Fulbright Scholarship Programs In United States

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.

 

 

About the Fulbright US Student Program

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.

 

 

Applicants for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program include:

  • Recent graduates Graduating seniors and recent bachelor’s-degree recipients have some undergraduate preparation and/or direct work or internship experience related to the project.

 

  • Master’s and doctoral candidates Graduate-level candidates must demonstrate the capacity for independent study or research, together with a general knowledge of the history, culture, and current events of the countries to which they are applying.

 

  • Young professionals, including writers, creative and performing artists, journalists, and those in law, business, and other professional fields Competitive candidates who have up to 5 years of professional study and/or experience in the field in which they are applying will be considered. Those with more than 5 years of experience should apply to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars in the Fulbright Scholar Program.

 

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.

 

 

Types of Awards

 

Open Study/Research Awards

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.

 

 

English Teaching Assistant Awards

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.

 

 

Special Programs

J. William Fulbright – Hillary Rodham Clinton Public Policy Fellowships

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.

 

 

Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

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.

 

 

Supplemental Grant

Critical Language Enhancement Award

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.

 

 

ETA Programs

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.

 

 

Open Study/Research Award

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.

 

 

Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowships

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.

 

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Eligibility

  • Recent graduates   Graduating seniors and recent bachelor’s-degree recipients have some undergraduate preparation and/or direct work or internship experience related to the project.
  • Master’s and doctoral candidates   Graduate-level candidates must demonstrate the capacity for independent study or research, together with a general knowledge of the history, culture, and current events of the countries to which they are applying.
  • Young professionals, including writers, creative and performing artists, journalists, and those in law, business, and other professional fields   Competitive candidates who have up to 5 years of professional study and/or experience in the field in which they are applying will be considered. Those with more than 5 years of experience should apply to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars in the Fulbright Scholar Program.
  • 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.

 

 

Full eligibility requirements

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application. Permanent residents are not eligible. Please review the Ineligibility section below in relation to the eligibility of dual citizens.
  • Applicants must have a conferred bachelor’s degree or the equivalent before the start of the grant.
  • In the creative and performing arts, four years of professional training and/or experience meets the basic eligibility requirement.
  • Applicants must be in good health. Grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Medical Certificate from a physician.
  • Applicants must have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country sufficient to communicate with the people and to carry out the proposed study/research. This is especially important for projects in the social sciences and the humanities.
  • Applicants may hold a J.D. at the time of application.
  • Doctors of Medicine may receive grants for advanced academic study, but not for internships or residencies. Scholars with an M.D. degree who have completed their formal postgraduate training and propose attachment to a hospital or clinic for the purpose of independent or collaborative research should apply to the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, www.cies.org. Grants shall not authorize activity for which a license to practice medicine or nursing is required. The Fulbright Program cannot authorize proposals for medical research that involves clinical training, patient care or patient contact.

 

 

Preferred qualifications

  • Strong preference in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is for those who have not previously held a Fulbright grant. However, those who may have held an English Teaching Assistant Program may apply for a study/research grant, provided that at least 2 years have elapsed from the end of their ETA period, and they continue to meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Preference will be given to applicants whose higher education was undertaken primarily at educational institutions in the United States. Foreign study during the junior year or other periods of undergraduate study that are inte­gral parts of the curricula of American institutions will not be considered a disadvantage.
  • Candidates who have not resided or studied in the country to which they are applying for more than six months, not counting undergraduate study abroad are preferred. Duty abroad in the Armed Forces of the United States is not considered disqualifying within the meaning of this section.
  • For most programs, applicants who have had extensive previous foreign experience in the host country are at a competitive disadvantage, but are still eligible to apply.

 

 

The following are not eligible for consideration

  • Applicants holding a doctoral degree at the time of application.
  • Applicants seeking enrollment in a medical degree program abroad.
  • Anyone who has resided abroad for five or more consecutive years in the six-year period preceding the date of application.
  • Employees of the U.S. Department of State, and their immediate families, for a period ending one year following termination of such employment. This provision does not include part-time or temporary employees, consultants, and contract employees of the Department of State, unless such persons perform services related to the Bureau’s exchange programs.
  • Employees of private and public agencies (excluding educational institutions) under contract to the U.S. Department of State to perform administrative or screening services on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s exchange program, for a period ending one year following the termination of their services for the U.S. Department of State provided such employees have been directly engaged in performing services related to the exchange programs.
  • In some cases it may not be feasible for a dual national to participate in a Fulbright program in the country of his or her other nationality due to host country law or policy. Therefore, it is incumbent upon candidates to ascertain whether they have, or are eligible to have, their host country’s nationality and to address any potential consequences thereof before they accept an award.

 

 

Award benefits

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.

 

 

Grant benefits for all Fulbright U.S. Student grants include

  • Round-trip transportation to the host country
  • Funding to cover room, board, and incidental costs, based on the cost of living in the host country
  • Accident & Sickness Health Benefits

 

 

In some countries, grants may also include

  • Book and research allowances*
  • Mid-term enrichment activities
  • Full or partial tuition
  • Language study programs
  • Pre-departure and in-country orientations

 

*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.

 

 

Dependents

  • Within the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, a dependent is (1) a spouse, or (2) a qualified same-sex domestic partner, or (3) a relative (child, parent or sibling) who is financially dependent on the grantee. The dependent must accompany the grantee abroad for at least 80% of the grant period in order to receive the dependent benefit.
  • In some countries, a modest dependent’s allowance may be available. The balance of maintenance expenses for dependents is the responsibility of the grantee. Applicants should note that local restrictions make employment opportunities for dependents very rare.
  • The dependent’s allowance is not provided for any adult dependent who holds a grant from any source.
  • Transportation and insurance are not provided for dependents. Grantees must provide evidence that health insurance, including emergency medical evacuation, has been obtained for their accompanying dependents.
  • Grantees who plan to take dependents must, as a condition of the grant, submit a statement of their ability to finance transportation and, if necessary, maintenance support for them.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Contact information

Institute of International Education

U.S. Student Programs Division

809 United Nations Plaza

New York, NY 10017-3580

Telephone: 212-984-5525

Website: http://www.iie.org

Email: jdudderar@iie.org

 

 

General Inquiries & FPAs

Lora Seery

212-984-5327, lseery@iie.org

 

 

East Asia-Pacific

Jonathan Akeley

212-984-5487, jakeley@iie.org

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