What is the Fulbright Program?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 January 2019
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The Fulbright Program is an international program sponsored by the United States Department of State with the goal of fostering common understanding and good relationships between the United States and the rest of the world. Scholars, teachers, and professionals in the United States can use Fulbright grants to travel abroad to study and research, and international scholars are welcomed in the United States through Fulbright funding. There are a number of different programs within the Fulbright Program, all designed to promote exchange of information and cooperation in 144 countries.

Being accepted as a Fulbright scholar is a great honor, and competition is typically fierce for Fulbright grants. Many of the Fulbright Program's grants are funded by the State Department, and also by regional Fulbright Commissions and other US government agencies. Many Fulbright scholars credit the program with changing their lives by allowing them to see the world and access opportunities which might otherwise have been closed to them.


The groundwork for the Fulbright Program was laid by Senator J. William Fulbright, who introduced a bill in 1945 to bring “knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion” to international relations. In 1946, the Fulbright Program was created to do just that, and the organization began to establish itself as an elite and formidable force in the world of international scholarship. As of 2008, 37 Fulbright alumni had been awarded Nobel Prizes, an unprecedented number for an organization of its kind, and many others had received a broad assortment of honors and awards.

Many people believe that the Fulbright Program is primarily for students, and students do indeed receive a great deal of Fulbright funding for graduate and postgraduate work in countries all over the world. However, the Fulbright Program also offers assistance to professionals who are interested in improving the efficiency and working conditions in their fields, and it offers grants to educators around the world. Also, under the related Fulbright-Hays Program sponsored by the United States Department of Education, American educators and professionals in the education field are encouraged to travel abroad to foster more internationalism in American education.

The workings of the Fulbright Program are overseen by the Institute of International Education, with scholars being chosen through a merit-based process which includes input from American Embassies, Fulbright Commissions, and other organizations. A wide variety of people have participated in the Fulbright Program, from economists to poets, representing the very best in their fields.



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Post 1

The function of this program In Tajikistan is not fair.

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