Fulbright-Schuman European Union Affairs Program
Number of recipients
In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities.
Conduct policy-oriented research that addresses topics of common importance for the US-EU relationship and/or EU affairs and that is tenable in one or more EU Member States.
Candidates are welcome to submit applications affiliated with any appropriate institutions, including European higher education institutions, governments, non-profit organizations and think tanks. Proposals should demonstrate a clear link to Europe and the European Union and be more suitable to the Fulbright Schuman Award than to binational programs. As such, preference is given to applicants who can make a strong case for the supranational nature of their research. Candidates are responsible for arranging their own placement, including letters of invitation from any host institutions.
In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars will be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities.
European Union Member State(s)
The ability to affiliate with multiple host institutions and divide up the grant among multiple EU Member States often draws candidates to the Fulbright-Schuman Program, but the decision to spend time in multiple countries comes with additional logistical challenges. Proposals will be considered both from candidates who plan to be based primarily in one Member State as well as candidates who will divide their time between host institutions in two or more EU Member States. Candidates planning to be based in only one Member State should ensure that their proposed research still demonstrates a pan-European perspective. On the other hand, candidates planning to divide up their time in multiple Member States should address the feasibility of these plans and should consider visa requirements for the countries involved. As long as candidates can prove that their research is better suited to the Fulbright Schuman Program than to a binational exchange program, the Fulbright Commission in Brussels no longer gives preference to candidates who propose to be based in multiple member states.
Grants will be considered for a minimum of three months and a maximum of nine months, with preference for projects of a one-semester (i.e., four to six month) duration. Grants must occur between September 2023 and June 2024. Grants running through August 2024 will only be considered if the project requires this flexibility and the host institution confirms support for the summer months.
Although applications are accepted in all fields of study, relevance to US-EU relations, EU policy, or EU institutions is crucial. Project proposals should focus on observing comparative perspectives on issues of common concern (either US-EU or with reference to EU policy). Proposals may address topics such as agricultural and environmental policies, asylum and migration, development, energy, EU enlargement, the EU and NATO, finance, human rights, human trafficking, internal and external security, justice and home affairs, peace-keeping, public health and trade. This list of topics are examples, but not exhaustive.
Areas of study must relate to European Union competencies and not merely "Europe" or the countries of Europe. Proposals that focus on only one or two European countries and do not demonstrate a “European added value” will not be considered. In 2023-24, preference may be given to candidates who propose projects based at least partially in Central or Eastern Europe.
Candidates are strongly encouraged to provide an invitation letter from a host institution in every country in which they wish to do substantive research. Candidates do not need to provide letters of invitation from institutions to which they plan to conduct only short research stays. The Fulbright Commission in Brussels is not able to assist candidates in securing letters of invitation.
In addition to traditional research scholars, postdoctoral candidates and higher education administrators looking to exchange best practices with their European counterparts are also welcome to apply. Professionals such as policy-makers, policy analysts and researchers at think tanks, non-profit organizations (NGOs), associations, learned societies, foundations, decision-makers at state or federal government offices and individuals in industry or the media with relevant professional experience are also encouraged to apply.
Applicants should note that the responsibility of obtaining a visa (both for the grantee and for any dependents) lies with the applicant, not Fulbright Commission staff. Grantees should therefore carefully look into visa issues in advance and allow plenty of time for the application process.
$3,387 per month (3000 EUR)
(Note: Grant will be awarded in euro; USD value may fluctuate.)
One-time travel allowance of $2,264 (€2,000 - for grantee only).
(Note: Grant will be awarded in euro; USD value may fluctuate.)
Before and during the grant period, the successful candidate will be supported by the Fulbright Commission in Brussels as well as the Fulbright Commission or local U.S. Embassy in the country or countries where they are based. Grantees are incorporated into local programming, including in-country orientation, cultural activities, and alumni associations.
All participants in the Fulbright Schuman Program will be invited to join Fulbright grantees from across Europe at the annual Fulbright Seminar on the European Union and NATO, hosted by the Fulbright Commission in Brussels, in February 2024. Highlights of the annual seminar include visits to the European Court of Justice, the European Commission, the U.S. Mission to the EU, and NATO Headquarters. Past participants have also had an opportunity to learn more about the culture and history of Belgium and Luxembourg through tours of Luxembourg City, Brussels, and Bruges as well as visits to the Bastogne War Museum and College of Europe. The Fulbright Commission will cover the cost of participation in the seminar as well as the cost of travel from the host country to/from Brussels.
Experiences from Past Fulbrighters
"As a physician researcher who works closely with vulnerable populations in the United States, I was interested in comparing and contrasting the legal entitlements and practical barriers faced by undocumented migrants in both Spain and Italy, two countries that have experienced a large influx of migrants over the past decade. The Fulbright-Schuman European Union Affairs Program was the perfect fit for me since it is designed to support research across two (or more) different European countries." - Dr. Renee Hsia, 2019-2020 Fulbright Schuman Scholar
"I was interested in studying the changes to the EU’s restructuring framework and the effects on businesses and member states. My Fulbright Schuman Grant allowed me to visit institutions in Spain and Italy and conclude at Oxford University, where there is a critical mass of premier scholars in the field. The program offered me research opportunities that were impossible otherwise." - Samir Parikh, 2018-2019 Fulbright Schuman Scholar
"The Fulbright Schuman award was the best opportunity for me because of the breadth of the program (combining technology and policy in my instance), the affiliation with the Commission in Brussels as a conduit to several EU countries, and the ideal length of the award at 4-6 months. I was able to scope a multicountry research project and observe EU-level processes, all accompanied by my spouse and young children. This program matched my multidisciplinary background, and opened up doors across nations that I am still benefiting from." - Micah Vandegrift, 2018-2019 Fulbright Schuman Scholar
Final grant amounts will be determined prior to the start of the academic year and are subject to the availability of funds. The United States Department of State and the Fulbright Commission in the host country reserve the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.
The Fulbright-Schuman European Union Program offers grants for policy-oriented research proposals that address topics of common importance for the US-EU relationship and/or EU affairs and are tenable in one or more European Union Member State(s).* Proposals are invited in a wide range of fields relevant to US-EU relations, EU policy, or EU institutions. In addition to traditional academic scholars, professionals such as policy-makers, policy analysts and researchers at think tanks, non-profit organizations (NGOs), associations, learned societies, foundations, decision-makers at state or federal government offices, and individuals in industry or the media with relevant professional experience are also encouraged to apply.
Fulbright-Schuman awards include: the Fulbright-Schuman Distinguished Scholar at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, the Fulbright-Schuman Postdoctoral Award at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (see awards in Italy.), the generalized Fulbright-Schuman European Union Affairs Program, and the Fulbright-Schuman Innovation Award.
Fulbright Austria offers up to 27 awards, including two research awards, 21 teaching awards with research options, one distinguished teaching award, and three artist-in-residence awards. The great majority of awards are anchored at specific Austrian institutions and correspondingly dedicated to host institutions' specific fields of interest, ranging from natural and life sciences, engineering, and business and economics to the social sciences, arts, and humanities.
In recent years, Austria has established itself as one of the top-ten destinations for Fulbright US Scholars, a success which is largely due to the excellent partnerships the Austrian Fulbright commission has built with institutions across the country. As enthusiastic supporters of the Fulbright program, Austrian institutions are excited to welcome US scholars to their campus and expand their professional networks.
Please note that Austrian institutions will be on summer break from July 1 until September 30. If you contact faculty and staff, please consider that turnaround times will potentially be longer as of early July.
Fulbright Austria (the Austrian-American Educational Commission) evaluates proposals in terms of their potential to fulfill the program's mandate of promoting mutual understanding between the peoples of Austria and the United States. Proposals for flexible combinations of teaching and research will be evaluated for their scholarly excellence, comparative approaches, bilateral relevance and potential for establishing or enhancing institutional relationships. As a rule, the quality of an applicant's proposal is more important to the Austrian-American Educational Commission than the academic rank of the applicant.
For an estimated overview of the cost of living in Austria, please visit: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/country/austria. No dependent support is available. For further information on life in Austria, please visit the US Embassy Vienna's website at https://at.usembassy.gov/ and the Austrian Embassy Washington's website https://www.austria.org/overview.
Prospective applicants may contact the Austrian-American Educational Commission for advice or further information about the application process.
Franziska Brunner, Scholar Program Officer, Austrian-American Educational Commission (Fulbright Austria):
Address: Fulbright Austria, quartier21/MQ, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna, Austria
To view the alumni who have awards to Austria, please visit Fulbright Austria's website at https://www.fulbright.at/programs/in-austria/scholars.
Bulgaria offers up to five Fulbright US Scholar awards (3-5 months), open to all disciplines.
What is life like in Bulgaria?
The benefits of life in Bulgaria include a breathtaking countryside, a relaxed lifestyle, friendly people, cheap prices, and delicious food. Bulgaria is generally a peaceful and safe country, and the local population is proud of the country’s long history and holds education in very high regard, which results in a good number of opportunities for collaboration.
“Founded in the 7th century CE, Bulgaria is one of the oldest states on the European continent. It is intersected by historically important routes from northern and eastern Europe to the Mediterranean basin and from western and central Europe to the Middle East. Before the creation of the Bulgarian state, the empires of ancient Rome, Greece, and Byzantium were strong presences, and people and goods traveled the land with frequency. Emerging from centuries of Ottoman rule, Bulgaria gained its independence in the late 19th century, joined the losing side of several conflicts in the first half of the 20th century, and, after gravitating toward the Axis powers in World War II, found itself within the close orbit of the Soviet Union by mid-century. This alliance had profound effects on the Bulgarian state and psyche, altering everything from land use and labor practices to religion and the arts. As communist governments fell in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Bulgaria was suddenly released from the USSR’s sphere of influence and drifted into the uneasy terrain of post-communism. Today its gaze is firmly fixed on the West: Bulgaria became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004 and of the European Union (EU) in 2007. The members of the EU engage in the bulk of Bulgarian trade. Like other nations of the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria claims a mix of Eastern and Western cultures, and the mingling is evident in its cuisine, its architecture, and its religious heritage” (adapted from Encyclopædia Britannica).
