Hello, everyone! My name is Ulziimaa. I’m an alumna of Global Undergraduate Exchange Program, a program sponsored by the US Department of State for under-graduate students from over 40 developing countries. I participated in this program from the autumn of 2009 till the spring of 2010 after finishing my sophomore year at the Institute of Finance and Economics. The first word that comes to mind to de-scribe this program is AWESOME.
As you will see from my story, My UG-RAD experience was as diverse and broad as it could be.
The program gave me a chance to study at a real US college as a full-time student for one academic year, and see what it is like to be a college student in the USA,
I studied at Utica College in upstate New York.
What I liked most about my college is that the college offered not only very good major-related courses, but also variety of sport classes, language classes and other elective courses (such as, public speech, drumming, acting, etc) that students could choose regarding their interests. For me, I was more interested in sport classes, so I took several courses; tennis, aquatics, golf and karate. I loved them!
It was also great that my college had many professional and non-professional clubs, and societies that students could join to further expand their academic knowledge acquired from courses, and to efficiently spend their free time. Clubs I was in-volved were Investment club, Dance club, and International club
The program enabled me to mingle with and meet new people from all around the globe, and to immensely broaden my view about other countries and cultures. As my college had many international students, and there were 5 other UGRAD students from Costa-Rica, Georgia, Philippines, Cambodia, and Uruguay at Utica College, I could make many good foreign friends. Every other weekend, we had the opportu-nities to do and participate in many differ-ent interesting activities such as picnick-ing, sport games, trips to different places (Niagara Falls, Stanwix Fort, Hove Cav-erns, etc.), and international dinner. My UGRAD friends and some other interna-tional friends set a custom to surprise one another on their birthdays. So, birthday was our favorite celebration that we could happily hang out and share our joy.
Internship and community services are other beneficial things of Global UGRAD program. Scholars for one academic year are required to do an internship, and community service. I did an internship at Bank of Utica for 2.5 hours per week for 11 weeks.
Bank of Utica is a one unit commercial bank with assets of $840 million. I had the advantage of working in every area of the bank with employees who are well experi-enced and knowledgeable of banking op-erations. This gave me a very broad and thorough understanding of banking in the United States.
I also did variety of volunteering such as working as a tutor at a public schools, sharing our Mongolian culture and arti-facts with the rural school students, and helping an organization called Aids Com-munity Resources to organize a fundrais-ing activity "AIDS Hike". These commu-nity services helped me understand the importance of volunteerism and let me see social life outside of campus, as well as help me interact with many other people.
Global UGRAD is a program that gives every opportunity to an individual to culti-vate themselves in many aspects of life. I would willingly and surely suggest this program to other fellow students.