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The Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is the largest education exchange program in the world and one of the most prestigious.

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An Important Message about Suspension of the 2019-20 U.S. Fulbright Program in Light of COVID-19

The U.S. Department of State is continuously monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and is working closely with partner governments, Fulbright Commissions, U.S. Embassies, Fulbright cooperating agencies, and U.S. and foreign host institutions to provide guidance and information to our Fulbright exchange participants. We share your concerns for everyone’s health, safety, and well-being, and are focused on supporting all Fulbrighters at this time.

On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel which instructs all Americans abroad to either return to the United States or prepare to shelter in place.

As a result of this advisory, the Fulbright Program is now suspended for all U.S. participants. We urge all current U.S. Fulbright participants to make arrangements to return to the United States as soon as possible.

An email has been sent to program participants which provides detailed information about arranging travel, financial considerations, and things to consider while preparing for your return to the United States.

In these unprecedented circumstances, we also recognize that due to conditions in specific countries, including the closing of borders and air space, the lack of available flights, or other safety considerations, not all U.S. Fulbright participants will be able to depart for the United States at this time. If you find yourself in this situation, please refer to your email for guidance and be in contact with your Fulbright administrators in your host country.

As circumstances are evolving, all Fulbrighters should remain in close contact with their Fulbright Program administrators, advisors, and/or their Fulbright binational commissions.

Your Fulbright Commission, U.S. Embassy, and/or IIE, will make every effort to assist you during this time, and we ask that all specific questions about your situation be sent to your advisor, as they have the most relevant information for your country and case. Please know that, at this difficult time, Fulbright advisors and Fulbright Commission staff are working diligently to provide support to each participant.

The above program suspension applies only to American citizens currently participating in the U.S. Fulbright Program abroad. Foreign Fulbrighters on programs in the United States, as part of the Fulbright Foreign Student and Visiting Scholar Programs, should contact their Fulbright Program administrators to inquire about any changes in their situations.

For general information regarding COVID-19, please visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of State’s page Current Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease.

-Institute of International Education

About the Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Fulbright grants support and develop cross-cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through education and scholarship.

Fulbright scholars are world renowned for their experiences, research, and personal impacts at their respective universities.

The program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,600 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars, and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals.

Approximately 390,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the Program since its inception in 1946.

Currently, the Fulbright Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.


Virtually anyone—faculty, student, or professional staff—can apply to become a Fulbright scholar.

Under the Fulbright Program, competitively selected U.S. citizens receive generous scholarship grants to study, conduct research, or exercise their talents abroad; citizens of other countries may qualify to do the same in the United States.