LAHORE – The US Consulate General Lahore Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Kelly McCarthy Tuesday said that strong English language skills were essential to take advantage of many exchange programs offered through the Consulate such as Fulbright and Study of the U Institute. “We are eager to see more Pakistanis take part in our people-to-people exchanges,” she said as she virtually participated in the English access program students’ online graduation ceremony for 100 students held at Gujranwala site. The English Access is a global State Department program that provides a foundation of English language skills to bright, economically disadvantaged students, primarily between the ages of 13 to 20, in their home countries. In addition to English language skills, the Access Program gives other skills that may lead to better jobs, educational prospects and the ability to apply for scholarships to study or to participate in the US exchange programs. So far approximately 22,000 students have graduated from this program in Pakistan. Addressing the ceremony, she said that the US Mission to Pakistan had sponsored five English Access sites in four cities of Punjab to help young adults not only to learn English, but also learn about the similarities and differences between Pakistani and US culture.