With thousands of accredited US colleges and universities in United States, how do you find the one that is right for you? Well, no worries! The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) has got you covered.
Despite tonnes of information online and numerous educational consultancies in Pakistan, students end up, sometimes, going to a wrong place. Either the institutions aren’t reputable enough, or there are visa issues, or simply the consultant students went to for guidance was a fraud. (Go watch Shattered Dreams, a documentary, to understand how study-abroad scams ruin the lives of youth traveling to the UK hoping to get prestigious and quality education.)
In an informative session held at Lincoln Corner, Karachi, recently, a representative from USEFP shared how little he knew about the state he was going to for his studies. “As a Karachitte, I was fascinated by snow and always wanted to go to a place where there was snow. So, I ended up going to a place in America where it snowed eight months a year. I have even seen -40 degrees Celsius there and it was unbearable. I wish someone had guided me.”
With a mission to promote mutual understanding between the people of Pakistan and the people of United States through educational and cultural exchange, USEFP was established in 1950 by the governments of Pakistan and the United States. USEFP is a bi-national commission composed of an equal number of Pakistanis and Americans, and one of 51 “Fulbright Commissions” located throughout the world.
Considering the fact that studying in the US could be extremely costly, every year USEFP helps hundreds of Pakistani students secure scholarships and travel to the US to further their education and career. Some of the major scholarship programs at USEFP are:
Fulbright Degree Program
The Fulbright Masters and PhD Program funds graduate study in the United States for a Masters or PhD degree.
In addition to academic work, candidates selected for Fulbright programs are expected to share information about Pakistani life and culture with their US colleagues and with community groups in the US on returning to Pakistan.
In 2010, the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program - Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan) was launched by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the United States Department of State.
Within a short period of time, the Global UGRAD has gained immense popularity among university students. In 2017, USEFP received 32000 applications for this program.
The Global UGRAD program is designed to award undergraduate Pakistani students enrolled in a university in Pakistan. The Global UGRAD-Pakistan program offers cultural/academic exchange through a non degree program for a semester at a university in the US.
Applicants of this program are required to be in either their 14th or 15th year of formal education.
Sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Scholar Programs are for Pakistani PhDs who want to undertake collaborative research in the US.
The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program brings accomplished mid-career professionals with demonstrated leadership potential to the United States for a year of graduate-level non-degree academic coursework and professional development activities. This ten month program consists of academic coursework and internship in a relevant professional organization. By providing future leaders and policy makers with experience in the US society, culture, and professional fields, the program provides a basis for lasting, productive ties between Americans and their professional counterparts overseas.
A host of non-degree programmes are being offered for Pakistani professionals including programmes for Public Administration professionals and journalists.
Along with making scholarships more accessible to students, USEFP has advising centers all over Pakistan that promote US higher education by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about accredited educational institutes in the United States. To assist further, they outline five steps to US study:
1-Research your option
After defining your priorities, learn about search options to explore thousands of accredited US institutions and familiarize yourself with US degrees.
2-Finance your studies
Develop a budget and find ways to reduce educational costs. Most importantly, search for scholarships and financial aid.
3-Complete your application
Timely submission of applications really matter; make sure to submit your application few days before the deadline. Write personal essays or statements of purpose in the best way possible.
4-Apply for your visa
You should know everything about the forms required. It would get easier if you outline the visa process. And don’t forget the interview; preparation is important for acing the interview.
5-Prepare for your departure
Know what to expect when you arrive! Try to ease into your new academic environment.
Adjusting well to US culture and your new community can make your stay even more comfortable.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for all applicants. Under the new scoring system, minimum scores of 138 in the verbal and 136 in the quantitative sections are required. Applicants must also possess a high level of fluency in spoken and written English. Short-listed applicants are required to bring proof of TOEFL registration with them to the interview.