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THE USA: Student Finances

The Fulbright Scholarship Programme

Learn about the Fulbright Scholarship Programme for international students...

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Planning your study abroad adventure is an incredibly exciting and time-consuming process. Not only do you need to choose a destination and institution that’s right for you, but you need to consider the practical matter of financing your studies. Tuition fees and living costs can amount to quite a lot, so it’s important you explore your funding options and have a plan before you apply to your potential host university. Offering thousands of grants to international students every year, The Fulbright Scholarship Programme can help.

 

Read our guide to the Fulbright Programme and learn how it could help you fund your studies overseas.

 

 

What is Fulbright?

The Fulbright Programme is an international exchange body sponsored by the US government that helps both US students to study abroad, and non-US students to study in the US. Operating globally in over 155 countries, approximately 8,000 grants are awarded to international students each year across a spectrum of study areas at  Postgraduate and Doctoral levels.

 

 

What is the Fulbright programme?

 

 

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 vary accordingly.

 

Here’s a brief overview of the main types of awards given by Fulbright:

 

 

 

I am a US student...

The largest education exchange programme for US students worldwide, the Fulbright US Student Program alone currently awards around 1,900 grants to students across all study areas each year. There are six main award types granted to American students looking to study abroad.

 

Click here for a full list of grants for US students

 

 

Fulbright US Student Programme

This programme provides grants for students completing individual study and research projects, or participating in an English teaching assistant program. You will need to submit a statement of purpose outlining the academic activities you intend to complete overseas when applying for this grant. Grant lengths and application dates vary depending on your host country, details of which should be directly pursued on the Country Summary section of the website.

 

This programme is open to Undergraduate and Masters students, as well as Doctoral students. You can apply for this programme online.

 

 

Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Programme

Open to Bachelors graduates and young professionals, this programme enables American teaching graduates to gain experience as English teaching assistants overseas at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. This program is designed to develop a student’s language skills and broaden their cultural knowledge.  

 

 

Fulbright-mtvU Fellowships

Students awarded this fellowship will have the opportunity to pursue an academic project in 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.

 

 

Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship Programme

This programme enables students to gain practical public-sector experience through a professional placement in a foreign government institution whilst completing an academic research project. Candidates for this award must either have qualifications at Masters or Juris Doctor level by the commencement date of the fellowship, or be enrolled in a PhD programme at the time of application. You will also need to have at least two years of professional experience in areas of public policy.

Learn more about the Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship Program

 

 

Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

This fellowship enables students to travel to up the 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 findings and analysis via a range of digital storytelling tools, such as photography, video, graphic illustrations or social media. Issues must be related one of a number of themes outlined by Fulbright. Deadlines, themes and application requirements are subject to change annually.

 

 

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Programme

A number of grants are awarded under this programme to support research and training programmes in non-Western foreign languages and area studies abroad. American teaching professionals, administrators, pre-Doctorate students and post-Doctoral faculty are eligible.

 

Click here for a full list of awards granted by the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Disseratation Research Abroad Programme

 

 

I am NOT a US student...

Fulbright also offers students from around the world the opportunity to study or gain experience in the US. There are a number of different programmes and grants across general and specific study areas in all study levels, and often have different eligibility and entrance requirements depending on your home country. Here is a brief overview of some of the main types of awards granted to foreign students wishing to study in the US:

 

Fulbright Foreign Student Programme

This programme enables students to research and study at US institutions for six months to a year. Applicants must have completed their undergraduate education and hold a Bachelors 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.

Click here to check the entrance requirements for your home country

 

 

Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Programme

Young teaching graduates of English or Foreign Languages are able to practice teaching at accredited US colleges and universities for one academic year under this award. You must have a Bachelors degree or equivalent to be eligible, and depending on your home country may be subject to further requirements.

Click here to check the entrance requirements for your home country

 

 

Other awards

Fulbright also has specific arrangements with particular foreign countries enabling students to study in the US. For example, the Fulbright Commission offers 30 scholarships per year to 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 to your host institution directly. Scholarships may be up to US$ 50,000 in value, paid in instalments directly to you. Successful students will also receive sickness and accident benefit coverage, visa sponsorship, and support services before you leave. After you arrive, you’ll be offered further support by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

 

You can check which awards are given to students from your country on the Countries page of the US Bureau of Educational and Cultural affairs website. There are also a number of awards available for visiting scholars.

 

Click here for a list of Fulbright Postgraduate Awards for UK students

Click here for a full list of Programs for Visiting (non-US) Scholars

 

 

Applying  

Whilst specific application requirements vary between programs and your country of origin, in most cases you will need to submit a research or study proposal to convince Fulbright why they should sponsor your academic pursuits.  

 

Learn about the Fulbright Selection Process:

 

 

You will also need to submit additional documentation such as proof of identification documents, relevant academic transcripts and letters of reference. In most cases you will apply directly to Fulbright, but in some you may be required to submit and additional application to your host institution directly. Entry into Fulbright programmes is competitive and you should make sure you research all the application requirements for your program thoroughly and begin preparing your proposal well in advance.

You will also need to hold at least a Bachelors degree or equivalent to be considered for any Fulbright Programme.

 

 

Now that know about funding options as an international student, why not start browsing undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral courses abroad, or consider courses in America?  

 

 

Read more:

'Financing your studies in the USA'

'Tuition fees in the USA'

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About Author

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Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.

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