Fulbright U.S. Student Program
What is the Fulbright U.S. Student Program
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S.
During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.
Grant lengths and dates vary by country. Please consult the specific country summary for details.
Applicants for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program include:
Recent graduates Graduating seniors and recent bachelor’s-degree recipients have some undergraduate preparation and/or direct work or internship experience related to the project.
Master's and doctoral candidates Graduate-level candidates must demonstrate the capacity for independent study or research, together with a general knowledge of the history, culture, and current events of the countries to which they are applying.
Young professionals, including writers, creative and performing artists, journalists, and those in law, business, and other professional fields Competitive candidates who have up to 7 years of professional study and/or experience in the field in which they are applying will be considered. Those with more than 7 years of experience should apply to the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
Competitive applicants to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program will not have recent extensive experience abroad (excluding recent undergraduate study abroad), especially in the country of application.
History & Overview
- The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students.
- A network of over 1,650 volunteer Fulbright Program Advisers on campuses nationwide assist in the recruitment and advisement of applicants.
- IIE convenes National Screening Committees in the subsections of academics, arts, and English Teaching Assistantships to review applications by world region or discipline. These committees recommended applications for final consideration in the host country.
- Final award selection will be made by the supervising agency in the host country and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
In 1945, Senator J. William Fulbright introduced a bill in the United States Congress that called for the use of surplus war property to fund the 'promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.'
On August 1, 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the bill into law, and Congress created the Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government.
From its inception, the Fulbright Program has fostered bilateral relationships in which citizens and governments of other countries work with the U.S. to set joint priorities and shape the program to meet shared needs. The world has been transformed in ensuing decades, but the fundamental principle of international partnership remains at the core of the Fulbright mission.
The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) was created by Congress to supervise the Fulbright Program. This 12-member Board, appointed by the President of the United States, works in cooperation with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, the bi-national Fulbright Commissions and Foundations, and the Public Affairs Sections of U.S. embassies abroad, to administer the Program. The FFSB sets policies and procedures for administration of the Fulbright Program, has final authority for selection of all grantees, and supervises the conduct of the program both in the United States and abroad. Click here for a complete list of current FFSB members.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 2,000 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. Fulbright U.S. Student alumni populate a range of professions and include ambassadors, members of Congress, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors, and teachers. Bose Corporation founder Amar Bose, actor John Lithgow, composer Philip Glass, opera singer Renee Fleming and economist Joseph Stiglitz are among notable former grantees.
More than 400,000 Fulbrighters from the United States and other countries have participated in the Program since its inception in 1946. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Currently, the Fulbright Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. ECA administers the Fulbright Program under policy guidelines established by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) and in cooperation with bi-national Fulbright Commissions and the Public Affairs Sections of U.S. embassies abroad.
As the administrative and executive arm of the Fulbright Program, ECA has fiscal responsibility for the preparation of an annual budget request to Congress and makes decisions on funding allocations to participating countries. Under policies established by the FFSB, ECA also holds primary responsibility for the administration of the program, together with the assistance of cooperating non-profit organizations. Within a U.S. embassy abroad, exchange-program activities are the responsibility of the Public Affairs Section. In many countries, at least one of the Foreign Service Officers from this section is a member of the local bi-national Fulbright Commission and maintains liaison with the Commission on policy and program matters on behalf of the ECA. In countries without a Fulbright Commission, the Public Affairs Officer or Cultural Affairs Officer administers the educational exchange programs.