Is Fulbright Scholarship...
The Fulbright Programme is a scholarship opportunity for the American and international students all around the globe introduced by Senator J William Fulbright in 1946 after World War II. The programme is designed for American students to endorse their talent in other countries while the students from other countries can travel to the US to avail this opportunity.
Fulbright grants are awarded to more than 7,000 people each year. The awardees include graduate students, scholars, teachers and people in other professions. The US government pays most of the costs, while foreign governments and schools help share the costs and provide other support.
The Fulbright programme operates in more than 150 countries and around 300,000 people have benefited from it since 1946. Most of the beneficiaries of the scholarships have been foreign students. For Pakistan, the programme is managed by United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP).
Does The Scholarship Take You….
The Fulbright Programme gives international students a chance to head to the US to study and research, while its sends American students overseas to do the same. It is a great opportunity to spend time in powerhouse that is the US and experience some of the most advanced social, communal, political and governance systems in the world. The programme aims at forging friendly relations among individuals of the US and other countries across the globe, besides adding a variety of knowledge and skills to the recipients’ existing set of abilities.
Is Eligible For Scholarship...
Pakistan nationals with strong academic background in all disciplines, except clinical medicine, can apply for the Fulbright scholarship. For applications to a master’s programme, candidates must have either a four- year bachelor’s degree or bachelors and masters combine. Students with 16 years of formal education from well-reputed university are highly recommended to avail this opportunity. The eligibility criteria for applicants of PhD programme includes a master’s or comparable degree (a minimum of 18 years of formal education) from a university of repute.
Besides, the candidates must possess coherence in verbal or non-verbal English, usually validated with TOEFL scores. The selected candidates have to sign a contract with USEFP, and for desired PhD program a binding contract with HEC would be made to return to the Pakistan right after successful completion of programme to serve their homeland equivalent to the period of their scholarship programme.
Should You Be Applying...
It is worth noticing that the application to a Fulbright programme gives you a chance to study in the US the next year. The process is such that if you apply in early 2018, you will start studies in fall 2019, as explained next. The application process for the Fulbright programme begins each year during February and application deadlines usually arrive in the month of May. The applications are submitted until September and selected candidates are informed by mid- October. The placement process remains open until February and interviews for visa are entertained by June next year. The emigration process to US commences in July and remains open until the university reporting dates are confirmed. So if you have missed this year’s mark, be ready to start the application process next February in order to begin your studies under the Fulbright programme in 2020.
Choose Fulbright Scholarship...
The Fulbright is a generous and comprehensive scholarship programme that offers excellent compensation to the awardee and offers a wide range of possibilities. The main aim behind the scholarship is the shared values of knowledge, which can bring together diverse countries and communities in pursuit of a greater good.
And since the programme focus is more on building people to people contacts rather than a cut-throat focus on academic excellence, applicants with not so stellar academic backgrounds also stand a chance to win the scholarship. Besides the obvious outcome of a quality university qualification, scholars get a chance to have lifetime experiences and build lifetime relationships through informal and professional networks.
The programme is supported by United States agency for international development (USAID), which funds students’ necessities like textbooks, airfare, living expense and health security.
The Fulbright award includes:
- 100% tuition waiver
- One return air ticket between US and Pakistan
- Free health, accidental and sickness insurance
- Initial setup and relocation allowance
- Books, Stationary and Research Allowance
- Language study programmes
- Pre-departure and in-country orientations
- Visa assistance and Fee
To Go About It...
The Fulbright application is submitted online through the USEFP website, but there are a few things required beforehand that you need to upload and send along the application. The first of these requirements is your transcripts and degrees of all the qualifications that you have received. You do not need to send HEC attested documents along with the application, as that would be needed once you are selected for the programme. It is also wise to detail the grading system that you went through, as USEFP also considers such parameters.
The next very important part of the application is your GRE test reports. Besides sending the scores with the application, candidates must also have the GRE examining body (Educational Testing Service – ETS) to send the scores directly to USEFP as well. The minimum GRE score needed to be eligible for the Fulbright scholarship is 138 for verbal and 136 for quantitative. If you are selected and called for interview, you will have to register for TOEFL, although you can take the test after the interview as well.
The two essays that make up the part of your application are essentially its make or break points. They are a statement about who you are, what has made you who you are and what are the passions that you would like to pursue to become the person you aspire to be. But they need not be too philosophical in the sense that the evaluators fails to understand you or your ambitions. Redrafting is a norm and applicants usually take weeks perfecting the essays through countless revisions. So should you.
You will also have to provide three recommendation letters; either three academic ones, or two academic and one professional, or one academic or two professional letters. Referees will be filling out forms given in the application. After you are done with the application, the referees will be sent an online form via email to request for the letters, which they can either send online or via mail, but in anyway before the deadline expires.
An up-to-date resume is also needed and should be provided as asked in the application.
Interview is the last hurdle in the way of becoming a Fulbright scholar. The interviews are conducted in Islamabad by two former Fulbright scholars from Pakistan and two USEFP staffers.
Although the call for interview put you positively in the race for the award of scholarship, it does not guarantee success and you will still have to impress the panel and satisfy their probe.
All clear? Not clear? Got it or still have a question? Tell us your thoughts or maybe share a piece of inside information we have missed out on in the comments below.