U.S. Inormation and Educational Exchange Act that enabled the Fulbright Program to get o the ground.Under this piece o landmark legislation, the Department o State was able to “seek appropriations to pay contractual costs and some dollar expenses o oreign grantees, as well as carry out exchanges in countries withminimal surplus property sales.”
Te rst batch o Fulbright participants began their travels in 1948.
At that time, partnerships had only beenestablished with China, Burma, and the Philippines, so the Fulbright cohort was the smallest it has ever beenin the program’s history: 47 Americans and 36 oreign nationals.
Momentum picked up drastically, and by the next year the program was able to send 823 Americans abroadand bring 967 oreign nationals to America in an exchange that included many more European states such asFrance, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Over the next decade, the Fulbright program continued to expand at a substantial rate, incorporating moreand more countries into its robust network o exchange.Te practice o allowing countries to pay o their debts to the United States inunorthodox manners such as contributing to and participating in educationalexchange programs also continued and became something o an institution. With the passage o more landmark legislation in 1961— the Mutual Educationaland Cultural Exchange Act, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act— the programsaw increased governmental and institutional support to expand its authority overeducational matters at home and exchange projects abroad.Te Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act not only widened the geographicpurview o the Fulbright Scholarship Board to include over 100 new countries, butalso “promoted modern oreign language and area studies schools and colleges in theUnited States.”
oday the Fulbright Program operates in over 155 countries around the world and has a participant body o around 8000 scholars and students per year.
It is internationally recognized as an exchange program that brings together people rom all walks o lie and“is an important element o the United States’ bilateral relationships with countries around the world.”
What is a Fulbright Scholarship?
Te Fulbright Program operates on a number o dierent levels: it oers “competitive, merit-based grants” toa select number o students, scholars, teachers, and proessionals—both American and International— to live, work, and/or study abroad or a dened amount o time.
Te exchanges are between the United States and other countries only. A student rom South Arica would notbe able to receive a Fulbright grant to study or research or work in Tailand, or example.Tese grants are generally ully-unded and cover “roundtrip transportation to the host country, monthly maintenance or the length o the grant, ull or partial tuition (i applicable), accident and sickness coverage,and the cost o mandatory Fulbright orientation and enrichment activities.”