Fulbright U.S. Student Program

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 studyspecialized studyindependent research or arts projects, or English teaching.

In addition, some Fulbright countries offer binational business internshipsjournalism & 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.

At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships promotes the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on campus and provides comprehensive advising and endorsement (nomination) services to enrolled student applicants.

Sadie Ritter, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, shares her adventures in Kazakhstan as an Instagram story for the School of Global Integrative Studies.

Leigh Jahnke, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, smiles with a colleague at La Laboral, a high school in La Rioja, Spain.

Bailey Lathrop, Fulbright Study/Research recipient, shared insights and photos about their Fulbright Study/Research project on the sedimentology of the Cuyo Group in the Neuquén Basin near La Plata, Argentina.

During International Education Week (November) and late Spring (April – June), the Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships hosts information sessions for Fulbright and other international awards.

From April to September, the Institute of International Education (Fulbright U.S. Student Program) offers applicant webinars and regional “office hours” for both Study/Research/Arts and English Teaching Assistant candidates.

Get the latest strategic tips and inspiring alumni ambassador stories!

2025-26 Grant Timeline

  • Mid-May 2024: Canvas Module Launches & Advising Begins
  • June-July: Personalized Draft Feedback
  • August 30, 2024: Campus Endorsement (Nomination) Draft Due
  • September 27, 2024: Final Submission
  • October 8, 2024: National Deadline
  • December: U.S. National Screening Committee Review
  • January: Semi-Finalist Notifications
  • February – March: Host Country Review
  • April – May: Recipient Notifications (rolling)

Do you want to apply for a 2026-27 grant next summer? Join our interest list by Mid-May 2025.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program Overview

Building Mutual Understanding

During their grants, Fulbrighters meet and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. 

The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs and promote mutual understanding.

On the national deadline (annually in October), Fulbright advisees at UNL Undergraduate Research & Fellowships should be:

  1. Citizens or nationals of the United States of America, and
  2. UNL graduating seniors, recent undergraduate alumni (within 1 year of graduation), or graduate students.

Most Fulbright candidates can demonstrate, with concrete evidence, sustained involvements in cross-cultural engagement and perspective-sharing activities. Many have proficiency in one or more languages other than English.

Our summer-long, cohort-based advising begins in mid-May through a Canvas workspace. Those who meet Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships 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 provides final revision feedback to the candidate.

The candidate then prepares and submits the final draft by late September. Early student submission allows our staff to write and submit the endorsement form (explaining why the campus is nominating the applicant) by the Fulbright national deadline in October..

Endorsement is encouraged, not mandatory.

Nationally, approximately 2,000 students receive grants annually. Competitiveness varies by country and grant type.

Did you know? In 2020-21, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was a top producer of Fulbright Students!

In 2023-24, 5 Nebraska undergraduates and 1 graduate student received Fulbright awards.

Will you be next?

Types of Fulbright U.S. Student Grants

Approximately 32 countries available

Applicants for Graduate Degree Study Grants pursue coursework, research, and/or capstone projects in a foreign university graduate program.

Relevant qualifications: Besides strong academic performance, relevant qualifications may include:

  • 1 or more years of sustained participation in research or original, creative projects
  • Internships or employment related to the field of study
  • Noteworthy academic or artistic achievements (publications, performances, exhibits, etc.).
  • Proficiency in the host country language (if listed as recommended or required)

The Statement of Grant Purpose Essay is a detailed, step-by-step proposal for your future graduate studies.

  • Carefully read the host university website for your graduate program of interest. Describe the specific courses you intend to complete.
  • If appropriate, briefly propose a research or artistic project, a service-learning project, an internship, or another final “capstone” project.
  • Name faculty expertise and other resources of the host university that you will draw upon.
  • Discuss specific ideas for extracurricular involvements and the impact you would like to have on cultural exchange between the two nations.
  • Advice from UNL mentors in your field is critical to developing a competitive proposal.

Affiliation requirement: Unless the host country summary specifies otherwise, Study applicants must make contact (via email and/or videoconference) with a graduate program at a foreign university. You may need to request a letter of support (affiliation) to upload to the online application. Since it takes 1-2 months to acquire the letter of affiliation, applying at the last minute is not recommended.

References: Requires three traditional letters of recommendation. Typically, at least two are academic in fields related to the proposed graduate degree, and at least one addresses cross-cultural engagement or interpersonal strengths and skills.

Approximately 80 countries available

English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. in local schools. The age and academic level of the students varies by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level.

Relevant qualifications: Besides strong academic performance, ETA candidates typically have:

  • 1 or more years of teaching, tutoring, mentoring, coaching, training, or related experiences
  • On-campus ambassadorial or leadership roles, such as peer advisor or mentor, resident advisor, orientation leader, conversation partner, etc.
  • Proficiency in the host country language (if listed as recommended or required)
  • Flexible mindset: Unless the host country summary specifies otherwise, ETA candidates do not state a preference about where in the host country they will be placed.

The Statement of Grant Purpose Essay is a detailed proposal for classroom teaching. After reading this essay, the reader should understand:

  • The unique qualities that you bring to the classroom and the activities that you enjoy doing with students.
  • Why you are a strong fit with the educational culture or learning practices of the host country.
  • Your strategies for supporting your students’ learning about US culture and development of language skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing).
  • Your creative ideas for age-appropriate activities to engage students in learning the language and exploring US culture.

References: Requires three teaching employment references with targeted questions about your abilities to teach, mentor, give presentations, interact effectively in groups, and represent the US as a cultural ambassador. 

  • These are not traditional letters of recommendation. Your reference writers should have directly observed you in related experiences, such as courses with groupwork or presentations, or work or volunteer experiences involving lots of interaction.
  • To answer the short answers on the reference form, every reference writer must be able to discuss your communication or presentation skills, interpersonal skills, and interest in cross-cultural exchange. 

Approximately 140 countries available

Applicants for Open Study/Research design their own academic or creative/fine arts projects.

Besides strong academic performance, relevant qualifications may include:

  • 1 or more years of sustained participation in research or original, creative projects
  • Internships or employment related to the field of study
  • Noteworthy academic or artistic achievements (publications, performances, exhibits, etc.).
  • Proficiency in the host country language (if listed as recommended or required)

Use the interactive Award Search tool to explore your host country and grant type options.

The Statement of Grant Purpose Essay is a detailed, step-by-step proposal for your future academic or creative work in the host country and the impact you would like to have on cultural exchange between the two nations. This plan may include taking coursework alongside completion of your original project. Advice from UNL mentors in your field is critical to developing a competitive proposal.

Affiliation requirement: Unless the host country summary specifies otherwise, Study/Research applicants must make contact (via email and/or videoconference) with a faculty mentor at a foreign university and request a letter of support (affiliation) to upload to the online application. Since it takes 1-2 months to acquire the letter of affiliation, applying at the last minute is not recommended.

References: Requires three traditional letters of recommendation. Typically, at least two are academic in fields related to the project, and at least one addresses cross-cultural engagement or interpersonal strengths and skills.

Arts Portfolio: In addition to the above items, applicants in Creative and Performing Arts fields must also submit a work sample.

Use the interactive Award Search tool to explore your host country and grant type options.