RYAN FLYNN — General Assignment Reporter
Starting this month, the Fulbright Scholar Program will again begin accepting applications from students around the globe to participate in their exchange program. Students in both the U.S. and abroad are eligible to vie for scholarship awards to roughly 175 different countries worldwide.
“We have programs in many different countries around the world,” said Hilary Watt, program officer for the Council of International Exchange of Scholars. “Basically the scholars will—when they go to various countries—make relationships with various social institutions and these relationships are often continued on into the future.”
The program, touted on its website as the “flagship international exchange program” and was established in 1946 under the legislation of J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. Designed to “increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and people of other countries,” Fulbright’s program has had nearly 310,000 participants thus far.
The Council for International Exchange of Scholars, or CIES, works in tandem with Fulbright, facilitating the program and doing all of the administrative work. There are specific requirements for eligibility based on each individual award, including the 519 Core awards. Core award exchanges last from two months to up to a year in length in areas ranging from Sub-Saharan Africa to East Asia and the Pacific and also to locations throughout Europe.
Watts noted that scholars who have already taken part in the program often return to “the same institutions or similar institutions” in the future.
“One of the great parts about the Fulbright Program is that it sort of expands all of the linkages that have been made by the scholars as they participate in the program,” said Watts. “So it doesn’t just end when the scholar returns to his or her home country; it continues throughout the years ahead. And sometimes scholars will have follow-up grants to either the same country or to a similar country and they can really continue their relationships that they made originally with various institutions.”
Students can apply online for the Core and other Fulbright programs at www.cies.org. Eligibility parameters are different for each individual award, but for the most part applicants must have U.S. citizenship and a degree in their field.
“For some awards. a Ph.D. or an equivalent professional degree is required and for others a master’s is sufficient and for some even a bachelor’s, depending on the award and the country,” Watts said.
In certain cases, foreign language proficiency is required, though for many, especially teaching awards, a knowledge of English is sufficient. Also, applicants who have already received two awards are not eligible for a third.
According to the CIES website, “applicants are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin and/or physical impairment.”
The deadline for applications to the Core programs, which can be submitted online via the CIES website, is Aug. 1.