Fulbright U.S. Student Program: An Overview

At A Glance...

Official Name: 
Fulbright U.S. Student Program
Campus Deadline: 
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Who Should Apply?: 

Seniors, graduate students, UMass Amherst alumni, U.S. citizens

Please complete and submit the Fulbright Campus Pre-Application.

What It's For: 

Travel abroad to conduct independent research in adacemics or the arts, to pursue study, or to serve as an English teaching assistant.

Fields of Study: 
Any field

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides an unparalleled opportunity to teach, study, and conduct research in over 130 countries worldwide. As envisioned by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, the program is designed to:

  • promote mutual understanding through a commitment to the free flow of ideas and people across national boundaries,
  • expand, through this understanding, the boundaries of human wisdom, empathy and perception,
  • create true and lasting world peace through cooperation in constructive activities among people of different nations.


  • Seniors, recent graduates, current graduate students, or alumni
  • U.S. citizenship required
  • Language proficiency in non-English-speaking countries commensurate with the proposed project (varies by country and grant type)

Types of grants:

  • Study/Research grants, which allow recipients to conduct independent research or study in over 140 countries. Applicants develop an independent project proposal, which may include university coursework, independent library, lab, or field research, or special projects in the social sciences, life sciences, or visual and performing arts. Applicants must identify a contact in their host country and procure a letter stating that he or she will serve as the applicant's institutional affiliation during the student's stay. In the majority of cases, students applying for study/research grants do so to fund a research experience. Students applying for study/research grants in the creative and performing arts must submit supplementary materials in addition to their application.
  • English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) grants are available in select countries and provide recipients with the opportunity to teach English as a second language to students from elementary school through university level, depending on the country. ETAs serve as supplemental instructors in a classroom, generally providing conversation practice and teaching American culture for approximately 20 hours per week. Unlike research/study grants, for which an applicant must identify a specific location within the host country, ETAs simply apply to a country, and those awarded grants are assigned a location based on need. Applicants cannot request specific assignments.

Candidate Profile:


  • Strong academic record
  • Compelling rationale for study, research, or teaching in your chosen country
  • Demonstrated ability and desire to foster mutual understanding and cultural exchange
  • Explanation of how the Fulbright experience will support your future goals
  • Demonstrated preparation, maturity, and adaptability
  • Knowledge of your host country, including its language and culture

Relative to Study/Research Grants

  • Feasible project proposal with clear purpose, methodology, and timeline
  • Previous research experience and demonstrated preparation for proposed project
  • Description of the significance and/or innovation of your research/study

Relative to ETAs

  • Previous teaching/instruction experience (e.g., mentoring, tutoring, classroom teaching, or related experiences)
  • Description of the pedagogical theory and/or practices you will bring to a classroom in your host country
  • Well-developed, specific ideas for engaging second-language learners

Application Components:

  • Online application
  • Statement of Grant Purpose essay (2 pages)
  • Personal Statement (1 page)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript (or transcripts)
  • Letter of affiliation (for research grant applicants) from an appropriate contact in your host country (e.g., professor, lab or archive director, etc.)
  • Foreign language forms (when specified on your host country's profile page)
  • Supplementary materials (for research/study grant applicants in the creative and performing arts)

Click here for more Fulbright application resources ...

Application Procedure:

All applicants currently enrolled at a university MUST be reviewed and nominated by their university. As such, UMass Amherst applicants are interviewed by the internal faculty committee. Recent alums, up to five years post-graduation, may apply either at-large or through UMass Amherst.

Detailed campus application information is provided directly to applicants once they submit their Fulbright Pre-Application.