FGCU Welcomes U.S. Department of State Global UGRAD Students
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Two emerging youth leaders from Asia are studying this year at Florida Gulf Coast University as part of the U.S. Department of State's Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD).
Rachana Nget of Cambodia and Isidora Danilovac of Serbia were chosen from thousands of students in underrepresented communities to participate in the program, which introduces international leaders to the U.S. educational system and American culture. The goal is to help promote mutual understanding and strong cross-cultural ties between Americans and the people of other countries.
Global UGRAD provides one year of non-degree study funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). World Learning is one of the nonprofit organizations that administer Global UGRAD on behalf of ECA.
Nget is a software engineering student who plans to promote computer education in parts of her country where people lack such skills. An active community member at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, she was nominated as one of 12 students to the university's Cambodian Youth Association in December 2011. In the same year, the Institute of Foreign Languages in Cambodia presented her an award for outstanding academic achievement. At FGCU, Rachana expects to participate in community services related to health, education and music with the hope of taking home practical knowledge.
Danilovac, a finance major, has conducted research into the relationship between inflation and government fiscal policy. She is an active member of the European Youth Parliament, an organization that raises socio-political awareness among young people. Danilovac also enjoys studying and snorkeling.
Global UGRAD accepts fewer than 100 students each year. Selection is based on academic merit, community engagement and leadership skills. Following their exchange, students return home to pursue advanced degrees, obtain internships or work in community nonprofits, universities, government ministries or the private sector.
"The idea is to help the students gain in-depth exposure to key American values," said Timothy Gjini, associate director for FGCU International Studies. "It will help fellows integrate into the community and meet American friends - opportunities that international undergraduate students desire but cannot always find on their own."
The UGRAD students are available to speak to community groups. For more information, contact Timothy Gjini at (239) 590-7690.