One of the benefits of having international embassies located in Pakistan would be the services they offer for Pakistani citizens, in addition to their own countrymen. There are many ways in which Pakistanis can receive assistance from the US embassy, whether the need is for information and resource materials on various topics, English language assistance, educational resources, or access to education and training abroad.
The US Embassy is based in Islamabad, and it has consular offices in Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi. It has several programs within its Cultural Affairs division, and most of these are programs designed to assist women and students from Pakistan. The focus is on cultural exchange and dialogue as well as on fostering leadership through programs based in the United States.
U.S. Institute for Women Leaders Program
Students from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Morocco, India and Mongolia are invited to apply for participation in the Study of U.S. Institute for Women Leaders Program. The program itself is held during the summer at the University of Kansas in the US.
The institute runs for five weeks, during which time discussions, lectures, and presentations are held on leadership and also about the USA. In addition to activities held on the university campus in classrooms, there are also activities scheduled within the nearby community including travelling, visits and in some cases the chance to do some volunteer work.
There will also be opportunities for networking, especially with other women leaders both from the US and other countries around the world. The program offers both an academic element and the opportunity to travel and network within the USA, finding out more about local communities as well as women’s organisations, thus having a practical field element as well.
One of the best advantages is that the program is paid for, and applicants once accepted will only be required to cover the cost of their passports and whatever they may require for souvenirs and related expenses. There are some conditions associated with participating in this program with a J-1 visa but these are explained in some detail on the US Embassy website.
The program is open to female students who are aged between 18 and 25. The program is looking for motivated people who are interested in getting involved in leadership roles and have demonstrated both academic excellence and interest in extracurricular activities and community projects. Online applications and details for how to apply are available on the US Embassy website.
U.S. Institute for Student Leaders
This program is specifically for people interested in Comparative Public Policy. Like the program described above, this one also has both an academic and a travel component, making it a well-rounded program though it only lasts for about six weeks.
An interesting difference in this program though is that while 25 Pakistani students will be selected to go to the US, 15 American students will also participate alongside them. The focus will therefore be on how democratic policy making occurs both within Pakistan and also America. The program involves learning about America and Pakistan, food production and related issues, elections, diversity and similarities.
This program is held at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. There will also be opportunities to travel to other cities within the USA, to Washington D.C. and New York City.
People interested in applying need to visit the US Embassy’s website for more information, and fill out application forms and email them to the address provided on the website. There are some criteria for selecting candidates for this program, and these include an age restriction of 18 to 25 years, enrollment in a university, English language fluency, and academic excellence. They also consider how involved the candidate is with their community, how interested they are in taking on leadership roles in their communities, and how involved they are in extracurricular activities in school.
Getting In Touch
Both programs require that applicants be prepared for academic work and cultural exchange opportunities, keeping an open mind and staying ready for informed debate and dialogue with others. In both cases, funding for travel and the program itself is provided and selected candidates only need enough funds for extra items they might require.
In order to find out more about the Study of the U.S. Institute for Women Leaders Program, click here.
For more information on the Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders Program, click here.
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