Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

I hold dual citizenship - Greek and American. Am I eligible to apply for a Fulbright grant?
No. However, Greek citizens who hold dual citizenship with a country other than the United States are eligible to apply.

I do not hold Greek citizenship but I have graduated from a Greek university. Am I eligible to apply for a Fulbright grant?
No. You will need to apply to the Fulbright Foundation in the country of your citizenship.

Under which visa category do persons participate in the Fulbright program?
All Fulbright grantees are required by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to travel on exchange visitor "J-1" visas. It is a condition of the visa that, after completion of the program, all scholarship recipients must return to Greece and reside in Greece for two years before being eligible to immigrate to, or apply for permanent residence or a work permit in the United States. Please visit the ECA J1 website for more info: http://j1visa.state.gov

Can the award be postponed until the following year?
Fulbright awards cannot be deferred to the following academic year. Candidates are obliged to resubmit an application for the scholarship.

Is a person currently studying or conducting research in the United States eligible for a Fulbright grant?
No. Scholars who have already begun their research or teaching activities or who have been physically present in the United States on a J-1 visa for more than 6 of the 12 months preceding the start date of their Fulbright grant are not eligible to apply.

Will receipt of my application and letters of recommendation be acknowledged?
Applicants should check with the Foundation to ensure that all documentation regarding their application has been received.

I have been awarded another grant(s) to study/conduct research in the United States. Am I eligible to apply for a Fulbright grant?
Yes, recipients of other grants are eligible for Fulbright grants. Applicants, however, should check with other foundations or grant sources to learn if any restrictions exist.

Who is on the Fulbright Selection Committee?
The Fulbright Selection Committee comprises of at least four Greek and US experts in the fields of study of the pool of applicants. Committee members are drawn from the Fulbright Foundation Board of Directors, senior academics and accomplished professionals, US Embassy representatives, and Fulbright alumni. The Executive Director of the Fulbright Program in Greece and the Greek Program Coordinator participate in the committee as non-voting members.

How are applicants informed of their nomination status?
Applicants receive an email notification that will either nominate them as a primary or alternate candidate, or that will inform them of their non-selection. A primary candidate can be certain of his/her award and the amount plus benefits will be stipulated in the notification email. The candidate should acknowledge receipt by email and notify whether they accept or reject the terms of the award. An alternate candidate remains on standby until further notification. She/he will be contacted again, usually just after the Easter holidays, following an overall review of the number of scholarships and the available budget for that specific academic year. The Fulbright Foundation may or may not come back with an alternative grant proposal (for instance a partial grant for students, a stipend and/or travel grant for scholars). The candidate should acknowledge receipt by email and notify whether they accept or reject the terms of the award. Alternate candidates who decide that they would rather prefer to reapply in the following academic year do not receive extra credits because of their previous nomination. Due to the large number of applications, only a limited number of candidates will be nominated. Non-selected candidates will not be considered for any grant but they are welcome to reapply in the following year. Non-selected candidates may take advantage of the free advising and counseling services on academic issues at the Fulbright Foundation including information on alternate sources of funding.

Can you tell me why I was not selected?
Unfortunately, no. Each year the number of well-qualified applicants exceeds the number of grants available. Final selection and the procedures to achieve this selection are the responsibility of the Fulbright Selection Committee and the Board of Directors of the U.S. Educational Foundation in Greece.

To what disciplines and projects does the Fulbright Foundation offer scholarships?
The Foundation offers scholarships in a variety of disciplines and supports many different research and art projects. To check out a list of scholarships awarded in previous years please refer to the Fulbright News newsletter or the Grantee link.

What kind of expenses should I anticipate?
Usually four types of expenses are considered: 1. any fees the university might charge you (tuition, enrollment fees, course fees ...) 2. the projected monthly living expenses depending on where you will reside 3. any additional insurance cost 4. living expenses for dependents contingent on your study/research location. The Greek Program Coordinator can help you devise an initial budget. Any amount above your received grants/scholarships/university financial aid programs will need to be covered by personal funding and proven before your visa can be issued.

