Alumni Advice: From One Cohort to the Next

With the summer coming to a close, the next cohort of Global UGRADs has begun to arrive in the United States to commence their programs. Who better to give the new arrivals a bit of advice than our Spring alumni?

Carlos Robles at Murray State University

Carlos Robles from the Dominican Republic, who studied at Murray State University in Tennessee, urges the Fall Global UGRAD arrivals to “Live every moment of this experience as if it’s the last of your life,” but to also be wary of finances, a sentiment echoed by Victor Neculai from Moldova, also at Murray State.

Maya Abu-Arayes of the Palestinian Terrorities (West Bank), who spent her time at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, encourages the new arrivals to take their studies seriously despite the exciting new environment, as the American higher education system is often entirely different from those of the program’s participants. Maya also notes for incoming UGRADers that the experience can, and likely will, be difficult at first; however, an open-minded and positive attitude will make all the difference.

Balša Bakić of Montenegro, who studied at Endicott College in Massachusetts, reiterates Maya’s advice to remain open-minded, while also urging incoming UGRADers to travel to new parts of the United States whenever possible and to participate in as many activities at their host universities as possible.

Trong Hiep Nguyen volunteers with other students at Food Recovery Network.

Similarly, Aytan Sadirova from Azerbaijan, hosted by the University of Maine, encourages the new UGRAD arrivals to volunteer in their local communities as much as possible, saying “this is important for community immersion and engagement, also it will help to explore U.S. life and most importantly, make unforgettable memories.”

All of the Spring 2022 Global UGRAD alumni stress to the incoming Fall 2022 cohort to be as present as possible and savor every moment of their time here in their temporary homes.