Steps To Fulbright Scholarship Grants

Steps To Fulbright Scholarship Grants

Steps To Fulbright Scholarship Grants

Is Fulbright Scholarship Right For Me?

The Fulbright Program was conceived as a competitive international educational exchange program for talented US citizens to travel abroad while studying, teaching or conducting research.  Similarly, non-US citizens may come to the United States to conduct similar activities.  Approximately 8,000 Fulbright scholarships are given out every year through the US Department of State with funding furnished by Congress with some alternate funding from foundations, corporations and other governments.  The total congressional contribution to the Fulbright Program was $253.8 million in 2010 with an additional $85.2 million contributed by other sources.  To date, 155 countries participate in the Fulbright program on a bi-lateral basis.


The Fulbright program was the brainchild of Arkansas senator William J Fulbright who suggested selling surplus materials from World War II and putting the proceeds toward an international exchange program for the advancement of world peace.  The first Fulbright participants went abroad in 1948 and since then 310,000 individuals have been program participants.  To date, there are 43 Nobel Prize and 78 Pulitzer Prize winners that were participants in the Fulbright Program.  Senator Fulbright remained an avid supporter and advocate for the program until his death in 1995.

Select Fulbright grants:

                  For US citizens

-        Fulbright US Student Program -

o   Sends students and young professionals to study abroad for a year with the opportunity to teach English

-        Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship

o   Gives 4 US students to study an aspect of music and its relation to other cultures, sharing their experiences through social media

-        Fulbright US Scholar Program

o   Sends US scholars and professionals abroad for a year to teach or research

-        Fulbright Specialist Program

o   Sends US scholars and professionals abroad for two - six weeks to serve as specialists for curriculum and institution planning at foreign academic institutions

For foreign citizens

-        The Fulbright Foreign Student Program

o   Allows foreign students to study in the United States for one year, with the possibility of renewal.

-        The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program

o   Invites foreign English teachers to improve their skills in the United States at various colleges and universities.

-        Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program & Fulbright Scholar in Residence Program

o   Invites foreign scholars to teach or conduct research at colleges and universities in the United States for a year.

-        Hubert H Humphrey Program

o   Invites professionals from developing countries to the United States for study and experience.

-        The International Fulbright Science and Technology Award

o   Invites foreign students to pursue doctoral study in science, technology and engineering for outstanding students.

There are additional programs for teacher exchange and excellence in education.  Additionally, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) sponsors US undergraduate students to study languages important to American policy and foreign affairs.

Who administers Fulbright grants?

The Fulbright Program is the responsibility of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.  The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board is made up of twelve members, appointed by the President to serve as a steering committee for the program and approve all grant recipients.  In foreign countries, there may be a bi-national Fulbright commission or foundation dedicated to screening, recruiting and publicizing the Fulbright program.  In countries without a commission, the US Embassy publicity handles the commission’s duties to recruit potential grant recipients.

Specialized committees such as AMIDEAST and LASPAU administer grants for the Middle East and Latin America/Caribbean respectively.

What does one study on a Fulbright grant?

What are other organizations that are related to Fulbright grants?

What is included in a Fulbright grant?

How do I apply for a Fulbright grant?

Are there group grants?

Who is eligible?

Any and all persons involved with the State Department or an immediate family member There is a variety of subjects that can be studied under a Fulbright grant from humanities to science and technology.  It will not support an individual entering medical school but will support studies and research into patient care and public/global health.  There are no grants for the role purpose of learning English.  There are specialized enhancement grants for US students that intend to go to a country with a language identified as “critical” by the US State Department.  These languages include Mandarin Chinese, Korea, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and Farsi.

The Fulbright Association, which is not associated with the government, is a private non-profit group of Fulbright alumni that educate Congress on the continued needs of the program and its mission.  They award the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding to exceptional individuals that contribute to world peace and foster international cooperation.

The Fulbright Academy is also not affiliated with the program but is an alumni association that serves as a support network to foster collaboration and support amongst its members.  It boasts approximately 9,000 members and serves as support for new Fulbright members.

Most Fulbright grants include roundtrip transportation, stipend, tuition and insurance as well as compensation for travel and participation in mandatory Fulbright events.  Students from other countries are entitled to receive some orientation and pre-academic programs to improve their English language skills, especially when dealing with technical subjects such as law and health.

If you are an exceptional and high achieving individual, you may be selected to receive a Fulbright grant.  You must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership and a feasible project that can be completed with the funds.  Generally speaking, you must apply to the program fifteen to twelve months before the grant is administers.  The will provide you with a list of available grants and where the applications to those grants may be sent.  Applications are not submitted to this website.

Bear in mind that the Fulbright program is bi-national and will only fund American students going abroad or foreign students studying in America.  It will not fund foreign students seeking to study in other countries.  It also does not fund foreign students already in the US. 

The most common method for an American to apply to the Fulbright program is through their university or college which can guide them through the process.  Larger institutions will have a Fulbright advisor for the purpose of recommending and guiding prospective applicants.

Should you be deemed eligible for further examination, you will be given a language test to ensure you have adequate proficiency in the language of the target country.  Foreign applicants will need to demonstrate English proficiency.  The applicant will also need to submit GRE or GMAT scores depending on the American program they are enrolling in, based on the standards of the institution.

The Fulbright-Hayes Group Project Abroad Program is a department of education grant that funds groups seeking to study humanities, foreign language or social sciences abroad for the purposes of group study or curriculum development.  These educators collectively work especially to increase understanding of area studies and develop a curriculum to be used in the United States.

There may be age restrictions and recommendations attached to each grant.

Fulbright US Student Program

Holding a doctorate will disqualify an applicant from the Fulbright Program.  Qualifications will vary depending on the type and location of the grant, but the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree and a proficiency in the language of the country they are applying to work in.

Fulbright US Scholar Program

The applicant must have a Ph.D. and teaching experience as well as demonstrate the foreign language proficiency needed to carry out the project.

Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program

All that is required for this program is a bachelor’s degree, full time teaching assignment and English fluency.

`Foreign Fulbright applicants must meet the individual requirements set by their country’s Fulbright Commission.  They cannot have US citizenship/permanent residency.  Scholars must have a doctoral degree or relevant experience as well as English language proficiency.

How are candidates selected?

Candidates are assessed on merit based on their record of achievement, language preparation/proficiency and their project proposal.  Depending on the project, several organizations may be involved in assessing the candidate in a collaborative process that also involves embassies in the target country.





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