Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is a program of educational grants (Fulbright Fellowships and Fulbright Scholarships), founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright, and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, governments in other countries, and the private sector. The program was established to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.

The program was created through the efforts of Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, who promulgated its passage through the US Senate in 1946. It is considered one of the most prestigious award programs and it operates in 144 countries. More Fulbright alumni have won Nobel Prizes than those of any other academic program, including two in 2002.

The Fulbright Program provides funds for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools abroad. The initial reach of this program had been primarily European countries, and now the program operates worldwide.

The program is administered by 51 bi national Fulbright commissions, US Embassies, and cooperating organizations.

Its first participants went overseas in 1948, funded by war reparations and foreign loan repayments to the United States. Today, it is funded by Congressional appropriations and funding provided by partner governments. The program also receives important in-kind and financial support from academic institutions, foundations, and the private sector.

In the 60 years since it was created, over 250,000 individuals have received Fulbright grants - over 100,000 Americans and over 150,000 citizens of other countries. These individuals have established into over 150 national or sub-national alumni organizations.

Fulbright grants are administered by several organizations, including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Education, the Institute for International Education and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.