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Fulbright Scholarships

      Information Sessions

      Information sessions will be held in September 2015 and January 2016 for students planning to apply in the fall of 2016 for a Fulbright that would begin during the 2016-2017 academic year (i.e., following the student's graduation from Hope, either in December 2016 or May/Summer 2017). The application process begins in spring semester of the junior year (earlier, if off-campus); seniors can also join the regular application process if they have other plans for the first year following graduation.


      Van Wylen Library #222 Granberg Room

      Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 4:00 PM
      Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 11:00 AM


      January 2016 TBD

Missed the 'Info Sessions'? - Here's what to do...

Need writing requirements? - Here they are...

Application Process - PDF

This information changes, please check back often...

(Note: this process begins during the spring semester of your Junior year)

2016 Application Timeline for Fall 2017-18 Grants

PDF version for printing

If you are a junior this year (2015-2016), and are considering applying for a Fulbright Fellowship in the fall of 2016, (that is, for a fellowship that begins during the 2017-2018 academic year), you need to get an early start on the application process. Here are the important dates in the 2016 (for 2017) Fulbright Fellowship application calendar.

If you are studying abroad in the spring of your junior year, you should begin the process in the fall. Speak with the Fulbright Program Advisors about this. You will still need to complete the steps listed here, except that you will do much of it during the fall semester instead.

October 2015 or January 2016

Attend one of the offered Information Session - see top of page.

If you are a Hope College freshmen, sophomore, or junior interested in being on our e-mail list for future interest, complete this form: Fulbright: Future Interest

January 29, 2016

(You may do this anytime BEFORE this date, but please do it BY the date.)


You will be considered a serious candidate only after submitting the items listed to the right. You can always change your mind later.

If you are planning to apply for a Fulbright that will fund you to spend the academic year 2016-2017 abroad, please fill out our Google Fulbright Form.

2016 Application Process for 2017-18 Placement

1) Your full name.
2) Your phone number.
3) The kind of fellowship for which you plan to apply - 'Teaching Assistantship' or 'Research.'
4) The country to which you plan to apply (Choose only one.)
5) The e-mails of three faculty referees who you think can speak to your qualifications for this award, and a foreign language evaluator if required.
7) Graduation year and month.

If you have problems with the Google form linked above, please e-mail Shelly at for assistance. At any point, you may drop the process, just e-mail

In addition, please locate, purchase (or borrow), and read a book – yes, an actual book – about the country where you plan to study or teach.

Feb. 2 or 3, 2016
Attend a MANDATORY seminar on writing essays for the Fulbright Scholars program. If you cannot attend, speak with the advisors about what you must do instead.
Feb. 17, 2016
(Note: the day we return from Winter Break)

Turn in the following documents electronically as Word docs, double-spaced, with your name and the type of essay in the filename, sent to both and

1) Draft of your Statement of Grant Purpose (two double-spaced pages for English Teaching Assistantships; four double-spaced pages for research/study grants); and

2) Draft of your two-page (double-spaced) Personal Statement. See the Fulbright web site and the Writing Requirements for information about preparation of these documents. Keep working on them, even after you’ve sent drafts to the advisors; and

3) A three- to four-page essay on a book (a book! Not a web site!) that you have read about the country to which you plan to apply. Be sure to include full bibliographic information (author, title, city, publisher, year of publication) for your book.

March 1 or 2, 2016

Attend ONE of the first set of mandatory essay workshops. The workshops will run about two hours. Exact times and locations to be announced. You will attend one (but not both) of the workshops.
April 5 or 6, 2016 Attend ONE of the second set of mandatory essay workshops. Exact times and location to be announced. You will attend one (but not both) of the workshops.
April 2016 You must meet personally with Dr. Cunningham or Dr. Gibbs sometime during the month of April to go over your essays, finalize your list of referees, and find out what needs to be done over the summer. You should continue to work on your statement of grant purpose and personal statement during the summer months.
May 1, 2016
The online application officially opens. During the month of May and June, you need to complete the application to the best of your ability and ask any questions that arise in the process. Once you have received the go-ahead from the Fulbright Advisors, register your reference-letter-writers online.
June 1, 2016 Application Check. The status of your online application will be checked by the campus Fulbright advisors at this point. If you application is radically incomplete at this stage, you will be asked to complete it (or else to drop the process). You can still change it after this point, of course, and in fact you are encouraged to work on the application over the summer.
August 31, 2016 Submit your preliminary online application. Your application will be read and returned to you for corrections and finalization. We will schedule campus interviews during September, after which you will have a final opportunity to make your application "practically perfect in every way."
Be sure to read the materials linked on this page and on the Fulbright web site.

