Why Fulbright Stands Apart

Jonathan White with wife and children in Lviv, Ukraine

A Transformational Experience.

 Transformational is the word alumni most frequently use to describe their Fulbright experience. The impact of the program is experienced in myriad ways.

Forging lasting connections

Fulbright Scholar awards open many doors to collaboration with colleagues and students because fostering connections is the mission of the Fulbright Program.

  • The State Department, Fulbright Commissions and Posts abroad, and hosting institutions actively work to facilitate opportunities for connection, which might involve cultivating media engagement, connecting U.S. and host country administrators to forge institutional exchange agreements, or arranging inclusion in exhibits, symposia, or workshops with host country peers.
  • After returning home, Fulbright Scholars often find ways to maintain relations with host institutions and scholars, by virtually co-teaching, co-authoring and submitting joint grant proposals, or developing formal or informal exchanges of students.

  • Scholar alumni join active Fulbright alumni networks in the United States and their host country, connecting them to other passionate scholars dedicated to the furthering of international engagement.

Co-publishing rises rapidly after a Fulbright award.

A recent study comparing scholar alumni publication records for the five-years before a Fulbright award to the five-years after, showed that participant co-publication with host country academics rose from 17.5% to 25% while co-publication with host institution academics rose from 16% to 51%.  Broader and more diverse publishing networks are associated with greater publishing impact and visibility.

Adopting a more global and cross-cultural perspective in the classroom

Fulbright Scholars learn to infuse curricula with cross-cultural perspectives, revitalize teaching methods, and create classrooms that are inclusive and celebrate difference. Fulbright scholars who experience what it is like to teach in a community where they are an outsider, report returning home having greater empathy for students from underrepresented populations, a shift in perspective that makes them more effective teachers.

Raising a Scholar’s Profile

Since the program’s establishment 75 years ago, Fulbright has gained a reputation world-wide as a competitive fellowship program whose talented participants continue to champion mutual understanding and international engagement both locally and globally.  Many alumni report that the recognition they received as a Fulbright Scholar opened new professional and artistic opportunities.

Transforming families

Fulbright encourages participants to bring dependents for they too serve as ambassadors of international exchange, establishing connections and friendships in their host communities. Many Fulbright dependents have gone on to have international careers of their own. Approximately 60% of Fulbright scholar awards provide some form of dependent support and host country partners help direct families to useful national and local resources.