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Welcome Message from Carol Jenkins
For more than 90 years, World Learning has equipped individuals and institutions to address the world’s most pressing problems. We believe that, working together with our partners, we can change this world for the better.
On my travels, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with many of those who have joined us in this mission. In Baghdad, we’ve trained more than 2,300 Iraqi youth who are already giving back at home. In London, our partners in the TAAP Initiative strongly believe that we are all responsible to practice inclusion. And in Vermont, our Experiment in International Living and School for International Training participants prove every day that they have the tools and the determination to change the world.
Please join us in our pursuit of a more peaceful and just world.
- Get Involved
September 13, 2023
In addition to an American college experience and enriching academic programs, the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) provides unique opportunities for international students to get involved in U.S. communities off campus.
During this past program year, Global UGRAD participants reported nearly 7,000 community service hours, volunteering at after-school programs, animal shelters, food banks, and park clean-ups. These volunteer hours not only improved communities across the U.S., but empowered participants to serve their home communities throughout the world after completing their program.
Continue reading to learn more about Global UGRAD community service projects from this past year and what these volunteer experiences meant to the participants.
(Editor’s note: Quotes have been edited for length and clarity only.)
I participated in a community cleaning event, volunteered for a fish food collection drive, and helped Habitat for Humanity by cleaning and organizing materials for their thrift store. Volunteering taught me empathy, humility, and the importance of giving back, reinforcing my belief in the power of community engagement. It was a gratifying experience that fostered meaningful connections and a sense of responsibility to make a difference. — Daniel Landaverde, El Salvador
UNC-Wilmington provided an opportunity to work with under-resourced families to provide support for mothers and children transitioning out of homelessness. I learned to be more engaged with the community, to be empathetic to the homeless, and to be more understanding of their situation. I especially enjoyed the after-school program because it’s not a concept in my country yet, and I wish to look into starting it in Kenya. — Jael Ikinya, Kenya
Volunteering is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have, and last semester, I had the privilege of raising funds for the campus food pantry. It was heartwarming to see the community come together to support one another. I made so many new connections with people who shared my passion for making a difference, and I learned a ton about fundraising and community service. Most importantly, I felt a sense of belonging and purpose that made me proud to be a part of such a wonderful community, even if momentarily. — Abderrahman Ezzafati, Morocco
My volunteering peers and I helped with organizing English lessons, checking in women at the welcome desk, and packing and giving out diapers to them. I will remember this community service for a long time because I know the feeling of leaving your own country and trying to continue your life abroad. To my mind, it was one of the most impactful volunteering activities that I’ve ever done. — Yelyzaveta Baurda, Ukraine
Over the course of four months at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, I fulfilled 34 hours of community service via four different activities. The most significant one to me was the Civil Rights Pilgrimage. The 10-day program involved traveling to different places and museums with historical connections to the Civil Rights Movement. One whole afternoon was spent at the Foot Soldier Park where we picked up trash, cleared overgrown plants and weeds, and re-potted plants to beautify the space. Our hard work was all worth it. — Alistair Yap, Singapore
When it comes to community service, it was more than I imagined. My serving has been an eye-opener for me. Wrapping up the hours of service, I had 26 hours of community service in the AIDS Dallas office and in their different residence halls. In the evening, I had reflection time with my team. It was my favorite because they were sharing the insights they got during the day. — Maftuna Uraimshikova, Uzbekistan
The Global UGRAD program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by World Learning.