By Moa Golster
An information session for Fulbright Scholarships during common hour on March 20, drew nearly 20 students to the Kahn Discovery Center. The scholarship for study, research, and teaching assistantships abroad is available for graduating seniors, graduate students, early-career professionals, teachers, and creative and performing artists.
For all students who wish to go abroad after graduation, and add some prestige to their resumes while doing it, the Fulbright Scholarship is a great opportunity. The scholarship offers two types of grants: a Research/Study grant, and an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA). The first includes doing research, study, or art projects abroad; the other helps teach English and U.S. culture in another country. Dr. Glynis Pereyra, LIU Post Fulbright Program advisor and assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts, explained that experience is valuable to students who wish to teach, and that tutoring is a great opportunity to gain some expertise in the field.
The Fulbright Scholarship was created by Congress in 1946, and is granted by the U.S. Department of State. Through the years, the Fulbright Program has had a large number of notable grant recipients who have gone on to occupy key roles within government, academia, and industry.
In order to be eligible, you have to be a U.S. citizen and have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent by the start of the grant. Since the preparation and application process is long, juniors are permitted to apply, but only through the LIU Post campus Fulbright Program Advisors. Many host countries also require exchange students to be proficient in the language of that country.
The Fulbright Scholarship offers a monthly stipend, accident and sickness coverage, and a round-trip airfare. Other potential benefits may be offered depending on the country a student is going to. These include dependent support, research allowance, tuition, language lessons, enhancement activities, and disability-related accommodations.
The four general qualification requirements of applicants are: high level of academic and/or professional achievement, demonstrated leadership ability, sufficient language proficiency, and a well-developed feasible project. This might sound overwhelming, but if a student is weaker in one area and stronger in another, “it will balance out,” Pereyra said. “No one should feel discouraged by that.
The application should consist of a cover letter (CV), a short essay including a statement of grant purpose, a foreign language evaluation (developed by a Post language professor), references, and transcripts. A research/study application should also include an affiliation letter from an advisor in the host country, while an arts project application should include supplementary materials such as a portfolio.
“Many students are intimidated by the process, but it’s really not that bad,” Pereyra said. She explained that a lot of students don’t complete their applications for this reason, and that you have a great chance of getting the scholarship if you do.
Fulbright applications are to be submitted to the campus Fulbright Program Advisors by September 9. A second information session about the scholarships will be scheduled later this spring.
Pereyra and Joan Ruckel, fellow Fulbright Program advisor and administrative assistant of the College of Liberal Arts, encouraged all students to take the chance and apply for the scholarship, explaining that it is a great personal and professional experience.
For more information, visit us.fulbrightonline.org/home.html or contact the campus Fulbright Program advisors: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.