Many countries do not require a high level of fluency in the host country language because projects to these countries can typically be completed in English. Nevertheless, developing a hospitality or basic level of proficiency (which most applicants can obtain between applying and starting a grant) is highly recommended in order to successfully complete your program and to survive comfortably while abroad. Also, we strongly advise reading the country summaries (available online at https://us.fulbrightonline.org/thinking_country.html and in the program brochure) to identify the host country language requirement, so that you can begin to prepare as early as possible. Keep in mind that for certain languages there is the possibility of language training or study grant. Click here for more information on the Critical Language Enhancement Awards, and click the country summaries for language training opportunities.
Take a look at the videos on the website. The videos feature Fulbright Commission Directors and Fulbright alumni offering advice to future applicants. They are a good preliminary resource when you’re thinking of applying. The videos are located throughout the ‘THINKING OF APPLYING’ section and the ‘HOW TO APPLY’ pages.
Fulbright U.S. Student Alumni Database
Our online directory of alumni is searchable by the following criteria: first name, last name, U.S. institution through which a former grantee applied, home state, field of study, country visited and/or grant year. This is a valuable resource for learning what types of projects have been funded in your chosen country since 1993.
Where to Get Help
There are numerous resources that you can use in preparing a Fulbright application. If you are currently enrolled at a U.S. institution, consult with your on-campus Fulbright Program Adviser. If you are applying at-large, or if you are enrolled and want specific information, we encourage you to contact the appropriate regional Program Managers at IIE (https://us.fulbrightonline.org/contact_us.html). Before calling, we suggest that you fully review the information about the prospective country. We also encourage you to attend an IIE Guidance Session for students or participate in one of the webinars focused on a world region and featuring returned grantees and program staff. One webinar will be conducted specifically for those applying in the arts. Lastly, do you have a friend, colleague or professor who received a Fulbright grant? One of the best resources to use when thinking of applying are Fulbright alumni who can provide useful information about their experiences. Remember, however, that if past grantees did not conduct their program in the same country to which you will apply, their advice may not necessarily be as useful to your potential application.
Choosing a Host Country
Country/regional competitiveness may play a role in determining the country to which you finally decide to apply, but a good rule of thumb is to choose the country that best suits the nature of your project and provides the necessary resources for successful project completion. The Fulbright selection committees look for well-prepared applicants who have compelling reasons for applying to a specific country and a feasible project for the grant timeframe for that particular country.