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Fulbright Program for U.S. Students

Fulbright Program Adviser

Issue 39 | July 2010

The 2011 - 2012 Application Season and Applying in the Arts
table of contents

Program Updates

Fulbright U.S. Student Program Online Application for 2011-2012

by Walter Jackson, Program Manager, Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The application system for 2011-2012 was made available May 1, 2010.  The Fulbright application process is now exclusively online and no longer requires production or submission of hard copy documents.  Complete instructions for using the online application can be accessed on the Fulbright website under the RESOURCES FOR: FPAs link.  A PowerPoint presentation with instructions for using all the online application manager functions is in the 'Using the Online Application' section.  Login IDs and passwords for the online application management system have not changed from last year.  Advisers who have not already done so should request access to the application system for their institutions.  Please e-mail Walter Jackson at wjackson@iie.org with your request.


An Interview with Fulbright Alumni Ambassador Franz Knupfer

by Michele Scheib, Project Specialist, National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange/Mobility International USA

Franz Knupfer, 2008-2009, Nepal 
Fulbright Alumni Ambassador Franz Knupfer, 2008-2009, Nepal (left), with a Deaf Nepali student

For his Fulbright project in Nepal, Franz Knupfer, who is Deaf, developed a collection of short stories, learned Nepali Sign Language, and volunteered at Deaf schools.  He also had many secondary goals, all of which complimented his research: visiting mountain villages in the Himalaya, seeing what life was like for rural Deaf people, and learning as much as he could about Nepali culture, food, holidays - the details of which would later become part of his stories' settings. 

We asked Franz to tell us about his experiences applying to the Fulbright Program and as a Deaf grantee in Nepal:

Tell us about preparing your Fulbright application.

I had an incredibly helpful and encouraging Fulbright Program Adviser (FPA) while I was a graduate student in the Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) program at Johns Hopkins University.  The Fulbright U.S. Student Program website was useful for the initial process.  I discovered that several previous Fulbright projects worked with the deaf community in Nepal, so I got in touch with past grantees.  I also found it useful to get in touch with U.S. non-profits who were working with people who are Deaf and others with disabilities in Nepal.  The Fulbright scholarship was the perfect opportunity to combine writing, traveling, and service.  When I began to realize the kinds of opportunities I could have in Nepal, I became really excited and it motivated me to take the next step.

What was the interview process like for you?

Though the FPA and professors challenged me with the questions they asked, trying to explore weaknesses in my application, they did so in a supportive, instructive way.  I’m an excellent lip-reader and I also use a hearing aid and cochlear implant, so I didn’t need any services for communication access during the interview.  Being in a small group setting was enough for me to fully access the interview process.

How could Fulbright staff improve the process to encourage more Deaf/Hard of Hearing participants to apply?

I represent only one aspect of the Deaf community.  I was mainstreamed growing up and I’ve always lived in the hearing world.  In the Deaf community, there is a strong desire to network and meet with other Deaf people.  The first step for Fulbright staff is to let students in the Deaf community know that it is possible to get a Fulbright to work with an international Deaf community.  The second step is to encourage Deaf students to apply, explaining that the Fulbright isn’t just a grant for people in the “hearing world.”

Tell us about an experience that had an impact on you during your Fulbright program in Nepal.

It was incredibly rewarding to get to know so many students at the Naxal School for the Deaf in Kathmandu.  I taught art to students who are Deaf for several months and it was trial by fire since I was just beginning to learn Nepali Sign Language.  But I loved the kids and loved inspiring them.  I also taught American Sign Language to older students later in the year and that was just as rewarding.  Having a service element to my project was so important.  It plugged me into the community, gave me a sense of purpose, and provided material for my stories.

What do you plan to do next?

I am applying for Ph.D. programs in creative writing and working on my collection of short stories about Nepal.  I have volunteered to be an alumni ambassador for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to answer questions about Nepal and about the Fulbright Program to anyone who is interested.

To learn more about the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange/Mobility International USA, please click here

To learn more about Franz Knupfer's Fulbright project and his work from his blog, please click here.  Fulbright Program Advisers may also contact him directly with questions about applying to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and his experiences in Nepal.


Preparing an Application in the Creative, Performing or Visual Arts

by Walter Jackson, Program Manager, Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program encourages applications for study or training in the creative, performing and visual arts.  Applications in all fields in over 140 Fulbright countries are welcome.  Candidates should be thoroughly familiar with the Individual Country Summary and requirements for the country to which they wish to apply.

