Students

Fulbright Student Program

The largest U.S. exchange program, Fulbright U.S. Student Program is designed to provide recent graduates; master's and doctoral candidates; as well as young professionals and artists with opportunities for personal development and international experience. Operating in over 140 countries, the program currently awards approximately 2,000 grants per year in all fields of study with the goal of encouraging cultural exchange and mutual understanding through engagement in an environment of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom.

Applying for Fulbright

Students may apply to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program as either:

  • External ("at large") applicants
  • Internal (through the College) applicants

Each year, TC supports internal applicants with two award types:

  • Research
  • English Teaching Assistantship (ETA)

Refer to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website for the types of awards and specific country requirements offered in this competition cycle. In a given competition cycle, applicants may apply for only one type of Fulbright award and to one country.

Information Sessions

Information sessions are open to all prospective applicants whether they intend to apply internally through TC or externally (as an at-large candidate). To learn more about the Fulbright Program and the internal application process, please register below for upcoming sessions; or review recordings and slides from previous session(s).

Event

Date & Time

Registration

General Information

Mar 17, 2021 (Wed), 12:00-1:00PM (ET)

Recording Part I & Part II (password: 9u^CA*Ua) | Slides

General Information

May 6, 2021 (Thurs), 2:00-3:00PM (ET)

Recording

Alumni Panel

Jul 1, 2021 (Thurs), 1:00PM-2:00PM (ET)*

*new timing

Eventbrite

Alumni Advisement Roundtable

Aug 12, 2021 (Thurs), 12:00PM-1:30PM (ET)

TBA June 2021

Note: The schedule above is subject to change. Please check back regularly for the latest information.

Eligibility Requirements

Fulbright student applicants must:

  • Be citizens or nationals of the U.S. at the time of application (Permanent residents are not eligible)
  • Hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent before the start of the grant
  • Meet the language requirements of the award (if applicable) and demonstrate sufficient competency to complete their project and adjust to life in the host country
  • Not apply to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the Fulbright Scholar Program in the same competition cycle

Refer to the Fulbright website for other eligibility requirements​ and preferred qualifications.

Students who wish to apply through TC as internal applicants must be:

  • Enrolled in a degree program
  • Registered for at least six credits or the equivalent for both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021
  • Continuation into Fall 2021 (enrollment in at least five credits or the equivalent)

Award Benefits

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
; and
  • 12 months of Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government


In some countries, grants may also include:


  • Book and research allowances
 (Stipends differ by type of grant and country.)
  • Mid-term enrichment activities
  • Full or partial tuition

  • Language study programs

  • Pre-departure and in-country orientations

2022 - 2023 Competition Cycle

March 31, 2021 (expected): Fulbright Embark Application Portal Opens

June 15, 2021 (Tues) | 5PM ET: Intent to Apply Deadline

  • This is optional and is intended for TC students who would like OIA’s support with their application at an earlier stage.

July 15, 2021 (Thurs) | 5PM ET: Preliminary Application Deadline

  • This is compulsory for TC students who intend to apply internally and receive institutional endorsement from the College.
  • TC students who do not meet this deadline can still apply for the Fulbright award as an external ("at large") candidate. External applicants do not receive institutional endorsement; and must submit their completed application (including statements, sponsorship letter, recommendation letters, etc.) through the Fulbright Embark Application Portal by the national deadline of Oct 12, 2021 | 5PM ET.

September 8, 2021 (Wed) | 5PM ET: TC Institutional Deadline

  • This is only for internal applicants, who must submit their applications via the Fulbright Embark Application Portal. These materials will be reviewed by the College's Faculty Review Committee.

Mid-late September 2021: Interviews with TC’s Faculty Review Committee

  • This is only for internal applicants. Interviews will take place via Zoom.
  • The College's Faculty Review Committee will evaluate internal applicants and provide them with feedback for final revisions.
  • After receiving this feedback, applicants are welcome to request that OIA unsubmit their applications in the Fulbright Embark Application Portal so that they are able to make revisions. Applicants who elect to have their applications submitted are responsible for submitting their application by the national deadline of Oct 12, 2021|5PM ET.

October 12, 2021 (Tues) | 5PM ET: Fulbright National Deadline

  • Both internal and external applicants must submit all application materials through the Fulbright Embark Application Portal by the national deadline.
  • OIA will only submit institutional endorsements for internal applicants who successfully submitted their complete applications through the Fulbright Embark Application Portal by the national deadline.