Bulgarians are joyful people and they like to celebrate, so don’t be surprised by the many holidays in the calendar; come celebrate with us!
Fulbright Scholars in Bulgaria
As a Fulbright scholar in Bulgaria, you can engage in a variety of activities – teaching, research, professional project, or a combination of any of those. We are flexible regarding the timing of your grant, and we accept affiliations outside of academia. We work closely with many institutions of higher education, research think tanks, NGOs and international organizations, and we will be happy to put you in touch with those relevant to your work and interests. During your grant period, the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission will be there to help you settle into your Bulgarian life. We organize an orientation in the beginning of September, a mid-term meeting in January, and a wrap – up seminar in June. If your grant start date doesn’t coincide with those events, Fulbright Bulgaria staff will set up an individual meeting after your arrival to discuss aspects of living and working in the country and to answer any questions you may have. We also strive to provide a cultural/educational program for scholars and students every month; we share information and invitations from partner organizations that may enrich your stay in the country, and we support our scholars’ in-class, extracurricular, or community engagement activities in a variety of ways. We help you liaise with colleagues and give guest lectures at other institutions in the country (or in another European country through the Fulbright Inter-Country Travel Program).
Fulbright Bulgaria has also established ways to help grantees obtain local phone/mobile data services, local bank accounts, and negotiate with local schools to allow children to audit classes taught in English. Scholars arriving with children can enroll them at their own expense in a private international school, or, as the usual practice goes, children continue their studies at their US school online, but join some classes at a Bulgarian public school (free of charge) to meet Bulgarian peers, dive into the rich culture and learn new Bulgarian words. Bulgaria is known for its ability to successfully prepare students thoroughly in subjects such as math, history, arts, languages and literature, biology, chemistry, and others.
General information about Bulgarian higher education and the academic year:
Higher education in Bulgaria is provided exclusively by colleges and universities. In accordance with the Higher Education Act, universities are all self-governing and autonomous institutions.
Currently, we have 51 acknowledged higher schools which under the Higher Education Act are state owned and private, including universities, specialized higher schools and self-contained colleges. The academic year is divided into two semesters and typically covers 32 academic weeks. The exact date of the academic year is set by the respective institution, but usually the start of the first semester is in the beginning of October, and the second semester starts some time in February (for the American University in Bulgaria, semesters start in August and January). Educational degrees conferred are Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD. More information on structure, admission and cycles of higher education in Bulgaria can be found at https://www.euroeducation.net/prof/bulgaco.htm
Bulgaria is actively working on building an appropriate environment for modernizing the higher education system, considering the demands of society and businesses. Good practices are continually being studied and disseminated, and Fulbright scholars’ contributions to curriculum development or exchange of best practices are always appreciated.
Fulbright Bulgaria is happy to support not only traditional scholar awards in academia, but also professional projects that may lead to long-term collaborations or will have a significant impact for the participating parties or the respective sector. We welcome specialists with established professional careers in a variety of fields – journalism, law, business, political science, hard sciences, environmental sciences, arts, etc. who are willing to engage with local institutions for the realization of a specific project that also has an educational, training, or cultural enrichment focus.
For more about Bulgaria, please watch the following video: https://youtu.be/esT3KbwgjGg
US Scholars Testimonials - https://youtu.be/pHK2LgjnDyw Throughout 2021, the US State Department, Fulbright Commissions, U.S. Embassies, and other Fulbright partners and supporters are celebrating the Fulbright program’s 75th Anniversary with a wide and varied range of activities taking place around the world. This film was created for this occasion to showcase the talent of Fulbright Bulgaria alumni in the arts: https://youtu.be/FuB4K6WKY0A
Choosing Croatia for your Fulbright grant offers you the chance to work in the European Union’s newest member state and enjoy life in a beautiful country with a historically rich culture. Croatia, located in the center of Europe, declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, making it one of Europe’s youngest nations. Croatia joined the European Union in July 2013. The capital, Zagreb, has all the characteristics of a historic and modern central European city. Zagreb is a university center — home to some 40 graduate and undergraduate institutions and over 80,000 students. Zagreb University opened in the latter half of the 17th century and is one of the oldest universities in Europe. The cities of Split, Zadar, Osijek, Dubrovnik, Koprivnica, Varazdin, and Rijeka also have universities. There is also the American College of Management and Technology (ACMT) in Dubrovnik and Zagreb, which is linked to the Rochester Institute of Technology as well as a growing number of private universities focusing on business and tourism.
Fulbright grantees in Croatia select from a variety of programming that includes an in-country orientation program, invitations to Embassy events, and opportunities to participate in educational programs and activities around Croatia. There are five American Corners in public and university libraries in Croatia – in Zagreb, Zadar, Osijek, Vukovar, and Rijeka. The Embassy encourages and facilitates Fulbright grantees' participation in American Corner programs. Croatian alumni of exchange programs and institutions are eligible to compete for small grants through the Embassy's Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs), and Fulbright grantees often work with host institutions and partners to propose follow-on projects.
Croatia is rich in cultural programs, culinary events, and outdoor activities. Most major cities boast summertime cultural and food festivals and winter advent holiday markets. Zagreb won the award for the best advent market in Europe for the past three years. Rijeka is a 2020 European Capital of Culture and will offer a series of cultural events and activities. The Adriatic Coast is famous for its Mediterranean landscapes and climate. Istria, the peninsula just south of Trieste in Italy, offers many lovely weekend getaways only a 2-3 hour drive from Zagreb. Dalmatia is Croatia's most famous vacation area. Historical relics abound in towns like Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik. The walled city of Dubrovnik in southern Dalmatia is often called the Pearl of the Adriatic and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Northern Dalmatia boasts a number of gorgeous coastal cities such as Zadar and Šibenik. A warm current flowing north along the coast keeps the climate mild. The ocean temperature is warm enough for swimming until the end of September and beginning again in May. From Zagreb it is easy to explore and enjoy other European countries, with Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, and Germany just a short drive away.
The academic year runs from October until June with semesters running from October until January and March until June. Research grants are for 3-5 months; teaching and teaching/research grants are for 1-2 semesters during the academic year. Preference is given to one-semester grants. English is sufficient for teaching; research grants require language fluency commensurate with the requirements of the proposed project.
Cyprus, an island in the eastern Mediterranean with an area of 3,572 square miles, is half the size of New Jersey, and twice the size of Rhode Island. It lies only 40 miles from Turkey at the nearest point, 500 miles southeast of mainland Greece, and 100 miles west of Syria. With a culturally rich and historically complicated heritage spanning over 8,000 years, Cyprus is a fascinating country to conduct research, both historical as well as modern.
At the present time, Cyprus is divided into two areas. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) controls the southern two-thirds of the island, which is populated largely by the Greek Cypriot community. The ROC does not exercise effective control over the northern one-third of the island, which is administered by the Turkish Cypriots. Between the two areas is a buffer zone, also called the "Green Line," which is patrolled by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and is a restricted travel area. The Green Line runs through the center of Cyprus’ capital, Nicosia, and is the only divided capital city in Europe. However, despite the political division, the island is generally very peaceful and is often referred to as a point of stability in a sea of regional turmoil. In May 2004, Cyprus became an official member state of the European Union. Cypriot-led, U.N. facilitated efforts to reunify the island continue and are supported by the United States.
Despite its location, Cyprus is in many ways oriented towards the West. It has been a crossroads of diverse civilizations and cultures throughout its history, and as a member of the EU on its easternmost border, continues to be so. Cypriots generally speak excellent English, are used to meeting people from other countries, and take interest and pleasure in associating with them. Cyprus enjoys sunshine virtually year-round.
The Fulbright Scholar Program provides grant opportunities to American and Cypriot scholars to exchange ideas and views, participate in collaborative research activities, and enhance each country's discipline and cultural knowledge.
Please note that priority will be given to applicants who do not hold dual Cypriot/U.S. citizenship.
Fulbright Alumna Amy Grant, hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Cyprus School of Law, both taught undergraduate students and led professional development workshops on numerous topics related to emerging technology and law. While on her grant, she regularly contributed to both local and regional EU programs, seminars, publications, and policy trainings. Here she is being interviewed on the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation's radio program: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=622381571854998&ref=watch_permalink.
Situated in the very heart of the European continent, the Czech Republic boasts a rich history and proud people. From Bohemia in the west to Moravia in the east, ancient castles and monasteries grace the landscape, together with beautiful forests and mountains. Yet the Czech Republic’s true dynamism comes as much from its modern people and culture as from its historical features. The Czech Republic is one of the most prosperous of the former communist states, having privatized much of the economy since becoming a democracy under Vaclav Havel in 1989. Its education system is of world-class quality. The country’s higher education system consists of over 25 public and more than 40 private universities and colleges placed in Prague and other major cities of the Czech Republic.
The academic year is from mid-September through May or June, scholars coming for the first semester or whole academic year are expected to participate in the in-country orientation in September. The length of the fall semester for teachers is three to four months. Second semester begins in February and usually lasts four months, the scholars coming for the second semester are expected to participate in the mid-year conference at the very end of January. Applications are welcome in all disciplines. For lecturing, preference may be given to subjects related to the United States, and to applicants who will assist with curriculum and program development at their host institutions. Affiliations are possible with a variety of academic institutions, but opportunities also exist for collaboration with public officials and professionals at other institutions.
