Fulbright is a program that gives applicants the golden chance to study and conduct research in the US. It works on the tenet of diversity, which means opportunities are open to all applicants regardless of sex, race, color, ethnicity, religion, or location.
Proposed in 1945 by Senator William Fulbright, the student exchange program previously used surplus war property for its finances. Today, it is funded by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.
The Fulbright program, which is administered by US Embassies or Fulbright Commissions, offers various programs for Foreign Students, Teachers, Artists, Visiting Scholars, and Scholars in Residence. In this article, we will be looking at the Fulbright scholarships for international students.
Fulbright Scholarship Awards
Annually, the Fulbright program sponsors about 4,000 grantees coming from over 140 countries. To date, it has helped fund the schooling and research of about 400,000 students worldwide.
Recipients are entitled to the many benefits of a Fulbright award, the likes of which vary according to the scholarship program. However, most grants come with the following perks:
- Partial or full tuition coverage
- Monthly maintenance award not exceeding $3,000
- Round-trip travel allowance
- Fulbright Certificate of Award
- J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
- Enrichment programs and other benefits
- Membership to the International Exchange Alumni
Eligibility Criteria for Fulbright Scholarships
Generally speaking, the basic requirements are established citizenship in a Fulbright-eligible country and a good command of the English language. In most cases, preference is given to students of a certain age bracket.
Other requirements, which depend on the country and/or type of award, are as follows:
Fulbright Student Program for Graduate Students
Open to Bachelor’s degree holders with a good academic record, it requires the applicant to have passed the English proficiency and graduate exams warranted by the university.
MBA applicants, on the other hand, need to have at least 2 years of experience to be considered.
Preference is given to students aged 28 years old and below.
Fulbright Student Program for Visiting Research Students
Open to Ph.D. students enrolled in their home universities, this is available to applicants who wish to conduct research in the US for 4-6 months.
Eligibility of this Fulbright scholarship is founded upon the following requirements: completion of a BA/MA with a high academic distinction, a referral form from the student’s Ph.D. supervisor, and a letter of affiliation from a US institute.
Preference is given to applicants aged 35 years old and below.
Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program
Open to 850 professors and researchers who have a Ph.D. and four years of experience, this requires applicants to have a current teaching or research position. They also need to have an official letter of invitation or affiliation from an American institute or research center.
The Visiting Scholar Program also comes with specialized awards, such as the scholar-in-residence program, the international education administrators program, the US-ASEAN visiting scholar initiative, and the Fulbright Arctic initiative.
Preference is given to applicants aged 55 and below.
Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers
Early or mid-career applicants should have a Bachelor’s degree to qualify. They should also be employed in the public school system – and have work experience of at least 5 years.
Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTA)
Open to 400 applicants a year, the FLTA program is made for teachers who wish to live, study, and teach in the US. The work included spans about 20 hours a week.
Fulbright Student Program for Artists
Given to professional artists who wish to seek advancement opportunities, this grant is open to non-US citizens – aged 28 to 45 – who have graduated from a reputable institution.
Fulbright Student Program for Artist Residency
Available to all creative professionals, this residency program is granted to applicants aged 28-45 with at least 5 years of related work experience.
How to Apply for the Fulbright Program
Regardless of the program, Fulbright hopefuls need to follow these steps to apply.
First, they need to register with the Fulbright office/US Embassy (deadline subject to the program). This will help the local committee establish eligibility according to the requirements stated above.
Once this initial registration for Fulbright scholarship is confirmed, the student may proceed to apply online through the SLATE platform. The general documents needed for this step are as follows:
- Accomplished application form with consent
- Detailed curriculum vitae
- 3 letters of reference
- Personal statement
- Project statement or study/research objectives
- Scanned passport copy
Applicants of the graduate student program will need to submit degrees and transcripts of all university grades, a letter of admission, the TOEFL or IELTS results, and the GRE or GMAT scores. A digital portfolio is required for Architecture or Art students as well.
Artists, meanwhile, need to provide copies of degrees and certificates, a digital portfolio, and a letter of invitation or affiliation
Visiting researchers, on the other hand, need to upload a project statement. It should include background, research methodology, and objectives.
An official letter of invitation/affiliation from a US institute should be furnished as well.
It is important for students to finish their online applications according to the program’s set deadline.
This will give the committee enough time to review and evaluate the project proposals.
The board may require the applicant to attend a personal meeting or interview as needed.
Results will be announced according to the program’s calendar. This will then be followed by a pre-departure orientation program and an awards night.
The grant is implemented up until the end of studies (graduate students) or duration of the proposal (researchers).
Some Fulbrighters will be required to submit an interim grant report and final grant report as required by the committee.
The Fulbright Program offers vast study and research opportunities in the US for qualified foreign applicants. But if you’re an American citizen and resident, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a Fulbright Program for you as well.
By following the requirements and steps above for the Fulbright Scholarship, you may be part of this elite club of students who have made leaps and bounds in their respective disciplines.
I hope that this article on Fulbright Scholarships was helpful. If you are interested, visit the USA Scholarships Page!