The Fulbright Programme is an international exchange body sponsored and financed by the United States (US) government that aids both US students to study abroad, and foreign students to study in the US.
The Fulbright Programme gives room to graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States. At the moment, the programme operates in over 160 countries worldwide, and approximately eight thousand (8,000) foreign students receive Fulbright scholarships each year across a range of study areas at Postgraduate and Doctoral levels.
As mentioned earlier, the Fulbright scholarship programme is open to both US citizens and non-citizens of the US. The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is administered by Binational Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassies. All Foreign Student Program applications are processed by these offices. The Programme eligibility and selection procedures vary widely by country.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State strives to see to it that its efforts reflect the diversity of U.S. society and societies abroad. The Bureau seeks and encourages the involvement of people from traditionally underrepresented audiences in all its grants, programs and other activities and in its workforce and workplace. Opportunities are open to people regardless of their race, colour, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. The Bureau is committed to fairness, equity and inclusion.
The Fulbright Scholarship Programmes for US Students
Each Funding Programme has a thorough, separate set of criteria and application process, and should be pursued individually on the US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website. Amounts awarded varies accordingly. The following are Fulbright Scholarship programmes for US students:
I. Fulbright US Student Programme
Grants for Students completing an individual study and research project, or participating in an English Teaching Assistant program are provided by this programme.
To apply for this programme, prospects are invited to submit a statement of purpose outlining the academic activities they intend to complete overseas when applying for this grant. The deadline for grants and application dates vary depending on your host country.
This programme is open to undergraduate and master’s students as well as doctoral students. For more details, see the Fulbright US Scholars page.
II. Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programme
This programme is designed to develop students’ language skills and broaden their cultural knowledge. It enables American teaching graduates to gain experience as English Teaching assistants overseas at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. It runs between six months and a year.
The ETA programme is open to bachelor’s graduates and young professionals. For more details, see the Fulbright US Scholars page.
III. Fulbright- mtvU Fellowships
Students awarded this fellowship are given the opportunity to pursue an academic project in the areas of international contemporary or popular music. Students must submit study proposals detailing the specific direction of their proposed study as part of their application. For more details, see the Fulbright US Scholars page.
IV. Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship
Students are professionally placed in a foreign government institution whilst completing an academic research project thereby gaining public-sector experience. Recipients for this award must be at the start or middle of their professional careers. You will also need to have a graduate degree in a field related to public policy and at least 3 to 5 years of full-time work experience. A PhD is not necessary as long as you have the required experience. For more details, see the Fulbright US Scholars page.
V. Fulbright- National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship
This Fellowship enables students to travel to up to three countries during one academic year to engage with a globally significant social or environmental topic through modes of digital storytelling. Students will examine a globally relevant issue and express their research and analysis through a spectrum of digital storytelling tools, such as video, social media, graphic illustrations or photography. Issues must be related to one of the themes outlined by Fulbright. For more details, see the Fulbright US Scholars page.
VI. Fulbright- Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Programme
A number of grants are awarded under this programme to support training and research programmes in non-western foreign languages and area studies abroad for six to nine months. American teaching professionals, administrators,pre-Doctorate students and post-Doctoral faculty are eligible. For more details, see the Fulbright US Scholars page.
The Fulbright Scholarship Programmes for Non-US Students
The following are Fulbright Scholarship Programmes for non-US students:
I. Fulbright Foreign Student Programme
This programme allows students to research and study at US institutions for six months to a year. Applicants must have completed their undergraduate education and hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, whilst specific entrance requirements vary depending on your home country. This scholarship is awarded to approximately 4,000 foreign students per year. For more details, see the Fulbright non-US Scholars page.
II.Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Programme
This programme enables young teaching graduates of English or Foreign Languages to practice teaching at accredited US colleges and universities for one academic year. You must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent to be eligible, and depending on your home country may be subject to further requirements. For more details, see the Fulbright non-US Scholars page.
Application & Selection Process for the Fulbright Scholarship Programme
The following are the steps you should follow accordingly to become a Fulbright Scholar:
✔ Submit a research or study proposal to convince Fulbright why they should sponsor your academic pursuits.
✔Remember that application requirements vary between programmes and your country of origin.
✔ Submit additional documentation such as proof of identification documents, relevant academic transcripts and letters of reference.
✔In most cases, apply directly to Fulbright, but in some, you may be required to submit an additional application to your host institution directly.
✔Research all the application requirements for your program thoroughly (Entry into Fulbright programmes is competitive) and begin preparing your proposal well in advance.
Conclusion: Acing your Way into the Fullbright Scholarship Programme
Fulbright also has specific arrangements with particular foreign countries enabling students to study in the US. For example, the Fulbright Commission offers scholarships for UK students completing the first year of their postgraduate or doctoral studies at any accredited US university. You must apply to be considered for this scholarship at your host institution directly. Scholarships may be up to USD 50,000 in value, paid in instalments directly to you. Successful students will also receive sickness and accident benefits coverage, visa sponsorship, and support services before they leave. After you arrive, you’ll be offered further support by the Institute of International Education (IIE).