Fulbright Program

  • DC


United States

About Us

The U.S. Government's flagship international exchange program - active in over 155 countries - for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Program History

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

Approximately 310,000 "Fulbrighters," 116,900 from the United States and 192,800 from other countries, have participated in the Program since its inception over sixty years ago. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 new grants annually. Fulbright Program grants are competitive and merit-based.

Currently, the Fulbright Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.

Program Funding

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

The Congressional appropriation for the Fulbright Program in fiscal year 2010 was $253.8 million. Foreign governments, through binational commissions or foundations abroad, contributed approximately $68.5 million directly to the Program in fiscal year 2009.

Program Administration

ECA administers the Program under policy guidelines established by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FSB) with the assistance of binational commissions and foundations in 50 countries, U.S. embassies in more than 100 other countries and cooperating agencies in the United States.

ECA is responsible for the U.S. government's overseas educational, cultural and informational programs.

The FSB, composed of 12 educational and public leaders appointed by the President of the United States, formulates policies for the administration of the Program, establishes criteria for the selection of candidates and selects candidates nominated for awards.

Binational commissions and foundations develop priorities for the program, including the numbers and categories of grants. In a country without a commission or foundation, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy develops and supervises the Fulbright Program. Currently, 50 commissions are active, most of which are funded jointly by the United States and the respective government. Each commission or foundation has a board, composed of Americans and citizens of the participating nation.

Fulbright programs are administered with the assistance of cooperating agencies. U.S. citizens interested in the Fulbright Program should contact the cooperating agency that administers the grant program in which they are interested. Foreign citizens interested in the Fulbright Program should contact the Fulbright Commission or Foundation in their home country or, where no commission exists, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy.