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RECRUITMENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Call for Nominations for 2024-2025 Global Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGRAD)
November 3, 2023

U.S. Embassy Seoul is pleased to announce the 2024-2025 Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD). We encourage qualified students to apply for this unique opportunity to study in the United States.

What is the Global UGRAD Program?

The Global UGRAD Program was developed to meet the U.S. government’s ongoing commitment to provide a diverse group of student leaders with an in-depth exposure to American society, culture, and academic institutions by engaging in substantive academic exchanges at colleges and universities across the United States. The Global UGRAD Program provides semester scholarships to outstanding undergraduate students for non-degree undergraduate study at accredited US two- and four-year institutions.


Program Description

The Global UGRAD Program provides one semester of non-degree undergraduate study at accredited U.S. two- and four-year institutions to outstanding undergraduate students from less privileged and under-represented sectors of society.

The Global UGRAD program aims to support study in the United States for under-represented ethnic, racial, and socio-economic groups. Funding for the program provides a limited number of students from the East Asia and Pacific regions with virtual intensive English Language Training, as necessary, prior to the start of the academic residency portion of the program. Students finally selected will travel to the United States in fall 2024 (August) or spring 2025 (January).

Students will not be able to choose their host institution; however, based on academic interests the program will attempt to place students at the most appropriate participating host institution.  This is a non-degree program, and it will be the students’ responsibility to check with their home institutions whether any credits accumulated during the exchange can be transferred.

All Global UGRAD Program participants will be enrolled full time in undergraduate course work chosen from the host institutions’ existing curriculum to allow students ample opportunity for substantive interaction with U.S. faculty and student peers, and for exposure to U.S. academic and classroom culture.  To ensure that students succeed in their new academic environments, host institutions will offer instruction on topics including academic research and writing, critical thinking, time management, note-taking, and studying for and taking tests.  Participants will live on-campus with U.S. peers.

Students will be required to participate in a minimum of ten hours of community service activities during semester.  Students will also be required to enroll in at least one course in a U.S. Studies field, such as U.S. History, Literature, Art, or Government.

Participants must remain in good academic standing with a minimum 2.0 GPA.

The Global UGRAD Program will fund all program-related costs including tuition, program administration, international flight, housing and meal arrangement, health benefit and monthly allowances.



Scholarships will be granted to Korean students who currently are enrolled in an undergraduate degree program in Korea (Applicant must be studying in the country in which they apply for the program), and who will have completed their first year of undergraduate study prior to starting their UGRAD Program. In addition, selected participants must be at least 18 years of age when they begin their UGRAD Program in the United States.  They must also have at least one full year remaining at their home institutions after the UGRAD Program year.  The UGRAD semester cannot be the last academic term of a student’s undergraduate study. We strongly encourage students from underrepresented sectors of society to apply, including applicants with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, religious minorities, and North Korean defectors.  

All candidates should be proficient in English so that they can be active participants in the academic program.

Candidates should ideally have little or no prior experience living or studying in the United States.

Candidates should be highly motivated, less-privileged undergraduate students from colleges, universities who demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.

Fields of study will vary but the fields of medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine, pharmacology or other clinical fields of study, that direct patient care, including animal care, are not permitted.


Selection Process

  1. Deadline for online application is by December 15, 2023 (EST)  https://webportalapp.com/sp/ugrad_student_application_2024
  2. Application Review
  3. Personal Interview (End of January or February 2024)  We will contact the interview candidates separately.
  4. The nominees will take a TOEFL test (April 2024)
  5. The final selection of candidates will be determined by the Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) office and the selected participants will be notified by the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. (June 2024)

* The U.S. Department of State is committed to fair and equitable treatment for all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, age, disability or sexual orientation.


How to Apply

Interested students for this program must submit the application and supporting documents online before December 15, 2023 (EST).  Please read the instructions carefully and verify that the information is complete and correct before submitting the application.  Please complete the application form and answer all questions in English.


Required documents:

  1. Online application form
  2. A copy of the data/photo page of your passport (For dual citizens, a passport or ID from all countries of citizenship is required. U.S. citizens are not eligible to apply.)
  3. Official transcripts for years of university study with English translations
  4. Two letters of recommendation with English translations

For more information on the program, please visit the web of Global UGRAD.

For inquiries, please email to the Global UGRAD program team at UGRADkorea@state.gov



  1. I will finish my first year of university in December 2023, can I apply for the program?
    • If you will have finished two semesters by the time you begin the program, yes, you could apply for the program. Please submit your transcript for first semester. We will request the updated transcript later.
  2. I am in senior year and have one semester to go, can I apply for the program?
    • You must have more than two semesters of study remaining after completion of the UGRAD program, yes, you could apply for the program.
  3. Do I need to prepare 2 recommendation letters from different people?
    • Yes, please get 2 letters from different recommenders.
  4. I have a dual citizenship with Korea and the United States, can I apply for the program?
    • No, U.S. citizens are not eligible for this program.
  5. I am a foreigner studying in Korea, can I apply for the program?
    • No, we are recruiting Korean undergraduate students only. Please contact U.S. Embassy in your home country for potential exchange program opportunities.
  6. Which universities are joining the UGRAD program? Can I choose the school and semester?
    • Universities across the United States are participating in this program. The school list is not available at this stage. Please be aware the school and semester will be allotted to participants by the program implementers according.
  7. Do I submit the TOFEL test score?
    • No, we will provide separate guidance on the TOEFL exam for applicants who have passed the second interview.