Before You Begin
With Fulbright, the first decision point is identifying which country you’d like to travel to, and the second is selecting one award that is offered through that specific country. You’ll notice all countries have a varying number of awards available, so review each country of interest and its award descriptions carefully when making your decision. You may only select one country and corresponding award to compete for.
Important: Read the country award page carefully for any awards which you're considering, as each award will have its own additional rules, and affiliation letters, when required, may have associated deadlines as early as August 1st (or earlier).
To begin this process, please review and familiarize yourself with the Fulbright website. The Applicants tab has useful info for once you start working on the application itself. The Countries tab will contain info on each country program with country specific details, priorities, and requirements.
- Decide whether you want to do Open Study/Research, a creative project, serve as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA), or apply for a graduate degree grant overseas (scroll down to the Fulbright Graduate Degree Grants section). You may only apply to one program/grant.
- If you want to teach English, explore the Countries section of the website to narrow down where you’d like to apply to.
- You can view the historical numbers of applications and awards for each country to get an idea of how competitive a particular award will be on the Statistics section of the Fulbright website (it's also linked in small text at the bottom of their site).
Open Study/Research Award Advice
You’ll be tasked with identifying an institution (typically a university) in your chosen country that you would affiliate with as well as an actual person at that institution who agrees to be your mentor and is willing to provide support and resources during your stay, (typically by the application deadline). You will need to gain a Letter of Affiliation provided by that person, agreeing to host you for the year if your application is successful. More information about the letter of affiliation can be found under the Fulbright page for Applicants > Application Components > Study Research: Academic. Choose which program/location/university best connects to your academic preparation and trajectory. Work with your academic adviser, faculty, and CLBR advisors on developing the project plan.
Letters of Affiliation
This blog post from July 2021 by Fulbright Program staff provides some useful additional information for how to navigate securing letters of affiliation.
Work with a CLBR advisor. Our office designs and administers the internal application process, therefore we are most prepared to navigate you through it. The strongest applications are completed by students who seek support both from our office and their faculty.
- Plan to make an appointment with CLBR via Handshake over the summer and by the September internal deadline, as stated in the internal application directions.
- When you have any questions, email CLBR at email@example.com or call our office number anytime. There are no bad questions, and if we think it would best be handled in an advising appointment, we'll tell you.
- Reach out to the people who you plan to have write your recommendations sooner rather than later and read our advice on asking for recommendations. Check in with them regularly and provide drafts of your essays. Plan to have conversations with them about why you want to apply to Fulbright and how it contributes to your goals.
- Begin the online application soon to familiarize yourself with all sections of the application.
- For arts programs, keep in mind that applicants must additionally submit examples/portfolios of their artistic work. See the Fulbright guidelines for this requirement.
Avoid putting off work till the day of or day before the deadline. Try to commit time every week throughout the summer to work on your internal application. The national deadline is in October, and you’ll want to have your application relatively finalized by September to avoid juggling classwork and application work once fall semester begins.
Ensure you are completing all steps for each internal and national deadline. While CLBR is eager to support you if any issues arise that prevent you from submitting your internal application materials, Fulbright is not. Their website states:
“Online application system closes at 5:00 P.M. ET. Applications that are not fully submitted by the stated national deadline will not be accepted. Applicants encountering technical difficulties in uploading documents or submitting their application, particularly in the hours prior to the deadline, and who did not successfully complete the submission process will not be considered in the current application cycle. NO EXCEPTIONS.”
- The Fulbright program has recordings and live webinars which cover every aspect of the external application process.
- CLBR has recorded Q&A sessions and advice on our Youtube channel about Fulbright.