Fulbright Scholarships, which is also known as the Fulbright Program or Fulbright Grants, is undoubtedly one of the most respected and elite cultural-educational exchange programs in the world. This program enables students, scholars, researchers, artists, and professionals from around the world to carry out their academic studies and works in the United States and vice versa. Senator J. William Fulbright proposed and founded this program in 1946 and since then around 400,000 potential candidates have availed these grants and benefited from the program. It is administered and managed by the United States Department of State and executed by the Fulbright Commissions, foundations and the U.S. Embassies around the globe. This program is mainly funded by the U.S. Government and the Fulbright Program’s partner governments.
Fulbright Scholarships is a fully funded exchange program that is granted to 8,000 deserving candidates around the world annually. This program covers almost everything from education expenses to cost of living, health packages, enrichment activity costs, and airfares. Its primary mission has always been to build up a mutual understanding among the nations and countries around the world post World War II; as,
The Fulbright Program’s mission is to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship.Senator J. William Fulbright had stated.
The Fulbright Scholarship is mainly a Graduate (Master’s) Education program. However; it has many other grants available, too.
Breakdown of the Fulbright Scholarships
There are basically two branches of grants awarded through the Fulbright Program. First, the grants awarded to the U.S. students, scholars, and professionals to pursue their education and research in various countries of the world outside the United States. Second, the grants awarded to the citizens of the rest of the world except for the U.S. to pursue their education and research in various universities and educational institutions inside the United States of America. Each of these grants have further sub-branches specific for graduate students, scholars, professionals, artists, and teachers. From the annual total of 8,000 grants, 4,000 non-U.S. students receive the graduate (master’s) scholarships, 1,600 U.S. students receive the graduate scholarships, 1,200 U.S. scholars receive the research scholarships, 900 non-U.S. visiting scholars receive the research scholarships, and several hundred teachers, professionals, and artists receive the teacher’s and professional’s scholarships.
The most notable of these grants are:
- Student Grants
- U.S. Student Grants
- Foreign Student Grants (Read Further Below)
- Scholar Grants
- Teacher Grants
- Grants for Professionals
- Fulbright-Hays Program
Among the most valued of these grants is the Foreign Students Fulbright Scholarships awarded to approximately 4,000 non-U.S. students from across the world (around 160 countries) which is divided by number among the countries. Some countries such as Germany, India, and Afghanistan receive the highest number of Foreign Students Fulbright Scholarships with around 80 to 130 grants per year.
For more general information on the Fulbright Scholarships, click here
Foreign Students Fulbright Scholarships
Every year, the Fulbright Commissions and foundations in 49 countries and the U.S. Embassies in more than 110 countries grant somewhat around 4,000 Fulbright scholarships to under-graduate senior university students or fresh graduates in order to pursue a one year or two years of post-graduation course in one of the American universities inside the U.S. This goes through a tough and complicated process at the end of which some highly potential candidates are awarded the grants. This process of evaluation takes up to 15 months. As a result, students who foresee themselves as deserving candidates must begin preparing themselves right from now.
It is important to note that you can choose to study in all the fields available at the U.S. universities except for the Clinical Medicine fields and Medicine in direct contact with the patients. However, you can choose to study Public Health and Global Health or Bio-Technology through the Fulbright Program. You can further choose to study social sciences, technology, fine arts, and humanitarian arts.
Applications for the foreign students Fulbright scholarships for the academic year 2021-22 has been closed (and currently on halt for further process due to the Covid19 Pandemic). However; you can go for the next cycle of the grants. So, mark the dates below for the grants supposed to be offered for the academic year 2022-23.
Foreign Students Fulbright Scholarships for the year 2022-23 – Important Dates
Application Announcement: January 2021
Application Deadline: February 28, 2021
Interview: March & April 2021
Finalists Notification: May 2021
Visa Interviews: May – July 2022
Travel to the United States: August 2022
Note: Some candidates may be required to travel to the United States as early as January 2022 for certain pre-academic courses.
Eligibility & Requirements
- The candidate must have a single citizenship of only the country where the Fulbright Program operates. Citizens of the U.S. are not eligible for this grant.
- The applicants must have a four-year bachelor’s degree. For those who have completed a three-year bachelor’s degree (students who have completed their bachelor’s in India), a master’s degree is also necessary. Candidates who are in their senior year are also eligible. But they will be required to submit their attested transcripts and diploma at the interview stage. Hence; you must see to it.
- The candidate must also have an excellent academic and leadership background
- The applicants must also develop a well-defined project for the course of the grant
- The candidate must have a 79 score of TOEFL or 6.5 score of IELTS.
- There is no age limit in order to avail the grant.
- The applicants must submit two essay; 1) Personal Statement and 2) Research/ Study Objective
- The candidate must also submit 3 professional reference letters.
The above requirements are general and so there could be countries where some specific requirements are also made by the Fulbright Commission. For example; in some countries the candidates are also required to submit their GRE (Graduate Record Exam) score at the time of their application submission. However; for some other countries you can take the exam in later stages of the selection process.
For your country specific requirements of the Fulbright Scholarships, please visit the following link.
The candidate is also required to fill up an editable PDF Application form. You can find this form by going to the website of the Fulbright Commission/ Foundation in your country of the website of the United States Embassy in your country.
All the documents have to be in soft form and emailed to the email address provided by the commission or the embassy in your country before the deadline.
The Final Goal
The Applications are extensively evaluated and checked and the committee responsible for the selection is keen to select the highly deserving candidates only. Some of the characteristics they see in your application are leadership qualities, involvement in society, volunteer works, and high motives.
Once you are granted the scholarship, you are a Fulbright Scholarship holder or a Fulbrighter. A Fulbrighter is the cultural representative of his/ her country in the United States of America. They are responsible for the cultural exchange purpose of the Fulbright Exchange Program established in the first place.
When you are done with your course, you must return back to your home country and put your knowledge and expertise into practice which you gained throughout the scholarship duration. Fulbrighters must put their efforts in social, cultural, governmental, or humanitarian affairs to give back for what they were granted.
The Fulbright Scholarships Alumni
Being one of the most respected exchange programs in the world, the Fulbright has given a large number of well-known names and works to the world. Fulbrighters have proved to become effective people in their society by taking upon roles such as, professors, artists, politicians, leaders, and international figures. Below, I will list you some of the most renowned previous Fulbrighters;
- Boutros Boutros-Ghali: Secretary General of the United Nations (1992-96) from Egypt
- Muhammad Yunus: Nobel Peace Prize winner
- Jamil Mahuad: President of Ecuador from 1998 to 2000
- Linus Pauling: Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- Aaron Copland: Pulitzer Prize winner for Music
- Rita Dove: Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry
- Bob Carr: Australian Politician
- Juan Manual Santos: President of Colombia from 2010 to 2018
- Ashraf Ghani: President of Afghanistan
- John Hope Franklin: Historian
Overall, 86 of the Fulbrighters have received the Pulitzer Prize, 60 of them have received the Nobel Prize, and 10 of them have been elected as the member of the U.S. Congress since its establishment in 1946.