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EDUCATION REPORT - Coming to America as a Fulbrighter

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This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

We come to the twentieth week of our series on higher education in the United States. Today we answer two e-mails from Thailand. A refugee from Burma and another listener in Thailand both want to know more about the Fulbright Program.

The Fulbright Program gives Americans a chance to study, teach or do research in other countries. And it gives people in other countries a chance to do the same in America.

Hala al-Sarraf, an Iraqi Fulbright scholar, appears before lawmakers in Congress in July of last year
Hala al-Sarraf, an Iraqi Fulbright scholar, appears before lawmakers in Congress in July of last year

Fulbright grants are given to graduate students, scholars and professionals. There is also a Fulbright exchange program just for teachers and administrators.

Each year about six thousand people receive Fulbright grants. The United States government pays most of the costs. Foreign governments and schools help by sharing costs and providing other support.

The Fulbright Program operates in about one hundred fifty countries. Around two hundred seventy thousand Fulbrighters have taken part over the years.

Legislation by Senator William Fulbright established the program in nineteen forty-six. He saw educational exchange as a way to help people understand other ideas and ways of life. Senator Fulbright also believed the program could educate future world leaders.

In nineteen sixty-eight, the Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program began. This Fulbright program brings foreign teachers to the United States to work with high school or college students.

Two other Fulbright programs that offer ways to come to the United States are the foreign student and visiting scholar programs. The Foreign Student Program brings graduate students to study and do research at a college or university. The Visiting Scholar Program brings foreign experts to speak and do research for up to a year.

The list of countries in the Fulbright Program changes each year. And the requirements may differ from country to country.

You can learn more about the program from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the State Department. We have a link to the program's Web site at www.unsv.com. Or do a search on the Internet for "Fulbright Program."

You can also contact the local Fulbright Commission or American Embassy in your country for more information.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. To send us e-mail, write to special@voanews.com. I'm Steve Ember.

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