The Fulbright scholarship, funded by the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of State, provides opportunities for U.S. graduates to study abroad and for non-U.S. residents to explore the United States while studying or teaching in over 160 countries worldwide. This program also aims to strengthen mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through education and cultural exchange.
The Fulbright Scholarship offers graduate-level studies to non-U.S. citizens with strong academic performance. Graduate students and young professionals outside the U.S. are given the chance to study, carry out researches or even teach their native language.
Foreigners who want to study in the U.S. under the scholarship may do so through exchange program studies. Outstanding students from East Asia, Eurasia, and Central Asia, Near East and South Asia, and the Western Hemisphere may experience one semester and academic year scholarships. This program provided by the Global UGRAD, includes internships, community service, and cultural enrichment.
Fulbright Scholarship benefits
The amount for the Fulbright scholarship is not specified but grantees are ensured of benefits such as travel and transportation, maintenance allowances, full or partial tuition support, and book allowance.
The grant provides transportation from their home countries to the United States. An excess baggage allowance may also be given to allow transport of books and other materials needed for studies or researches. This does not include payment for passports, visas, and other costs related to travel abroad.
Research and project allowances which include, but are not limited to books, journals, and computer equipment are also provided.
The program covers health and accident insurance during the travel time from the country of origin, travel back to the home country, and during grant activities in the U.S. The existing insurance of the grantee must be maintained and is not intended to be replaced by this insurance. The Commission may request financial assistance in cases of an extreme medical emergency.
Lastly, a maintenance allowance is awarded upon arrival, or in cases where the applicant is already in the U.S., on the day the project begins. The grant shall end after the completion of the project or departure of the grantee from the U.S. If the grantee is awarded a grant renewal, the maintenance allowance shall continue and will be based on the allowance given in the previous year.
Fulbright Scholarship eligibility criteria
This scholarship accepts all applicants regardless of race, national origin, sex, age, color, religion, marital status, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, status as a parent, and protected genetic information.
An applicant for the student grant must be a holder of a bachelor’s degree. In countries where the Fulbright commission, or formerly known as foundations exist, the applicant must comply with the citizenship requirements set on the binational agreement. To date, there are 49 countries with a Fulbright Commission.
In countries where the Fulbright scholarship is administered by the U.S. embassies, the applicant must be a citizen or a permanent resident of that country. The applicant must not also be a U.S. citizenship/permanent residency holder.
An extensive U.S. experience may be a ground for disqualification. A candidate who has lived in the United States consecutively for more than five years is deemed eligible for the grant. A previous Fulbright scholarship recipient is less favored in choosing a candidate.
Applicants who wish to study in the U.S. as medical students are not qualified. Advanced academic studies for medical graduates may be offered but not internship or residency.
Academic excellence and English language proficiency are also important criteria in the selection of candidates. For the language requirement, they may be asked to submit a Test for English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Teaching System (IELTS). Other requirements and eligibility criteria can be found here.
Participating countries may also set their specific eligibility criteria.
Application details on the Fulbright Scholarship
The application process for the Fulbright Scholarship takes a long time. Applicant must carefully consider their plans and potential projects before applying. Since this is a merit-based program, selection will depend on the academic requirements, project feasibility, personal leadership ability, and available grant funds.
To start with your Fulbright Scholarship application process, create a user ID on this site because the Fulbright Selection Committee will only accept applications done online. Do not forget your email address because that would be your user ID.
Next, complete the application form which must be accomplished in English. Print out additional documents such as transcripts of records, letter of recommendation, and English proficiency report or as required by the commission in your area.
Lastly, visit the Fulbright Program site in your country to know what standardized tests are needed to continue your application in your chosen program. Aside from the English proficiency requirement, applicants interested in Business Administration and Law are required to take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE). For Business or Management applicants, a Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is a requirement. If you are to take the aforementioned tests, it is advisable to register for these exams at the earliest possible time.
However, this process is not universal because the application process differs widely from one country to another. Candidates for student grants must refer to their country pages for the contact information and the availability of programs.
Deadline for the Fulbright Scholarship
Generally, the application process starts 15 months and ends 11 to 12 months before the Fulbright Scholarship period begins, usually by August or September. For further announcements on the deadline of applications, visit the local Fulbright Program site in your home country.