Proposals in the arts should focus on formal performance training and/or independent study in specific disciplines.  Applicants should indicate the following in their project statements: the reasons for choosing a particular country, the nature of their study, the form their work will take and whether it involves formal study at an institution, with an individual or an independent study.  In their project statements, applicants should relate their current training to the study they plan to undertake abroad, the expected results of the study or training and the contribution the Fulbright experience will have on their professional development.

Applicants must indicate host country affiliations and, where possible, provide letters of support from the individual or institution with whom or where they plan to carry out their study.  While sources of support/affiliation are country specific, they may include organizations such as museums, music groups, galleries, conservatories, etc.

Candidates in the arts should be aware that their applications and supplementary materials will be reviewed by a discipline-specific committee of experts.  Special care should be taken when identifying the appropriate field of study in the application; it should be germane to the focus of the proposed project.  The discipline-specific committees in the creative, performing and visual arts include: Architecture; Creative Writing; Dance & Performance Art; Design; Filmmaking; Music Composition & Conducting; Photography; Piano; Organ & Harpsichord; Theater, including Acting, Directing and Costume/Set Design; Sculpture & Installation Art; Painting & Printmaking; String Instruments, including Cello, Double Bass, Guitar, Harp, Lute, Viola, and Violin; Voice; Percussion; Wind Instruments; and World Music, which includes performance-based projects in non-Western genres.

The members of the discipline-specific screening committees in the arts can be working professionals, working/teaching professionals or full-time arts faculty at academic institutions or teachers at art and music conservatories in the U.S.  They will be reviewing applications and supplementary materials in their respective fields for all Fulbright countries.

The supplementary materials should support the proposed study.  In submitting supplementary materials in support of the application, candidates should refer to their discipline in the Instructions for Submitting Materials in the Creative and Performing Arts for specifications on the materials required. Materials not specifically requested will not be reviewed.

While the quality of the supplementary material submitted in support of the written application is extremely important, candidates in the arts should be aware that members of the screening committees will also be interested in the applicant’s training and preparation to carry out the proposed project.  Therefore, previous formal study, training or experience is important.

Projects should focus on practical training or performance studies.  Candidates should outline a project which is supported by their previous study background, and which will add to their professional training and development.

Applicants whose projects emphasize academic research over practical/performance training should apply in the academic field appropriate to the nature of the project (e.g., Architectural History, Art History, Ethnomusicology, Film Studies, Musicology, Theater Studies, etc.) and not submit supplementary material.


Resources for Promoting the Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Below are several resources you can use to let your students know about the Fulbright Program:

Fulbright U.S. Student Program Applicant Blog

Applicants to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program are encouraged to regularly visit and subscribe to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program Applicant Blog.  It can currently be found on us.fulbrightonline.org under MULTIMEDIA.  The blog features tips and advice on applying to Fulbright, student testimonials, a calendar with upcoming Webinars, campus visits, a link for enrolled students to find their Fulbright campus adviser and links to resources such as podcasts and YouTube videos. 



We are currently producing two newsletters each month:

Fulbright U.S. Student Grantee Newsletter:


FPA Newsletter:

Each issue will cover tips on how to assist U.S. Student Fulbright Program candidates and offers resources and best practices on how to promote the program.

Podcasts (available on iTunes)

Four types of podcasts are currently available:

My Fulbright Life: Interviews with current Fulbrighters talking about their projects and experiences overseas.

Applicant Podcast: Interviews with IIE Program Managers and others on how to complete a successful Fulbright application.

Fulbright Alumni Roundtables: Interviews with Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumni grouped by world region or type of grant discussing their experiences in applying and being overseas.

Fulbright Guidance Sessions: Presentations with Q&A sessions on applying to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.


The webinars provide an online forum for Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumni to discuss their experiences with applicants.  IIE Program Managers moderate the discussions followed by question and answer sessions.  Study or research and ETA applicants are encouraged to attend the session related to their proposed country of application.  Check the us.fulbrightonline.org home page for dates and times.


The Fulbright Program has a YouTube page where you can view videos of students and Fulbright staff members talking about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.


Encourage your students to join the official Facebook Fulbright page to learn more about the Fulbright Program and connect with others.  Check the Facebook Fulbright page regularly for news, events, resources and more.


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is now on Twitter!  Students can receive updates at: https://twitter.com/FulbrightPrgrm.


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