From Where I Stand – Part III

Endah Rosa, Indonesia

Since I returned from my Global UGRAD experience, I decided to take a Japanese course to learn more about another country’s language. I want to be able to speak more languages as my experience has taught me to learn more about the world, and it makes me eager and motivated to understand other people’s culture by speaking their language. My Global UGRAD experience not only taught me to be more understanding of other nations and cultures, but it also enhanced my willingness to always participate in volunteering activities. I’ve  created my own volunteering-based project called “English Literacy”. I voluntarily teach English and TOEFL PBT to high school and college students in my area. My intention to do so is because I want them to be able to experience the same thing as I did, to go see the world so that they will have greater views and perspectives of the the world that are different from what they’ve been believing. My students are now 10 in total, and I also give them motivational speeches during the session to induce their motivation to study English harder, though in an enjoyable way. I also became a campaign volunteer for my city’s tourist industry where I am a member of the ASEAN Community, Chapter Jambi, Indonesia (Komunitas Peduli ASEAN). The Global UGRAD experience has not only give me a greater view about the world but it also changed my attitude and way of thinking to have more concern, understanding, and willingness to make a change and share a little more kindness in the society I live in.

Sharon Casco Figueroa, Honduras

Since the completion of Global UGRAD I have been giving a little bit of what I received to my own country. The last couple of months, I have been teaching English (as a volunteer teacher) to more than 120 children of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in Honduras. I am really happy to share my time and blessings with them, because they share their love with me! I know that this second language will open many doors to many opportunities for their lives and futures.


Uyen Lam Nguyen, Vietnam

Since the completion of Global UGRAD, I returned to Vietnam to continue pursuing my bachelor’s degree in International Business of Foreign Trade. I am taking advantage of my summer break to visit rural areas across my country and looking for ideas to set up community service projects. I hope my upcoming voluntary project will make a huge impact on the lives of others in remote and distant areas of Vietnam. I took this picture when I was visiting a poor village in Moc Chau – a rural district of Sơn La Province in the Northwest region of Vietnam.



Runi Virzia, Indonesia

In this picture I’m standing on the front porch of a state-owned financial company called Credit Guarantee Public Company of Indonesia, the company where I’m currently an intern. Having an internship in this company reminds me of my Global UGRAD experiences, because I learn and try lots of new things—just like those days back in the U.S. I decided to be an intern in this company because it’s actively boosting Indonesia’s economy by giving out loans for people to start their small-medium enterprises, especially for those in the rural areas of West Borneo. It’s been really interesting so far to wear business attire five days a week, to learn how the company works, and to be involved in meetings with the local banks. One lesson that I learned when I was abroad as a Global UGRAD: never stop learning something new everyday, no matter how challenging it is.


Ion Mocan, Moldova

Right now, I am working at a digital agency and involved in a social project called at the same time. This cat sleeps all day long near our office – he looks so peaceful and lazy all day, that he makes some of the employees really envious 🙂






Wa Ode Amanah, Indonesia

When I was in the U.S, I was interested in a group called “Aku Peduli Pendidikan Muna”. This community cares about education in my hometown – Muna island – and particularly to the remote areas. Now, I actively participate as a volunteer in this community in my free time. In addition, as of July 2016, I have been officially employed as an English teacher. I teach English to middle school and high school students. On the weekends, I sometimes teach university students about English debating (particularly British Parliament style) for free. I just love teaching. I personally think that sharing and teaching are so much fun. Working with students, especially in the remote area, has always been something special for me. If something that can create a smile for me, then I am sure it can do so for the world.



Lackuna Alounthong, Laos

The first week back, I was having a very hard time adapting back to the culture and environment here. I could not sleep well; the weather was too warm and the food here felt weird for me. It seemed like everything around me was different. Luckily, a week after, I was offered a job as an English translator for a big company from Singapore. It was a huge moment for me. I have also been involved in various activities for my community; one of them I am working on right now is teaching high school students English for free. I enjoy teaching a lot. It is so fantastic to see the others grow and improve in their skills. Moreover, now I am working for a Youth Organization of Laos as a DJ for a radio program. It’s so much fun! I was also chosen to be a delegate of Laos joining an ASEAN Camp for Peace in Thailand for two weeks, and recently, I was selected by a huge petroleum company to join a camp in Thailand. I feel so proud of myself that I have done a lot of things within three months! My views changed after Global UGRAD; Global UGRAD enhanced me to be mature!



Yin Chien, Malaysia

After returning from the U.S., I started my attachment program at a police station in Manjung, High Court of Ipoh and a legal firm in Sitiawan. I was recently invited to give a talk on my Global UGRAD experience to the Sitiawan Rotary Club. I’m currently attending Axiata’s University Leadership Development Program in Genting Highlands. A part of me still misses the U.S., but I’m happy to be back! The picture was taken in a public field in Sitiawan.


Dieu Quynh Nguyen, Vietnam

In the Global UGRAD interview, I was asked, “who will you become?” I firmly responded: “a lawyer, for sure.” Coincidentally, my interviewer also used to be a lawyer. Among many reasons, I was chosen because he would love that there would be a law student to join this program. Returning from the U.S., I have the dream to do great things. I think of how I can contribute to  achieving gender equality, how I can be rich so that I can help the poor, how I can make this world a peaceful place. Each one requires qualifications, interest and capability to do certain things. And I realize that I can have a greater impact on this society when I am successful enough in the aspect that I have been investing for years. I chose to study law and I feel myself interested in becoming a law practitioner. Up to now, I have worked as a trainee lawyer for one month. I love this job. It is various and complicated like the floor on the picture. But I can feel that such complicated floor is also an art.


Putri Sar, Indonesia

Being a Global UGRAD gave me ideas to set new goals. I want to travel to many new places and discover remarkable experiences. Before I can do all of that, I know I have to take every little step that will bring my dream to reality. So here I am at a desk. I manage my time by studying for my bachelor’s thesis in Civil Engineering, studying for the GRE, searching for leadership and scholarship opportunities, and doing my job as an English teacher. Even though I have been an English teacher since my freshman year, my Global experience opened a door for me to work at the biggest English course in my province. I had to learn how to socialize in a new working environment which is an interesting challenge for me! I need to bring my formal attire almost every day to teach in the evening, whereas in the morning I wear sports shoes to walk comfortably around campus. I am also actively involved in an international organization, World Merit, as the leader for Palembang City Chapter. Our goal is to spread awareness about United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (17 UN SDGs) through projects in various fields. After I returned to Indonesia., I applied the knowledge about the organization that I learned from my friends in the U.S. to World Merit in Palembang City. Amazingly, it turned out well! We have stronger bonds than before and we’re also recruiting new members to support the organization. Thank you, Global UGRAD!


Maria Teresa Paniagua Aranda, Paraguay

I have been spending most of my time at school where I have started a new semester and am helping in my association, as usual. I am also a TA in two subjects in the university. I spend a lot of time catching up with friends and family, and am enjoying the teamwork and all the activities I’m taking part in at school. I am thinking about taking photography classes and I am also volunteering for a Fulbright Alumni Project currently happening in my country.

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