Established in 1946 through legislation introduced by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program has grown into the largest international educational exchange program in the world. Since its inception, nearly 400,000 people from around the world have benefited from the international opportunities provided by the Fulbright Program.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers one year of funding for recent alumni or current graduate students to teach English, pursue graduate study, or complete an independent research project. Through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, University of Arkansas alumni have translated Italian poets in Italy, researched genetic databases in China, and taught English in Andorra, Bulgaria, Malaysia, Thailand, and Uzbekistan, among other locations.
- Applicants must be citizens or nationals of the United States at the time of application. Permanent residents are not eligible.
- Applicants must have a bachelor's degree or equivalent before the start of the grant. Current seniors, recent alumni, or current graduate students are all encouraged to apply.
- Other eligibility factors as described on the national Fulbright Program site.
Current University of Arkansas students and alumni who have not begun studies at another institution of higher education should apply through the on-campus process.
The first step in applying is to determine which type of Fulbright U.S. Student Award you would like to apply for. English Teaching Assistantships (ETAs) allow recipients to teach English in a country outside of the United States for an academic year. Study awards provide for one academic year of graduate study at an institution outside the United States, and recipients typically follow prescribed coursework in an established degree program. Research awards allow for the pursuit of an independent research project abroad in one or multiple countries.
Applicants can only apply for one type of award in one country per cycle, so choosing the appropriate grant for you is important! Here are some tips to consider:
- Does your chosen country require language proficiency? Some countries require language skills, whereas others do not.
- What is your interest in your chosen country, and can you make a strong case for it in your application? You must show the reviewers a genuine interest in spending a year of your life there, so make as specific a case as possible.
- If you are planning graduate study, have you identified an appropriate program? In addition, how will you make the case that this is the perfect program of study for your career or academic path?
- If you are planning a research project, have you identified an affiliation? All research award recipients require an in-country affiliation. If you are planning to apply for a research grant, you should begin contacting potential affiliations as early as possible.
The Institute of International Education’s Fulbright U.S. Student Program site has more tips on getting started.
If you are interested in applying for a Fulbright U.S. Student Award, or if you would like more information about the program, please contact Emily Wright, Fulbright Program Adviser, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-575-8673.
Applicants should attend an on-campus informational session or workshop to learn more about the program and the application process. If you are planning to apply for a research award, you should begin contacting potential in-country affiliations now.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program online application opens.
Begin work on application materials. Emily Wright, Fulbright Program Adviser and senior associate director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, will provide assistance on materials throughout the summer. In-person, email, or phone appointments are available. Applicants should set deadlines for themselves throughout the summer to work incrementally on the application. Applicants should also identify three recommenders in May and have an initial conversation with them about writing a recommendation letter (Study/Research) or recommendation form (ETA).
Make final edits on application materials.
Applicants going through the campus process should have all materials, including recommendations and affiliation letters (if necessary), by the campus deadline of Tuesday, September 12th, 2023.
In mid- to late-September, applicants will participate in an on-campus interview. The interview panel, comprised of faculty, staff, and Fulbright Program alumni, will offer feedback on the written application materials.
Applicants should submit all materials by 4 p.m. CT on Tuesday, October 10, 2023
What is the benefit of applying through the campus process (as opposed to at-large)?
Students and alumni applying through the campus process will participate in an on-campus interview in which faculty, staff, and Fulbright alumni will offer feedback on bettering the written application materials. After the interview, the committee will generate a campus evaluation form, which serves as a summation of the interview and functions like an additional letter of recommendation. Both the interview and the campus evaluation form help strengthen the total application.
What campus support do I have access to while applying?
Emily Wright, Fulbright Program Adviser and senior associate director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, is available to help you throughout the application process. To schedule an in-person, email, or phone/Skype appointment with her, please email email@example.com or call 479-575-8673.
Is it common for students to apply in more than one application cycle?
Yes! Applicants who do not receive an award are certainly encouraged to apply again.
Can I apply to multiple countries in the same year? Can I apply to both an ETA and a study/research in the same year?
No. Applicants can only submit one application per cycle, so choosing an award type and a country is very important.
Do I need to have a complete application (including recommendations) submitted by the campus deadline?
Yes. If our campus committee does not have a complete application (including recommendations) by the campus interview, then they are unable to evaluate the candidate to the fullest. This may result in a weaker recommendation for the applicant.
What is the campus interview like?
The campus interview typically lasts around 30 minutes, and interview panels are usually between 3-6 people. Panelists are university faculty and staff, and some panelists are alumni of either the Fulbright Student or Scholar Program. In a typical interview, roughly 10-15 minutes will consist of questions about you and your application, and the rest of the time is focused on giving specific feedback for areas of improvement in the written application materials.
What can I do to prepare for the campus interview?
The best thing that you can do to prepare for your interview is to re-read your application! Be ready to explain why you have chosen your specific award and host country, as well as talk about your future plans and what the Fulbright U.S. Student Program would mean for them. You should plan to wear business casual or business attire, and you should bring something to take notes with.
Does the campus committee decide if I am allowed to apply at the national level?
No. The campus panel will indicate on your evaluation form whether you are "recommended" or "not recommended." However, all applications that are submitted by the national deadline will be read by a national screening committee, regardless of the recommendation status indicated by the campus committee.
Is there a limit to the number of University of Arkansas students and alumni who can apply in one application cycle?
No! We are not limited to a number of total applicants or a number of applicants to a particular country in an application cycle.
Can I revise my application after the interview?
Yes! The campus committee will offer you feedback throughout the interview, so you should take their suggestions into consideration as you finalize your application materials for the national deadline. Do remember that you must re-submit your application in time for the national deadline.
When will I find out if I have received a Fulbright award?
Applications go through two review periods. First, in November and December, national screening committees meet around the country to select semi-finalists. These applications are forwarded to the host countries for review. Applicants will receive notification in mid-January stating whether or not they are semi-finalists.
Between February and April, semi-finalist applications are read in the host country. Semi-finalists should receive notification by the end of April if they are selected as a Finalist, designated as an Alternate, or Non-Selected.
Fulbright Scholars ProgramFulbright Student Programs Emily Wright
Senior Assoicate Director
Office of Nationally Competitive Awards
479-575-8673 Fulbright Scholars (Faculty) Programs Fran Hagstrom
Graduate School and International Education