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Fulbright Foreign Student Program

This is the grant you would like to apply for, if you want to pursue

  • a Master’s or Ph.D. degree;
  • non-degree coursework;
  • or Ph.D. research

The Grants are four to ten months in length and not renewable. They are to be used toward the cost of tuition and other academic expenses. In general, a grant for one academic year is about $20,000. However the final grant amount awarded per grantee depends on the number of finalists and on the availability of funds.  Applications will be accepted in all fields, except law, medicine (not including Public Health or medical research), dentistry, and veterinary medicine.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Swiss citizenship (If you hold another citizenship you must contact the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section in your citizenship country.)
  • Undergraduate degree from a University or University of Applied Sciences and Arts completed by summer 2020.
  • English proficiency with a TOEFL Internet-based iBT score of 100 or higher.

In the following cases, you are not eligible to apply:

  • You hold dual citizenship with the United States, are a resident of the United States, or hold a “green card.”
  • You will not have completed a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) by summer 2020.
  • You plan to start your U.S. studies earlier than the fall semester of 2020.
  • You have already obtained a Ph.D. degree, or are expecting to obtain a Ph.D. degree before fall 2020.
  • You intend to apply for a LL.M. or a research stay (in the context of a Ph.D. in law) at a U.S. law school.
  • You intend to pursue an internship, residency, or research at a U.S. school of medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine.
  • You have already applied for or have been admitted to a study program outside of the Fulbright program
  • You are currently studying, researching, or lecturing at a U.S. university.
  • You are currently living or working in the United States.

Application process

Deadline for application August 5, 2019

The online application is available here.

Please review the following document carefully before completing the online application:

NOTE: Make sure to read the instructions before filling out the online form as they are specific to Switzerland.

Your application is not considered complete until swissuniversities receives your submitted online application (including the uploaded supplemental forms, reference letters and academic records) and the hard copies of the academic records (certified copies) by mail on or before August 5, 2019.

If you have any questions or doubts about your eligibility or the application procedure, you can contact the Scholarship Service via email fulbright@clutterswissuniversities.ch.

A complete application consists of the following:

  • online application form
  • completed Supplemental Forms
  • three letters of reference uploaded by the recommenders into the online application by August 5, 2019
  • certified copies of official academic transcripts written in English or with an official English translation from all post-secondary schools
  • certified copies of diplomas/degrees for all post-secondary schools attended, and original English translations (when necessary)

Selection

A number of applicants will be invited for an interview in September 2019 with the Fulbright Selection Committee. The committee expects you to attend the interview at the U.S. Embassy in Bern in person. The pre-selection is based on the application materials, in which your personal statement, focusing not only on your academic goals, but also your support for the Fulbright ideals, and your study/research objectives play an important role.

During the interview you will be asked to tell us more about your academic plans in the U.S., your interest in furthering mutual understanding, and the extra-curricular activities that you plan to do. During the interview you will also have the opportunity to tell more about yourself, to help the Committee get to know you.

Special preference will be given to candidates who show good academic performance, but who also have a sincere interest in getting to know the U.S. culture and values, and who do not have extensive and recent experience of living and studying in the U.S.  Strong candidates are often socially engaged in community service, volunteer activities and the like, and are ready to meet new people and engage in new experiences.

Candidates will be notified of the results of the interviews in September 2019.

Placement at U.S. institutions

Once you have been selected as grantee, the application procedure for U.S. universities starts.

The Institute of International Education (IIE), which administers the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, will give you full support in this. IIE will offer placement service for approximately 4-5 universities. You will work with IIE to create a well-balanced submission plan for the various educational institutes. IIE  submits applications on your behalf as a "Fulbright candidate". IIE will follow-up with universities to obtain the most advantageous placements and financial aid. This means that IIE will negotiate (partial) tuition waivers or additional financial support with the U.S. institution. Application fees are also covered by IIE.

Once candidates have decided to accept an offer of admission, IIE forwards an acceptance or withdrawal to each university.

Further guidance and support

swissuniversities and the U.S. Embassy in Bern will organize an orientation meeting for the selected grantees to get to know each other and to discuss the timeline and procedures. An early summer pre-departure meeting will be organized to discuss all visa issues and further logistics.

swissuniversities will provide vouchers for TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT examinations after the selection for the Fulbright Program.

The U.S. Embassy will assist you with the application of your J1-visa* (exchange visitor). And swissuniversities will be available to answer any questions you may have in the meantime.

IIE will invite you to a special introduction program to get to know fellow Fulbrighters. You will also be able to participate in "enrichment seminars" with other Fulbrighters during your stay.

*Visa sponsorship: J1-visa (exchange visitor) requires grantees to return to their home country for at least 2 years after the completion of their studies before they can apply for a residence or work permit. The re-entry on a tourist or student visa is possible anytime.