Muhammad Saif Ul Islam Global UGRAD Program Experience | US Exchange Program

From Dhappai, Pakpattan, Punjab

It started in January 2016 when I packed my suitcase, said goodbye to my friends and family, got on a plane and flew away from a place that had been my home for my entire life to the U.S. as a grantee of the Global Undergraduate Semester Exchange Program! My exchange has affected me incredibly! I am no longer uncomfortable in stepping out of my comfort zone and experiencing completely new experiences. Those four months helped me build my confidence, overcome my fears, and get a taste of who I could be in the future. I worked through my problems on my own, and even though it was tough at times, I realized how to manage crises – small or big. Having a strong support system of a host family and friends helps a lot, nonetheless. These four months have truly changed my life. I have transformed into a highly motivated person brimming with confidence. UGRAD taught me how to transform threats into opportunities and how to value human life.

I am an active member of Pakistan U.S. Alumni network and co-founder of non-profit initiative Empower to Aim High(ETAH). On the basis of my social and volunteer work, I have also been awarded Young Emerging Leaders Award 2017 by U.S. Embassy Pakistan. Till now I have successfully implemented social action projects worth 600$ sponsored by U.S. Department of State. Guided more than  2500 students in career counseling, college selection, university selection and the U.S. sponsored exchange program, through different sessions at schools, colleges, universities and online guidance. My belief in giving back to my community is becoming stronger through the projects I have been doing Ins Allah I will continue to do so and set myself as a role model for my community.

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