Fulbright U.S. Student Program

October 12, 2021

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Fellowship & Research Master PHD Exchange Programs

Location (s):

  • Worldwide


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs.  A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S.


During their grants, Fulbrighters will 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 will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.

Grant lengths and dates vary by country. Please consult the specific country summary for details.

Types of Awards

  • Open Study/Research Awards: The Fulbright Study/Research Award is the traditional award opportunity where a candidate designs a proposal for a specific country. 
  • English Teaching Assistant Awards: The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant programs place grantees in schools overseas to supplement local English language instruction and to provide a native speaker presence in the classrooms.
  • Special Programs - Fulbright-Fogarty Awards in Public Health: The Fulbright-Fogarty Awards are offered through a partnership between the Fulbright Program and the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. These awards were established to promote the expansion of research in public health and clinical research in resource-limited settings. The Fogarty International Center, NIH, will provide support to the research training site and may provide orientation for the fellows at the NIH.  In addition, NIH will provide a pre-departure orientation for selected Fellows in Washington, DC. To participate in the Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships in Public Health, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen and:
    • Be enrolled in graduate or medical school. Applicants who hold a doctorate are ineligible.
    • Have sufficient proficiency in the host language to carry out the project required.
    • Other basic requirements and process for applying for the Fulbright-Fogarty Program are the same as for any Fulbright U.S. Student Study/Research Grant.
  • Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship: The Fulbright–National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship provides a unique platform for American Fulbright students to develop global narratives and discuss commonalities across borders around a common issue or theme. Trained, supported, and mentored by National Geographic Editors during their grants, grantees will use new media platforms to help build ties across cultures while enhancing mutual understanding. The content that they produce will be featured online in various places, including, most prominently, a blog hosted by National Geographic.
  • Supplemental Grant - Critical Language Enhancement Award: The Critical Language Enhancement Award provides a supplement in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for grantees to receive between three and six months of intensive language study in addition to their research or study grants. This opportunity is available for select languages and in limited host countries.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Applicants for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program include:

  • Recent graduates: Graduating seniors and recent bachelor’s-degree recipients have some undergraduate preparation and/or direct work or internship experience related to the project.
  • Master's and doctoral candidates: Graduate-level candidates must demonstrate the capacity for independent study or research, together with a general knowledge of the history, culture, and current events of the countries to which they are applying.
  • Young professionals, including writers, creative and performing artists, journalists, and those in law, business, and other professional fields: Competitive candidates who have up to 5 years of professional study and/or experience in the field in which they are applying will be considered. Those with more than 5 years of experience should apply to the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Competitive applicants to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program will not have recent extensive experience abroad (excluding recent undergraduate study abroad), especially in the country of application.


  • Applicants must be citizens or nationals of the United States of America at the time of application.  Permanent residents are not eligible. Please review the Ineligibility section below in relation to the eligibility of dual citizens.
  • Applicants must have a conferred bachelor's degree or equivalent 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.
  • In the creative and performing arts, four years of professional training and/or experience meets the basic eligibility requirement.
  • Applicants must be in good health. Grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Medical Certificate from a physician.
  • Applicants must have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country sufficient to communicate with the people and to carry out the proposed study/research. This is especially important for projects in the social sciences and the humanities.
  • Applicants may hold a J.D. at the time of application.
  • Doctors of Medicine may receive grants for advanced academic study, but not for internships or residencies. Scholars with an M.D. degree who have completed their formal postgraduate training and propose attachment to a hospital or clinic for the purpose of independent or collaborative research should apply to the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Grants shall not authorize activity for which a license to practice medicine or nursing is required. The Fulbright Program cannot authorize proposals for medical research that involves clinical training, patient care or patient contact.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Strong preference for those who have not previously held a Fulbright grant. For the 2022-2023 competition, recipients of grants in 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 will be at a competitive disadvantage, but are still eligible to apply, provided they continue to meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Preference will be given to applicants whose higher education was undertaken primarily at educational institutions in the United States. Foreign study during the junior year or other periods of undergraduate study that are inte­gral parts of the curricula of American institutions will not be considered a disadvantage.
  • 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, are preferred. Duty abroad in the Armed Forces of the United States is not considered disqualifying within the meaning of this section.
  • Candidates who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States will be given preference, provided their qualifications are approximately equivalent to those of other candidates.
  • For most programs, applicants who have had extensive, recent previous foreign experience in the host country are at a competitive disadvantage but are still eligible to apply.


Deadline: October 12, 2021

Cost/funding for participants:

Funding Level--The Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant numbers are subject to the availability of federally-appropriated funds. The United States Department of State reserves the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, numbers of awards, terms of agreement, and allowances.

Grant benefits for all Fulbright U.S. Student grants include:

  • round-trip transportation to the host country
  • funding to cover room, board, and incidental costs, based on the cost of living in the host country
  • Accident & Sickness Health Benefits
  • 24/7 support line for urgent and non-urgent situations

In some countries, grants may also include:

  • book and research allowances*
  • mid-term enrichment activities
  • full or partial tuition
  • language study programs
  • pre-departure and in-country orientations

*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.

Please review the relevant Country Summary for specific details.

Funds from Other Sources--If awarded a Fulbright grant, a grantee is required to report all funds received from other sources.  Funds from other scholarships, fellowships, or grants in dollars or foreign currencies received concurrently with a Fulbright grant that duplicate Fulbright benefits will be deducted. But, if such grants are for assistance in meeting family expenses of grantees or other expenses not covered by the Fulbright grant, no de duction will be made. Fulbrighters may not accept remunerative work abroad during the grant period without prior ap proval of the supervising agency in the host country and/or IIE.

NB: If you receive an NSF award, be sure to inform your future graduate school that you have received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant enabling you to spend the next academic year abroad and that you have also received an NSF Graduate Fellowship.  Your graduate institution may have an NSF coordinator.  Find out who this is and speak to this person also.  You must do this before entering your status on the NSF website.

The NSF website has added a "reserve status" on the list of tenure options, which is available after you accept the fellowship and which defers your drawing funds from the fellowship.  Officially, the NSF will consider you a graduate student at your U.S. institution, even though you will be abroad.

Early Terminations - Acceptance of a grant by a candidate constitutes an agreement between the grantee and the sponsor involved. It is expected that, barring unforeseen emergencies, grantees will remain in the host country for the full tenure of the award. Grantees who leave the host country or resigns from the grant at an earlier date than that specified in the grant authorization may be required to reimburse the supervising agency for any expenditures made on their behalf, including allowances for orientation or round-trip travel.


  • Within the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, a dependent is (1) a spouse, or  (2) a relative (child, parent, sibling) who is financially dependent on the grantee. The dependent must accompany the grantee abroad for at least 80% of the grant period in order to receive the dependent benefit.
  • In some countries, a modest dependent’s allowance may be available. The balance of maintenance expenses for dependents is the responsibility of the grantee.  Applicants should note that local restrictions make employment opportunities for dependents very rare.
  • The dependent’s allowance is not provided for any adult dependent who holds a grant from any source.
  • Transportation and insurance are not provided for dependents. Grantees must provide evidence that health insurance, including emergency medical evacuation, has been obtained for their accompanying dependents.
  • Grantees who plan to take dependents must, as a condition of the grant, submit a statement of their ability to finance transportation and, if necessary, maintenance support for them.
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