What is a Fulbright Scholarship?

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is 140 different programs funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Fulbright Commissions and U.S. Embassies throughout the world. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program encourages academically curious, culturally engaged students who represent the diversity of our country – and of U.S. academic institutions – as student diplomats throughout the world. In general, all Fulbright programs are the following:

  • The Fulbright award is for an academic year. That academic year could be the US academic year (generally August to May) or the academic year of the host country. It may be possible to extend your award for a second year, upon invitation from the host country’s Fulbright Commission.
  • It is a fully funded grant. You will receive a stipend that will allow you to live a comfortable student life in your host country, plus round-trip airfare, health insurance, and basic support services from the Fulbright Commission in your host country. The dollar amounts vary from country to country.
  • It is based on the principle of cultural exchange. The main goal of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is to encourage cultural exchange between citizens of the United States and citizens of the host country. Knowledge of the language of the host country is strongly encouraged where it is practical.
  • It is nationally and internationally prestigious. A Fulbright award can take you places after your program ends. Past UMBC recipients of the Fulbright award have been admitted to nationally prestigious medical schools like Johns Hopkins, as well as top-ranked graduate programs such as SAIS, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and New York University, among others. An award is a great stepping stone for the next part of your life, be it educational or professional.