Fulbright Scholarship – Background and Importance
This article reviews information about the Fulbright Scholarship opportunities.
Fulbright Scholarship – Background
The Fulbright Foundation is one of the most prestigious internationally recognized scholarship exchanged programs in the world. This scholarship program is a network of extremely competitive, merit based scholarship opportunities for international exchange students that was originally established by the late United States Senator J. William Fulbright in the year 1946.
The intent of these prestigious scholarships is for scholars from all around the world, through many intricate partnerships between the United States government and foreign governments, to be able to enter educational exchange programs. The purpose is so that outstanding students are awarded opportunities to broaden their horizons abroad as well as allow international applicants the same opportunities within the United States.
Fulbright Scholarship – Reach
The Fulbright Scholarships are amongst the most recognizable scholarships when it comes to international studies and operates within over 155 different countries. Each of these 155 countries holds an intricate educational partnership that allows the Fulbright Scholarships to be enacted. Within the alumni over 53 previous Fulbright program alumni have been awarded Nobel Prizes while an additional 78 previous Fulbright program alumni have been awarded Pulitzer Prizes.
The program was developed to help built a mutual educational understanding between the United States and other countries. As a student it means that you are awarded a once in a life time opportunity to benefit from educational advances all over the world.
What Does the Fulbright Scholarship Award?
Annually, the Fulbright Scholarships award a scholar the opportunity to undertake the following within a foreign country:
- Graduate studies
- Advanced academic research
- University lectures
- Classroom teaching
Currently the Fulbright program awards over 8,000 scholarships annually. These scholarships range from small scholarship awards to full tuition scholarships. Scholarships are awarded to the following categories:
- Student Scholarships: Allows for students to attend university in other countries
- Scholars Scholarships: Sends scholars to conduct research in foreign countries
- Teachers Scholarships: Allows for K-12 teachers to enter an exchange between foreign countries such as teaching English in a foreign country
- Professional Scholarships: Sends professionals into foreign countries to conduct lectures, research, professional activities.
Who Oversees the Fulbright Program?
The Institute of International Education is the institute that is responsible for applying and managing the Fulbright Program. The Institute operates in over 155 different countries worldwide. Countries that do not have their own Fulbright Commission but allow for the program will have a Public Affairs Section within their United States Embassy that undertakes the responsibilities of the Fulbright Scholarships. The program is sponsored by the US Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.
How Does the Fulbright Scholarship Work?
In the search for scholarships the Fulbright Scholarships work in two similar ways:
- US citizens are awarded funding to undertake their education within a foreign country
- A non US citizen is awarded funding to undertake their education within the United States
Applicants who are awarded a scholarship are students that have conducted themselves exceptionally with their academic achievements and have presenting compelling research proposals or personal statements. Applicants for consideration also have exceptional leadership qualities and will benefit the most from these programs. The Fulbright Scholarships award scholarships for almost every field of academics with the exception of clinical medical research that will involve direct patient contact.