The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by former Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas with the goal of “increas[ing] mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries” through educational and cultural exchange. The program provides grants for graduate students as well as scholars, professionals, teachers, and administrators from the United States and other countries.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program makes about 1,000 awards annually to American students and currently operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. Study opportunities are available in essentially all areas covering the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The Fulbright Program offers a variety of grants, including comprehensive Fulbright grants and Fulbright travel grants. Additional grants are available on a country-by-country basis, including opportunities in teaching and business. Fulbright comprehensive grants normally sustain study over the course of an academic year at a university or other type of educational institution, but in some cases field work is also supported.
Interested students begin the application process early in the fall of their senior year for either research or teaching grants. A candidate is expected to demonstrate high scholastic achievement with an academic preparation adequate for carrying out a valid and feasible study project. In early October each candidate completes an application outlining the project and submits letters of recommendation and other supporting materials to the campus committee appointed to review such applications. Shortly thereafter, all candidates are interviewed by the committee, which then forwards its recommendations to a national screening committee for final selection.
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