Fulbright U.S. Student Program
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers over 1,900 opportunities for students to study, research, or teach abroad while promoting cross-cultural interaction and mutual understanding. Grants will fund project and living expenses for an 8-12 month period. The program is designed to fund a post-baccalaureate year abroad. Eligible applicants include undergraduates entering their senior year, recent graduates who earned a bachelor's or master's degree in the past 5 years, and current graduate students who will not have earned a Ph.D. prior to the beginning of their grant year. Candidates apply early in the fall to spend the following year abroad and must apply to a specific country with a specific proposal. Applicants may only apply for one specific grant in one country per application year.
Though students apply during the senior year, or later, undergraduates are strongly encouraged to explore their interest in the Program very early in their academic career. The NISO Director is available for individual meetings and will also host information sessions throughout the year.
There are two major types of Fulbright awards for U.S. Students:
Full grants, also known as study, research, or academic grants, allow recipients to conduct independent research or study at an academic institution in over 150 countries. Applicants develop an independent program proposal and must identify a faculty member or administrator at a university or research institution stating that they will serve as the institutional affiliation for the application during the student's stay.
In the majority of cases, students applying for full grants do so to fund a research experience. There are a very limited number of tuition funded, one year graduate programs within the full grant category available in the U.K., Mexico, Spain, and the Netherlands. The country profile page will specify such an opportunity. If a country description mentions a degree, but does not specify that it is funded, it likely is not.
Students applying for full grants in the creative and performing arts have a modified application the requires submission of supplementary materials. The list of fields included can be found here.
English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) grants are available in select countries and provide recipients with the opportunity to teach English as a second language to students from elementary school up through college level, depending on the country. ETAs serve as supplemental instructors in a classroom generally providing conversation practice and teaching American culture for approximately 20 hours per week. Unlike with Full grants, for which an applicant must identify a specific within the host country, ETAs simply apply to a country and those awarded grants are assigned a location. Applicants cannot request specific assignments.
Additional Fulbright student opportunities, which have varied application processes and deadlines, include Fulbright mtvU Awards, Fulbright Public Policy Fellowships, and Travel Grants. More information about these opportunities can be found here.
- U.S. citizen
- Bachelor’s degree but not Ph.D. by the beginning date of the grant
- Language proficiency, in non-English-speaking countries, commensurate with the proposed project (varies per country and grant type)
- biographical data
- statement of grant purpose
- personal statement
- 3 reference letters
- letter of affiliation (for full grant applicants)
- foreign language forms (when specified on the country/grant profile page)
- supplementary materials (for full grant applicants in the creative and performing arts)
Characteristics of a Competitive Application
- strong academic record (at least a 3.0)
- strong letters of recommendation
- compelling reason to conduct a project or serve as an ETA abroad in a specific country
- interest in serving as a cultural ambassador abroad conveyed effectively in application materials
- proposed projects that correspond with your educational/professional goals
relative to full grants
- previous research experience (this can come in many forms)
- well developed, specific goals; concise proposal detailing the plan to achieve those goals
- established/demonstrated maturity, skills, and adaptability to achieve goals
relative to ETAs
- previous teaching/instruction experience, may be in the form of mentoring, tutoring, or related experiences
- well thought out description of the skills you specifically bring to the classroom; how are you uniquely qualified to enrich the learning experience?
- well developed, specific ideas for engaging with students; concise proposal detailing how to put these ideas to practice in the classroom
All current Purdue students must apply through the National and International Scholarships Office. Recent alums, up to 5 years post graduation, may apply at large, or through Purdue. We recommend applying through our process to receive the most guidance as well as to allow participation in the committee review process.
Applicants for all grant types will complete the same basic process including the completion and submission of a campus Fulbright Registration Form, submission of application materials via the Embark Fulbright Online Application, and completion of an interview with members of the Purdue Fulbright Campus Committee.
In order to assist applicants further with the preparation of the formal application materials, there is a voluntary preliminary review process. Those who chose to take advantage of this service must have all application materials completed and submitted by July 1st. At that time, NISO will identify faculty and staff, with knowledge matching the geographical area and grant topic of each applicant, who will serve as the review committee for that student. This group will be provided the written application materials for preliminary review and will provide feedback to the applicant. This will allow for applicants to make adjustments to their application materials prior to the campus deadline and interview process.
While the general application components are very similar for full and ETA grants, there are a few specific differences. Please choose the appropriate grant type below for specific application instructions.
June 1st last day to submit the Fulbright Registration Form
July 1st priority deadline for application preliminary review
September 1st campus application deadline
October 15th national application deadline