Fulbright to India Guide – 2021-2022

The Fulbright Program

“The essence of intercultural education is the acquisition of empathy — the ability to see the world as others see it, and to allow for the possibility that others may see something we have failed to see…”
J. William Fulbright

The Fulbright program was established by the United States Congress in 1946 to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The program bears the name of Senator J. William Fulbright (1905-1995) who introduced the original legislation to use proceeds from the sale of surplus war materials after World War II to establish a student exchange program which has become one of the most a prestigious international educational exchange programs worldwide. Since its inception, nearly 400,000 students, scholars and professionals from around the world have participated in the program which is currently active in over 160 countries.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). ECA issues budget requests to Congress and makes decisions on the allocations. Under policies established by the (Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) | Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (state.gov), ECA administers the Fulbright program with the assistance of other U.S. government and private agencies. The Institute of International Education (IIE) and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) in the U.S. are the cooperating agencies for Fulbright- Nehru student and senior scholar grants.

The Fulbright program – working with universities, schools, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector actively seeks out individuals of achievement and potential who represent the full diversity of their respective societies and selects nominees through open, merit-based competitions. 

Binational Commissions and Foundations propose the annual country programs which establish the numbers and categories of grants. They then screen, interview, and recommend qualified candidates to the FFSB for grants. In countries without a commission or foundation, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy develops the program and supervises it locally. The Fulbright Student Program website, and the Fulbright Scholar Program website, are online communities bringing together current Fulbright scholars and students, alumni, and the program’s professional support network worldwide. The International Exchange Alumni website, is another online community for which you are invited to register to participate in the exchange and obtain a lifetime e-mail address.

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