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Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply.If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a U.S. college or university, you will apply through that institution, even if you are not currently a resident there. Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, will hold a bachelor’s degree by the award start date, and do not have a Ph.D. degree, then you are eligible to apply. Non-enrolled applicants should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 7 years or less) in which they are applying. Candidates with more experience should consider applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

The Getting Started page will provide information on eligibility and next steps.


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program welcomes applications in the creative and performing arts. Arts candidates for the U.S. Student Program should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 7 years or less) in which they are applying. Artists with more experience should consider applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Creative & Performing Arts projects fall under the Study/Research grant category and are available in all countries where Study/Research grants are offered.


U.S. Professor/Administrator

If you are a U.S. citizen and a professor or administrator at a U.S. institution and are interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award, you will need to apply through

To support your students in applying for a U.S. Student Program award, please connect with the Fulbright Program Adviser at your institution.

Non U.S. Citizens

If you are a non-U.S. citizen interested in applying for a Fulbright Award to the United States, you will need to apply through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your home country. Find out more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program or Fulbright Foreign Student Program.


3 Open Study/Research Award

Accepted Degree Levels
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Doctoral
Grant Period
Fall Start
Grant Length
6-10 Months
Award Type
Open Study/Research
Award Profile

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides up to three awards per academic year for U.S. citizens holding at least a Bachelor's degree to conduct individually designed research, engage in civic projects or develop their talents in Bulgaria. Students may be affiliated with institutions of higher education, government institutions, non-governmental organizations, research institutions or think-tanks, cultural institutions, public organizations, media, etc. 

Grant Length
6-10 Months
Grant Period
Fall Start

Grantees are strongly encouraged to arrive in country by September 1, 2025, to take part in the orientation for US grantees.


In-Country Orientation

Grantees are encouraged to take part in the orientation seminar for US grantees beginning September 1, which includes language instruction, as well as cultural and social events. The Commission will organize one-day orientations for grantees arriving later in the fall.

Candidate Profile

Well-qualified candidates holding a Bachelor's degree will be considered. MA/PhD candidates, young professionals and artists are encouraged to apply. Applicants already holding a Ph.D. should apply for the US Scholar program. Ability to conduct independent, unstructured research with minimal oversight is crucial. Candidates do not need to currently be enrolled in a graduate program to be eligible.

Preference is usually given to those who have not previously held a Fulbright grant. However, those who may have held an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) award may apply for a study/research grant, provided that at least two years have elapsed from the end of their ETA period, and they continue to meet all other eligibility requirements. Previous experience in Bulgaria is not considered a disadvantage. Knowledge of Bulgarian or another Slavic language is not required, but is considered an advantage. 

Watch a successful candidate talk about their project and experience here:

What is life like for Fulbrighters in the host country?

The benefits of life in Bulgaria include a breathtaking countryside, a relaxed lifestyle, friendly people, cheap prices, and delicious food. Bulgaria is generally a peaceful and safe country, and the local population is proud of the country’s long history and holds education in very high regard, which results in a good number of opportunities for collaboration.

As a Fulbright student in Bulgaria, you can conduct your research with the support of various hosts: institutions of higher education, research think tanks, NGOs and international organizations. During your grant period, the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission will be there to help you settle into your Bulgarian life. We organize an orientation in the beginning of September, a mid-term meeting in January, and a wrap – up seminar in June. If your grant start date doesn’t coincide with those events, Fulbright Bulgaria staff will set up an individual meeting after your arrival to discuss aspects of living and working in the country and to answer any questions you may have. We also strive to provide a cultural/educational program for scholars and students every month; we share information and invitations from partner organizations that may enrich your stay in the country, and we support our students research or community engagement activities in a variety of ways. 

Residency in host country permitted in year prior to grant
Dual citizens of this country are eligible
Degree Level of Applicant
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Doctoral
Foreign Language Proficiency
Not Required

Bulgarian language proficiency should be commensurate with the proposed project. The Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission offers an online summer language and culture course, as well as language training at the September U.S. grantee orientation. The Commission also provides a one-time allowance of US$500 for Bulgarian language training during the grant period.

