Fulbright U.S. Student Program
NOTE: Detailed information about the program is available online at the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The on-campus deadline for the 2016-17 year abroad is Friday, September 11, 2015.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or English Teaching Assistantships. During their 9 – 12 month stays, Fulbrighters 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 interacts with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual respect and understanding.
Each year the Fulbright Program offers grants to U.S. students for research and study in nearly all disciplines, including the sciences and Creative and Performing Arts, or to teach English in scores of countries around the globe.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program welcomes applications from graduating seniors, graduate students at any point in their graduate career, and Binghamton alumni (if you hold a PhD when applying, you apply to the Fulbright Scholars Program).
Types of Grants (All grants last approximately 9 - 12 months)
Study/Research - includes projects in both academic and arts fields. They are available in approximately 140 countries. Applicants for these grants design their own projects and typically work during their stay with advisers at universities or other institutes of higher education or research in the host country. Program requirements vary by country, so applicants should begin by familiarizing themselves with the program summaries for possible countries of interest to them.
Creative and performing arts applicants are required to submit supplementary materials based on their disciplines.
English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) - places a Fulbrighter in a classroom abroad to provide assistance to teachers of English to non-native English-speakers. English Teaching Assistants also serve as cultural ambassadors for U.S. culture. The age and academic level of classroom students vary by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level.
Travel Grants - are only available to Italy, Germany, and Hungary and are designed to supplement an award from any source that does not provide for international travel or a student's own funds for study. Travel grants include: round-trip international travel to the host country; limited health benefits; mid-term enrichment activities, if available in the host country; and language or orientation programs, if available in the host country.
Grant benefits for all Fulbright U.S. Student Study/Research and English Teaching Assistantship grants include:
- Round-trip transportation to the host country
- A stipend to cover room, board, and incidental costs based on the cost of living in the host countr
- Accident & Sickness Health Benefit
- In some countries, grants may also include: book and research allowances, mid-term enrichment activities, full or partial tuition, language study programs, and pre-departure and in-country orientations. Please review the relevant Country Summary for specific details.
Grantees with projects that require extensive research support, in-country travel, study materials, or equipment should explore additional funding from other sources to supplement the Fulbright funding.
Who Can Apply?
- U.S. citizenship at the time of application (permanent residents are not eligible);
- B.A. degree or the equivalent conferred before the start of the grant;
- In the creative and performing arts, four years of professional training and/or experience meets the basic eligibility requirement;
- Good health - grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Medical Certificate from a physician; and
- Many but not all grants require proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country sufficient to communicate with the people and to carry out the proposed study. This is especially important for projects in the social sciences and the humanities. The host-country summaries make clear what level of proficiency applicants need.
Candidates who have not resided or studied in the country to which they are applying for more than six months, not counting undergraduate study abroad. Duty abroad in the Armed Forces of the United States is not considered disqualifying within the meaning of this section. For most programs, applicants with extensive previous foreign experience in the host country are at a competitive disadvantage, but are still eligible to apply.
When and How to Apply
- Online Application opens in Spring 2015
- On-campus deadline is TBD
- On-campus review and individual interview process
- Campus Fulbright Advisor submits application to the Fulbright office in New York City by mid-October deadline
- Students hear in January if their application has been recommended to the host country
- Recommended applicants receive the final decision from Fulbright anytime from March to June
All applicants must complete and submit their application via the Embark Fulbright Online Application. This is where you enter data, upload documents, and register your reference writers and foreign language evaluator.
Among other information, you will provide information on your degree(s), what honors or awards you received, and a listing of any time you spent abroad. The proposed activity for the Fulbright award is presented in a statement; the statements for a research grant and an ETA grant differ.
Research Grant Statement: This 2-page document outlines the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of what you are proposing for your Fulbright year. Developing a strong, feasible and compelling project is the most important aspect of a successful Fulbright application. The first step is to familiarize yourself with the program summary for the host country. The program design will vary somewhat depending upon the country and the field of study. The proposal should indicate a clear commitment to, and description of how you will engage with the host country community.
English Teaching Assistantship Statement: This 1-page document outlines why you are interested in teaching English to non-native speakers as well as why you have chosen to apply to a particular country. You should clearly describe what you will be able to bring to the classroom in the host country as well as explain any ideas you have on how to reach students coming from a different pedagogical tradition. The proposal should indicate a clear commitment to and description of how you will engage with the host country community.
Personal Statement: For both grants, this 1-page narrative is designed to give the reviewers a picture of you as an individual. It is an opportunity to tell the committee more about the trajectory that you have followed and what plans you have for the future. While the Statement of Grant Purpose focuses on what you will be doing in the host country, the Personal Statement concentrates on how your background has influenced your development and how that relates to the Fulbright opportunity. The statement can deal with your personal history, family background, intellectual development, and the educational, professional, or cultural opportunities to which you have been exposed; explain their impact. This can allude to but should not be a mere reiteration of facts already listed in the Biographical Data sections or an elaboration of the Statement of Grant Purpose.
The application also includes 3 letters of recommendation, transcripts from any academic institutions you have attended, a letter or letters of support from a person or persons in the country you plan to visit (only for research grants, not required for ETAs), plus a language evaluation from a competently trained instructor (if necessary for the country).
During late September, applications are reviewed by the Binghamton University Fulbright Committee. They arrange an interview with the applicant during which appropriately qualified and experienced Binghamton faculty and staff ask questions about the proposed project, clarify the methodology to be used, and ascertain the applicant's motivation for doing this work abroad. They may make recommendations for modifications. The discussion will also attempt to gain an appreciation for the applicant's understanding of the country of interest as well as ascertain how good a cultural ambassador for the US the person will be abroad. Following the interview, the applicant will be given the opportunity to revise and resubmit the application. The Binghamton Committee then submits the on-line application and the campus evaluation to the Fulbright office in New York City in time for the October deadline.
How to Get Started
Go to the Fulbright Program page for detailed information on the Fulbright Program and the application process.
In the "About" Section, find information on:
History of Fulbright – Fulbright U.S. Student Program – Types of Grants – Eligibility – Factors in Selection – Competition Timeline – Award Benefits – Resources & Events
In the "Countries" Section, you can find country specific information on:
Types of Awards Offered – Number of Awards Available – Language Requirements – Grant Period – Candidate Profile – Special Consideration
In the "Applicants" Section, find information on:
Getting Started – Application Components – Types of Applicants – Application Tips – Application Timeline – Information Sessions – Application Checklists – EMBARK Online Application
A Special Note on Affiliation
Applicants for Study/Research Grants must have a host-country affiliation. This can be with an educational institution or other entity (a library, lab, government agency or non-government organization, museum, etc.). You need an affiliation and a strong letter of in-country support even if you are engaged primarily or solely in research or artistic activity and do not plan to enroll in classes. Applicants are, in most cases, responsible for arranging their own affiliation and providing documentation of the affiliation, typically in the form of a letter or letters from responsible parties at the host institution.
For additional information, please contact Professor Stephen Straight, Campus Fulbright Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org or Janice McDonald, Office of External Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards, email@example.com.