Fulbright is the largest international exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State. It offers opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.
Since 2004, five Covenant graduates have received research grants from the Fulbright Program:
- Ben Borger ’04 majored in history and community development, and received a Fulbright to the Philippines.
- Jonathan Wilson ’06 majored in community development, and received a Fulbright/Fogarty to South Africa.
- Gabi Van Schoyck ’08 majored in community development, and received a Fulbright to Hong Kong.
- Liz Tubergen ’08 majored in art and received a Fulbright to Iceland.
- Seth Morgan ’09 majored in English and community development and received a Fulbright to Tajikistan.
The work done on these grants has included teaching English as a second language, creating mixed-media artwork, and performing HIV-AIDS research.
In addition to those graduates, a number of Covenant’s faculty are Fulbright alumni as well: Dr. Richard Follett (history), Dr. Phillip Horton (education), Dr. Tom Neiles (foreign languages) and Dr. Russell Mask (community development). Dr. Mask is also Covenant's Fulbright Program advisor. "The Fulbright is very competitive," he says. "Every person that gets a Fulbright is supposed to be kind of an ambassador. They've demonstrated they care about people."
Dr. Mask welcomes Covenant students from every major to contact him about applying for a Fulbright grant.
What are Fulbright Scholarships? Am I eligible?
Covenant students who have recently graduated or who apply in their senior year can apply for a Fulbright scholarship to do graduate student, research, or teach in elementary and secondary schools abroad.
"The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide. Fulbright U.S. Student alumni populate a range of professions and include ambassadors, members of Congress, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors, and teachers. Bose Corporation founder Amar Bose, actor John Lithgow, composer Philip Glass, opera singer Renee Fleming and economist Joseph Stiglitz are among notable former grantees.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- "Be U.S. citizens at the time of application. Permanent residents are not eligible."
- "Hold a B.A. degree or the equivalent before the start of the grant."
- Applicants who have not earned a B.A. degree or the equivalent, but who have extensive professional study and/or experience in fields in which they wish to pursue a project, may be considered."
- "In the creative and performing arts, four years of professional study and/or experience meets the basic eligibility requirement."
- "Applicants may hold a J.D. degree at the time of application, but not a doctorate."
- "M.D. or medical students or the equivalent (e.g., D.D.S, O.D.) who wish to continue medical or hospital training or to obtain practical clinical experience should apply to IIE. However, M.D.s who have completed formal postgraduate training and propose attachment to a hospital or clinic for independent or collaborative research should apply to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars."
- "Be in good health. Grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Medical Certificate of Health from a physician."
- "Have sufficient proficiency in the written and spoken language of the host country to communicate with the people and to carry out the proposed study. This is especially important for projects in the social sciences and the humanities." Source: us.fulbrightonline.org
The total awarded amounts are as follows:
- "Full Grant benefits for Study/Research and English Teaching Assistantships include:
- Round-trip transportation to the host country
- Maintenance for the academic year, based on living costs in the host country
- Limited Health Benefits
- In addition, Full Grants may include (see relevant Country Summary for details):
- Book and research allowances*
- Mid-term enrichment activities in many countries or world regions
- Full or partial tuition
- Language study programs
- Pre-departure and in-country orientations" Source: us.fulbrightonline.org
- "In general, grants for 2017-18 (the next open application window):
- Are one academic year in length-between 9 and 12 months.
- Begin no sooner than July 2018 and no later than March 2019.
- Correspond to the academic calendars abroad."
Fulbright receives its primary source of funding through an annual appropriation from Congress to the Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions in foreign countries, and in the United States, also contribute financially through cost-sharing and indirect support, e.g., through salary supplements, tuition waivers, and university housing.
The Fulbright application process begins in the late spring semester and continues into the early fall semester. The next grant cycle has a Covenant College deadline for application on October 2, 2017 and this is for grants that would begin in 2018 and last until 2019.