The Fulbright Program was established by Congress in 1946 “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries”. Named for its sponsor, the late Senator J. William Fulbright, the Program is the U.S. government’s premier international educational exchange program. Grants are awarded on the basis of academic merit and professional promise to U.S.
students, teachers and scholars to study, teach, lecture and conduct research abroad and to foreign citizens to engage in similar activities in the United States.
Approximately 250,000 “Fulbrighters”, including more than 90,000 from the United States and 160,000 from other countries have participated in the Program since it’s founding in 1946. Between 4,700 and 5,000 new grants are awarded annually. This year marks the Fulbright Program’s 55th anniversary.
The Fulbright Program is administered by the United States Information Agency (USIA), which is responsible for the U.S. Government’s overseas information and cultural programs. USIA has a staff of approximately 8,000 and maintains more than 200 posts in over 140 countries.
In giving out scholarships in different fields, the Fulbright Programs are able to enrich the exchange and accumulation of cultural, technological and scientific knowledge. Participants of these programs are coming together from many countries to form associations. In this way, mutual understanding and cooperation are strengthened and improved through the academic interactions gained by the Fulbright experience.