Fulbright U.S. Student Program
Location: International Experience Type: Education Abroad / Fellowships / Graduate School Fellowship / International/Abroad Fellowship / Junior Fellowship / Research Fellowship / Senior/Recent Graduate Fellowship
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is a cross-cultural engagement program offered in over 140 countries to fund one academic year for the conduct of an original project, including graduate degree study, specialized study, independent research or arts projects, or English teaching.
In addition, some Fulbright countries offer binational business internships, journalism & communications grants, science and public-health specific grants, or graduate degree awards. As these options frequently change, please see the field-specific awards list on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website for details.
Tip: Use the interactive Award Search tool to explore your options!
During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, the Fulbright Student will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.
Approximately 2,000 winners annually. Competitiveness varies by country and grant type.
Did you know? The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a top producer of Fulbright Students!
When to Apply
Apply one full year in advance of travel. For example: If you participate in advising in summer 2022, you will turn in your final application in October 2022. If you accept a Fulbright grant offer, you must graduate by summer 2023, and you would go abroad in academic year 2023-24.
- Applicants must be citizens or nationals of the United States of America at the time of application.
- Permanent residents are not eligible.
- Please review the Ineligibility section in relation to the eligibility of dual citizens.
- Applicants must have a conferred bachelor’s degree or equivalent before the start of the grant.
- On the national application deadline in October, you may be a graduating senior or recent alumnus/a., or a current graduate student.
- Applicants must meet the language requirements of the award to which they are applying and demonstrate sufficient competency to complete their project and adjust to life in the host country.
Undergraduates who are not U.S. citizens may consider other awards without citizenship restrictions, such as Gates Cambridge, Knight-Hennessy Scholars, Rhodes, or Schwarzman Scholars.
If you plan to eventually enroll at a graduate institution in your country of citizenship, you may consider the Fulbright Foreign Student Program when you become an enrolled graduate student at that foreign institution.
Who Should Apply?
- Recent graduates: Graduating seniors and recent bachelor’s-degree recipients have some undergraduate preparation and/or direct work or internship experience related to the project.
- Master’s and doctoral candidates: Graduate-level candidates must demonstrate the capacity for independent study or research, together with a general knowledge of the history, culture, and current events of the countries to which they are applying.
- Young professionals, including writers, creative and performing artists, journalists, and those in law, business, and other professional fields: Competitive candidates who have up to 7 years of professional study and/or experience in the field in which they are applying will be considered. Those with more than 7 years of experience should apply to the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
How do I know if I am a competitive candidate?
As a Fulbright applicant, you should be taking advantage of all relevant UNL and off-campus resources to prepare for graduate school and/or careers in your major field. You should have a strong GPA and excellent academic performance in your major(s) or minor(s), especially coursework related to your intended graduate major. You should also care deeply about cross-cultural engagement and positive exchange, as that is the mission of the Fulbright program!
Relevant qualifications may also include 1 or more years of research experience as well as practical experiences related to your field. Practical experience might include leadership or mentoring roles in academic or service organizations, tutoring or teaching experience, arts exhibits or performances (especially for creative projects); and/or significant work experience/internships.
You may also need 1 or more years of study of a foreign language to gain proficiency in the local language of your host country, if that language is not English. Host country language fluency is required to study/conduct research in many countries. Languages marked “recommended” are necessary to be a competitive applicant.
Funding amounts vary by award type and country. Typically, 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
- pre-departure and/or in-country orientations
- Accident & Sickness Health Benefits
- 24/7 support line for urgent and non-urgent situations
- 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government
Some grants may also include:
- book and research allowances*
- mid-term enrichment activities
- full or partial tuition
- language study programs
All English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) receive an additional grant benefit: 60-hour online TESOL Fundamentals Course.
Fulbright offers applicant webinars and alumni ambassador panels, typically from April to September. Please visit Information Sessions to sign up for these live events!
You can also check out recent recorded webinars.
Email NIF for Canvas resources: May 11, 2022
Campus Endorsement Deadline: September 2, 2022
(for 2023-24 grant applicants)
Fulbright Applicant Advising & Endorsement Services
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of National & International Fellowships (NIF) promotes the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on campus and provides advising and endorsement services to enrolled student applicants, as well as recent undergraduate alumni (within ~1 year of graduation).
Fulbright applicants are strongly encouraged to email Ms. Courtney Santos, Director of National & International Fellowships (firstname.lastname@example.org) by mid-May, ~5 months prior to the national deadline.
After contacting NIF, eligible applicants will receive access to a Canvas course with resources for preparing an effective Fulbright application. Those who meet our internal draft deadlines also receive personalized, detailed feedback on their application drafts.
The campus endorsement (nomination) deadline is in late August/early September each year. An internal committee composed of faculty and/or staff, as appropriate to the grant type, reviews the application to determine endorsement and provide feedback for the final revision to the candidate. The candidate then prepares and submits the final draft by our internal deadline, in late September, allowing our staff to upload the endorsement form and submit the complete application by the Fulbright national deadline.
Prospective Fulbright applicants are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with NIF advisors to discuss application strategy during the process of preparing the application.
Reference writers with questions may also email Ms. Courtney Santos, Director of National & International Fellowships (email@example.com).