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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.


      TBD for January and September

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.**

Tentative 2015 Application Process Timeline

2014 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) your chances will improve if you 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. Let us know your intentions to apply in Fall 2015 by completing our Early App Process form so you can get started BEFORE you leave campus in December.

Offered early January & late August

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

February 2, 2015

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

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.

Complete our Google form Fulbright: Application Process to indicate your intention to proceed with the application process.You will be considered a serious candidate only after submitting this form with the information listed below. At any point, you may drop the process, just e-mail both AND

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 to whom you have spoken about writing a recommendation for you. Talk to your referees early and in person. In addition to your three referees, include your foreign language evaluator, if one is necessary 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.

February 16, 2015

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

TBD - 2 options in late February 2015

Attend ONE of the mandatory proposal workshops in March. The workshops (dates TBD) are held in Van Wylen Library's Granberg Rm#222. You must come to one (but not both) of the workshops.
TBD - 2 options in early April 2015 Attend ONE of the mandatory proposal workshops in March. The workshops (dates TBD) are held in Van Wylen Library's Granberg Rm#222. You must come to one (but not both) of the workshops.
May 2015 onward Sometime in May, Fulbright will activate the current year's on-line application link found via the Fulbright web site. Otherwise, only previous submissions are accessible.
Summer 2015
You should use the summer to work on your statement of grant purpose and personal statement. The campus deadline for applications is shown in the box below left.
September 21, 2015 Submit your completed on-line application. We will schedule campus interviews after the September date listed at left.

Please keep the following points in mind:

If you think you MIGHT want to apply for a Fulbright, but are not yet sure, please provide us with the required information. Letting us know you are thinking of applying is not a firm commitment. It is better to start early than to start late.

If you want to apply, you must comply with the deadlines outlined on this sheet. We reserve the right to drop you from the process if you miss any of these deadlines without a very good reason (as defined by Professors Cunningham and Gibbs). This is not a process you can complete at the last minute if you hope to be successful.

Be sure to read the materials on the Fulbright Web site.

Hope College Fulbright Advisors are Dr. David Cunningham and Dr. Janis Gibbs.

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!

Hope's 2014 recipients (2014-15 grants)
Susan Haigh and Steven Skawski Susan Haigh of Carmel, Ind., and Steven Skawski of Elmhurst, Ill., have each received awards to teach abroad during the coming year. Gretchen Baldwin, a 2012 graduate originally from Portage, has received an award to conduct research abroad during 2014-15.
Hope's 2013 recipients Tessa Angell of Grand Rapids, Rachel Elzinga of Doylestown, Pa., and Erin Wilhelmi of Cary, Ill., have each received awards to teach abroad during the coming year. Andreana Rosnik of Shelby Township has received an award to conduct research abroad during 2013-14.
2012 Fulbright Awardees: Blauw, Hemmeke, Rogers Michael J. Blauw of East Grand Rapids, Katelyn J. Hemmeke of Hamilton and Amber N. Rogers of Hershey, Pa., (pictured above from left to right) have all received awards to teach abroad during the coming year.
Fulbright Awardees from Hope in 2011 2011 Hope graduate Jeffrey Vredenburg (pictured at right) and 2009 graduate Edward Helderop have each received highly competitive English teaching assistantships for the coming year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Hope College Fulbright Recipients - Press Release Directory

Fulbright's Grantee Directory

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, Dr. Gibbs, 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: October 14, 2014