Fulbright Program – Research/Study Abroad


Goal: “To increase mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and people of other countries through exchange.”

The other day I went to listen to a Fulbright Scholarship presentation and it really grabbed my attention. Unfortunately, to apply I would have to be a US citizen, so I am out, but I thought there might be some people out there who are curious and would give it a shot. If I was already there, might as well spread the word and encourage others to look it up and apply. Yes, the rumors are true, it is a pretty lengthy and hard application process, but if you never try, you will never know if it could have worked! So if you are adventurous, a hard worker, and interested in learning about other cultures, don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity!

“Over 8000 grants are awarded annually” 

Open to…

…Graduating seniors, recent graduates, early career professionals, including creative and performing artists & musicians


…U.S. citizens, people with a bachelors degree or something equivalent to it, people without a doctorate at the time of application

Two types of grants:

  1. They offer research & study grants: 925 awards for 8-12 month research periods in 140 countries!!! These are mostly independent research, study, or arts projects abroad.
  2. English teaching assistantships (ETA): 1100 awards for 8-12 month teaching periods in about 70 countries! Your job would be to help teach English to students and introduce them to the US culture.

“Approximately 310,000 participants with the opportunity to study, teach, and research in more than 155 countries all over the world”

General qualifications:

You have to have a well developed project and/or study plan going into the application process, a high level of academic and or professional achievement (though they said, they are not looking for only 4.0 students), sufficient language proficiency (which might come handy when teaching English to other people), demonstrated leadership ability (this just might come handy in general), and community engagement (don’t be a people hater)!!!

English Teaching Assistantships – to improve the understanding of English language & the US culture:

  • Assistant teaching 20-30 hours/week
  • Preferably have excellent communicatoin skills
  • Don’t be scared of flexibility, adaptibility, openness to new and unexpected things
  • Demonstrated leadership skills

“National application deadline is October 11th, 2016 5pm EST & final notification March/June”

What are the benefits of winning a grant?

  • You get a round trip airfare ticket out of it
  • Monthly stipend
  • Accident & sickness insurance
  • Other possible benefits such as: support for your dependents, reseach allowance, language lessons, and tuition

What are the application components?

  • Basic personal information
  • Essays: statement of the purpose of your research: 2 pages & eta: 1 page and a personal statement which is 1 page
  • Reports/references: foreign language evaluation, three references are required
  • Transcripts from your school
  • Arts only: supplementary materials, research/study: affiliation letters

Tips and tricks for your perfect application:

  • Highlight your ability that will help you achieve the mission of the fullbright program
  • Make sure to answer the application questions but don’t go on a tangent
  • Connect the dots! What previous experiences have led you here and helped you to be a good candidate for this fellowship
  • 4 why’s: why that project, why you, why that area, and why now?
  • Don’t be afraid to use the knowledge and your connections of local international students, professors, ambassadors, and fulbright scholars
  • Make sure to do your homework on your host institution and organization. Where is it, what is their mission? What do they do over there? How do they handle things?
  • Be honest and be genuine
  • Tell your own story
  • Tie your experiences to a mission: what is your ability that let’s you be a great cultural ambassador?
  • Don’t leave the application process for the last minute, start early
  • Don’t be afraid to show your passion and interests
  • Focus on your most relevant experiences
  • And last but not least: Don’t give up

***These notes come from their presentation, I tried to write down all the info accurately!
If you are interested, for more information please visit Fulbright online.


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