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International Exchange Student
Near East South Asian (NESA) Undergraduate Exchange Program
Sponsored by the State Department of the United States, the NESA program aims at promoting mutual understanding between the people of the NESA countries and the Americans. A handful of undergraduate students from Pakistan, Egypt, Tunisia, India, Oman, Yemen and Palestine are selected after a series of interviews conducted by the US embassy in the mentioned countries and placed in universities across America. Students in the program are expected to attend these universities as full-time students for an entire academic year. During the course of this academic year, NESA students are required to room with an American roommate, do 20 hours of community service, 100 hours of non-paid internship and give two presentation about their countries, one to the University they are at and the other in a public institution (high school etc). As a NESA student from Pakistan I am attending Clarion University, majoring in Environmental Geo sciences.
The Environment of Pakistan
As a memeber of my college's Environment Club (in Pakistan) I actively participate in creating awareness on environmental issues in Pakistan. Water contamination is the most threatening issues in Pakistan presently. Almost all drinking water has been contaminated with Arsenic. Bottled water is suspected to be adulterated and controversies over dam building to store water otherwise flowing in to the Arabian sea are alarming issues. Trips included visiting remote wildlife reserves in the desert areas of Pakistan, and spending hours in a boat to catch a glimpse of the endangered blind dolphins. Biodiversity surveys were also conducted in local wetland areas and the northern mountainous regions of Pakistan.
Aangan: a Non-governmental organization
The government of Pakistan has insufficient funds and resources to provide basic services to its citizens which is why many NGOS are actively doing what the government can not. One of the NGOs- Aangan, works at creating awareness of child sexual abuse and helps provide counseling and therapy to victims of such abuse. As a volunteer with the NGO, I help to create awareness on the issue within my community, a daunting task considering it is a taboo and never talked about.
I love acting and have been an active member of the dramatics clubs in school and college back home in Pakistan. I have acted in a series of stage dramas which includes a mime performance as well. I did the following plays: 1. A Woman of No Importance 2. The Importance of being Earnest 3. Hades- a Greek mime play
I interned for WWF-Pakistan in the summer of 2005 in the GIS(Geographic Information Systems) department. My work involved digitzing hand made maps that represented exotic and endangered bird species habitats in Pakistan.