What Global UGRADs Are Bringing to the U.S.

By now, more than half of the students have moved into their dorms while the rest are eagerly sorting their items and packing their luggage in preparation for the journey to the United States.

Seasoning for Maqlouba, a popular Palestinian dish

Though they have limited space in their suitcases, Global UGRADs always make room for items that are meaningful to them. They may bring things that serve as reminders of home and family during their exchange program or to showcase their country and culture to all their newfound friends here in the United States. World Learning asked students to share about the special pieces they’ve packed, so keep reading to learn more about all these unique items!

Clothing, food, and flags are some of the most widely-brought items in the hundreds of Global UGRAD suitcases. Malak Falah, who will be attending Wayne State University, is bringing Maqlouba seasoning with her. “Maqlouba is a Palestinian dish that is filled with vegetables, rice, and flavors! I would love to cook it for my friends in the U.S. so they can try some Palestinian Arab food. It would be a great bonding and sharing opportunity.”

Nevena Jovanović posing with the flag of Montenegro at UCM

Nevena Jovanović, who hails from Montenegro and is studying at the University of Central Missouri, notes that “probably the most important thing to have in your luggage is your flag!” Having arrived on campus earlier this month, Nevena has already posed for pictures to show off the Montenegrin flag!

Seda Grigoryan’s Armenia magnet featuring Yerevan and Mt. Ararat

Seda Grigoryan, originally from Armenia and attending the University of the Incarnate Word, echoes the sentiments of other students, while also highlighting an important gift many students bring with them: magnets! “I brought traditional clothing and a flag, of course, but the most special thing I brought is this little Armenia! On this fridge magnet, you see the capital city Yerevan, and Mount Ararat, which is the symbol of Armenia. I brought 5 of them to give to my UGRAD friends.”

Example of miniature ambuyat, Brunei’s national dish

To represent her home country of Brunei, Haziqah Saiful, who will be studying at New England College, shared, “I’m bringing some snacks called “Marimin,” which is a prawn flavored cracker for people to try, and a miniature of Brunei’s national dish, ambuyat. I’m bringing my country’s flag as well! I can’t wait to showcase the rest of the stuff that I brought!”

Every Global UGRAD participant has a unique story as shown by the meaningful items they are bringing with them to the United States. World Learning is excited to welcome and get to know all the students this semester!