What cover does the limited health and accident insurance provide?
All Fulbright grantees are automatically covered by ASPE, the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' Accident Sickness Program for Exchanges. Its scope is rather limited - it's mainly for emergency medical care - so participants should plan on getting their health care needs in order before departing. (In other words, your grant period is not the ideal time to plan on having routine dental and doctor's visits.) Participants should bring their eyeglasses and prescription medications with them (although the program can fill prescriptions if needed on an emergency basis). ASPE does not cover pre-existing conditions. If students need to see a medical professional during the course of the program, the host university will arrange for the visit and each university has budgeted for co-payments. You can find more information on ASPE here: http://usdos.sevencorners.com/. The website also includes a useful handbook.

I am a Greek citizen but I hold a Bachelor's degree from a non-Greek university. Am I eligible to apply for a Fulbright grant?
No. Presently, the awards are geared towards graduates of Greek universities and polytechnic schools so as to create opportunities for students who have not yet had educational experience outside Greece.

How many Fulbright grants are awarded each year to Greek graduate students?
Up to 10 partial grants are offered annually to Greek graduate students. The number of grants depends on the funding the Foundation receives each year.

What does the Fulbright grant include?
The Fulbright grant is partial grant that provides a maximum allowance of up to $18,000 (towards tuition and/or living expenses) for the first year only, roundtrip airfare, and limited health and accident insurance. The amount awarded depends on the Fulbright committee's recommendation.

Can a recipient pursue a medical degree with a Fulbright grant?
Candidates who wish to pursue studies as medical students are not eligible to apply. Candidates with medical degrees may receive grants for advanced academic study (Ph.D.), but not for internships or residencies. You and your host will be asked to provide a medical memo stating that your academic program does not require any unsupervised clinical patient contact.

I have not yet been accepted at a U.S. university. May I still apply?
Yes. Most applicants have not been accepted at universities at the time they apply for a Fulbright grant, but generally they have already submitted their applications to US universities. If you are interviewed and are successful, you will be offered a grant provided you are also accepted at an accredited institution in the United States.

I am not able to be present at the interview. May I be interviewed on the telephone/Skype and will my application still be considered?
No. Applicants are required to be present at the interview.

How many Fulbright grants are awarded each year to Greek visiting scholars?
About 7 partial grants are offered annually to Greek visiting scholars. The number of grants depends on the funding the Foundation receives each year.

I have studied previously in the United States. Am I eligible to participate in the research scholar program?
Yes, but preference is given to applicants without such experience.

I've submitted an application for a research grant and I plan to visit two institutions in the United States. I've only received one affiliation letter and am waiting for the second. Will this put my application in jeopardy?
No, as long as there is an "informal" indication (for instance, an e-mail to the Foundation) showing that the invitation is in good standing and that the official letter of invitation will be mailed soon.

I just finished my Ph.D. program. Can I apply for a Fulbright research grant?
No. At the time of your grant application four years must elapse after the receipt of your doctorate in order to apply for a research grant.

I am a qualified medical doctor. Can I apply for a research grant?
Yes, but only if your project involves research and not internships or residencies. You and your host will be asked to sign a Medical Memo (Guiding Principles for the Medical and Clinical Fields).

What does the evaluation involve?
The Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program relies on U.S. based experts across the eligible program disciplines to serve as peer reviewers in order to identify the most qualified applicants for appointment to the Visiting Scholar Roster. The Fulbright Foundation is responsible for coordinating and conducting the initial screening of Fulbright applications through the peer review process, a hallmark of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program that assures that applicants will be evaluated on academic, scholarly, and professional criteria. Peer review committee members play an integral role and are tasked with the following:

  • To consider applications in the context of the basic objectives of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.
  • To assess the appropriateness of the applicant's background, experience and achievements for a short-term international exchange opportunity.
  • To consider the expected benefits of the applicant's ability to promote mutual understanding, to benefit host countries and, upon the grantee's return to the United States, to benefit home institutions and/or networks of professional colleagues.

