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Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The 2019-2020 Application Process closed on October 9, 2018. Check back in late-January 2019 for the next deadline coming in fall 2020. 

About Fulbright

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is open to students and alumni of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. This prestigious program offers one-year grants for study and research projects across the world, allowing matriculated students to further pursue their projects while immersing themselves in a foreign country and its cultures. These self-designed projects span a wide variety of fields, including studio art, design, curatorial practice, art history, and other academic areas, and offer an opportunity to engage with the surrounding community in a cultural exchange of ideas, practices, and viewpoints.

What It Means To Apply for Fulbright Through SVA

Anyone can apply for a Fulbright grant regardless of college/university affiliation, but if you decide to apply through SVA, then the College will officially endorse you, which significantly helps your application. You will work with SVA's Fulbright Program Advisor (FPA), Patricia Romeu, to get endorsed. 

However, if you've gone on for another degree after completing one at SVA, you should try to apply through your most recent academic institution. Email [email protected] with questions anytime.  

The Role of the FPA at SVA

SVA's FPA will help guide you through the application process, will clarify grant requirements, help you work through your project proposal, review and edit your statements, and provide portfolio feedback. The FPA schedules your interview with the Campus Review Committee, completes a form reviewing your application, and officially endorses you on behalf of the School of Visual Arts, which is a critical component of your application.

Make an appointment with your FPA.

Basics to know about Fulbright before proceeding:

  • You must have completed an undergraduate degree by the time your grant would commence
  • Grants last for one academic year and you must remain in your host country for all of that time
  • Open to undergraduate and graduate degree students and alumni
  • Applicants applying through SVA must adhere to our internal deadlines outlined below and must meet with SVA's Fulbright Program Advisor at least once before applying
  • There is no limit to how many times you can receive a Fulbright grant
  • You are strongly encouraged to re-apply if you are not selected the first time
  • Open only to U.S. citizens

Former SVA applicants Semi-Finalists

These students and alumna were selected to be Fulbright Semi-Finalists for the 2018-2019 Grant Year. Theyput in significant work on preparing their Fulbright applications, crafting research proposals, developing essays, and securing in-country support networks to see their projects through. We are so proud of the hard work they put into this rigorous application process, and wish them the best of luck in the final stage!

Samantha Friend
BFA Photography & Video '16
Fulbright Program: Study/Research Grant, Mexico
Samantha proposed a year-long photo research project on the quinc
enera traditions of girls and women based in Mexico City. 

Jasa McKenzie
MA Curatorial Practice '18
Fulbright Program: Study/Research, Germany
Jasa has proposed a year-long curatorial project in Berlin to further exhibition opportunities and exposure for female artists in Europe and around the world. 

Important Links on Fulbright Site
Grant Types

1. Open Study/Research (includes option to enroll in graduate degree program abroad)

  • Propose and conduct an art/research project of your own design over the course of an academic year
  • Or enroll in a graduate degree program abroad (Fulbright typically covers cost of one year, and student is responsible for any subsequent years of study)
  • Fulbright provides housing allowance, living allowance, modest research allowance, sick/injury insurance while abroad, and travel expenses to and from host country
  • Award most commonly associated with Fulbright, and of particular interest for practicing artists/historians
  • Applicants must select one discipline to which they will apply, choosing from the list provided hereNot sure which discipline to apply to? Consult the SVA Fulbright Program Advisor.

2. English Teaching Assistantships

  • Grantees placed in classrooms in host country with certified teacher and assist with hands-on instruction in English language instruction 
  • Fulbright provides housing allowance, living expenses, transportation to and from the host country, sick/injury insurance while abroad, and in some cases an additional monthly stipend for time worked 
  • Depending on the country, grantee may have time during the grant year to work independently on a project while abroad
  • No need to propose a project to conduct in country, but will need a community engagement component
Timeline for Application

Timeline for 2020-2021 Competition 

  • Next Application Cycle Opens: April 2019
  • Campus Deadline (you must submit everything completed to SVA): Mid-August 2019 (Exact date TBA)
  • Meet with Campus Review Committee at SVA: Late August, 2019 (Exact dates TBA)
  • Submit Final Completed Application Online by Fulbright Deadline: TBA
  • SVA Fulbright Program Advisor completes evaluations and submits applications to Fulbright: TBA
  • Fulbright National Deadline: October 2019 (Exact date TBA)
  • Applications notified if moved forward to Semi-Finalist Round: Late January 2020
  • Final selections made and grants offered: February - May, 2020
Application Process

Applying Through SVA 

  1. Read the above overview of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and visit the official Fulbright website for more information.
  2. Read the country requirements for any countries in which you’re interested in conducting your project.
  3. Make an appointment with Fulbright Program Adviser at SVA, Anna Ogier-Bloomer.
  4. Review the application components and tips on the application components, and begin compiling the required materials ASAP. Don't wait to start until the application opens in March/April!
  5. Complete an online application through Embark by the campus deadline (announced in spring each year.)
  6. Once your application has been submitted, we will schedule a campus interview for you in early September. This step is required.
  7. Make final updates to your application based on feedback from the campus interview committee after the interview, prior to SVA's final deadline.
  8. Ensure you have submitted your application in Embark before the final deadline. It is your responsibility to ensure your application is complete and submitted online prior to the final deadline. Be proactive in speaking with the Fulbright Program Adviser with any questions or concerns.

