Wearing elements of traditional garb from Pakistan’s five provinces, international student Haresh Kumar lead a presentation about his home country that included music, dance, food and a lot of information.
Kumar is enrolled in OSU Institute of Technology’s Civil Engineering Technology program. More than 30 people attended Kumar’s presentation on Nov. 16 in the Student Union.
He was chosen to take part in the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan.
The program offers students in underserved populations in Pakistan the opportunity to attend U.S. universities for one semester to explore American culture, develop leadership skills, and serve as ambassadors for Pakistan on college campuses.
Before coming to OSUIT, Kumar studied at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology in Jamshoro, Pakistan. During his presentation he said he was one of only 119 college students in Pakistan selected for the UGRAD program out of thousands of applicants.
During his presentation, Kumar went over some of the history of Pakistan, the country’s governmental structure and the cultural and religious make up of Pakistan.
“Pakistani weddings are like a festival and last four to five days,” Kumar said.
He also talked about notable Pakistani natives from scientists, politicians, humanitarians and athletes.
As part of the UGRAD program, which is a fully-funded scholarship, students from Pakistan have to meet a number of requirements while in the U.S.
In addition to the cultural presentation, participants must keep a culture passport with information about their experiences exploring American arts, music, sports, holidays, local pride and youth concerns. Students also must complete at least 20 hours of community service.
“After I came here I learned what the U.S. really is and you are learning what Pakistan really is,” Kumar said. “This program is a bridge between the U.S. and Pakistan.”