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If you are interested in an academic year abroad right after graduation, either studying at a university or teaching English, a Fulbright Grant may be just what you are looking for! It can be anywhere in the world, not just Europe!
There are many different types of Fulbright awards, but the programs of interest to Hope College graduates are the Comprehensive Grants, which support you for a year of study at a foreign university, and the English Teaching Awards (ETA) which place you at a high school or high schools to teach English as an assistant part time.
- To look at the various opportunities, check out the Fulbright web site.
- Follow this link to the Fulbright page that has a complete (and most current) link to the Student Program Brochure PDF (actually a book).
For Comprehensive Grants, students propose a project that they conduct at the foreign educational institution, and are given basic travel and living support to carry out their project. You specify the location.
For Teaching Awards, grantees usually teach about 15-20 hours a week, mostly assisting a teacher in the classroom (i.e. not actually being the teacher). The rest of the time awardees usually work on the language, travel and 'hang out'. You select the country, but that country chooses your placement location.
Hope professor, Lee Forester, had a 2-year Fulbright award in Austria Vienna as a graduate student. He taught about 10-15 hrs a week whenever school was in session (which wasn't that often) and otherwise hung out, finished his dissertation, traveled extensively and got married in the process. It was a great experience for him!
To apply for a Fulbright Grant, you must be:
- A US citizen
- A recent graduate or graduate student
- In good health
Because this program is quite competitive, your academic credentials should be good. A GPA of 3.5 or higher is advised, though we did get an award for a student with a lower GPA who made it as an alternate.
You also must be ready to spend a LOT of time on your application, writing and refining your essay, your project proposal and discussing it discussing it with faculty advisors. It is quite doable but not a project to be taken lightly or at the last minute if you want feedback.
If you're interested in a Fulbright, you should spend some time at the Fulbright web site.
Here are a few files that may be of interest:
As you will see, some countries are more competitive than others. A competitive application will have an excellent personal essay, a defined, feasible and interesting project proposal, strong letters of support and will target a country where you have a reasonable chance (England and Australia are TOUGH!).
Please see the timeline above for May and September.
If you would like feedback on your application before the on-campus interview process begins ( and this is very advisable), you are strongly advised to work with Professors Gibbs and Maiullo during the Spring semester. We provide stipends to faculty who work with you, so please don't be afraid to ask for this one-on-one help. We generally find that students who wait until September to begin the process will submit substandard (and often ultimately unsuccessful) applications. The most important pieces to submit for feedback are your Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement. These should be e-mailed in Word format. Please visit Fulbright's 'Academic Application Components' web page for details.
Then you sit on your hands and wait until the spring (April - June) to find out whether you got an award or not!
This program is offered by the US Dept. of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs and Administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers:
Updated: January 16, 2018
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