Housing opportunities differ in various places. Grantees are encouraged to ask their hosts for assistance while searching for suitable accommodation. There is no special housing allowance, nevertheless the monthly stipend easily covers adequate housing options. Local resources are available in the Handbook for US grantees on our website https://www.fulbright.cz/en/grantees-and-alumni/current-grantees/
Medical care provided in the CR is of high quality and the insurance provided by ASPE covers almost any treatment needed. Most physicians are competent and are able to communicate in English. Expats ocassionally use services of private clinics, where all the staff is completely fluent in English. Private insurance may be accepted at these clinics. If you have U.S. medical insurance, call your insurer and ask about overseas coverage and requirements.
Generally, the Czech Republic is counted among 10 safest countries in the world. The Fulbright Commission encourages families to participate in the program. Numerous private (relatively costly) international schools and kindergardens are available in major cities. The Fulbright Commission does not provide any tuition allowance. Local schools (free of charge) can be an option especially for grantees coming for the whole academic year.
Applicants are encouraged to view the Fulbright Commission's website for current information about programs and practicalities of living in the Czech Republic. Consultations are welcome at email@example.com.
Booklets of current and former US grantees are available on our website https://www.fulbright.cz/en/grantees-and-alumni/current-grantees/ For their shared experiences and reflections see our blog http://czechfulbright.blogspot.com/ To stay updated about activities of our grantees join the community of Czech Fulbright on facebook https://www.facebook.com/czechfulbright and instagram https://www.instagram.com/czechfulbright/
One of the world’s oldest monarchies; twice named the happiest people on earth; highly developed public welfare system; bicycle culture; green energy; many traditions and great modern design - But Denmark is so much more! Why not apply for a Fulbright Scholar grant to Denmark and come see for yourself?
Higher education began here in 1479 with the creation of the University of Copenhagen and the culture it engendered has produced Tycho Brahe, Hans Christian Andersen, Soren Kierkegaard, Niels Bohr, Karen Blixen, Johannes V. Jensen and countless others.
Denmark is very design and energy conscientious with its windmill industry, focus on renewable energy, innovative solutions, and clean simple lines in classic creations.
Take a moment to imagine yourself as a Fulbright scholar in Denmark living amongst a population that consistently ranks above average on OECD’s Better Life Index in environmental quality, civic engagement, well-being, personal security, and a great work-life balance. Denmark offers a relaxed and friendly, yet pragmatic and modern lifestyle.
During your grant period, Fulbright Denmark will be there to help you settle into your Danish life. Fulbright Denmark will arrange for three meetings during the academic year; an Arrival Orientation in early fall, a seminar and Thanksgiving Dinner in November, and a Wrap-Up Seminar in spring. Should you arrive outside of these meetings, Fulbright Denmark staff will set up an individual arrival meeting and provide you with the same information. Fulbright Denmark works closely with all institutions of higher education in Denmark and can be your broker into the Danish educational system and culture. Fulbright Denmark urges you to make use of its knowledge while you are contemplating or planning to apply for a grant to Denmark.
There are eight research-based universities in Denmark: University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, Roskilde University, University of Southern Denmark, Aalborg University, Copenhagen Business School, IT University of Copenhagen, and Technical University of Denmark. There are also a number of mid-level institutions all over Denmark. These are called University Colleges, Academies of Professional Higher Education and they may best be compared to U.S. community colleges. There are also national artistic programs of higher education offered under the Danish Ministry of Culture.
Most of the higher education in Denmark is public and regulated by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. These are some of the degree programs offered in Denmark: Academy Profession programs (2 years), Professional Bachelor’s programs (3-4 years), Fine Arts programs (3-4 years), University study Programs (Bachelor’s (3 years) and Master’s (2 years), PhD programs (3 years). You can read more about the degree programs on the Ministry’s website, specifically The Danish Higher Education System and the Ministry of Culture.
General information about the Danish academic year:
The fall semester runs from the end of August or beginning of September to approx. December 20. January is exam month. The spring semester runs from the beginning of February to approx. May 20. Part of May and June are for exams. There is a one-week fall break in mid-October and another at Easter. Fulbright Denmark will not consider grants for the summer semester.
There are ample opportunities to liaise with colleagues and give guest lectures at other institutions in the country, and to participate in the Fulbright Inter-Country Travel Program with guest lectures in other European countries.
Estonia is a small Northern European country that has embraced new technologies and has seen tremendous development since regaining independence in 1991. The country may be best known as the birthplace of Skype, but since then many other start-ups founded here have gone global like Bolt, Wise, and Pipedrive. Estonia’s vibrant and innovative start-up culture is part of the reason it ranks among the most wired and technologically advanced countries in the world and is a leader in promoting Internet freedom. Most recently, Estonia has become a leader in providing e-government services, online voting and is now even offering e-residency.
The capital city, Tallinn, has been selected repeatedly as one the world’s most intelligent communities, and in 2011, it was the European Capital of Culture. Tallinn’s medieval Old Town is brimming with charm and is full of restaurants, cafes, and cultural activities. Estonia’s belief in free speech contributes to its high freedom of press rankings. In 2021, Reporters Without Borders put the country 15th in its World Press Freedom index. In 2024, university city Tartu will become the European Capital of Culture.
Estonia has six public universities--all of which are home and host institutions to Fulbright participants. Additionally Estonia has one private university, five private professional education institutions, and eight state professional education institutions. Interesting insight into Estonia is provided in this online magazine, while information about Estonian culture can be found here. You can read about the experience of one 2018-2019 U.S Scholar in Narva, Estonia here. More about the higher education structure in Estonia can be found at the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research page.
The academic year runs from September through June with January and June usually being reserved for examinations; there is also a two-week winter holiday. Teaching is in English and opportunities exist for research, especially in collaboration with Estonian scholars. Applicants should contact Fulbright staff at the U.S. Embassy in Estonia for information about individual awards before applying.
English language education for dependents is available in Estonia in Tallinn and Tartu. In recent years, the Fulbright Program has been unable to provide tuition assistance for English language private schools.
For further information, please contact Public Engagement Specialist at the Public Affairs Section, Jane Susi (SusiJ@state.gov) at the U.S. Embassy in Estonia.
Dawn Edminston (Fulbright Scholar in Tallinn, 2021) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhonda Petree (Fulbright Scholar to Narva College of the University of Tartu in 2019) - email@example.com
Brenda Morton (Fulbright Scholar to University of Tartu in 2018) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Hunt (Fulbright Scholar in Tallinn, 2021) – email@example.com
The general country landscape
Finland is a Nordic country the size of California located in northern Europe, and is part of the European Union. It is rather sparsely populated (5.5 million people) and has extensive nature: forests, coastline and lakes.The six largest cities host approximately 60% of the population; urban environments are closely linked to nature. It is a country that has a well-organized and efficient society. The general infrastructure, both public and private services, is considered very effective. Well run public services such as transportation, police, education and healthcare are fundamental and highly regarded parts of the society. The arts and design, cultural life, nature and sports are highly valued. Finland ranks as one of the world’s most stable nations and has been named one of the safest and least corrupt countries in the world, which makes it an easy place to live and travel in.
Finns believe strongly in equality and education, and the country is especially known for its effective and free education system. Finland has two types of higher education institutions: universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS). Finnish higher education institutions engage in world-leading research and offer high-quality academic programs. In relation to its gross domestic product, Finland invests more in research and development than almost any other OECD country. Finnish institutions and researchers are also among the most active scientific publishers in the world. Together with a welcoming and intriguing environment, Finland offers interesting opportunities for American researchers, teachers and professionals. English is widely used at the university level.
The academic year in Finland is based on a two-semester system. The official academic year starts on August 1 and ends on July 31. However, in the fall semester lectures are usually scheduled between September and mid-December, and in the spring semester between early January and May. Typically, there is no teaching during the summer and on public holidays.
Fulbright in Finland
Finland has a strong Fulbright program with a unique history. The program has an important role in supporting the internationalization of education and research in Finland, helping U.S. and Finnish institutions create linkages, and promoting a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts between Finland and the United States. The program has grown in recent years due to the close cooperation of the Fulbright Finland Foundation with Finnish universities, research institutions, governmental agencies and private foundations, as well as to U.S. and Finnish alumni contributions. Most of the program’s funding currently comes from Finland.
The Fulbright Finland Foundation (the Finnish Fulbright Commission) offers awards to U.S. teachers and scholars to teach or pursue research in Finland. The majority of awards are available to scholars in all disciplines, but some awards are limited to certain fields. In nearly all categories, housing is provided for the grantee.
Awards are also available for professionals for career development.
Candidates interested in applying for an award to Finland are welcome to consult the Fulbright Finland Foundation's website for more information.
The Fulbright Finland Foundation also provides information for Finnish institutions, which applicants are encouraged to utilize when contacting prospective hosts.
Read more about Finland:
Visit the Fulbright Finland Foundation to see grantees from previous years.
France has been the world's top tourist destination for over 25 years. Visitors come from all over to enjoy French cuisine, tour its famous museums and monuments, and explore its beautiful cities. More on French tourism and attractions.
The country has an excellent and accessible healthcare system, a high-quality public school system starting at nursery school, comprehensive public transportation and high-speed rail networks, and lively cultural scene.
France is also a key place to do research, teach, or pursue professional development. It is home to 72 universities, 227 engineering schools, 220 business schools, 45 state art schools, 22 architecture schools, and 3000 private institutions of higher education. Research is a high priority: 2.22% of the country's GDP is devoted to research and development. The CNRS (national scientific research council) produces the highest number of scientific publications in the world. More on reasons to choose France and the French research landscape.
Applicants can find useful practical information about life in France (housing, schooling, etc.) through free national Euraxess network.
Being a Fulbrighter in France
Fulbright France hosts two all-grantee events every year (orientation in September and mid-year meeting in February) in Paris. Fulbrighters gather together to get practical information, meet each other, learn about important issues in French society, and explore the cultural sites of Paris. There are also other activities on offer, including conferences, informal gatherings around a galette des rois or French cheeses, and concerts from Fulbright musicians.
