Fulbright award for graduate students available May 1

Emily Komorowski

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for students to study, research or teach English in branches and countries all over the globe, and its scholarship application for the 2014 to 2015 school year will be available May 1.

Applications for 2014 to 2015 are due in October. Sarah Hull, education abroad program officer in the Office of Global Education, said Fulbright is a prestigious and competitive scholarship with a lengthy application process.

“The study grant allows students to spend a year abroad working on their master’s,” Hull said. “The research grant requires students to be in the lab doing science and immerses them in the country’s culture.”

Although the study, research and teaching assistantships get the most applicants, Fulbright also offers specialized grants such as the Fulbright-mtvU Award, Public Policy Fellowships and travel grants, according to Fulbright’s website. The Fulbright-mtvU award is a very specialized music-based grant and the Public Policy Fellowship provides public sector experience. The travel grants are designed as supplement awards and are only available to Italy, Germany and Hungary, according to the website.

David Di Maria, director of international programs and services, said Fulbright, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, includes an orientation in Washington D.C. The program is designed for recent college graduates or those who are studying at a graduate level. Pre-planning is necessary for application, as students must apply a year before they are planning to go abroad.

“Students start working on their applications during their junior year because their application would be due during the fall of their senior year,” Hull said.

Di Maria said the program usually receives 2,000 to 3,000 applications per year. Kent State had seven applicants last year. Students who apply can come from any major and must be a U.S. citizen with a bachelor’s degree. Benefits of the scholarship include round-trip transportation, funding to cover room and board and accident and sickness health benefits.

Hull said students don’t necessarily need to know the language of the country they travel to for most programs.

“Many students know or have heard about Fulbright but think it is an unreachable goal,” Hull said. “I encourage any student who is interested to apply, because there is no harm in applying.”

Contact Emily Komorowski at [email protected].