host and home institutions.  Any credit transfers are the sole responsibility of the participants.

Course Availability

Please note that the Global UGRAD Program cannot guarantee the availability of specific courses students may choose before traveling to the United States.

Community Service and Required Courses

All participants will be enrolled for one semester in full-time , non-degree, undergraduate coursework chosen from their institution’s existing curriculum. Students will be required to participate in a minimum of 20 hours of community service activities during the program and  to enroll in   one 3-credit U.S. studies course  to enhance their understanding of the United States

  • Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions
    Students must adhere to the host campus code of conduct as well as the terms and conditions of the Global UGRAD program. See World Learning’s Website

Academic Performance

Participants must remain in good academic standing with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Failure to meet these requirements may result in dismissal from the Global UGRAD program.

Financial Support

The Global UGRAD Program provides for students’ roundtrip airfare to the United States, travel allowance, university tuition, room and board, health insurance, required books, monthly stipend for incidental expenses, and student visa.

Orientations for Finalists

  • Global UGRAD students will attend a pre-departure orientation with U.S. Embassy representatives to learn details about their travel and program prior to departing for the United States.
  • World Learning will provide a pre-program online training on professional and academic skills before traveling to the U.S.
  • World Learning’s staff will provide virtual arrival orientation in the United States.
  • Global UGRAD students will attend a re-entry career development workshop either in-person in Washington, DC or virtual prior to their trip back to Nicaragua.


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

This program is highly competitive, and merit based. Finalists will be selected based on demonstrated excellence trough academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.

Note: We encourage all students, including those with disabilities, to apply to the Global UGRAD Program. All qualified applicants will be considered for the program.

The Global UGRAD Program is open to anyone who meets the criteria below:

  • A citizen of Nicaragua currently residing and studying in Nicaragua.
  • Between 18-24 years of age by August 1, 2024.
  • Enrolled in a full-time undergraduate degree program at an accredited public or private university.
  • Must have completed at least the first semester of university studies.
  • Applicants must have at least one full year remaining at their home institution after the Global UGRAD Program year.
  • Not enrolled in their final year of studies at the time of application.
  • The Global UGRAD program cannot be the final academic term of a student’s undergraduate study.
  • Should demonstrate excellence through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities, demonstrated skills or talents, or personal challenges such as stories of overcoming adversity.
  • A solid command of written and spoken English, strong enough to study in a U.S. university is required with a recommended score of 61on the TOEFL IBT
  • Finalists must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 48iBT to be considered. Students who score between 48-60 will be considered for the virtual English Language Training prior to the exchange portion of the program. Has sustained a high level of academic achievement (university cumulative percentage: 80%).
  • Priority given to economically disadvantaged students, or those who represent a minority or disadvantaged group.
  • Have had little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States or elsewhere outside of their home country.

*Thesis or professional practice/internship to be completed at the end of your studies are not considered classes.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted from November 1, 2023 to December 15, 2023 for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Application deadline: December 15, 2023

Note: The best browsers to use with this system are Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Online application

  • Write your complete name as it appears on your ID (cedula).
  • Family name refers to your last names.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) refers to your cumulative percentage (this is your promedio acumulado).
  • Write your home address in Spanish.
  • Enter emergency contacts living in Nicaragua.
  • Respond to essay questions as instructed, adhering to indicated word limits.

Tip:  Use the “Save Draft” button to save your progress and the “Save” button until you have completed all fields and have uploaded required documents. Then, you will have to click on the “Submit” button to send your Global UGRAD application.

If you have an issue with the Global UGRAD application system, please write an email to exchangeprograms@worldlearning.org, request assistance explaining the issue and attach images to your email to show the exact problem.

Required Documents

  • Scanned Copy of both sides of your national identification (cedula). This is mandatory, applications without cedula will not be considered.
  • Scanned copy of the passport data/photo page (only if you have one).
  • Scanned copies of academic transcripts for years of university studies with cumulative percentage up to first semester 2023 (You could also get this document from your university’s website)
  • Transcripts must be translated into English. You could write your own translation at this stage.
  • A copy of your pre-registration receipt, certifying that you are an active student and additional information about your field of study and current year, and the length of your course of study/major in years. (You could add this document in the portfolio section of your application.)
  • Two scanned letters of recommendation written by one professor familiar with your work in your major field of study, OR from an employer, former exchange program coordinator or host family, coach, or any supervisor or authority familiar with your extracurricular activities. Use the recommendations forms within the online system and review “Letter of Recommendation Guidelines.”

Note: Recommendations should not be from family members or friends. The person writing your letter should indicate in what context he/she knows you, how he/she would describe your mentality and adaptability in difficult situations, and the qualities that would make you a successful exchange student, including your interaction with others. Letters should be written in English, but if you get letters written in Spanish, you must include a English  translation.  Check the Letter of Recommendation Guidelines at the bottom of this website. These forms are also available within the Global UGRAD application system.

Tip: Please use descriptive names for your PDF or MS Word files, so it will be easy for us to identify the owner and content of each archive when we download your documents. Examples: EmilyJones-transcript-and-translation.pdf, EmilyJones-passport.pdf or EmilyJone-cedula.pdf (in case you do not have passport), EmilyJones-letter1.pdf, EmilyJones-letter2.pdf, etc.

Program Requirements

  • Agree to the placement by the Department of State of the U.S. host university or college and be enrolled full-time.
  • Agree that the selected student cannot travel to the U.S. with an accompanying relative.
  • Make a commitment to return to Nicaragua upon completion of the program in 2024-2025 and not stay on for degree study in the U.S.


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

  • S. Citizens and permanent residents of the United States;
  • Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside Nicaragua;
  • Local employees 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;
  • Immediate family members (i.e. spouses and children) of U.S. Department of State employees; family members are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment;
  • Current World Learning employees and their immediate family members.

Incomplete applications or applications submitted late will not be considered. Make sure to request transcripts and letters of recommendation in advance to upload them to your application. (Check the Letter of Recommendation Guidelines on this website or within the UGRAD application system.)

Letter of Recommendation Guidelines

These guidelines will help the person writing your letters of recommendation to focus on things we want to know about you:

  • In what context he/she knows you;
  • How he/she would describe your mentality and adaptability in difficult situations;
  • The qualities that would make you a successful exchange student including your interaction with others.


These fillable forms are also available within the online application system.

Tip 1: Writing strong recommendation letters usually takes time. We recommend requesting your letters as soon as possible.

Tip 2: Prepare the people who will write your letters by familiarizing yourself with the recommendation forms and guidelines.

For more information on this program please visit:

flyer cover
Download program flyer

UGrad program postcard
Download program postcard

For specific questions, please contact the U.S. Embassy Managua Public Affairs Office at:
E-mail: PASManagua@state.gov
(Please write “UGRAD 2024-2025” in the Subject Line of your message)