Candidates interested in applying can visit the Franco-American Commission's website. For more detailed information, contact Charlotte Goodwin, Head of the American Section at the Franco-American Fulbright Commission, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quotes from Fulbright scholar alumni:
"My fellowship helped me establish new connections and cement existing research collaborations with French scientists and their students in a substantial way that will carry forward for at least the next decade. The program also gave me a new window into the graduate education of French students that I will bring back to my home institution and that will benefit them and future exchanges that will occur. Finally, the experience gave me, and my family a much more detailed picture and appreciation of France and its people with new insights into its history and prehistory, people, and society."
"I refer to this year as the 'magical year' because I was able to focus on my research, to make enduring connections with researchers based in France, to drastically deepen my ability to work in French, and to enjoy my daily life in a way I often find impossible while I’m in the midst of a full semester of teaching, administrative work, and meetings at my home institution. I came to better understand French academia and to build professionally meaningful relationships at my host institution. I was a citizen of a city, a member of an institution, and a speaker of a language in which I was immensely happy."
“The Fulbright program enabled me to develop several completely new avenues of research that would have been absolutely impossible without having this extended time to be in residence in my French host lab. On a personal level, Fulbright enabled me and my family to have a fascinating and immersive year in European culture that will especially benefit our kids for decades to come.”
Fulbright France has an active YouTube channel with many interviews of Fulbrighters past and present: https://www.youtube.com/user/ComFulbrightFR.
There is also a blog with posts from grantees: https://laureatscommissionfrancoamericaine.wordpress.com/
The Fulbright Commission in Germany will offer an online information session at a date to be determined, to answer any questions about the U.S. Scholar Program in Germany. Additionally, you can send any questions regarding life in Germany to email@example.com.
Germany has the largest population of any country in the EU. With close to 400 mostly public universities, 9,500 undergraduate and 6,800 graduate study programs, and a student population of 2.4 million, Germany is an excellent place to teach and conduct research. The German university system features four major types of institutions, and U.S. Fulbright scholars are highly welcome at all of them: Universitäten (traditional research universities); Fachhochschulen (universities of applied sciences, usually not offering Ph.D. programs); Berufsakademien und Duale Hochschulen (cooperative programs integrating bachelor studies with workplace training); and Research Institutes such as Max-Planck and Fraunhofer.
German higher education institutions maintain partnerships with 5,000 universities in 150 different countries, many of which take place in the European Higher Education Area, a consortium of 48 countries that have harmonized their higher education structures to increase the academic mobility of their students, faculty, and staff (Bologna Reforms). Additionally, most German universities maintain long-lasting partnerships with one or more U.S. institutions of higher education. Given Germany´s strong interest in maintaining close relations with the U.S., many universities wish to expand their transatlantic networks, discuss strategies and ways to strengthen transatlantic exchange in higher education, and seek new U.S. partners for collaborative initiatives in teaching and research. Additionally, several German-American cultural institutes welcome the contribution from U.S. Fulbright scholars, and offer opportunities for guest lectures. The German-American Fulbright Commission works with almost all accredited and recognized institutions of higher learning in both countries, and sets high quality standards for the selection and sponsorship of excellent scholars and administrators in higher education.
In the Scholar Program, Fulbright Germany is particularly interested in research and/or teaching proposals based on comparative approaches and issues. Whether researching, teaching, or consulting on course design/curriculum, the specifics of the arrangement should be coordinated directly with the prospective host institution. Fulbright Germany gives preference to academic and professional excellence; the originality and innovativeness of the project; its relevance for the academic community; and significance and match with the host affiliation. Fulbright Scholars should have strong reasons for wishing to pursue the proposed project in Germany. The invitation should also include a description of the host’s interest in the applicant’s project, and how both sides will profit from the proposed engagement. The quality of the invitation letter and of the institutional engagement proposed therein is an important selection criterion. For maximum outreach and impact, the project activities should take place when German universities are in session, i.e. during the core lecture periods, which last from early October until the end of January (fall term), and from early April until the end of June (summer term).
The goal of the Fulbright U.S. Administrators in International Education Program is a frank and imaginative assessment of how to deepen and expand transatlantic academic exchanges. Within this framework, the focus of this seminar is on internationalizing higher education, career services, fundraising, and network building. Participants will have the chance to engage in discussions on recent challenges in German and U.S. higher education, to further their professional development, and to exchange strategies on how to establish new partnerships.
The Core Fulbright Scholar Program is an important component of the Fulbright Foundation's mission to bring outstanding U.S. scholars from a wide variety of disciplines to Greek institutions of higher learning and state or private organizations in order to promote cultural and educational ties between the two countries through scholarly interaction and collaboration.
Grants are for individuals with a Ph.D. or a terminal degree and three to 10 years or more of appropriate professional experience. Grants are intended for either three months during the fall term (October – December) or three to four months during the spring term (February – June).
Applicants are encouraged to arrange affiliation(s) in Greece and submit letters of invitation indicating name/position of host and details on collaborating organization/institution. English is sufficient for teaching/lecturing; however, knowledge of Greek is useful. Information on Greek universities can be found at the Fulbright Foundation in Greece website.
Facts about Greece and the Greek Educational System are available here
U.S. Fulbrighters to Greece share their testimonies and impact of the Fulbright program Alumni Impact https://www.fulbright.gr/en/alumni/alumni-impact U.S. Alumni Speak https://www.fulbright.gr/en/alumni/us-alumni-speak
Hungary is a welcoming country that boasts rich cultural and educational traditions. Because the country has historically been the crossroads to many different cultures, our Fulbrighters will be able to witness these influences first hand. From Roman, Romanesque, medieval and neoclassical architecture, Turkish mosques and spas, an abundant art and music presence, and the diverse cuisine; there is sure to be something to intrigue everyone.
The Hungarian higher education system is part of the European Higher Education Area. The country has many well-known universities and research institutions with strong international connections, joint programs, and many international students. The Fulbright Program enjoys high prestige. The Fulbright Commission in Budapest organizes an extensive four-day orientation program for the newly arrived U.S. grantees. The orientation program provides an overview of Hungarian history, culture, and introduces grantees to current academic, political and practical issues. All through the grant period, grantees are regularly invited to participate in cultural enrichment programs. These monthly meetings, trips, cultural events and conferences offer interesting insights into Hungarian culture and different kinds of institutions, and also foster team spirit among our grantees. The Fulbright Commission in Hungary pays special attention to grantees with families; welcoming spouses and children too.
The academic year is from September to June. Semesters are four months in length. The fall semester starts in September, the spring semester in February. English language is sufficient for teaching and research in all fields. Over 400 study programs in English and other foreign languages are offered by Hungarian higher education institutions, see Study in Hungary
Applications are welcome in all fields. Please see specific awards for areas of interest. Affiliations with Hungarian state-run institutions are preferred. Dual affiliations may be possible.
English language schools (pre-K-12) are located in Budapest only. In major cities, there are dual-language high schools where specific subjects are taught in English.
For more information about working and living in Hungary, please visit the following links:
Prospective applicants may contact the Hungarian-American Fulbright Commission for Educational Exchange for advice or for further information:
The Fulbright Experience:
Testimonials of former U.S. grantees to Hungary:
Learning about a City through its literature, a Fulbright professor's testimonial in 2019:
The Fulbright Commission in Ireland seeks and encourages the involvement of people from diverse backgrounds in all its grants, and is particularly welcoming of applicants from under-represented institutions and ethnicities. Fulbright Alumni cite the following bonuses in coming to Ireland: English-speaking; very welcoming; family-friendly; safe; intellectually challenging in a good way; culturally rich and diverse; and accessible. Please see the Commission’s Coming to Ireland page and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page for more information and resources.
Ireland is a friendly, engaging and vibrant country with centuries of U.S. interaction as part of its DNA. With a highly educated workforce, competitive educational system and millennia of culture, it is a popular choice for U.S. Scholar and Student applicants. The Irish Commission is particularly welcoming of applicants from under-represented institutions, ethnicities, etc. See more here and at I am Fulbright.
Higher education in Ireland is provided by eight universities, fourteen institutes of technology, colleges of education and a number of specialist colleges in art, law, music, public administration and theology. There are also a significant number of well-funded research centres see here and culture & heritage host options.
Most Irish colleges operate on a two-semester academic year: September to December and January to May. A small number of colleges and departments retain three trimesters: October to December, January to March and April to June. Further information on higher education in Ireland can be found here.
Most higher education institutions are supported by the Irish government; for example, universities and institutes of technology receive more than 90 percent of their income from the state. The Irish government has invested 2.5 billion euro establishing advanced centers of research, and world-class research facilities and programs that are an attractive destination for international exchange visitors.
The Commission annually offers Irish institutions an opportunity to contribute to the Fulbright Program through cost-sharing; these arrangements allow the Commission to increase the number of awards available and to maximize institutional involvement in the Program.
For academic year 2023-24, the Commission is partnering with eight Irish institutions who have agreed, in advance, to cost-share awards for U.S. scholars. In addition to the “All Disciplines” awards supported by the Commission, U.S. scholar proposals within this category will also be considered for cost-sharing by Irish host institutions.
Please contact the Senior Awards Manager at the Fulbright Commission in Dublin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program in Italy is open to scholars and professionals from all disciplines; preferences are indicated under individual award descriptions. Scholars may be invited to give occasional lectures or seminars at various Italian universities. Some of the awards offer free housing (paid for by the host institution), or a financial contribution to offset housing costs.
Preference for candidates who have not already had substantial experience (5 years or more) studying or teaching in an Italian university.
The academic calendar, which is usually divided into two semesters, is generally October to June. However, dates may vary depending on the university.
