Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Senator J. William Fulbright, PhD
Senator J. William Fulbright, PhD

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. CGU students may apply to conduct a project relevant to their dissertation after their Ph.D. coursework through a research grant, teach English after finishing a Master’s program through an ETA grant, pursue a further graduate degree at a foreign university through a study grant, or participate in one of Fulbright’s specialized student grant programs.

Fulbright fellows are immersed in the culture and daily life of the country of their choice while promoting mutual understanding between cultures. Award benefits include round-trip transportation to the host country, a stipend to cover room, board, and living expenses, and accident and sickness health benefits. Some grants may include additional funding for study and research, including language study and full or partial tuition.

Award Descriptions

Fulbright awards offer a year of independent research, study, or teaching English in host countries all over the world. Recipients also engage with their host country communities through formal or informal activities. To get started, watch these great tutorials by the Fulbright Program and begin to explore the variety of programs offered by various host countries. Application requirements and award details vary by country. To search by award type, try this new search option.

The Research or Study Grant

Research grants support independent research projects that are designed by applicants with advanced collaboration and connection with an institution or group in the host country. Many universities in host countries pre-register their interest in accepting researchers for these grants; if an applicant wants to work with a professor or group that is not listed, reaching out for collaboration on a Fulbright is a common part of the process. These grants are ideal for Ph.D. students whose research projects would benefit from being conducted abroad. Research grants are also given in the performing arts for artists in many modalities who design a project to create work in a host country.

Study grants are opportunities to attend classes or pursue a degree or internship in a host country. Sometimes these can be combined with research grants. Such opportunities are listed in advance on the Fulbright website. These grants are opportunities for master’s students to pursue further study at a foreign university after graduation or for doctoral students to pursue study that relates to their Ph.D.

The English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Grant

ETA grants send grantees to a host country for a year to teach English and U.S. culture in a classroom or community setting. Applicants are not able to select their setting beforehand, so grantees may teach at any age level. Many host countries do not require previous ESL experience and also provide preparatory courses.

Application Process

Applications for all awards are completed through Fulbright’s website portal. All awards ask for a statement of purpose, a personal statement, recommendations, transcripts, and responses to short answer questions on how you plan to apply what you have learned in the future, amongst others. Research and study applications also require an affiliation letter. Research grants in the performing arts have further requirements. Prompts differ across awards, so review the components carefully.

Funding: Grantees receive round-trip transportation to the host country, room, board, living expenses based on the cost of living in the host country, and health benefits. Depending on the host country and project, research allowances, tuition, and trainings/orientations may also be included.

Eligibility: Successful applicants must be U.S. citizens, not hold a Ph.D., meet the country-specific language requirements, and submit a satisfactory Certificate of Health. If applying for a study grant, applicants must be accepted into the host university via their usual application process.


If asked to write a recommendation for a Fulbright applicant, it is vital to prioritize the applicant’s ability to carry out the proposed project or teaching assignment. Research/study grants require a traditional letter while ETA grants pose five questions that home in on an applicant’s ability to successfully teach in a different cultural setting. Fulbright provides tips and instructions for both research/study and ETA recommenders.