November-December 2022: Selection of Semi-finalists

  • The National Screening Committee deliberates and selects the semi-finalist applications to send to each country. 
  • Candidates are notified via email about whether or not their applications have been recommended to their host country.

March 1 - May 31, 2022: Announcement of Fulbright Awards

  • Each country deliberates and selects the final grant recipients, however exact notification dates vary by country.

Recommended Timeline for Application Preparation

Timeline

Recommended Task(s)

March 2021

  • Visit the Fulbright website and become familiar with grant availability by country
  • Select a country

For Research Award

  • Begin to design your project
  • Seek a faculty mentor to guide you through the application process and the technical matters for your project
  • Identify a potential affiliation in the host country

For ETA

  • Consult with professors and/or colleagues with a background in the country to which you are applying or professionals in the English/TESOL fields

March 31, 2021 (projected)

Fulbright Embark Application Portal opens

March - May 2021

  • Attend 1st OIA information session (March or May)
  • Begin your online application on the Fulbright Embark Application Portal
  • Declare your “Intent to Apply” to OIA
  • Draft a Statement of Grant Purpose
  • Draft a Personal Statement 

For Research Award

  • Request affiliation letter from organization/institution abroad

May - June 2021

  • Seek three individuals who will serve as references in your application process
  • Contact the professor or other professional foreign language instructor who will complete the Foreign Language Evaluation form for the application

June 15, 2021 | 5PM ET

Deadline for TC “Intent to Apply” (highly encouraged for internal applicants) 

July 15, 2021 | 5PM ET

Deadline for TC “Preliminary Application” (mandatory for internal applicants)

July 2021

  • Attend 2nd OIA information session (an alumni sharing panel)
  • Revise drafts of your Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement with feedback from OIA, GWC, faculty, and colleagues/peers, etc.
  • Complete the remainder of your online application, including entering all contact information for your references
  • Request official transcripts from your higher education institutions

August 2021

  • Follow up with references to ensure that required recommendations are completed online
  • Finalize your Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement

September 1 - September 8, 2021

Confirm online submission of the following:

  • Application Form 
  • Statement of grant purpose
  • Personal Statement
  • Three references 
  • Language Evaluation
  • Transcripts (official/sealed) 
  • Letter of Affiliation (for Research grants only)

September 8, 2021 | 5PM ET

TC Institutional Deadline (only for internal applicants; submit your application via Fulbright Embark Application Portal)

Mid-late September 2021

TC Faculty Review Committee evaluates internal applications and interviews applicants

October 12, 2021 | 5PM ET

Fulbright National Deadline (for both internal and external applications; submit your application via Fulbright Embark Application Portal)

 

Eligibility

Students who wish to apply through TC as internal applicants must be:

  • Enrolled in a degree program
  • Registered for at least six credits or the equivalent for both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021
  • Continuation into Fall 2021 (enrollment in at least five credits or the equivalent)

Advantages

Per the Fulbright website, if you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a U.S. college or university, you are strongly encouraged to apply through that institution. While there is an earlier deadline for applying through the College, there are also advantages:

  • The possibility of receiving institutional endorsement, subject to the recommendation of the Faculty Review Committee
  • The likelihood of submitting a stronger application as you will receive feedback from the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and the Faculty Review Committee
  • The opportunity to receive guidance from TC-Fulbright alumni on strengthening your application

Award Types

Each year, TC supports internal applicants with two awards:

Campus Pre-Application Process

For students who plan to apply through TC for the College's institutional endorsement:

  • We highly encourage you to declare your "Intent to Apply" on this google form as early as possible or by the deadline of June 15th, 2021 (5PM ET).
  • Submit the mandatory “Preliminary Application” via this google form by the deadline of July 15th, 2021 (5PM ET). This includes providing information about the award you intend to apply for; and sharing drafts/outlines of your personal statement and statement of grant purpose.
  • Secure letters of recommendation from at least two TC faculty members (Research award only).

Completing the Fulbright application is an endeavor that requires several months of preparation and critical reflection. By formally declaring your Intent to Apply and submitting a Preliminary Application at an early stage in the application process, you will receive tailored guidance and resources from TC to support you with completing and submitting your application in a timely manner.

