Would you like to teach English in Korea, India, Germany, Japan, Italy, or several other countries? Would you like to study arachnids in Columbia, opera in Italy, modern bridge architecture in Venice, or Flemish Renaissance painters in Belgium? Would you like to research migration patterns into Western Europe, Nile River Valley irrigation methods, mathematics in Ukraine, chess in India, or the effects of global warming on tropical rain forests in Brazil? These and several other possibilities exist under the Fulbright/IIE program.
If you are unsure what to do after graduation, and would like to spend next year teaching and/or conducting research abroad, consider submitting an application to the Fulbright Graduate and Research Abroad Program. This year’s national application deadline is October 11, 2016. The campus submission deadline is October 3. Interested students and advisors are invited to a Fulbright information meeting this Wednesday, Aug, 31 at 7 p.m., in Monroe Hall, Room 210.
This year our Fulbright Campus Evaluation Committee [Dianne Baker (co-Faculty Program Advisor), Melina Patterson, Rosemary Jesionowski, Pat Reynolds, Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich, and Ann Witkowski] will assist all potential applicants with their statements, and their total applications. This same committee will interview and rate each applicant for further consideration by the Institute of International Education, and Ms. Lisa Patton of the History Department will help track all applicants’ application status. UMW graduates have won 20 Fulbright grants total, which shows that it can be done. You, too, can do it — you need only a good idea, a solid GPA, and strong recommendation letters.
Although grantees must have obtained their bachelor’s degree by the time of their award, students who are not graduating this year — as well as interested alumni — are also encouraged to attend this meeting because successful applications often require advance preparation. At the meeting I will discuss Fulbright informational materials, and discuss strategies for successful applications.
Prior to attending Wednesday’s meeting, I encourage interested students to research the Fulbright website: http://us.fulbrightonline.org/home.html. While considering applying, remember the following factors and tips for successful applications:
1) Research the odds of winning a grant in the country of your interest. There are radically variant odds between different countries, ranging from the highly competitive (UK) to the eminently attainable (Gabon, Congo, Moldova, etc). To research these odds, check this link: http://us.fulbrightonline.org/countries/regions.
2) Successful applicants normally demonstrate some previous interest in the country and/or project of their choice. Try to design a project proposal which is consistent with your prior interests.
3) Successful applicants often have a letter of support originating from within their country of interest. Please consider how to obtain such a letter by the deadline. If you have any questions about the program or the deadline, please call Dr. Al-Tikriti at 540-654-1481 or email him at email@example.com.
General Information About the Fulbright Program
Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application. Preference will be given to applicants whose higher education was received 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 disqualifying.
Preference will usually be given to candidates who have not resided or studied in the country to which they are applying for more than six months. Duty abroad in the Armed Forces of the United States is not considered disqualifying within the meaning of this section.
Applicants must hold a B.A. degree or the equivalent before the beginning date of the grant. Applicants may not hold a doctoral degree at the time of application, unless otherwise noted.
Applicants who have not earned a B.A. degree or the equivalent, but who have extensive professional study and/or experience in fields they wish to pursue a project, may be considered.
In the creative and performing arts, four years of professional and/or experience meets the basic eligibility requirement.
Applicants must have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language of host country to communicate with the people and to carry out proposed study. Such proficiency is especially important to students wishing to undertake projects in the social sciences and humanities. [This is not always the case for applicants considering arts or science projects not requiring language knowledge. It is also not true for English teaching assistantships].
Good health. Grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Certificate of Health from a physician.
Frequently asked questions:
Can grantees obtain credit for their year abroad?
Because most foreign universities do not use the credit system, there is no guarantee that a student will receive credit for work done abroad. If a student desires credit for work done abroad, he or she must arrangements with the home institution, preferably in advance of departure.
How does one apply for a grant?
Students enrolled in a U.S. academic institution at the time of application must apply through the Faculty Program Advisor (FPA) on their campus. To apply, contact Dr. Al-Tikriti at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants who are not enrolled should obtain application forms and information from IIE/New York. Here is the link: http://us.fulbrightonline.org/applicants/getting-started.
Are younger students at a disadvantage in the competition?
Absolutely not. The H. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has recently stated its intention to give preference to qualified graduating seniors, who need not have formulated specific career plans.
What types of forms are required?
The same application form is used for all types of grants: Fulbright full and travel grants, teaching assistantships, etc. Since candidates may apply generally only to one country, one application suffices for all awards to that country for which an applicant is eligible. For example, candidates applying to Germany will be considered not only for the Fulbright full and travel grants, but also for the Bavarian State Government Grants, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Grants, or the Germanistic Society of America-Quadrille Awards, provided they meet all the qualifications for each of the awards. There is no need to file a separate application for each award. Applications are available in two forms: paper and on-line. A hard copy of the completed form must also be submitted when applying on-line. To apply on-line go to: http://us.fulbrightonline.org/home.html
What is the application deadline?
The applications deadline is October 11, 2016, at 5 p.m. for all grants. The campus deadline is October 3– this deadline is slightly more flexible than the national deadline.
How can one apply for summer grants?
There are no summer grants available under the IIE-administered portion of the Fulbright Program.
What does the national screening committee look for in reviewing application?
In general, screening committee members review all documents and supplementary material (in the arts) pertaining to an application. It is important that all required transcript, letters of recommendation, and language report forms be available for consideration. In addition to these documents, the Statement of Proposed Study is reviewed very carefully. The committee takes into consideration the nature of the project, its originality, the academic preparation for completing the project described, including language proficiency, and the interest of the student as evidenced by any advance research he may have done to determine that the resources he will need to accomplish his proposed project are in fact available in the potential host country. It is important also that the Curriculum Vitae be completed carefully, since it is through this essay that committee members obtain a picture of the student as a person. Applicants, especially graduating seniors, should include information concerning their future career plans and the effect a Fulbright Grant might have on those plans.
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