Skip to main content

About the U.S. Student Program

fulbright in south africa

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program expands perspectives through academic and professional advancement and cross-cultural dialogue. Fulbright creates connections in a complex and changing world. In partnership with more than 140 countries worldwide, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers unparalleled opportunities in all academic disciplines to passionate and accomplished graduating college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals from all backgrounds. Program participants pursue graduate study, conduct research, or teach English abroad. 
During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences.  The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, individuals will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.
Please note that U.S. citizenship is a requirement for all awards offered through the U.S. Student Program. 
Explore the different opportunities through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program below to find the right award for you!

Open Study/ Research Awards

The Fulbright Study/Research Award is the traditional award opportunity where a candidate designs a proposal for a specific country. Applicants for study/research awards design their own projects and will typically work with advisers at foreign universities or other institutes of higher education.

English Teaching Assistant Awards

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program places grantees in classrooms in a country to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETAs help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. The age and academic level of the students varies by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level. The ETA Program welcomes students from all academic backgrounds and is not exclusive to aspiring educators. 

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award (DDRA)

The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Program provides 6-12 months of funding for doctoral candidates to immerse themselves in dissertation research abroad. The Program is designed to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the United States by providing opportunities for scholars to conduct research abroad.

For more information, visit the Fulbright-Hays Collab Page.

Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship

The  Fulbright–National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship is a special add-on program for U.S. Fulbright students; it provides a unique platform for grantees to develop global narratives and discuss commonalities across borders around a common issue or theme. Trained, supported, and mentored by National Geographic Editors during their grants, grantees will use new media platforms to help build ties across cultures while enhancing mutual understanding. The content that they produce will be featured online in various places, including, most prominently, a blog hosted by National Geographic.

Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships In Public Health

The Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships are offered through a partnership between the Fulbright Program and the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). These awards were established to promote the expansion of research in public health and clinical research in resource-limited settings. The Fogarty International Center, NIH, will provide support to the research training site and may provide orientation for the fellows at the NIH. In addition, NIH will provide a pre-departure orientation for selected Fellows in Washington, DC. 
 To participate in the Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships in Public Health, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen and:
  • Be enrolled in graduate or medical school. Applicants who hold a doctorate are ineligible.
  • Have sufficient proficiency in the host language to carry out the project required.
Other basic requirements and process for applying for the Fulbright-Fogarty Program are the same as for any Fulbright U.S. Student Study/Research Grant.

Critical Language Enhancement Award

The Critical Language Enhancement Award (CLEA) promotes the Fulbright Program's goal of cross-cultural exchange and dialogue through language study. The experience grantees bring home after their CLEA and Fulbright grant will serve them in their chosen careers and throughout their lives. CLEA provides U.S. Student grantees to typically receive three to six months of intensive language study in their host country as an enhancement to their Fulbright grant. Language instruction providers and duration of individual programs are subject to change and vary by eligible country. CLEA is offered to students once they have been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student grant which requires that they use one of the eligible languages for their Fulbright project and beyond.

Fulbright Taiwan English Teaching Flagship (ETF) Award

The Fulbright Taiwan Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (FSE) is proud to collaborate with Taiwan’s Ministry of Education (MOE) in presenting the English Teaching Flagship (ETF) Awards Program. This initiative is aligned with Taiwan's bilingual policy, with a strong emphasis on both Chinese and English proficiency. This award offers educators an incredible 11-month journey in which participants will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Taiwanese communities, teaching and enriching the lives of local students. The award includes monthly stipends, round-trip airfare, settling-in allowances, national health insurance, and one month of free housing.
The University of California system is affiliated with this program, so applicants from UC campuses are considered highly competitive.
In addition to U.S. citizenship, applicants must possess at least one of the following:
  • Previously received a Fulbright ETA or ETF award
  • Currently teaching English in Taiwan or other countries
  • Have at least one year of English teaching experience either via the Fulbright or another program (i.e. JET)
  • Have a master's degree in TEFL or an English-teaching-related major
For more information about the program and application process, please read the ETF promotional flyer or visit review the 2024-25 Grant Application Cycle. Please note that applications are accepted on a rolling basis regardless of the deadline.

Apply for a Fulbright through UC San Diego

UC San Diego supports aspiring Fulbrighters at every stage of the application. Below is some important information and resources to start your Fulbright journey!

First Steps and Support for Applicants

It is never too early to start preparing for a Fulbright! UC San Diego supports applications for current UC San Diego undergraduate students, graduate students and alumni within two years beyond graduation. 
By applying through UC San Diego, applicants receive the following support:
  • One-on-one advising with the UC San Diego Fulbright Program Advisor.
  • Peer support from a current cohort of UC San Diego Fulbright applicants.
  • Option to Enroll in a Fulbright Course held during Spring Quarter to receive academic credit for work on your Fulbright application.
  • Access to UC San Diego resources such as the OASIS Language Arts Tutorial Service (LATS) for guidance on writing statements of grant and personal statements.
  • Application review and feedback by Fulbright alumni at UC San Diego.
  • Mentorship opportunities with Fulbright alumni, including mock interviews and networking events. 
To start the process and get connected, contact UC San Diego's Fulbright Program Advisor today! 

Fulbright Application Timeline

Fulbright awards typically correspond to an academic year, starting in Fall and ending the following Summer. The application cycle and process starts one year prior to the award cycle. Below is an outline of expectations and deadlines:
October to February
  • Attend info sessions and workshops offered throughout the academic year. Applicants will be invited to these activities directly or they will be posted on the Fulbright Webinars and Events page. 
  • Contact UC San Diego's Fulbright Student Advisor for an initial one-on-one advising session.
  • Attend Fulbright Day, UC San Diego's signature Fulbright event.  
  • Enroll in Fulbright Course for Spring Quarter (Optional).
  • Identify potential institutions and affiliates and begin making contact (if applicable).
  • Review application components and plan your process. 
  • Meet with Fulbright Program Advisor. 
  • Solidify institutional affiliation (if applicable).
  • Identify recommenders.
  • Outline statements of grant and personal statements. 
  • Revise and complete statement. 
  • Secure letters of recommendation and affiliation letters.
  • Meet with Fulbright Program Advisor. 
  • Submit application materials for UC San Diego internal deadline. 
  • Schedule feedback session with UC San Diego Fulbright Review Committee. 
  • Submit all application materials in Fulbright portal by agency deadline.
Once applications are submitted, the Fulbright Program will contact applicants in late January or early February to inform them if they are semi-finalists and provide details on the next steps in the process. Finalists are announced in April. 

Fulbright Resources

The Fulbright Program offers a robust resource library, including dozens of webinars on award types, the grantee experience and the application process. Watch these webinars and explore the resources available to learn more about Fulbright and set yourself up for a successful application!


fulbright logo

Fulbright Student Webinar

This session from the 2021 virtual Fulbright Day contains information for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in a Fulbright award to study, teach, conduct research, enroll in a graduate program and more! You can also review the PowerPoint presentation as an additional resource.

Writing Workshop

This special session from the Virtual Fulbright Day 2021 provides useful tips and tricks for students on how to write a high-quality and competitive Fulbright application. You can also review the PowerPoint presentation and the one-pager that details how to best tackle the Fulbright application personal statement. 

What is Fulbright?

Watch this informative video on the mission and purpose of the Fulbright Program.

I Am Fulbright

Fulbright welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and identities to showcase to the world the rich diversity that exists in the U.S.

Why Should You Apply to Fulbright?

Hear from Fulbrighters firsthand on why you should consider a Fulbright.