eligibility requirements

Initially launched after the WWII as a diplomatic instrument, the Fulbright International Scholar Programme presents absolutely funded scholarship to younger professionals aspiring to check in america

27 October, 2022, 10:45 am

Final modified: 27 October, 2022, 10:49 am

Infograph: TBS


Infograph: TBS

The Fulbright International Scholar Programme is among the many scholarships Bangladeshi college students aspire to get of their pursuit to check in america. 

Nonetheless, most candidates usually get confused as a result of they both do not need sufficient details about the programme or have an excessive amount of of it. 

On this notice, this text makes an attempt to dispel any misinformation relating to the Fulbright Programme. The Enterprise Customary additionally consulted with two latest Fulbright awardees to hunt steering on behalf of the potential candidates.

What’s the Fulbright Programme

The Fulbright Programme is among the many fully-funded scholarships supplied by the US Division of State’s Bureau of Academic and Cultural Affairs (ECA). 

[Other scholarships include the Global Undergraduate scholarship, the Study of United States Institute (SUSI) scholarship etc.]

The programme was initially launched after the second world battle by former US senator J William Fulbright as a diplomatic instrument to bolster ties between the US and different international locations. Initially, the aim was to introduce Western beliefs to a few of the greatest and brightest minds coming to the US from totally different elements of the world, and in addition permitting US college students to be taught extra about their tradition and historical past. 

The programme presently operates in additional than 55 international locations. Other than the Fulbright International Scholar Programme, the US State Division additionally presents scholarships beneath the Fulbright International Language Instructing Assistant Programme, Fulbright Instructing Excellence and Achievement Programme, Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Programme, and so forth. 

The Fulbright International Scholar Programme is obtainable to younger professionals and lecturers belonging to a variety of fields starting from schooling, well being and medical sciences, organic and bodily sciences, social sciences and humanities, enterprise, economics, city planning, environmental research, public administration and so forth.

If chosen, Bangladeshi college students can pursue a Grasp’s diploma (PhD programme has been discontinued) within the US. The Fulbright Programme then negotiates with universities – ideally, these most well-liked by the scholars – to get them absolutely funded scholarships. 

What does it take to get a Fulbright scholarship?

So far as the US Embassy is anxious, a candidate ought to ideally be an expert with appreciable expertise in academia – whether or not as a lecturer at a college or an entry-level researcher at a analysis organisation, suppose tank or NGO.

“The Fulbright programme is seldom awarded to a brisker even with a rare tutorial portfolio. The programme normally seems for professionals with not less than two years of expertise in academia,” stated Tazrian Shahid.

Tazrian Shainam Shahid is a former awardee from Fulbright’s cohort 2020-21. She presently works on the College of Liberal Arts as a lecturer. Tazrian had round ten years of expertise working and educating earlier than she utilized for the programme.

Yasin Shafi is from the identical cohort as Tazrian. He accomplished his Grasp’s in Public Coverage from the College of Michigan (Ann Arbor) beneath the Fulbright Programme. 

Yasin agreed with Tazrian’s evaluation that accumulating adequate work expertise was key to entering into the Fulbright Programme. However different facets can work to your benefit as properly. 

For example, Yasin additionally had a stellar CGPA as an undergraduate scholar in Growth Research on the College of Dhaka. When requested in regards to the significance of CGPA, Yasin stated, “CGPA is as necessary as it’s for any grad college admission – I believe. I do not need to advocate a ballpark determine. The vary of CGPA will range relying on the college, self-discipline, and programme. Grad college functions are normally assessed holistically.”

” CGPA might be a robust sign, however work expertise, sturdy essays and letters of advice are additionally crucial. All of them want to inform a coherent story in favour of the applicant,” he added.

Tazrian additionally believed that prioritising just one side is unlikely to land you a Fulbright scholarship. 

“There have been individuals who had higher GMAT scores or had higher profiles per se than I did. However I realised throughout the interview course of that they had been searching for your entire bundle: somebody with cheap tutorial excellence, adequate work expertise and the flexibility to mirror the visions of the programme,” she stated.

Though not all the time important, GRE or GMAT scores or different language proficiency assessments like IELTS, TOEFL, and so forth, can complement your profile. 