Entry Visas to Italy: Selected grantees must enter Italy on a study or, in some cases, a research visa covering the authorized length of the grant. Information about the two visas and their application process is available at the Italy Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The possibility of staying for longer periods and/or being accompanied by dependents is subject to the provisions and restrictions of Italian Law. Italian embassy and consulates are the sole authorities in matters pertaining to visa issues.
Basic Visa Information: U.S. grantees must apply for a Study Visa (D) at the Italian Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction in the State where they reside. The Commission will support their application with a letter that will be sent to grantees after they have signed the official grant authorization but will not be able to assist grantees in their application procedures.
Due to restrictions in the Italian Immigration Law, there are potential challenges related to the duration of grantee stay in Italy, and the visa and permit-to-stay for their dependents.
The requested duration of the grantee stay in Italy should not be much longer than the official grant period. In case of significant discrepancy (more than 30 days overall), the Consulate may reject the grantee's visa request.
Grantees who wish to be accompanied to Italy by their family dependents should be aware that the Commission cannot sponsor their dependents’ visas. Available options are:
1. Dependents may stay in Italy without a visa for 90 days
2. Dependents may enroll in an Italian language course and apply for their study visa (the Commission cannot assist in identifying the course, nor does it have the funding to allocate for this purpose)
3. Dependents could apply for a Ricongiungimento Familiare. The procedure entails that grantees travel to Italy on their own and once they arrive in Italy they must request a nulla osta per il ricongiungimento familiare. The nulla osta will be issued within 180 days from the request, which may exceed their grant length. Only then will dependents be able to travel to Italy to join the grantee and to apply for a permit to stay for ricongiungimento familiare
To view more about life in Italy, visit here: https://madeinitaly.gov.it/en/
For further information on the awards, contact Barbara Pizzella, Senior Program Officer at the Commission, at email@example.com.
Latvia is a small country on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Pine, oak, and birch forests cover about 44 percent of the country. Latvia is a member of NATO, the European Union, the United Nations, OSCE, and OECD.
There are 46 accredited higher education institutions; 27 are university/non-university type institutions (16 of them are government-funded and the rest are funded by other legal entities or private individuals), and 19 are colleges (11 state and eight private). Education levels are generally high.
The capital city, Riga, is the largest Baltic city and is located on the Daugava River, just nine miles before it reaches the Baltic Sea. The Old Town of Riga is its cultural heart and has retained much of its medieval atmosphere. The architecture ranges from Romanesque and Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque. Its harbor, airport, rail, and highway networks make Riga a major trade and commercial center for all of the Baltic countries. It is also known as one of the global leaders in Internet broadband. English is widely spoken and understood. A complete overview of Latvia can be found here.
The academic year is from the beginning of September to mid-June. The second semester begins in February. Teaching is in English.
Applicants are encouraged to contact potential host institutions to arrange their own affiliations. If necessary, the U.S. Embassy in Riga can help to arrange host institution affiliation.
English language education for dependents is available in Latvia. All public schools are free of charge and the language of instruction is Latvian except for ethnic minority schools, where the language of instruction is the native language and Latvian. In recent years, the Fulbright Program has been unable to provide tuition assistance for English language private schools.
For detailed information about specific institutional requests, please contact Embassy staff: Public Diplomacy Specialist, Ingrida Bodniece at Bodniecei@state.gov or Cultural Affairs Officer, Iris Willey at Willeyil@state.gov or Public Affairs Officer, Richard Damstra, at DamstraRD@state.gov.
Lithuania, the largest and southernmost of the three Baltic States, boasts a lively cultural and intellectual scene. It is a member of the European Union and a NATO ally. Because of the large Lithuanian diaspora, many Lithuanians have ties to the United States or experience living and working there. English is widely spoken and understood. Still, many Americans know little about Lithuania. Below are some misleading stereotypes about Lithuania that we wish to debunk as you consider applying to be a Fulbrighter in this great country.
History: Lithuania is a very young country.
Lithuania is in fact a very old country! Lithuanian lands were united in 1236; over the next century, through alliances and conquest, Lithuania extended its territory to include most of present-day Belarus and Ukraine. By the end of the 14th century Lithuania was the largest state in Europe. An alliance with Poland in 1386 led the two countries into a union through the person of a common ruler. In 1569, Lithuania and Poland formally united into a single dual state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This entity survived until 1795 when its remnants were partitioned by surrounding countries. Lithuania regained its independence following World War I but was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but Moscow did not recognize this proclamation until September of 1991 (following the abortive coup in Moscow). The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently restructured its economy for integration into Western European institutions; it joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004. In 2015, Lithuania joined the euro zone, and it joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2018.
Language: The Lithuanian language is a version of Russian.
Wrong! The Lithuanian language is one of the oldest and most archaic languages in Europe. It belongs to the Baltic language group (together with Latvian) and has always used the Latin alphabet.
Geography: Lithuania is in Eastern Europe and is land-locked.
Many call Lithuania an “Eastern European” country because of the former political division of Europe (behind the Iron Curtain or not). In fact, the geographical center of Europe is located 26 km from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The country is on the Baltic sea and is proud of its sandy beaches, large commercial seaport, cruise terminal, and coastal resort towns. The scenery is breathtaking and the forests enchanting. Lithuania is also rich in mineral water and fresh drinking water (you can drink straight from the tap!).
People: Lithuanians are very cold, unfriendly people.
Generally, Lithuanians may seem to be reserved, cold, and distant. The locals are naturally quiet which is sometimes mistaken by some as an unwelcoming attitude. It takes time to understand Lithuanians and make friends with them. But once you get to know the Lithuanians, you will see that they are friendly, warm, and nice people.
Safety: Lithuania is a dangerous country.
Lithuania is a relatively safe country with very little anti-American sentiment. However, visitors should take standard precautions, as in any other country. It is important to note that while the law prohibits discrimination against ethnic or national minorities, persons with disabilities, or discrimination based on sexual orientation, intolerance and societal discrimination persist. For more information on safety in Lithuania, we recommend you read:
We hope that answers some of your questions about the country and what life is like here.
Fulbrighters are advised to work with real estate agents to find housing based on grantees’ priorities. Sometimes host institutions can offer guest housing. In Lithuania, only furnished apartments are offered for rent. The prices you see in the advertisements are before the 15% personal income tax, so be ready to pay more. Internet access usually is not included in the rent, but is cheap. The deposit (advance payment) in Lithuania is approximately 2-3 months of the rent price. At the end of the rent period, the deposit is returned if an apartment is not damaged or there are no debts.
General education providers can be state or private. Current types of general education include primary school, pre-gymnasium or basic secondary school, and gymnasium. The general education system lasts 12 years and consists of the following stages:
Primary education: it is compulsory and lasts for four years, from ages seven to 11 (in exceptional cases from 6 to ten).
Basic secondary education: it is compulsory and lasts for six years (ages ten/eleven to sixteen/seventeen). Basic secondary education consists of two stages. The first stage is four years in duration (5th to 8th grades) and the second stage is two years in duration (9th to 10th grades, I-II grades in gymnasium). Basic secondary education is offered by basic secondary schools, pre-gymnasiums, and special schools.
Upper secondary education: it is available to everybody who has successfully completed basic education. It lasts for two years (ages seventeen/eighteen to eighteen/nineteen). Upper secondary education is offered by gymnasiums and special schools.
Higher Education is provided by state and private higher education establishments. The Lithuanian university system has three major types of institutions: Universitetai (research universities); kolegijos (cooperative universities with joint four-year bachelor’s and professional degrees); and research academies. The framework of the degree system in Lithuania is a four-year bachelor’s degree that is strictly discipline-based (no general education, no broad liberal arts curricula), followed by a two-year master’s degree in the same discipline. Doctoral programs are usually completed in four years. The nation's leading universities are located in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipeda. Academic exchanges between the United States and Lithuania started in 1992. Since then most Lithuanian universities have been seeking to establish long-lasting partnerships with one or several American institutions of higher education. The Lithuanian university system is embedded in European efforts to harmonize structures and improve the mobility and options for Europeans and Americans alike. The academic year is September to June, with the second semester beginning in February. Visiting lecturers conduct all teaching in English.
Schooling for dependents: There are four International baccalaureate schools in Lithuania Vilnius, Kaunas, Siauliai, and Klaipeda, and several schools with English as the language of instruction in Vilnius and Kaunas. At universities, studies in English are available together with international Erasmus program students at every university.
Lithuania has an extensive public transportation system. It is relatively cheap, reliable, and safe. It includes buses and trains. Each Lithuanian city has a single bus station where the most buses leave from. Buses between the main cities are very frequent, with Vilnius-Kaunas buses leaving each terminal station every 30 minutes. Bus routes connecting the main cities to regional towns run usually at least two to three times a day. If you go from one small town to another, it might be wise to connect through a larger city. You can buy bus tickets in advance on-line or in the bus station, however, it is also possible to acquire them from the bus driver. Many buses have We-Fi. Food is not served.
Lithuanian railroads are not on par with those in Western Europe. Before planning to go somewhere by rail, you should first check the map of Lithuanian railroads if both your origin and destination have a rail connection and whether there is a relatively straight route. Vilnius-Kaunas route is operated by modern double-decker trains that are significantly faster than buses. The comfort in buses and trains is about the same. There are no significantly different rail classes, but Vilnius-Klaipėda train seats are better than those on the shorter routes. Tickets are available on-line and in the train stations.
Lithuania has three international airports. Vilnius International Airport (VNO) is the largest one, frequented both by the regular and low-cost carriers. Kaunas International Airport (KUN) is a Ryanair hub with few other services. Palanga International Airport (PLQ) offers several routes to Scandinavian countries, London, and Frankfurt. All the Lithuanian airports are connected to the city centers and among themselves by public transport. Each of the Lithuanian international airports has a car rental facility within its arrival hall. Generally, Western Europe and Southern Europe are both well-served by air routes from Lithuania. A few Eastern European cities are also served but going anywhere beyond that (e.g. the Balkans, America or Asia) you'll need a transfer via such major European hub airports as Istanbul (Turkish Airlines, convenient for Middle East, Asia and Africa), Helsinki (Finnair, convenient for Asia), Frankfurt (Lufthansa, convenient for America), Copenhagen (SAS, convenient for Europe and North America) Warsaw (LOT, convenient for Europe and ex-USSR) or Riga (Air Baltic, convenient for Europe and ex-USSR).
