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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 in the spring, approximately 18 months before the start of the grant 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. 

NISO will host information sessions during the month of February. These sessions will be widely publicized.  Students who think they may be interested in applying for a Fulbright grant are strongly encouraged to attend one of these sessions.  The application process begins in March and ends in October for students planning to travel during the following academic year (example: students applying for grants taking them abroad beginning fall 2015 start their application in March of 2014).  While the application is submitted to the Fulbright Program in October, there is an extensive required campus process designed to support applicants.  If you are interested, but missed any of the preliminary sessions/deadlines, please contact the NISO Director immediately to discuss options.

Though undergraduate students start the application process during the junior year students are strongly encouraged to explore their interest in the Program very early in their academic career. 

There are two major types of Fulbright awards for U.S. Students:

Study/Research grants, allow recipients to conduct independent research or study in over 140 countries.  Applicants develop an independent program proposal which may include university coursework, independent library, lab, or field research, special projects in the social sciences, life sciences, or visual and performing arts.. Applicants must identify an individual and procure a letter stating that they will serve as the institutional affiliation during the student's stay.

In the majority of cases, students applying for study/research grants do so to fund a research experience. There are a very limited number of tuition funded, one year graduate programs within the study/research 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 tuition is funded, it likely is not. 

Students applying for study/research 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 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 research/studyl 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. 

Eligibility Requirements

    • 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)

Application Components

    • biographical data
    • statement of grant purpose
    • personal statement
    • 3 reference letters
    • transcripts
    • letter of affiliation (for full grant applicants)
    • foreign language forms (when specified on the country/grant profile page)
    • supplementary materials (for research/study 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 Study/Research 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

Application Procedure

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.

While the general application components are very similar for Research/Study and ETA grants, there are a few specific differences.  Please choose the appropriate grant type below for specific application instructions. 

Application Timeline

February 17th-21st:

Fulbright Week (multiple info sessions available)

March 17th: 

Fulbright Registration Form deadline

March 11th-April 11th:  

application workshops

April 11th:  


preliminary application deadline

April 21st-25th:

preliminary interviews with Fulbright Faculty Advisory Group
May 2nd:

recommendation letter deadline

September 1st:

full application campus deadline

September 15th-19th:

final interviews

October 15th:

Fulbright application deadline