As such, the information provided in these two pre-application stages is for internal reference only and will not be shared with IIE (Fulbright Program's coordinating body).

Fulbright Embark Application Portal

  • Internal applicants must submit their application material twice on the Fulbright Embark Application Portal.
    • Once for the TC institutional deadline in September 8, 2021 (5PM ET); and
    • Once for the IIE national deadline of October 12, 2021 (5PM ET). Between these two submission deadlines, you will have a chance to revise your application based on feedback from the TC Faculty Review Committee. 
  • The institutional deadline requires that you complete the online application and upload your statements and transcripts to the Embark Application Portal, as these are the materials the TC Faculty Review Committee will evaluate.
  • Please note that you do not need to upload your (1) host affiliation letter or (2) the letters of recommendation by this institutional deadline, but you do need to upload these items by the national deadline.

Campus Interviews

  • Between mid- and late September, TC’s Faculty Review Committee will evaluate internal applicants based on:
    • Submitted application materials; and
    • Remote (Zoom) interview.
  • Following the interview, applications will receive feedback from the Committee.
  • After receiving this feedback, applicants are welcome to request that OIA unsubmit their applications in the Fulbright Embark Application Portal so that they are able to make revisions. Applicants who elect to have their applications submitted are responsible for submitting their application by the national deadline of October 12, 2021 (5PM ET).
  • The deadline for all applications (internal and external/at-large) is October 12, 2021 (5PM ET). This deadine is timezone specific.

Application Components

While the official Fulbright application is submitted electronically via the IIE Embark Application Portal, internal candidates are also required to submit the Intent to Apply and the Preliminary Application to OIA. For more information on these internal forms, please refer to the “Information for Internal Applicants” tab.

The components of the application are:

  • Online application (Embark)
  • Statement of grant purpose
  • Personal statement
  • Three (3) recommendation letters (research award) or three (3) recommendation forms (ETA)
    • Fulbright recommendation instructions can be found here for research award, and for ETA.
  • Language evaluation (if applicable)
  • Host affiliation letter(s) (for research award only)
  • Transcript(s)
  • Arts portfolio (for creative and performing arts grants)

Detailed explanations of the application components for the research award and the ETA award are available on the IIE website.

Things to Note

Research Award
  • Take note of host affiliation requirements for your specific country, as some countries have specific criteria for affiliations (e.g. academic institutions only, etc.).
  • Your affiliation should be a country‐based institution, not an American institution with branches abroad.
  • Although the letters of recommendation and language evaluation are uploaded by others, you must upload the letter of affiliation yourself. It must be on institutional letterhead. It cannot be the body of an email from an email correspondence, but you can ask for a scanned PDF.
  • We advise that you contact your host organization for the letter of affiliation as early as March. The letter of affiliation cannot be obtained a month or a few weeks before the application due date. Failure to secure a letter of affiliation is oftentimes the reason applicants are unable to complete the application.
  • If you need ideas for a sponsoring institution, explore the Fulbright Alumni Community or the Columbia Global Centers.
ETA Award
  • In addition to working with their assigned students, ETA recipients must also complete a community outreach project in the local community. Because the Fulbright Program focuses on cultural exchange, this project is a critical component of the application, and students should mention their project ideas in their statements.
  • For ideas on suitable community outreach projects, read the Fulbright Blog and profiles of Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.

Resources

    • Tori O'Neal-McElrath and Mim Carlson. Winning Grants Step by Step : The Complete Workbook for Planning, Developing and Writing Successful Proposals. John Wiley & Sons, 2013. (TC Library e-book access)
    • Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tanabe. The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2019 : Billions of Dollars in Scholarships, Grants and Prizes. SuperCollege, 2018. (TC Library e-book access)
    • Dakota Pawlicki, Chase James, Gregory Michie, and Gregory Michie. The Insider's Guide to Winning Education Grants. John Wiley & Sons, 2013. (TC Library e-book access)
    • Donald C. Orlich and Nancy R. Shrope. Developing a Winning Grant Proposal. Routledge, 2012. (TC Library e-book access)
    • Burns, Thomas. The Zen of Fulbright. Los Angeles: Don Davis Press, 2014.
    • Schall, Joe. Writing Personal Statements & Scholarship Application Essays. Mason: Cengage Learning, 2008.
    • Stewart, Mark Alan. How to Write the Perfect Personal Statement. Peterson's, 2012.
Back to skip to quick links