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INTERNAL PENN DEADLINE: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
Fulbright US Student Grants fund 9-10 months of international experience in one of over 145 countries. Grantees usually design and define their own programs. Projects may include independent research, field work, university coursework, classes in a music conservatory or art school, or a combination. Many countries, although not all, offer English Teaching Assistantships (ETA), which may not require knowledge of the host country language and may include time for additional activities.
Fulbright has a number of special programs:
- Fulbright National Geographic Digital Storytelling (NGS)
- Fulbright mtvU*
- Fulbright-Clinton (for young professionals in public policy)
- Fulbright Fogarty (for young professionals in public health)
*this has its own application timetable
Some countries also have special opportunities in journalism and business. The Critical Language Enhancement Awards are available for additional time to learn languages of interest to US national security.
Applicants can apply to only one Fulbright program in any year.
Eligibility and Qualifications
Selection is made on the basis of the applicant’s academic or professional record, language preparation, the feasibility and specificity of the proposed project, commitment and motivation as well as personal qualifications.
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application. Graduating seniors, graduate or professional students or alumni of any age are encouraged to apply.
- Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree before the beginning date of the grant
- Applicants may not hold a doctoral degree at the time of application
Application Procedures and Selection Criteria
The most important parts of the application are the following:
- A two-page statement of grant purpose (single-spaced) articulating the research project or plan of study and its feasibility. One page for an ETA application, and three pages for the NGS.
- One-page personal statement.
- Three letters of recommendation, two of which are usually from professors in the applicant’s proposed area of study. Exceptions are common. ETA applications require a recommendation form, not an open-ended letter.
- Official transcript from every college attended
- Language proficiency report, to be completed by a language instructor whenever possible. May not be required in all cases.
- Letter of affiliation, usually from a scholar at a university or research institution in the host country.
Complete applications are due to CURF on September 4. (“Complete” includes recommendations, language evaluations and transcripts.)
Campus interviews take place in late September/early October. This interview and the evaluation which result from it are supportive. This is not a screening step. Alumni may choose to apply through Penn, thereby having access to this interview process, or they may apply at-large without the interview.
Applications must be finalized and are submitted online to Fulbright by mid-October.
At the end of January, IIE will notify candidates of their status after a preliminary national screening. Those who are recommended by the national screening panels are transmitted to the supervising agencies abroad for further review, particularly as to placement at foreign universities. Final selection for Fulbright Grants is made by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and grantees usually receive notification of the final decision by May.