Hope College Fulbright Recipients - Press Release Directory

Fulbright's Grantee Directory

Fulbright Grants for Educational & Cultural Exchange

  • Since 1946 the United States government has been offering grants to recent graduates, graduate students and college faculty to conduct study and/or teaching projects all over the world. These grants usually last between six to twelve months and cover all livings cost as well as providing a modest stipend. These are very prestigious awards, and are available not only to graduates of larger universities but also of liberal arts colleges such as Hope.

    If you are interested in an academic year abroad right after graduation, either studying at a university or teaching English, a Fulbright Grant may be just what you are looking for! It can be anywhere in the world, not just Europe!

What Exactly is a Fulbright Scholarship?

There are many different types of Fulbright awards, but the programs of interest to Hope College graduates are the Comprehensive Grants, which support you for a year of study at a foreign university, and the English Teaching Awards (ETA) which place you at a high school or high schools to teach English as an assistant part time.

For Comprehensive Grants, students propose a project that they conduct at the foreign educational institution, and are given basic travel and living support to carry out their project. You specify the location.

For Teaching Awards, grantees usually teach about 15-20 hours a week, mostly assisting a teacher in the classroom (i.e. not actually being the teacher). The rest of the time awardees usually work on the language, travel and 'hang out'. You select the country, but that country chooses your placement location.

Hope professor, Lee Forester, had a 2-year Fulbright award in Austria Vienna as a graduate student. He taught about 10-15 hrs a week whenever school was in session (which wasn't that often) and otherwise hung out, finished his dissertation, traveled extensively and got married in the process. It was a great experience for him!

Who is Eligible for a Fulbright?

To apply for a Fulbright Grant, you must be:

  • A US citizen
  • A recent graduate or graduate student
  • In good health

Because this program is quite competitive, your academic credentials should be good. A GPA of 3.5 or higher is advised, though we did get an award for a student with a lower GPA who made it as an alternate.

You also must be ready to spend a LOT of time on your application, writing and refining your essay, your project proposal and discussing it discussing it with faculty advisors. It is quite doable but not a project to be taken lightly or at the last minute if you want feedback.

How Do I Get More Information?

If you're interested in a Fulbright, you should spend some time at the Fulbright web site.

Here are a few files that may be of interest:

Competition Statistics
Fact Sheet (PDF)
Flow sheet of six step application process (PDF)

As you will see, some countries are more competitive than others. A competitive application will have an excellent personal essay, a defined, feasible and interesting project proposal, strong letters of support and will target a country where you have a reasonable chance (England and Australia are TOUGH!).

How Do I Formally Apply (
once all my preparations have been completed)?

Please see the timeline above for May and September.

If you would like feedback on your application before the on-campus interview process begins ( and this is very advisable), you are strongly advised to work with Dr. Cunningham or another faculty member during the Spring semester. We provide stipends to faculty who work with you, so please don't be afraid to ask for this one-on-one help. We generally find that students who wait until September to begin the process will submit substandard (and often ultimately unsuccessful) applications. The most important pieces to submit for feedback are your Statement of Grant Purpose and Personal Statement. These should be e-mailed in Word format. Please visit Fulbright's 'Academic Application Components' web page for details.

The "non-online" materials include:

  • If you are applying for a research grant (not a teaching assistantship) please provide a letter of affiliation from someone at the institution you hope to work at in the host country, if such affiliation is required for your program. (This is not required for some countries, e.g. Japan, nor for some programs, e.g. the teaching assistantship programs.)
  • If your field is creative or performing arts, there are additional instructions for submitting samples of your work. Example: slides of artwork, photographs, portfolios, video recordings, & audio recordings all have specific criteria and can be found on the Fulbright web site

Then you sit on your hands and wait until the spring (April - June) to find out whether you got an award or not!

Language Program...

This program is offered by the US Dept. of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs and Administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers:

    Updated: September 22, 2015