Fulbright Proposal Types
Independent Study/Research:
Graduate Degree Enrollment:
Independent Study/Research:
Letter recommended but not required at deadline

Applicants are encouraged to arrange affiliations and submit letters of invitation in their application. If unsure about prospective host institutions, candidates may consult the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission about affiliation. Final placements are approved by the Commission, which can also assist in establishing contacts at appropriate institutions. Affiliation is acceptable with academic and research institutions, NGOs, media, libraries, museums, cultural institutions, and governmental organizations. Candidates can be affiliated with more than one host institution, i.e. a university and an NGO.

Affiliation Fees/Tuition
Affiliation Fees/Tuition offered at discretion of host university/Award

If courses are available in the relevant field at Bulgarian academic institutions, the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission may cover tuition fees up to $1,500 upon approval by the Commission Board.

Award Benefits
  • A stipend broadly based on the cost of living in the host country. These funds may be used by the grantee to support housing, meals, and incidental costs during the grant period.
  • International travel benefits
  • Accident & sickness health benefits
  • 24/7 mental health support line for urgent and non-urgent situations
  • 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government
Stipend Amount

This is an estimated amount and is subject to change. The financial terms of the grant will be confirmed in the grant document issued after selection.

1300 monthly stipend amount in
$ [US Dollar]
One-Time Allowances

This is an estimated amount and is subject to change. The financial terms of the grant will be confirmed in the grant document issued after selection.

$ [US Dollar]
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Language training allowance
  • Research/Materials allowance
Additional Grant Benefits
  • Diplomatic pouch
  • Mid-year seminar
Estimated Cost of Living

Consider using cost of living comparison websites to gain a better understanding of the potential costs in your host country.

Housing expenses range from 400-900 USD (studio apartment) to 500-1200 USD for 2-3 bedroom apartments per month depending on location. These rates are for furnished apartments and include basic utilities. Quality fresh produce, groceries and other types of food can be found at reasonable prices. Eating out can be fairly inexpensive. Local transportation in major cities is not expensive. For up to date information on the cost of living visit

Dependent financial support is NOT available

Dependents are allowed to accompany grantees but the Fulbright Commission does not provide any dependent support. Grantees must cover all travel and living expenses for dependents. 

Housing Arrangements

Grantees are responsible for arranging their own accommodation.

Fulbright Program Management Contact
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website
Grant Benefits

Fulbright Bulgaria offers the following benefits:

A monthly stipend of $1,300 

Round-trip airfare of $1,700 (for grantee only)

A one-time travel/relocation allowance of $1,300 (for grantee only)

A book/research materials allowance of $500 (for grantee only)

A Bulgarian language lessons allowance of $500 (for grantee only)

Excess baggage allowance up to $200 (for grantee only)

Tuition fees for attending courses/lectures at a local university up to $1,500 (if applicable and for grantee only)

Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) Health Benefit Plan

Bulgaria Country Overview
A mountainous country of seven million people located in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria boasts a rich archaeological heritage and vibrant artistic culture, including its unique folk music and dance traditions as well as contemporary literary and performance practices. Thanks to its striking natural landscape, rich agricultural roots, and four-season climate, Bulgaria is an increasingly popular destination for outdoor and culinary tourism. Bulgaria also has a strong ICT and start-up sector, based primarily in Sofia, and some Bulgarian companies have started receiving international recognition for their innovations.

Bulgaria has a relatively homogenous majority population of Slavic-speakers who traditionally identify as Orthodox Christian; however, the country is also home to Turkish and Roma communities and has a sizeable Muslim minority (more than 10%). While Bulgarians are known for their warm hospitality, some communities may hold conservative views and may not have extensive experience interacting with foreigners. Younger Bulgarians often have solid levels of English-language competence thanks to access to digital and online resources, while older generations, who had limited access to English instruction under communism, may have studied Russian, German or French instead.

Since the fall of communism in 1989, Bulgaria has been a parliamentary democracy, joining the EU in 2007. Although Bulgaria has the lowest standard of living in the EU and struggles with challenges such as emigration/brain-drain and rule-of-law issues, the country has nevertheless generally been politically and economically stable. All applicants are urged to consult the most recent State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices, which offers the most exhaustive and up-to-date description of political, social and cultural trends in Bulgaria.

For more about Bulgaria, you can watch the following video:


Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact
Additional Online Resources
US Student Research Grants in Bulgaria: