November 24, 2020

My Fulbright scholarship experience “from application until I started my graduate degree”- Part 2.

Summary of part 1 :

Part one timeline.

  • Look for your country’s fulbright program website
  • See the requirements that might vary between countries and offered programs.; for details visit part 1.
  • Get your English test results PDF copy, Transcript, Graduation certificate, etc..
  • write your SOP, Study Objectives Essay, Resume etc..
  • meanwhile prepare for your GRE.
  • start a fulbrtight application.
  • about 1 and half months later, you should receive the first interview invitation.
  • 2 weeks later you get acceptance decision.
  • 2 weeks later you start to receive invitation for introductory orientation in which you’ll meet your IIE, or amideast advisors and put the bold lines about your university preferences in the US.
  • You’d get GRE, and TOEFL voutchers to take the tests, and send the results to the US organization advisors.

Find GRE RESOURCES HERE.

You’ll then have to check your email regularly as the communications would be through email with your US advisors throughout the universities selection process. I believe this process would be different in different countries in terms of how you apply, or whether or not you’d be able to choose certain program at a certain state. I’d advise to have a list of 10 universities that you really like so if one gets rejected you have other options. Consider the geographical distribution of the universities and your preferences in terms of academia, location, climate/ whether and health-insurances plans needs. You can find an easily ranked and listed universities here according to different criteria.

You’d be asked to select 4 universities of your choice and send them to your advisors. The list will be open for negotiation until you both finalize it. Only then you start the application process to these selected universities. As you start your applications you should be aware of what each university offers, and what you need to accomplish there so you can write a best fit SOP, and resume. Sometimes graduate programs require you to contact with a certain number of potential supervisors at their department so you should be certain that your interests match that of the professor. This process takes sometime with back and forth emails between you and your fulbright’s advisors. Please note that being selected for fulbright is a 80 percent guarantee to being accepted to a prestigious program so choose wisely. This takes about 2-4 months. Some people get their acceptance early February, and some people get theirs as late as late May. So be patient.

When, and after you get your acceptance, fulbright starts to prepare for the grant financial part of the grant. Some acceptance are unconditional, and others are conditional. Some universities require English courses to be taken by the student to be fully considered which, if fulbright agrees, would be offered, and funded by fulbright in another university to get your English courses and enrich your cultural exposure in the US. This also means your travelling procedures will be faster than others. in the meantime, you would also have to attend another orientation session “pre-departure”. In this session, you’d learn more about the US, and what to expect in either the society or the university. You will receive your official grant acceptance letter in that session among other things that will give you a timeline to when, and how you’d receive your travel allowance, and stipend.

Fulbright commission in your country will take responsibility from here to prepare your grant finance, and visa schedule. Usually if you were to schedule an appointment at the US embassy in your countries it takes weeks, or even months. But fulbright takes care of this and guides you through the process, which includes vaccination, and medical checkups etc.., and get your schedule within a weeks or so. Once you get your visa, you’d take a schedule from fulbright to receive all the grants’ paperwork. If you weren’t required to take a pre-academic English courses, you’d be offered a gateway at another state, which you could accept or refuse. I highly recommend attending these gateways as you’d meet Fulbrighters from all over the world and spend nice time together before you start your academic program.

You’d then finalize your flight ticket reservation according to your DS-20** document and visa date, and get refund from fulbright and start preparing for your flight, and journey. If you were selected for pre-academic program, or gateway and accepted them you’d be contacted by the organization that takes care of your accommodation, and travel to these destinations. If you are travelling directly to your selected university, you’d have to prepare your accommodation, it may be temporary, and your way there from the airport to your destination. I’d recommend to look for your university’s temporary, or permanent dorms once you’re accepted, or if not possible get an off campus housing as soon as you can. Securing housing could be tricky.

Click here to get in touch with current fulbrighters, or Alumni in your potential university. I can’t emphasize enough that whenever you feel lost either during the application process, or even the preparation for your trip, contact your country fulbright officers and, or your US advisors they will help you through with what might be confusing.

This concludes the journey from applying to Fulbright’s scholarship, until you arrive to the US. I hope this can help make your decision and guide you through the process. If you need to ask any questions, or need any clarifications leave a comment below, or use contact us page. I will get to you ASAP.

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