In collaboration with institutions of higher education and their senior academic faculty members, professional associations, and Fulbright alumni, the Fulbright Foundation develops review committees that represent academia's disciplinary, geographic, and institutional diversity.

Evaluations and recommendations of the committee are put before the Fulbright Board of Directors for approval and final nomination. At the end of the review process, candidates are informed in writing of their nomination status by e-mail notification from the Executive Director of the Foundation.

How many Fulbright grants are offered to Greek artists each year?
About 3 partial grants are offered annually to Greek artists. The number of grants depends on the funding the Foundation receives each year.

I am an artist who wishes to pursue graduate studies in the United States. Am I eligible to participate in the Artists program?
No. The Artists program is a non-degree program designed especially for candidates who wish to pursue only training and observation in their field. If you wish to pursue graduate studies, you should apply to the Graduate program, provided you fulfill all the eligibility requirements.

I am an artist and I have been awarded a Fulbright grant for 6 months. May I stay longer than six months in the United States?
Yes, but you will have to provide sufficient proof that you have the financial means to support your extra stay in the United States.

What kind of affiliation should I be seeking?
Artists are encouraged to seek US affiliation well in advance of their registration. Affiliation for a non-degree program should be established with a US institution or organization that offers courses, workshops, seminars, studio practice, and/or research opportunities. Residencies are not permitted. Academic programs leading to a Professional Diploma or Certificate are acceptable if they do not exceed one academic year (9 months).

What is ASPE, and what does it cover?
ASPE, the Bureau's Accident Sickness Program for Exchanges, is the same program that provides emergency coverage for Fulbright students and scholars (in fact, for all of our ECA exchanges). Its scope is rather limited - it's mainly for emergency medical care - so participants should plan on getting their health care needs in order before departing. (In other words, the 5 weeks on program is not the time to plan on having routine dental and doctor's visits.) Participants should bring their eyeglasses and prescription medications with them (although the program can fill prescriptions if needed on an emergency basis). ASPE does not cover pre-existing conditions. If students need to see a medical professional during the course of the program, the host university will arrange for the visit and each university has budgeted for co-payments. You can find more information on ASPE here: http://usdos.sevencorners.com/. The website also includes a useful handbook.

What happens in the event of an emergency?
The on-campus coordinator will contact directly the program organizer immediately in the event of an emergency. The campus coordinator will also reach out to the emergency contact (family member or other) that the student has identified (in pre-departure communications

What sort of stipend will the students receive?
Per our guidance to the host universities, students in each of the institutes receive $15 per day for incidental expenses, beyond their meals. The host universities will distribute the funds directly. The students will receive information in orientations at the host universities on the timing and distribution of the stipends. The students should think about how they would like to budget the $15/day of pocket money they will receive. Students may want to use their stipends to go to the movies, to order a pizza, to buy souvenirs. The amount should be plenty, since all of their other living expenses (meals, transportation, for example) are covered by the program. In addition to the books students will receive as part of the curriculum, students may choose a small number of supplemental books from a pre-selected list of titles having to do with American Studies and their institute's theme. The books will then be the students' own, and we expect that the students will bring them home. The supplemental books will not be mailed to the students' homes; students are expected to pack the books in their suitcases.

There will be slight variations from institute to institute, since each is run by a different university in a different location. But all students will be provided for and well-supervised. In addition to adult staff supervision, each institute will also have two or more peer mentors, U.S. students who will befriend the participants and advise them.

What sort of accommodations will be made for students observing Ramadan and other religious holidays?
The host universities are prepared to host Muslim students, as well as students of all religious denominations. Some students have self-identified their religious needs on their applications. It never hurts, however, to have the students let their university program coordinators know of special needs that they may have. The students can be in contact with the program coordinators after the students receive welcome information from the host university. If a student must have time to attend religious services, the student should inform the university hosts in advance, so that the university can make arrangements. All host universities will have provisions in place to accommodate religious observances. Students observing Ramadan should be aware, however, that life in the U.S. does not slow down for Ramadan, and the students will be expected to participate in program activities. (This is especially important to note for those students participating in the Environmental Stewardship institute, which includes outdoor activities.) In addition, some students have noted that they only consume halal meat. Please emphasize to the students that they will need to be willing to be flexible in their practices during the five-week program – for example, eating as a vegetarian to avoid meat that is not halal. Provisions will be made for those students needing to break a fast at night. Each university has a plan for supporting students observing Ramadan, and will share additional information about these accommodations directly with the students.

