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Fulbright Scholarships

      Information Sessions

      Information sessions will be held in January 2015 for students planning to apply in the fall of 2015 for a Fulbright following their graduation Dec 2015 - Summer 2016. Stay tuned for dates and places. Spring semester begins the application process for juniors (earlier, if off-campus) in preparation to apply in September of their senior year. Starting the process in August or September of your senior year makes for a tight timeline so be prepared to act quickly.


      Van Wylen Library #222 Granberg Room

      Fall 2015 - TBD


      Mid-January 2016 for 2016-17 application process
      (2017-18 award year)

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

Need writing hints? - Here they are...

This information changes, so check back often..

Ideally, this process should begin during the spring semester of your Junior year.**

2015 Application Process Timeline for Fall 2016 Grants

2015 PDF for printing

If you are a junior this year (2014-2015), and are considering applying for a Fulbright Fellowship in the fall of 2015, (that is, if you want a fellowship in the 2016-2017 academic year), you need to get an early start on the application process. Here are the important dates in the 2015 Fulbright Fellowship application calendar.

If you are studying abroad in the spring of your junior year, you still need to follow the time line below with the exception of attending the writing workshops. You will submit your drafts as email attachments.

January 14 or 15, 2015

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 26, 2015

(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.*

*The automated signup process is now closed for those applying in 2015 for placement in 2016-2017. If you wish to be considered as a late entrant to this process, please contact Dr. Cunningham directly at, explaining your situation.

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. In addition to your three referees, include someone who can evaluate your ability in a foreign language, if one is required or recommended for your program.
6) The name of the person who will complete your Language Reference, if applicable.
7) Graduation year and month.

If you have problems with the Google form linked above, please e-mail Shelly at for assistance.

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

At any point, you may drop the process, just e-mail

February 11, 2015 (Note: the day we return from Winter Break)

Turn in the following documents electronically as Word docs, single-sided, double-spaced to

1) Draft of your Statement of Grant Purpose (one page for English Teaching Assistantships; two pages for research grants)

2)Draft of your one-page Personal Statement. See the Fulbright web site and the Hints we hand out for information about preparation of these documents. Keep working on them, too.

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.

February 23 or 24, 2015

Attend ONE of the mandatory essay workshops. The workshops will run about two hours. Possible dates are Monday, Feb. 23, 7-9 p.m. -OR- Tuesday, Feb. 24, 4-6 p.m. Location to be announced. You will attend one (but not both) of the workshops.
March 9 or 10, 2015 Attend ONE of the second mandatory essay workshops. Monday, March 9, 7-9 p.m. -OR- Tuesday, March 10, 4-6 p.m. Location to be announced. You will attend one (but not both) of the workshops.
April 2015 You must meet personally with Dr. Cunningham 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 use the summer to work on your statement of grant purpose and personal statement.
May 1, 2015
The online application officially opens. During the month of May, you need to complete the application to the best of your ability and ask any questions that arise in the process.
June 1, 2015 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, 2015 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 Advisor is Dr. David Cunningham and Dr. Janis Gibbs.

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 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: August 12, 2015