Medical care in Lithuania has improved, but facilities may be limited outside urban areas and medical facilities do not always meet Western standards. For emergency services in Lithuania, dial 112 (English-speaking operators are available). Ambulance services are widely available, but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards. All foreigners of non-European Union countries seeking entry into Lithuania must carry proof of a medical insurance policy contracted for payment of all costs of hospitalization and medical treatment valid in the Schengen zone. For Fulbrighters, the Accident Sickness and Prevention (ASPE) policy covers this requirement, and they may opt to purchase other health insurance to cover other costs.
Fulbright grantees must apply for and receive a National D visa before departure to Lithuania. Navigate to https://visa.vfsglobal.com/usa/en/ltu. Follow the instructions to apply for the National a D-type visa, including filling out the electronic application form at https://visa.vrm.lt/epm/pages/applications/applicationEdit.xhtml and scheduling an appointment as soon as possible at the nearest VFS application center at https://www.vfsglobal.com/Lithuania/USA/schedule-an-appointment.html (all applications will then be forwarded to the Lithuanian Consulate in Chicago). All grantees must work with the host institution to get the invitational letter (mediation letter uploaded into the visa electronic system.
Additional information about Lithuania:
For additional information about Lithuania, Fulbrighters may wish to log on to www.inyourpocket.com and select appropriate city (e.g. Vilnius, Kaunas, Siauliai, ect.).
U.S. Embassy in Lithuanian website and Social Media:
Reflections by recent U.S. Scholars to Lithuania:
"I am confident that the relationships I formed in Vilnius will continue into the future in both planned and unplanned ways." - Kathryn Knapp, 2016-2017
"The opportunity to fully concentrate on professional development in an immersion environment is transformative. My Fulbright experiences have shaped major life decisions and directed my career in measurable and significant ways." Anthony Stellaccio, 2016-2017
"My Fulbright experience has opened an entirely new research and repertoire field for me. It also expanded my professional and social network. A new language acquisition for me and my family made us more sensitive to diversity in cultural and educational environments." San-ky Kim, 2015-2016
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is located in the heart of Europe, bordered by France, Germany, and Belgium. At only 999 square miles, the country is only about 80% the size of Rhode Island with a population of just over 630,000. Despite a strong national identity (its national motto, "Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn," translates as "We want to remain what we are"), the country's history as a founding member of the European Union can still be felt today in the small state's cosmopolitan outlook - not least thanks to the European Institutions, a remarkably diverse, multicultural population (nearly half of which are foreign!) and the multitude of European and international political and financial institutions it hosts.
Even with this international mindset, it is easier to get around the capital (114,000 inhabitants) than it is in Berlin or Paris. The distances are short. There is a lively nightlife scene around the fashionable bars of Hollerich, Grund and Clausen in the capital, or in the "Rockhal" and the "Kulturfabrik" at Esch/Alzette. Luxembourg's modern importance at the international scale lives hand in hand with history that dots its cities and countryside. The capital's Old Quarters and Fortifications have been designated a UNESCO world heritage site since 1994, and there are over 100 castles sprinkled across the countryside.
Luxembourg is a trilingual country -- its official languages are French, German, and Luxembourgish -- and while most citizens speak all three languages fluently, there is no shortage of resources available in English for Fulbright grantees and their dependents. During your period in the country, the Fulbright Commission in Brussels and the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg will provide support to help you get settled in your host country and experience the richness that Luxembourg has to offer. Throughout the year, we hold different events for Fulbright grantees, including an orientation meeting in the fall, a mid-year meeting in February, and other informal events such as a Thanksgiving dinner or visits to cultural events around Belgium and Luxembourg. Individual appointments with Fulbright staff are always possible to discuss issues as they come up throughout the year, or to provide key information before your arrival in Luxembourg.
The Fulbright Commission offers an award for a semester of research, teaching and combinations of teaching/research that are available for applicants in any academic field who are interested in joining a Fulbright program that prides itself on the research and cultural programming it provides. Scholars may present their research or give guest lectures throughout Europe via Europe's inter-country lecturer program, and they are often encouraged to assist the U.S. Embassy in Brussels with cultural lecturer requests. Applicants proposing research or teaching stays at a university should note that the academic calendar runs from mid-September through the end of January, and from February through mid-June. Applicants wishing to learn more about the Fulbright grantee experience in Luxembourg can read blog posts by previous grantees on the website of the Fulbright Commission in Brussels.
Overview of Visa Requirements
If staying in the Schengen Area for longer than 90 days, grantees to Luxembourg must apply for a Temporary Stay Authorization (AST) prior to departure and for a residence permit after arrival. Please note that although the Fulbright Commission provides assistance with the AST application process, the responsibility of obtaining the necessary travel documents lies with the applicant.
"I applied for this award because another U.S. professor highly recommended the University of Luxembourg as a terrific place to do research. I was also excited to apply for a research grant in a multi-lingual country I had never been to before." - Leandra Lederman, 2018-2019 Fulbright Scholar to Luxembourg
Malta promotes its strategic location at the crossroads between Europe and the Middle East and North Africa. The University of Malta, which is the only university on the island, attracts significant numbers of foreign students, including students from the Middle East and North Africa. The University of Malta has established three joint master's degree programs with U.S. universities, which not only are popular with Maltese and American students, but also attract significant numbers of third-country nationals. The Maltese government is committed to maintaining the excellent reputation the University of Malta enjoys as a world-class academic institution by increasing affiliations with U.S. universities.
The academic year is October through the end of June, with final examinations taking place during the months of May and June. Half-yearly exams are held in late January/early February. Grant duration is ideally for the whole academic year. If funding is limited, prospective grantees should be prepared to accept a one-semester grant. Language of instruction at the University of Malta is English. Maltese and English are official languages in Malta.
Malta enjoys a standard of living and healthcare facilities similar to those of other Western European countries. Costs for private medical treatment are significantly less than in other European countries and the United States.
ATMs are available in all localities. Local banks do not open accounts for foreign residents. Revolut is a very popular online banking site with an app that facilitates online money transfers and exchanges.
The Netherlands has approximately 55 institutions of higher learning; 13 of these institutions are universities where research is combined with teaching, the research universities. Degrees offered are bachelor's (after three years of study), master's (after one or two years) and Ph.D. Students working towards their Ph.D. are usually employed by their universities and combine teaching with dissertation research. Three universities, Delft, Twente and Eindhoven, qualify as 'technical' universities with their main focus on STEM fields. In addition, one university, Wageningen, specializes in the agricultural sciences. Furthermore, the universities of Nijmegen, Tilburg and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are denominational. The other six universities are broad 'classical' type of universities.
The level of research and study at Dutch universities is quite high and Dutch scientists publish widely and frequently. Most of the larger universities have created smaller undergraduate 'university colleges' with U.S. liberal arts colleges as their model, next to their regular undergraduate education. They attract a great number of students who are admitted selectively, while most Dutch students have the automatic right to be admitted to a university if they have the appropriate high school diploma.
The largest number of students in higher education in the Netherlands can be found in the so-called "hogescholen" (HBO) or universities of applied sciences. There are 36 hogescholen spread out over the country. A bachelor degree at a university of applied science takes 4 years. There are a limited number of HBO Master programs, they are more professional/practice oriented. Art academies and conservatories fall within this category of professional education. Most U.S. Fulbright Scholars are affiliated with a research university, however, affiliations with universities of applied science are also possible.
The Dutch academic year starts at the end of August or beginning of September and runs until the end of May or beginning of June. This may vary per institution. Tuition fees are low for Dutch citizens and citizens of EU countries, but are higher for non-EU students. As most universities do not have a campus or offer campus housing, most students live in the cities or commute. Teaching in English is common at Dutch universities; conservatories and art schools, in particular, have a high percentage of international students.
The Netherlands is a densely populated country, with good public transport and other amenities. In general, U.S. Scholars coming with children tend to enroll their children in either an international school or a bi-lingual school, which most major cities have. The Dutch tend to have a good work/life balance, where weekends and evenings are considered private time.
All applications from U.S. scholars must contain a teaching component. Fulbright Commission the Netherlands believes that teaching guarantees the best multiplier effect.
Some links with more information that may be useful:
A description of the Dutch educational system can be found on the website of the Dutch Ministry of Education.
More general information on a variety of topics can be found on this website.
The Fulbright Commission the Netherlands website can be found here.
Apply for a Fulbright grant to Poland - a modern country with a centuries-old cultural heritage and scholarly tradition, ample research and teaching opportunities, rich geographical diversity, low living costs and unique location in the heart of Europe!
With its picturesque old towns and medieval architecture, wild forests and powdery-sand beaches, humming city life and imaginative culinary scene, Poland is a country that is as captivating as it is surprising. Come and see for yourself!
Poland is the 9th largest country in Europe and the 6th most populous member of the European Union. The country shares borders with Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and Russia. Poland’s central location makes it a perfect base from which to explore the region. While living standards are comparable with those in Western European countries, the cost of living in Poland, even in bigger cities, is significantly lower (More information here).
Prior to your Fulbright grant, Fulbright Poland will invite you to a three day long Orientation in Warsaw, which typically covers topics such as the Polish culture and language, higher education, healthcare system and the specifics of your grant. Down the road you will have ample opportunities to bond and network with your fellow Fulbrighters and the Fulbright staff at events such as the Thanksgiving dinner, the November touch-base meeting, the Mid-Year meeting and the June Graduation. You will also have a chance to collaborate with experts from and beyond your host institution, as scholars may be invited to give occasional lectures in Poland and in other European countries participating in the Inter-Country Travel Program. Finally, throughout your grant period, you will have a dedicated Program Officer, who will oversee your stay in Poland.