“There’s an anti-standardised check motion within the States. However many colleges nonetheless ask for GRE/GMAT scores or another language proficiency check scores. So, it is perhaps clever to take these assessments anyway. It additionally indicators your intent to go overseas for increased research and may assist you to get chosen for the programme,” stated Yasin.

Curiously, for those who get shortlisted for the Fulbright Programme, you’ll be able to attend these assessments once more at their expense to spice up your possibilities of entering into higher-ranked universities.

Other than CGPA, letters of advice and work expertise, Tazrian additionally urged potential candidates to concentrate on two issues: a robust, sincere and personalised assertion of goal and a assured interview.

“Make it possible for your assertion of goal is just not generic and it displays your ardour for what you need to research, why you need to do it and the way getting the scholarship would assist obtain your objectives,” stated Tazrian.

As soon as the preliminary software course of is accomplished, the Fulbright choice committee calls the shortlisted candidates for an interview. Tazrian believed it was necessary to venture confidence in these interviews.

“Like everybody else, I had no concept whether or not I might get chosen for the programmes. However once I went for the interview, I projected that I used to be assured about getting the scholarship and informed the interviewers what I might do as soon as I received it,” stated Tazrian.

Each awardees really helpful candidates to be affected person as your entire choice course of for the Fulbright Scholarship may be fairly taxing in addition to time-consuming. 

“I utilized for the scholarship in early 2019. I needed to look forward to roughly a yr to search out out that I had been chosen,” stated Yasin.

“Whereas the wait can usually be nerve-wracking, don’t attempt to straight get in contact with the schools by yourself. When you have questions, politely ask (e mail) the admission committee in control of the scholarship,” he added.

How troublesome is it to get the scholarship?

Fairly troublesome, to be sincere.

“Whereas different programmes can supply fully-funded scholarships to greater than twenty college students (Chevening), Fulbright in our cohort awarded the scholarship to solely six college students. So it goes with out saying that Fulbright is extra aggressive than different programmes,” stated Yasin.

Given Fulbright Programme’s authentic goal as a diplomatic instrument, the problem arises from Bangladesh’s relative geopolitical significance to the US in comparison with its regional neighbours like India and Pakistan. 

Furthermore, Bangladesh doesn’t have a Fulbright Fee like India or Pakistan. In lots of international locations, the governments additionally contribute to the programme which may enhance the variety of awardees from their nation. The GoB doesn’t contribute to the Fulbright Programme. 

Additionally it is value mentioning that due to the identical geopolitical elements, Bangladeshi college students might need to expertise some discrimination when it comes to the advantages acquired in comparison with Fulbrighters from different extra ‘necessary’ international locations.

Is it value going by means of all the difficulty?

It is dependent upon your priorities.

In case you are solely searching for a Grasp’s diploma and don’t need to calm down within the States, a Fulbright scholarship may simply get you in your approach. However if you’re trying to settle overseas or searching for a PhD programme, there could also be higher options.

“By way of advantages, the Fulbright Community as a platform, can get you in contact with Fulbrighters from totally different elements of the world, in addition to Fulbrighters from the earlier cohorts. Most of them have already or will doubtless maintain necessary positions sooner or later. For instance, lots of the Fulbrighters have gone on to win the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer prize, and so forth,” stated Yasin.

Extra importantly, the Fulbright programme, on the finish of the day, is a fully-funded scholarship programme and college students, belonging to middle-class or upper-middle-class households, can vastly profit from it.

“I’m grateful to Fulbright for permitting me to check on the College of Michigan. With out Fulbright, I might most likely not be capable to go there,” added Yasin.

However the Fulbright programme additionally requires candidates to return dwelling for not less than two years after finishing their Grasp’s diploma, barring any particular waivers for work of PhD. Meaning, in case your aim is to calm down and purchase everlasting residency standing within the States, Fulbright won’t be for you.

Within the case of a PhD programme, most US grad colleges would make you undergo the coursework once more, barring some waiver that you just did throughout your Grasp’s diploma. Basically, you could have to do two grasp’s earlier than even qualifying for the PhD programme.

This is the reason Yasin really helpful PhD aspirants push for the F1 visa and get straight admitted right into a grad college, assuming they really feel assured sufficient to take action. 

Supply hyperlink