U.S. Embassy Islamabad and the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) welcomed more than 300 alumni of the Global Undergraduate (UGrad) exchange program to the second annual UGrad reunion in Islamabad. The U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Williams and Rita Akhtar, executive director of the U.S. Educational Foundation in Pakistan, greeted the students, who represented all regions of Pakistan.
During the reunion, which takes place December 13-15, participants will share their experiences in the United States, participate in workshops and speaker sessions discussing entrepreneurship and creativity, enjoy cultural and music performances, and brainstorm ideas for community service projects that benefit Pakistan’s social and economic development. The reunion will culminate in four community outreach projects in Islamabad: a blood donation drive, a park clean-up with local school children, an outreach event with the disabled, and an anti-littering flash mob performance to highlight environmental awareness.
“There are so many impressive young people in Pakistan, and each of you is a talented representative of this nation’s bright future,” Chargé d’Affaires Williams said at the reunion. “To think that my country has played a role in advancing your education and helping your nation’s prospects makes me very proud of the Global UGrad program, and also of you.”
The Global UGrad program in Pakistan, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is the largest in the world. Since 2010, the U.S. Embassy has sent nearly 700 Pakistani university students to the United States for one semester of study in a U.S. university. Through U.S.-based training, practical experience in leadership positions, and community engagement, Global UGrad participants gain the skills needed to implement long-term civic and economic change in their communities. The U.S. Educational Foundation in Pakistan implements the program.
Upon their return, alumni of the Global UGrad exchange become members of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN), one of the largest exchange alumni networks in the world. PUAN has 11 chapters throughout Pakistan. More than 13,000 students and professionals who have participated in U.S. government-sponsored exchanges are members. The network’s mission is to encourage people-to-people relationships between the United States and Pakistan.