U.S. & Uzbekistan network and international exchange for development (UNITED)


2023 Interdisciplinary International Student Exchange Bringing Uzbek Youth to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana


The UNITED project is a program that develops young leaders in both Uzbekistan and the United States through an in-person exchange between the two countries, facilitated by the faculty of Ball State University and funded by the U.S. Department of State.


During a 21 day stay in Muncie, 15 Uzbek students learned and worked alongside Ball State students, forming interdisciplinary and cross-cultural teams to explore careers in government, education, community organizing and development, and socially responsible business while being immersed in U.S. culture. Students then applied classroom knowledge to develop and execute collaborative projects that maximize community impact.


Citizenship, from my experience in the UNITED project, can be defined as more than just a legal status or a piece of identification. It is a deeper sense of belonging, responsibility, and active participation in a community or society. Citizenship implies actively contributing to the betterment of one’s community, upholding its values, and promoting social cohesion. It involves recognizing and respecting the rights, needs, and diversity of fellow citizens, regardless of their backgrounds. It also entails being an informed and engaged member of society, exercising one’s rights, fulfilling civic duties, and advocating for positive change. Ultimately, citizenship is about realizing that we are all interconnected and have a shared responsibility in shaping a just, inclusive, and progressive society for all.” — BSU-UNITED participant from Uzbekistan