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Introduction to Fast Track
Eligibility
Fulbright Preparations
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             Fulbright Fast Track

Eligibility Requirements

THE information below applies mostly.
For specific variations and exceptions ask dandrew@smith.edu

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CONTENTS

1. WHEN TO BEGIN WHICH BY SCHOOL YEAR

Juniors start step-by-step enquiry, registration and application processes between mid-November and mid-February.
Enquiries are encouraged in sophomore year so as to plan ahead.
First-Years and others follow
http://www.smith.edu/fulbright/prep.php
and are welcome anytime to ask
dandrew@smith.edu
questions, always best accompanied by your tentative/partial answers to the questions at
http://www.smith.edu/fulbright/intro.php
to help get the ball rolling and making a more solid acquaintance.

2. (POST-) GRADUATE OR UNDERGRADUATE FELLOWSHIP

Graduate Fellowship applied for through Smith College during Junior Year and as a Rising Senior, and conducted the academic year following graduation.
Smith submits approved applications to the Institute of International Education (I.I.E.), the U.S. Student Fulbright administrators.

3. WHERE IN THE WORLD TO USE

International Fellowship (about 155 foreign countries to choose from).
Can apply to only one country in any one competition year, either in research, teaching, studying, the creative arts and or for a practicum.
Whatever is proposed must be specifically relevant to the target country and would be an activity, such as research, that cannot be conducted in the U.S.
Smith does not support multi-country projects, or research in countries not listed by I.I.E., as such proposals are suited only to PhD students.

4. GPA AND RELATED MINIMUMS

Cumulative GPA and Related Minimum-Level Academic Requirements:

* Minimum GPA is 3.4, maybe 3.3 for Teaching in a few countries depending on teaching experience. For other countries an even higher GPA is needed, e.g. Ireland, U.K. (3.9).
* Important are the courses taken related to your major interest and as background preparation for your project proposal.
* Strong in your favor is community involvement and contributions to society, especially demonstrated leadership ability.
* Command of foreign language commensurate with project.

(Leadership or initiative, especially research experience, count more than grades but do not lower GPA requirement. Fellowships = character, not intellectualism alone.)
See also in-depth introductory remarks under "5. GPA AND RELATED MINIMUMS" at
http://www.smith.edu/fellowships/eligibility.php

5. CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENTS

U.S. citizens only.
A non-U.S. citizen may be able to apply to the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy or Consulate within their own country to do a Fulbright in America and could consult
http://exchanges.state.gov/prog-non-us.html
and
http://foreign.fulbrightonline.org/about/foreign-fulbright

6. AGE, SCHOOL-YEAR, OTHER RESTRICTIONS

Only graduating seniors in application year (which means preparing your application in your junior year) or local area graduates.
Age restrictions in some countries for teaching.

Background knowledge and or experience is key and while I.I.E. is open to applications from students stepping out of their discipline, or major, they must nevertheless still have the necessary background to be able to do their project.
Therefore a biology student who goes to Nepal for junior year and gets involved in the social sciences and comes back wanting to return there to do a social science project, then she must have taken some social science or related courses relevant to the proposal, otherwise the necessary background is lacking, for instance in social science methodologies.

Also, the applicant will want to get recommendation letters from social science professors, not biological science professors.
The problem here of course is that it is the bio profs who will know the student, not the soc sci profs who are needed to lend weight to the feasibility of the applicant's ability to do the project.

7. DURATION OF FELLOWSHIP, AMOUNT OF AWARD

About $25,000 (depending on the cost of living in the host country) is awarded for about 9 to 12 months.
This does not necessarily rule out embarking on a two-year Master's degree abroad.

8. CHANCE OF AWARD: ODDS FOR EACH COMPETITION

* Fulbright 20% average (from about 3% in U.K. and Ireland to “100%” in Albania or Latvia one year) or 1 in 5.
* There were 7300 apps in 2008 and 1500 awards = 20% chance. See
http://us.fulbrightonline.org/statistics
* The Fulbright is an ideal gap year for those planning to go on to graduate school.
* It is recommended that graduating applicants work also with the Career Development Office so that fellowship applications form part of an overall postgraduate planning strategy.
Contact them at x2570 or x2582.

