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Global UGRAD-Pakistan student joins Hilltopper family

WKU once again qualifies as a host institution welcoming Rida Fatima as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program.

Rida Fatima

Rida Fatima

This year is WKU’s second year hosting a student from the Global UGRAD-Pakistan program. The semester-long program matches students across Pakistan with universities best fitting the needs and interest of participants.

As part of the program students are expected to gain practical experience, community engagement and skills to help advance their home country.

“Here they’re really advanced in technology and in Pakistan they may not be researching some of the things they are here,” Fatima said. “I want to learn all I can and take it back to Pakistan.”

Fatima, 23, is studying electrical engineering at the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan. When she returns to Pakistan, Fatima hopes to join a non-governmental organization that supports the advancement of women in technology and engineering.

Fatima participated in a rigorous six-month selection process with more 1,000 applicants, and after a much-anticipated wait she learned she was one of the 250 students admitted to the program.

“Before coming I had heard assumptions about Americans, so I was a little nervous, but I don’t know where they’re getting their information,” Fatima said. “Americans are super sweet and everyone here has been so welcoming and friendly to me.”

According to International Student Advisor Ashley Givan, WKU is grateful for the opportunity to continue diversifying the campus with students who serve as role models like Fatima.

The International Center is working on an application to host students from both the UGRAD Pakistan exchange program and the UGRAD Tunisia exchange program. Unlike the semester-long Pakistan program, students participating in the Tunisia program will complete their studies for a full year.

The staff hopes to find out more on the university’s status in the application process in the fall of 2017. Students seeking advising information on the exchange program can contact Ashley Givan at ashley.givan@wku.edu

More: Read more about Global UGRAD-Pakistan program

Contact: Ashley Givan, (270) 745-2319

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