In the words of one of our most recent U.S. Fulbright Scholar alumni: "Get ready to fall in love with this place. I’m serious. This is a wonderful country, wonderful people. Get ready for your expectations to be exceeded.”
Higher education and research institutions in Poland
Poland boasts about 350 diverse higher education institutions. These include universities, technical, agricultural, theological and pedagogical higher education institutions, medical universities, academies of physical education as well as higher education institutions of economics, arts and maritime studies. Polish higher education institutions provide a wide choice of 1st cycle, 2nd cycle and 3rd cycle studies as well as uniform long-cycle master’s programs, with about 900 programs offered in English.
Poland follows the Bologna framework of higher education, with a goal to facilitate comparability of qualifications and, as a result, student and academic mobility to and from other European countries. The quality of education and research offered at Polish higher education institutions is widely recognized and reflected in a growing number of international students representing over 170 countries.
Over the recent years, the number of R&D institutions in Poland has grown by over 60%. Currently, there are ca. 120 public research institutes and laboratories, and 79 establishments of the Polish Academy of Sciences, an independent state research institution with units all across the country. With the goal to enhance Poland’s commercial potential, research institutes have recently established “The Łukasiewicz Research Network", Europe's 3rd largest research network (source: Euraxess).
Currently there are three national funding agencies in Poland that support research activities and academic mobility - The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA), the National Science Center (NCN) and the National Center for Research and Development (NCBR).
The recent “Constitution for Science” reform aims to further improve the conditions for research and teaching excellence in Poland, encouraging sustainable growth of academic institutions, introducing doctoral schools and providing universities with more independence needed for effective management.
Basic information about the academic year in Poland
The fall semester (called winter semester in Poland) runs from the beginning of October through mid-February, with a Christmas holiday break of about ten days. The examination session typically takes place in January and February.
The spring semester (called the summer semester in Poland) runs from mid-February through June, with a week-long Easter-break. The summer break takes place between July and August.
About the Fulbright Program in Poland
In Poland the Fulbright Program was initiated in 1959, at the height of the Cold War. Poland was the first country in Eastern and Central Europe to participate in the Fulbright Program and to this day remains one of the largest and most vigorous in the region. Approximately 5000 American and Polish alumni have benefited from the program since its inception. Over 100 grants are currently awarded each year by the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission to both American and Polish grantees. We offer approximately 15 U.S. Scholar grants in the research, teaching and distinguished scholar categories.
Applicants are encouraged to view the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission's website for current information about program offerings, recent initiatives and program alumni. For any additional information, please contact the Commission's Program Officers.
Twitter: @Fulbright Poland
Instagram: @Fulbright Poland
"I had an amazing experience as a Fulbright Senior Scholar grantee to Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. It was a joy to work with my Polish students and colleagues, both in Poznań and through other connections that I made. The Polish Fulbright Commission couldn’t have been more helpful and supportive in my acclimation; I truly felt like I had a network of people who cared about my experience and made me feel at home. One of the best experiences of my life and career".
Professor of Theatre and Coordinator of Actor Training
School of Theatre and Dance
San Francisco State University
"Being a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Warsaw was a transformative experience where the scientific and cultural exchange continues to be an important part of my life. Poland is a beautiful, interesting country and living there made it possible to learn about its many facets, from its well-known music and theater to its national parks, in addition to gaining insight into its complex history".
Ph.D. Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Scripps College
Professor of Biology
W.M. Keck Science Department
Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges
"Being deeply moved by the number of students whose research interests centered on some aspect of American and more specifically African American culture, my fondness for Polish culture, and by my success as a lecturer and performer got me interested in extending my Fulbright Award through the 2013-2014 academic year".
Stan L. Breckenridge
Over the last decades, Portugal has seen remarkable progress in learning, science and innovation, reflected in the quality of education offered at Portuguese universities. Internationalization and academic mobility are one of the priorities of Portuguese higher education institutions, which are increasingly attractive to a growing number of international scholars and researchers. Warm hospitality, a great climate and an affordable lifestyle also make Portugal an enticing destination.
The academic year starts in mid-September or October, depending on the higher education institution. The fall semester ends in December and the spring semester starts in February and ends in May or June. In general, Portuguese faculty and students have good proficiency of English language; students can speak and understand enough to attend classes taught in English.
The Commission for Educational Exchange between the United States of America and Portugal - Fulbright Commission Portugal strives to be a collaborative and innovative organization and is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.
We seek to ensure that all our grants, programs and activities reflect the diversity of U.S. and Portuguese societies and are open to people regardless of their ethnicity, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. We work every day to build a culture of inclusiveness, respect for diversity, and understanding of the many differences that enrich the Fulbright Program.
Applicants requiring additional information and support are encouraged to contact U.S. Program Manager, Dora Reis Arenga (firstname.lastname@example.org), prior to submitting an application. Additional information regarding host institutions and details of the individual openings are available from IIE and the Fulbright Commission Portugal (www.fulbright.pt), in Lisbon.
Fulbright U.S. grantees are responsible for obtaining a Temporary Stay Visa to Portugal. The Commission can provide informal assistance but the Portuguese Embassy and Consulates are the sole authorities in matters pertaining to visa issues. Grantees should carefully look into visa information and start the visa application well in advance of travel.
For additional information about National Temporary Stay Visas or the Portuguese Republic's Consular Network in the U.S.A, visit the Diplomatic Portal.
Prospective applicants can find information about Fulbright U.S. Scholar alumni on the Commission's website: https://www.fulbright.pt/fulbrighters/u-s-grantees/.
Thanks to its historical circumstances and geographical position north of the Balkan Peninsula, on the Lower Danube River and bordering the Black Sea, Romanian culture is a unique mix of Central and Eastern European elements, with Roman, Greek, and Slavic influences.
Higher education in Romania has undergone deep structural transformations in the past decades, having changed from a state-controlled system before 1990 to a more competitive one with a larger number of students and growing research activities and presence in the international academic community. The quality of the higher education sector is expected to improve in the coming years due to legislated educational reforms and increased funding. Internationalization and academic mobility are becoming one of the priorities of Romanian higher education institutions.
The Fulbright Program in Romania
The Fulbright Program has been present in Romania since 1960, and it is highly appreciated and valued, as it brought durable changes on Romania’s path to progress and democratization, and profoundly influenced lives and professional careers, communities at large. Since 1960, over 3300 Romanians and Americans participated in these exchanges, benefitting from funding for graduate studies, research, teaching and cultural exchanges in general.
The Romanian-U.S. Fulbright Commission was inaugurated in May 1993 with the support of the American and Romanian Governments, following the bilateral agreement between the U.S. Department of State and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Applicants are encouraged to visit the Romanian-U.S. Fulbright Commission's website for current information on various grants, but also for updates, news and testimonials from our Fulbright grantees and alumni. For any additional information, please contact the Commission’s American Program Director Mihai Moroiu: email@example.com
U.S. Fulbright alumnus E. Patrick McDermott:
U.S. Fulbright alumna Amy Liu:
Slovakia is located in the heart of Central Eastern Europe with its capital Bratislava. The country has a rich European history and traditions, beautiful nature, high-quality culture and wonderful people. Slovakia has gone through interesting political development in last 30 years (the country itself was founded in 1993 by the division of former Czechoslovakia) and therefore offers wide possibilities for research in social, political and economic sciences.
Slovakia is a market-driven economy and its development is among the most successful of all Central European countries. It is fully integrated European country – member of the EU and NATO since 2004, member of Euro Zone since 2009 and its stable economy attracts foreign investors. The country is also a member of the Schengen zone, it is easily accessible and foreigners can enter not only through Bratislava or Košice airport but they can also fly to Vienna, a major international airport just 50 min drive from Bratislava. Some basic figures include (year 2021): average monthly salary € 1,239; average labor cost of € 1,702; unemployment rate of 7.9%; population of 5.4 mil.; GDP of 91.6 bil.; literacy is 99% and life expectancy is 80ys for females and 72ys for males (following website allow you to compare average prices of rent, activities, etc. in Slovakia to prices of your home city).
The higher education and research system is integrated into the European Education and Research Area. There are over 23 public and more than 10 private universities and colleges. The academic year starts September 1st and runs through end of August, divided into two semesters (summer and winter). Winter courses run from mid-September/ end September through Christmas break with exam period in January – mid/February. Summer courses start in mid/February through May with exam period in June.
Applications are welcomed in all disciplines. Scholars may teach independently or co-teach with Slovak colleagues and they are also invited to give lectures or participate in seminars. If an applicant prefers combining teaching with research, the time distribution can be agreed upon with the host institution. Assistance with supervising undergraduate and graduate student theses is welcomed. Language of instruction is English. They can also build potential linkages for future cooperation both on the student and faculty level. Applicants who do not have extensive academic or professional experience in Slovakia will be given preference. Affiliations are possible at a variety of academic and research institutions. Opportunities also exist for collaboration with public officials and professionals at other institutions. Double affiliations may be requested. An invitation letter is desirable, but the Commission can help arrange an appropriate placement.
Applicants are encouraged to view the Fulbright Commission’s website for current information on programs and information on living in Slovakia. Slovakia country information can be found on the EU Portal at https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/countries/member-countries/slovakia_en
The Republic of Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe, where the Alps face the Pannonian plains and the Mediterranean meets the mysterious Karst. It is a largely mountainous country, almost half of which is covered by forests. Cultivated areas with pastures, fields, vineyards, and orchards cover 43 percent of the country. More than one half of the population lives in towns, most of which date back to Roman times.