9. HOW SMITHIES HAVE FARED IN COMPETITIONS

You can't do better than the rare opportunity you have at Smith which has the highest success rate in the country, more than double the national average.
See Successes at
http://www.smith.edu/fulbright/news.php

10. COMPETITION CRITERIA IN JUDGING CANDIDATES

How the Foundations Evaluate and Rate Candidates, What They Seek in Candidates & How You are Judged, Plus Other Vital Criteria Considered by the Foundations.
Please also read
http://www.smith.edu/fellowships/eligibiliity.php

Fulbright's campus rating form contains the following seven categories for applicant evaluation:

* Academic or professional qualifications (especially in relation to proposed project).
* Validity and feasibility of proposed project.
* Language qualifications (with special reference to proposed project and to the requirements of the host country).
* Evidence of maturity, motivation and adaptability to a different cultural environment (personal suitability).
* Knowledge of the host country and proposed Community Engagement beyond project.
* Evaluation of impression candidate will make abroad as a citizen representing the United States.
* General Comments (if a student is not given a high score, it is necessary to say why).

11. FORMAL APPLICATION YEAR & TIME OF YEAR

Formal Application Year: (Fall Term) Seniors but only for those who Registered as Juniors.
Early Fall Fellowships: (due September 30).
Starting ASAP is key because the early birds catch the worms.

12. J-TERM GRADUATE ELIGIBILITY & RESULTS

* Applications are open to seniors graduating the January following the October that applications are finally due.
* Winners are announced the following April.
* First use of fellowship will be around the beginning of the following fall term in the same calendar year as the announcement.
* Check website &/or email dandrew@smith.edu or foundation for rule variations or changes before ruling yourself in or out.

13. LEVEL OF SMITH COLLEGE SPONSORSHIP

Required Level of Smith College Sponsorship: Rated Evaluation.
Do NOT log onto the Fulbright application online until you have registered with the Smith Fellowships Program and have the received instructions about entering the Embark system.

14. REAPPLYING FOR FELLOWSHIPS

Recipients of an ETA (English Teaching Assistantship) Fulbright may apply for a Research (includes Study) Fulbright two years after the conclusion of the ETA, either to the same or a different country.
You must wait two full academic years before applying again, so that if you applied for your ETA Fulbright in, say, 2010--11 and did the fellowship 2011--12, you could apply again in 2014--15 to do your Research Fulbright in 2015--16.

You can receive only one Research Fulbright and those who are Research grant recipients cannot later apply for an ETA -- and you can win only one ETA.
You may apply again -- for any Fulbright -- after not winning either.

15. DEFERRING FELLOWSHIPS or GRAD SCHOOL

Fulbright cannot be deferred and is forfeited if not accepted for year it is awarded.
Grad schools, on the other hand, will almost always defer admission for accepted students who win a Fulbright.
If you are concerned about attending grad or med school interviews while abroad on a Fubright, apply to a country closer to the U.S. or one that you can fly back from fairly easily at a reasonable cost.
Even better, do not be too concerned about this and do not rush too fast into your chosen profession or to grad school.
While planning ahead is indeed important, so too is trusting life to unfold and not overlooking your overall development.
To have been a Fulbrighter will help you get into better programs.
Most grad schools prefer applicants with life experience and internationally is all the better.
Grow more first and become a well-rounded person, not too narrowly focused in one discipline.
For med schools, this has been a problem and they seek those who have embraced life and the world more broadly as bringing to the profession a wisdom lacking in those who enter straight from undergraduate college.

16. FELLOWSHIP DEFINED

With Fulbright awards, we call these grants Student Fellowships and Faculty Scholarships. The Fulbright is firstly a diplomatic mission with scholarship or teaching as the vehicle for its peace aim.

Whether a Student applies to do a Research Project or to Teach English, both are called Fellowships.
The Fulbright Program is special because it provides funding for projects, be they for research, teaching, study or a practicum.

This is unlike many other so-called fellowships which are more like scholarships as defined as funding purely for studying for a degree.
This is the difference between money and mission: while the Fulbright provides money, it is for a mission, not just to pay to study for a degree.

17. SELF-WORTH

To be eligible, you must have a well-balanced sense of self-worth, which may sound easier than it is.
To know you own self-worth without exaggerated self-inflation is a quality you either have or can acquire so that it is a definite sense that dwells within you, giving you realistic confidence and then shines out on the world.