A Fond Farewell


You should all be immensely proud of your accomplishments – both large and small. You have completed the Global UGRAD Program, and you deserve a great deal of recognition for doing so. We at World Learning would like to thank you for being a dynamic, responsible, and interactive group, and it was a true pleasure working with all of you during your time here in the United States. The end of the term is a busy time for everyone, full of exams and papers and simultaneous preparations for the voyage home. Some of you may be sad to leave, others excited, and many more are likely having mixed emotions.

Now is the perfect time to take stock of all that you learned and reflect back upon your experience. The knowledge you acquired; the friends you made; the places you visited all culminating into a single poignant memory. Many of you may have faced hardship, and yet you overcame it, becoming all the stronger in the process. The strengths and skills you developed during your time as a UGRAD will stay with you forever, for as we say – once a UGRAD, always a UGRAD.

This is also a good time to thank all those who have helped you during your journey, such as a professor, adviser, friend, or roommate. You can do this formally – by writing a note or giving a small present – or informally through a few well-chosen words. What counts most is the sentiment behind whatever gesture you choose.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

Another way to express your appreciation for the UGRAD experience is to apply some of what you have learned over the past months to the benefit of your home country and community. Start thinking now about how you would like to get involved soon after you are settled back at home. It will help alleviate symptoms of reverse culture shock to feel like you are putting your semester or year’s work to immediate use. Did you enjoy community service? Get connected with an organization at home that does similar work. Not finding a volunteer activity that clicks for you? Some UGRAD alumni have taken the initiative to start their own community service programs back at home. Would you like to stay connected with the U.S.? Check with your contacts at the U.S. Embassy, Fulbright Commission in your country or World Learning to find out about upcoming events. These are excellent networking opportunities that you should take advantage of immediately.

Again, congratulations for your outstanding achievements in the 2013-2014 Global UGRAD Program. The World Learning team has enjoyed getting to know you and being part of your UGRAD experience. We wish you all the best as you transition to your new role as Global UGRAD alumni.


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