How To Win A Fulbright Scholarship
Some people feel scholarships are only meant for academic purposes, but the truth is some come with life experiences for anyone optimistic about working or studying overseas. The Fulbright Scholarship was established in 1946, and since it came into existence, it has awarded over 370,000 grants to either study or live overseas for 12 good months.
The truth is the Scholarship is not for those who want to obtain an undergraduate degree because one of the criteria of being eligible for the Scholarship is to have an undergraduate degree. It is primarily for those who want to bag a postgraduate degree or working professional. Fulbright Scholarship is a grant awarded to scholars and students from the U.S. and overseas.
According to statistics, there are approximately 1,000 scholarships for either research project/academic projects and 1,250 scholarships to teach English. It is crucial for anyone who is applying for the Fulbright Scholarship to select the ones that will match their goals, and they must meet the criteria to obtain the award.
Four Different Types of Fulbright Scholarship
There are four numerous types of Scholarship, and they are:
- Academic Research/Study Awards
- Creative & Performing Arts Research/Study Awards
- English Teaching Assistant Awards
- Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship
- Academic Study/Research Awards:
The research award allows students to design and complete a research project and attend classes as non-undergraduate students in any foreign university. On the other hand, they can have their postgraduate degree in a local institution. It is essential to create and share a research proposal to show the needs of your project.
- Creative & Performing Arts Research/Study Awards:
It has more similarities with the Academic study or research awards because students can attend classes as a non-undergraduate degree in a foreign institution or a local institution. Before a student can be eligible for this one, it is compulsory to perfect their creative skills to gain more experience.
- English Teaching Assistant Awards:
It provides a platform for those passionate about teaching in an excellent educational center abroad to lecture students in English language classes. Also, the person can become a cultural ambassador by performing several presentations on the U.S. culture.
- Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship:
If you want to use digital media and storytelling in promoting cross-cultural connections with one or several host countries. It offers an avenue for mentorship and training from a regulated body called National Geographic Editors. As a result of this, your work will be featured on National Geographic blogs and many others.
Benefits of Fulbright Scholarship
Here are the benefits:
- All-round transportation trip to the host country
- Language study programs
- Partial or full tuition
- Sickness and accident health benefits
- Research and book allowances, etc.
Eligibility for Fulbright Scholarship Award
For anyone to become eligible for the award, he or she must:
- Be a United States resident during the application of the Scholarship
- Have obtained an undergraduate degree before applying for the grant.
- Have enough proficiency in the language of the host country
- Have not applied for the scholarship grant before
- Have no foreign experience in the host country they are trying to apply
Methods of Applying for a Fulbright Scholarship
Each country has its method of applying for the Fulbright Scholarship, and the award is different too. Generally, there are basic steps anyone should follow irrespective of their countries, and they are:
- Applying Through a U.S. Institution or others:
As a new college graduate or senior year college student, it is best to apply to your college. The essence of this is based on the fact that there might be a possibility that your college might have a Fulbright Scholarship Program Adviser that might reduce the unnecessary stress you might face during the application process.
Also, he or she will endeavor to submit your entire application materials on time. Applying on your own might put the application process at risk since you will be doing everything by yourself.
- Choose the Award Type and Arrange the Necessary Application Materials:
For those having the interest to apply for either a research award or study award, the following materials will aid the application process:
- Biographical data like contact information, career history, list of achievements, education, work experience, etc.
- Executive summary for the grant proposal.
- Affiliation letter from either the host country or institution with whom you have the intention to study or work.
- A one-page personal statement on your personal history and aspirations based on the things you are planning to achieve when you become a Fulbright scholar.
- Three different recommendation letters from people who know your potential in a research project.
- Academic transcript from your Alma Mater.
- Foreign language evaluation form
- Choose a Country and Check Additional Eligibility Requirements
With the Fulbright Scholarship, the applicant can teach in over 170 countries across the globe. Unfortunately, the Fulbright Scholarship is not open to every country. For example, one can apply for a study/research award in New Zealand but can’t apply for an English Teaching Assistant Award. Applicants need to check the location to fit the requirements for the type of award they want.
- Submission of Application and Follow-up:
When you are through the application process, gathered different application materials, and have chosen the host country, the final step is applying. During the waiting period for the result, you need to carry out proper follow-up. If you are lucky, the next thing is to get ready for an interview.
Essential Tips of Increasing Opportunities of Winning Fulbright Scholarship
Before you apply for the Fulbright Scholarship, you should have it at the back of your mind thousands of applicants are vying for this same Scholarship. For you to be part of the only 20% for the award, here are certain things to do:
- Apply using your Alma Mater (undergraduate college):
The best is using an academic institution to apply for the Fulbright Scholarship to get additional support and a guide on how you can ensure submitting the best application based on the assistance from the Fulbright Program Adviser.
- Learn the Language of the Host Country:
Language has a role it plays when applying for the Fulbright Scholarship. By being fluent in the language shows you can communicate and interact with others in the local community. Anyone who wants to achieve this should undergo some language classes to have some level of proficiency in the language.
- Learning the Host Country History and Culture:
There is a part in the application process that requires you to state the reason for choosing a proposed country. For an applicant to capture the interviewer’s mind, they can connect their life experiences and the country’s culture and history.
- Choose a New Country:
It is not ideal for one to choose a country they have much experience because they have lived there in time past. For the Fulbright Scholarship, it is preferable to pick a new country to gather new experiences about life.
5. Carefully Select Individuals Writing Recommendations:
The Fulbright Scholarship Program takes its time in scrutinizing recommendation letters. The recommender(s) should have an in-depth knowledge of your character and personality to give the correct perception to the interviewer. It is best to attach a personal statement, statement of grant purpose, and recommendation letter.
6. Wait for Feedback on your Fulbright Scholarship Proposal:
It is crucial to find someone with an eye for details to spot any mistake on your proposal, essays, or abstract to keep you on track. Finding someone on time to go through your proposal will put your application materials on point.
7. Early Application Process:
An individual who prepares early for the Fulbright Scholarship will prevent any tension and avoid application errors. If you want to put the best application, it is better to commence early to take everything one step at a time.
Fulbright Scholarship is one of the Scholarships available for people searching for opportunities to travel to another country to learn new things. It is essential to have the necessary qualifications or documents to become eligible for the application process. Using your Alma Mater is still the best form of applying because of further guidance from the Fulbright Scholarship Program Adviser.