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Study abroad funding open to students

Aug. 31, 2004

Fulbright scholarship covers most trip costs

By LISA MARRS, reporter

Students looking for an opportunity to research and study abroad for free don't need to look any further.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is a scholarship that gives students the opportunity to study, conduct research and teach in foreign countries for a period of one academic year. In most cases, full scholarships will cover all expenses.

Increasing understanding among nations through this exchange is the goal of the program.

According to Theresa Granza, director of U.S. student programs, the Fulbright program is one of the oldest and most prestigious academic programs and is highly competitive.

Applicants come from different fields, ranging from engineering to music.

"I am interested in the program because I have a large interest in international affairs and foreign cultures," Danielle Wilkinson, a Colleyville senior, said. "I would really like to work for the [United Nations] or some other international organization."

Applicants will be interviewed by a panel of Baylor professors, who will then send all applications to the Fulbright office in New York City.

The Fulbright committee will make recommendations after applications have been reviewed. They will then forward the applications overseas, and committees from the various countries will consider the recommended applicants.

"I would recommend this program for any student serious about an international career," Dr. Lianne Fridriksson, associate professor of journalism and Fulbright program director, said.

In 1946 the United States Congress created the Fulbright Program to give potential leaders an opportunity to exchange ideas with other countries. Senator J. William Fulbright saw this as a step toward an alternative to armed conflict.

Since its establishment, the Fulbright program has had more than 257,000 participants, with over 42,000 participants from the United States. The program awards nearly 1,000 each year in over 140 countries, and six Baylor students have been selected in the last 10 years.

Most grant recipients plan their own programs for research and study. Projects may include university coursework, library or field research, classes in music or art school, or special projects in the social sciences.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, and the Institute of International Education coordinates the activities of the program.

Those wishing to apply for the program must be U.S. citizens and hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent when the grant begins. Students must also be proficient in the written and spoken language of the country of intended study.

Alumni of Baylor are welcome to apply and should also contact Fridriksson. Applications for the 2005-2006 Fulbright scholarship are due Sept. 30.

Interested students must contact Fridriksson by Sept. 15 at 710-6349 or by e-mail at Lianne_Fredricksson@baylor.edu.

Information about the program is also available at www.iie.org.