What about accommodations with students who have other special needs?
The application included space for participants to self-identify any medical issues, food allergies, food restrictions, and any other special requirements. If the students have a special need and have not yet shared that information, please encourage the students to do so when the university hosts contact them. The universities will meet all needs relating to participant health and safety. Accommodations will be made for students with disabilities.

What about the two-year home residency requirement?
As with all Fulbrighters, participants in the Summer Institute program travel to the US on J-1 visas and are subject to the two-year home residency requirement before applying for a visa to work or emigrate from Ireland to the United States. Participants may apply for further additional ECA programs or for further study in the U.S. without completing the two-year requirement. We do have individuals in our ECA programs who participate in more than one program through J-1 visas and who then apply for F1 visas to further their studies, although as with all visa applications, at no point is there a guarantee of a visa. The U.S. Embassy's consular affairs officers have the authority to approve or deny any application.

The congratulations letter from our office mentions a J-1 visa brochure. This brochure can be found at: http://j1visa.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/The-Exchange-Visitor-Program.pdf. Students can also find more information about the visa here: http://j1visa.state.gov/basics/.

What degree of English proficiency should a nominee have?
All participants must be fully proficient in English; throughout the Institute they will need to fully understand lectures, actively participate in discussions, and read and write assignments in English.

Can a nominee who is a dual citizen (U.S. and country of origin) participate in Study of the U.S. Institutes?
No. U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) are NOT eligible to participate in this program.

How much free time will a participant have during the program?
There will be some free time during the program. However, nominees MUST understand that this is an intensive academic program and they are expected to fully participate in all lectures, activities, site visits, and scheduled events.

If a nominee has relatives in the U.S., would he/she have time to see them?
Participants will NOT be allowed to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends. Occasionally it is possible for a relative or friend to visit the participant on a specific day designated by the host institution if the schedule permits. These situations will be addressed on a case by case basis in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution.

How important it is to nominate a gender balanced group?
Very important! We strive to have the best possible diversity and gender balance in the Institutes (except for Women's Leadership institutes).

Can a participant arrive early/late or stay after the Institute?
No. Participants who choose to travel to the United States on a Study of the U.S. Institute are required to abide by the terms and conditions of the program. These terms state clearly that student leaders may NOT arrive in the United States before the program start date or remain in the country after the close of the institute. Participants must also return to their home countries immediately following the end of the Institute.

Can a graduate student participate in this Institute?
No. Study of the U.S. Institutes are designed exclusively for undergraduate students with at least one remaining semester of study.

Can a participant miss one part or component of the Institute?
No. All participants are expected to participate in all scheduled lectures, events, site visits, trips, and activities.

How much money will participants need to bring for the program?
The Study of the U.S. Institutes covers all basic costs of an individual's participation including transportation, lodging, and meals. Generally, host institutions provide for meals through a combination of a cafeteria meal plan, a pre-loaded debit card for use at local restaurants, and/or a cash allowance to permit participants to purchase food for cooking. Information on housing and meal arrangements will be provided by the host institution six weeks prior to the start of the Institute. Other than the meal stipend mentioned above, participants should not expect to receive any spending money from the Institute. Participants should bring their own spending money if they wish to purchase souvenirs or other items during their time in the United States.

Are participants permitted to smoke during the Institute?
Yes. However, participants should be aware that many places in the United States now prohibit smoking. Smoking in such places could be considered a violation of the law. Some places that may prohibit smoking are university housing, classrooms, office buildings, restaurants, public parks, and other locations. Smoking laws will vary from location to location so participants who smoke should look for designated smoking areas.

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