Application Components

Important Tips for Application

  • Be proactive!
  • All applicants are recommended to attend at least one Fulbright Information Session. SVA typically offers two sessions a semester.
  • Applicants should take the time to carefully finesse their portfolio and written statements. You want to showcase what a great candidate you are!
  • Always plan ahead in case of last-minute delays, especially when it comes to recommendations from your three references.
  • Double-check that all documents are edited for flawless English grammar and spelling, and that the format style of your materials (font, spacing, margins, etc) meets the requirements of the application.
  • Great writers use editors! Ask a mentor and/or professional to review your portfolio and written materials if possible.
  • Finally, applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with the SVA Fulbright Program Advisor (Anna Ogier-Bloomer) to discuss their application and any questions that may arise during the application process.
FAQs – Please read!
  • Can I apply for more than one Fulbright program in a single year?
    Each candidate can only submit a single application per year, so you must choose one grant program at Fulbright to which you'll apply. Select the program that makes the most sense for what you want to do abroad, and why you want to go there. 

  • Who should write my letters of recommendation?
    You should ask three people who can provide enthusiastic, knowledgeable support about your capabilities to carry out the proposed project. All your recommenders should speak to your ability to carry out your proposed project in the host country – this should not be just a general recommendation letter! These three individuals should be professional references who can discuss your intellectual and professional readiness, in addition to your ability to represent the U.S. abroad. These recommendations are not character references, and must be written in English. If you are a current student or recent graduate, your department chair should be one of your recommenders. Otherwise, try to obtain a letter from at least one faculty member, as an academic reference is important. 

  • Can my application go toward multiple countries?
    No, each candidate must pick a single country and write their application accordingly. Two exceptions are the E.U. Study/Research Grant and the National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship (Nat-Geo is no longer accepting arts applications!). 

  • I thought Fulbright grants were for scientists and academics, how do they work for artists and art historians?
    Fulbrights wants artists and designers! They need more 
    Artists, designers, curators, and historians invest significant time and research in their respective practices as they relate to foreign sites and/or communities. Some example activities by former Fulbrighters include learning new skills from practitioners, researching traditional processes and histories, documenting cultures and places, producing site-specific explorations and installations, working alongside local organizations, photographing for large-scale projects, and creating books.

  • How do I prepare my portfolio?

    • Your portfolio should relate to the project and demonstrate your capabilities as a creative professional.
    • Ask for critique from fellow artists, your mentors, and SVA's Fulbright Program Advisor prior to submission.
    • Ensure your work documentation is professionally done (proper resolution, evenly and clearly lit, color balanced, excludes any environment and appropriately labeled with full detailed information on size, materials, role in production, etc.

      See these great tips on how to photograph your artwork!

  • What makes a strong Personal Statement?
    • Over the course of a one-page narrative, highlight key life experiences while demonstrating how they prepared and influenced your decision to pursue this opportunity with Fulbright.
    • Every sentence should be strong and succinct.

  • What is the Statement of Grant Purpose looking for?
    • This document should offer a compelling, thoughtful overview of your entire project and what you intend to accomplish.
    • Be sure to address the questions of Who, What, When, Where, and Why in your statement.
    • Explain how you will engage with the host country, and how this experience will benefit your professional career.
    • Show through examples rather than make statements when possible.
  • What should I expect from the Fulbright campus interview?
    The interview with the Campus Review Committee (CRC) is an opportunity for you to speak with panelists in person regarding your proposal and reasons for wanting to study, research, or teach abroad, and is required for all applicants applying through SVA. The purpose of this panel is to assess your project, level of readiness, and ability to thoughtfully discuss your intentions, as well as to provide you with valuable feedback on your application and portfolio. The CRC provides their assessment to the SVA Fulbright Program Advisor, who then uses it when endorsing your application in the final stage.  

  • When do I find out whether or not I’ve been accepted?
    Final decisions are announced between March and May in the year the grants commence, but will vary because they are based on each host country's own timeline.

  • If I don't receive the grant, can I apply again?
    YES! In fact, reapplication is encouraged! Just be sure to change or improve your application in the next year. 

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