After more than 70 years of living inside Yugoslavia, almost 90 percent of voters opted for independence in the referendum held in 1990. Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004 and also became a member of NATO. It was the first of the new EU members to join the Euro in 2007.
Slovenia has a very well-developed network of cultural institutions, organizations, and associations that host a range of world-renowned events, festivals, concerts, and exhibitions.
For more information on Slovenia, click here.
Slovenia is home to fifteen higher education institutions, which cover all fields of study, including three public universities (incorporating forty-one faculties, three art academies, and four professional colleges) and a number of private higher education institutions. The University of Ljubljana, the University of Maribor, the University of Primorska, and the University of Nova Gorica are the four major universities in Slovenia.
Semester One: beginning of October - middle of January
Semester Two: middle of February - end of May
As U.S. Scholars usually come to Slovenia for one semester grants, the Public Affairs Section staff keep in close contact with all the incoming grantees and meet with them individually soon after their arrival to Slovenia. Provided that COVID-19 pandemic ends or improves, a reception/orientation program for Fulbright grantees and their dependents will be held at the Ambassador's residence once everyone is in the country.
With a total population of approximately 10.2 million, Sweden is a sparsely populated country, characterized by its long coastline, extensive forests and numerous lakes. It is one of the world’s northernmost countries. In terms of surface area it is comparable to Spain, Thailand or the American state of California. Sweden’s borders have been unchanged since 1905 and the country has not been at war since 1814. Considering its geographic location, Sweden enjoys a favorable climate. This is mainly because of the Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current that flows off Norway’s west coast.
Americans visiting Sweden will find that English is widely spoken. Swedish society is welcoming and the culture is relatively easy to navigate. As a technologically advanced country, Sweden is ideal for many types of research. Scholars can generally expect good access to people, institutions and information for research purposes.
A useful overview of Sweden is available online.
With a strong public emphasis on education, Sweden is an excellent place to teach and conduct research and all Swedish institutions of higher education and research offer opportunities for international scholars. Candidates from the level of recent Ph.D. scholar to full professor in any discipline will therefore be considered. Preference is given to academic and professional excellence, feasibility and significance of the project and match with host affiliation. English is sufficient, as Swedish students and scholars have excellent proficiency in English. The academic year consists of two 20-week semesters. The fall semester runs from the middle or end of August through mid-January and the spring term from mid-January through the beginning of June. Awards are rarely made in the summer months, unless justified by the nature of the project and prearranged with the prospective host institution.
All applicants should prioritize making a preliminary reservation at the university housing office of the host institution as soon as possible. If additional help is needed, they should ask their Swedish academic hosts for assistance in placing them in the university's housing queue. The Commission is unable to assist with housing. As all Fulbright grants are less than one year in length, U.S. grantees will not be issued a personal ID number and therefore will not be included in the social welfare system, nor be required to pay Swedish tax. Grantees in Sweden for less than 6 months will not be able to open a Swedish bank account and will receive their grant payment at their U.S. financial institution.
For more information on living and studying in Sweden, click here.
Please note that candidates currently residing in Sweden or who have already begun a program in Sweden are not eligible for the Fulbright program with Sweden.
Applicants interested in contacting previous Fulbright alumni in a certain field/area of research or geographical location may contact the Commission.
Contingent upon availability of funds, up to 11 All Discipline awards for postdoctoral researchers, and a variety of co-sponsored awards for Senior Research, Teaching or Teaching/Research are available. The co-sponsored awards have unique scopes and features and detailed information can be found in each individual award description.
The U.S.-Spain Fulbright Commission provides extensive support to selected candidates regarding administrative issues, such as the visa and documentation process, and ample pre-departure and arrival information. However, assistance in establishing contacts at prospective host institutions cannot be provided.
Please note that candidates with dual U.S./Spanish citizenship, or candidates who are residing in Spain at the time of application or anytime thereafter, are not eligible for the Fulbright Program in Spain.
What is life like for Fulbrighters in Spain?
Although Spain may be known for its nice weather and beautiful beaches, there are many other reasons why Spain has long been held as one of the most desirable destinations for Fulbright grantees. Spain’s higher education and research institutions, technological advancement, cultural opportunities, and modern infrastructures add to the country’s appeal as one of the most popular tourist destinations. Besides, Spain’s relatively low cost of living makes it very affordable when compared to most other countries in the EU.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Spain has the third highest life expectancy among the 38 OECD member countries at just above 83 years, and is ranked as the 8th safest country in which to live. In fact, 82% of Spanish citizens report that they feel safe walking alone at night.
Spain has an excellent public transportation system. With its large-city public transport systems including metro networks, buses, and trains, it is very easy to get around cities in Spain or even across the country.
If you plan to come to Spain with your family, you’ll love the child-friendly environment; although finding a good school in Spain will probably be one of your main concerns, you’ll find that there are many options including public, private, international and semi-private (concertados) schools.
For more detailed information about Spain, please see the OECD's Spain profile.
General Information about Spanish Universities and Research in Spain
There are 76 universities in Spain, most of which are supported by state funding. 24 Spanish universities are private, and seven are affiliated with the Catholic Church. Spain's universities are increasingly focused on internationalization. By offering degree programs taught partially or entirely in English, they are attracting students from a wide variety of other countries, providing viewpoints in studies and discussions that are often unique and enriching for U.S. Scholars. Depending on the award, Scholars will be afforded the opportunity to teach both undergraduate and/or graduate students and/or carry out research, and are often invited to work with faculty on curriculum development. Research groups are usually multicultural and English is the language predominantly used in lab settings.
The academic year in Spain broadly runs from September to June, with breaks during the Winter and Spring holidays (approximately December 22-January 6 and coinciding with the weeks surrounding and including Easter). Research activity continues in July, whereas August is a very quiet month, and most institutions are closed.
Additionally, there are eight national and public research institutions that, together with universities, form the basic core of the Spanish public system of scientific research and technological development in Spain. These include:
The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
The Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT)
The Geological and Mining Institute of Spain (IGME),
The Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO),
The National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA),
The Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII),
The Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC)
The National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA).
Researchers are usually fluent in English, although there may be wide differences in the students' English proficiency. For day-to-day life, a working knowledge of Spanish is useful, especially in smaller cities and towns. Language proficiency should be commensurate with the project's scope. Please discuss this point with your host institution in advance.
The friendly and open nature of most Spaniards will make it easy for you to engage in multidisciplinary research groups and collaborate with your host institution much more than you initially expected. Many former Fulbright Scholars to Spain maintain and nurture the mutual engagement and joint research they initiated with their Spanish hosts while they enjoyed their Fulbright grant.
Fulbright Spain Scholar Alumni Voices
In 1830, Belgium declared its independence from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and established the basis of the intricate system of government found here today. The government is split up into three highly autonomous regions, three language communities, 10 provinces and 581 municipalities in a country about the size of the state of Maryland. It is a trilingual country located in the heart of Europe, sometimes even referred to as the "capital of Europe", with many of the European Union institutions located in Brussels.
The various education systems in Belgium are managed by the linguistic community in charge of the area - the (Dutch-speaking) Flemish Community, the French Community and the German-speaking Community. Belgium is home to the oldest Catholic university in the world - the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven (also called KU Leuven), which was first established in 1425. There are many other universities, university colleagues and other higher education institutions across Belgium. Applicants are invited to take a look at the website for French-speaking institutions in Belgium here and for Dutch-speaking institutions here.
Coming to Belgium as a Fulbright scholar comes with many benefits, as you would have the chance to live and work in a country that OECD's Better Life Index ranks above average in work-life balance, income and wealth, civic engagement, education and skills, subjective well-being, jobs and earnings, health status, housing, social connections, and personal security. More informally, Belgium also offers a plethora of summer, music or cultural festivals throughout the year, a diversity of fried foods to try, a long history of perfecting chocolate and the chance for you to join the debate on which is better - the Brussels or the Liège waffle. During your period in the country, the Fulbright Commission in Brussels will provide support to help you get settled in your host country and experience the richness that Belgium has to offer. Grantees are invited to events throughout the year, including an orientation meeting in the fall, a mid-year meeting in February, and other informal events such as a Thanksgiving dinner or cultural activities around Belgium. In addition to group events, Fulbright staff provide individualized support prior to and during the grant period and are available to discuss issues that may come up throughout the year.
The Fulbright Commission offers awards for semester and year-long research, teaching and combinations of teaching/research that are available for applicants in any academic field who are interested in joining a Fulbright program that prides itself on the research and cultural programming it provides. Scholars may present their research or give guest lectures throughout Europe via Europe's inter-country lecturer program, and they are often encouraged to assist the U.S. Embassy in Brussels with cultural lecturer requests. The fall semester in Belgium is from mid-September to the end of January, and the spring semester lasts from mid-February through the end of June. For more information, visit the Belgian Commission for Educational Exchange.
Overview of visa requirements
If staying in the Schengen Area for longer than 90 days, grantees to Belgium must apply for a long-stay Visiting Researcher visa prior to departure. Please note that although the Fulbright Commission provides assistance with the visa application process, the responsibility of obtaining the necessary travel documents lies with the applicant. Grantees should therefore carefully look into visa issues beforehand and start the application as soon as possible after notification of a grant award.
"The Fulbright Scholar Award to Belgium has provided an enormously rich setting for my work examining municipalities and migration. From the "hyper-diverse" Brussels capital region to the linguistic, religious, and ethnic diversity evident across Flanders, throughout Wallonia, and into the Eastern Cantons, examining migration in Belgium has proven to be both personally and professionally rewarding. Fulbright staff in Belgium are exceedingly competent, always helpful, and ready to help navigate the complexities of travel and residence permits, settling in with a host institution, and providing opportunities to explore one's host country; the contacts I've made with and through them will benefit both my research agenda and my teaching for years to come." - Dr. Amy Foerster, 2021-22 Fulbright Scholar to Belgium
Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.