The Fulbright Program offers grants to study, teach and conduct research for U.S. citizens to go abroad and for non-US citizens to come to the United States. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is active in more than 160 countries.
The Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and is sponsored by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). From its inception, the Fulbright Program has fostered bilateral relationships in which citizens and governments of other countries work with the U.S. to set joint priorities and shape the program to meet shared needs.
The Fulbright US Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students. The Fulbright Program has fostered bilateral relationships in which citizens and governments of other countries work with the U.S. to set joint priorities and shape the program to meet shared needs.
The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) was created by Congress to supervise the Fulbright Program. This 12-member Board, appointed by the President of the United States, works in cooperation with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, the bi-national Fulbright Commissions and Foundations, and the Public Affairs Sections of U.S. embassies abroad, to administer the Program.
The FFSB sets policies and procedures for administration of the Fulbright Program, has final authority for selection of all grantees, and supervises the conduct of the program both in the United States and abroad.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.
The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. Fulbright U.S. Student alumni populate a range of professions and include ambassadors, members of Congress, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors, and teachers.
Bose Corporation founder Amar Bose, actor John Lithgow, composer Philip Glass, opera singer Renee Fleming and economist Joseph Stiglitz are among notable former grantees.
The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) administers the Fulbright Program under policy guidelines established by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) and in cooperation with bi-national Fulbright Commissions and the Public Affairs Sections of U.S. embassies abroad.
As the administrative and executive arm of the Fulbright Program, ECA has fiscal responsibility for the preparation of an annual budget request to Congress and makes decisions on funding allocations to participating countries.
Under policies established by the FFSB, ECA also holds primary responsibility for the administration of the program, together with the assistance of cooperating non-profit organizations.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S.
During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.
Competitive applicants to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program will not have recent extensive experience abroad (excluding recent undergraduate study abroad), especially in the country of application.
The Fulbright Study/Research Award is the traditional award opportunity where a candidate designs a proposal for a specific country. Read the Country Summaries for more information.
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant programs place grantees in schools overseas to supplement local English language instruction and to provide a native speaker presence in the classrooms. View the countries offering English Teaching Assistant Awards here.
The J. William Fulbright – Hillary Rodham Clinton Public Policy Fellowships will allow fellows to serve in professional public-policy-related placements in foreign government ministries or institutions and to gain hands-on public sector experience in participating foreign countries, while simultaneously carrying out an academic study/research project.
The Fulbright–National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship provides a unique platform for American Fulbright students to develop global narratives and discuss commonalities across borders around a common issue or theme. Trained, supported, and mentored by National Geographic Editors during their grants in one or multiple countries, Fellows will use new media platforms to help build ties across cultures while enhancing mutual understanding. The digital content that they produce will be featured online in various places, including, most prominently, a blog hosted by National Geographic.
The Critical Language Enhancement Award provides a supplement in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for grantees to receive between three and six months of intensive language study in addition to their research or study grants. This opportunity is available for select languages and in limited host countries.
The English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programs place Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETA’s help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S.
The age and academic level of the students varies by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level. Applicants for English Teaching Assistant Programs can apply to only one country. Consult the table below for details on specific country requirements and numbers of awards.
Applicants for study/research awards design their own projects and will typically work with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education. The study/research awards are available in approximately 140 countries.
Program requirements vary by country, so the applicant’s first step is to familiarize themselves with the program summary for the host country.
Here are the application components for all grant types.
Creative and performing arts applicants are required to submit supplementary materials based on their disciplines.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State inaugurated the J. William Fulbright – Hillary Rodham Clinton Fellowship in academic year 2012-13. Initially titled the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship, the award was renamed to honor former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for her dedication to public service and role in the program’s creation.
The Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to serve in professional placements in a foreign government ministry or institution in partner governments.
Fulbright-Clinton Fellows build mutual understanding and contribute to strengthening the public sector while gaining hands-on public sector experience. The Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship also includes an independent academic study/research component.
Fulbright-Clinton Fellows function in a “special assistant” role for a senior level official. The goal of the professional placements is to build the Fellows’ knowledge and skills, provide support to partner country institutions, and promote long-term ties between the U.S. and the partner country.
The U.S. Embassy, with the Fulbright Commission (where applicable), will identify host ministries and provide administrative support and oversight during the Fellow’s program.
The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.
Funding Level–The Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant numbers are subject to the availability of federally appropriated funds. The United States Department of State reserves the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, numbers of awards, terms of agreement, and allowances.
*Grantees with projects that require extensive research support, in-country travel, study materials, or equipment should explore additional funding from other sources to supplement the Fulbright funding. Please review the relevant Country Summary for specific details.
Funds from Other Sources–If awarded a Fulbright grant, a grantee is required to report all funds received from other sources. Funds from other scholarships, fellowships, or grants in dollars or foreign currencies received concurrently with a Fulbright grant that duplicate Fulbright benefits will be deducted.
But, if such grants are for assistance in meeting family expenses of grantees or other expenses not covered by the Fulbright grant, no deduction will be made. Fulbrighters may not accept remunerative work abroad during the grant period without prior approval of the supervising agency in the host country and/or IIE.
NB: If you receive an NSF award, be sure to inform your future graduate school that you have received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant enabling you to spend the next academic year abroad and that you have also received an NSF Graduate Fellowship. Your graduate institution may have an NSF coordinator. Find out who this is and speak to this person also. You must do this before entering your status on the NSF website.
The NSF website has added a “reserve status” on the list of tenure options, which is available after you accept the fellowship and which defers your drawing funds from the fellowship. Officially, the NSF will consider you a graduate student at your U.S. institution, even though you will be abroad.
Early Terminations–Acceptance of a grant by a candidate constitutes an agreement between the grantee and the sponsor involved. It is expected that, barring unforeseen emergencies, grantees will remain in the host country for the full tenure of the award.
A grantee who leaves the host country or resigns from the grant at an earlier date than that specified in the grant authorization may be required to reimburse the supervising agency for any expenditures made on his or her behalf, including allowances for orientation or round-trip travel.
You can apply online here https://apply.embark.com/student/fulbright/usa/29//default.asp
You can read more about the scholarship program here https://us.fulbrightonline.org/about/fulbright-us-student-program
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U.S. Student Programs Division
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