Fulbright U.K. Summer Institute

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A brief history

The U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission was established by diplomatic treaty in 1948 and is founded on the belief that individuals who experience other cultures will have a deeper understanding of the world and be able to contribute to ventures which mutually benefit multiple nations and which improve the relationship between those nations. United States Senator J. William Fulbright was integral in creating peace and prosperity, and supported intercultural exchange programs that would make this vision achievable.

Students who partake in programs which foster intercultural exchange, according to the Program's philosophy, will enhance their professional skills, gain further academic knowledge and develop empathy as global citizens. Since the establishment of the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission, there have been more than 27,000 exchanges between the two countries.  

Overview

The U.K. Summer Institute seeks applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds who have had little previous opportunity to immerse themselves in another culture. There are multiple Summer Institutes available every year, each hosted by a different university and each of which focuses on a different subject, topic, or historical or cultural context. Applicants do not need to be familiar with every aspect of the culture or university to which they are applying and are encouraged to apply to an Institute that will allow them to explore their interests. The Summer Institute encourages applications from candidates who possess strong academic ability, intercultural awareness, ambassadorial skills and leadership potential. Additionally, candidates should demonstrate a genuine desire to learn more about the United Kingdom and have plans to further the Fulbright mission and give back to their communities upon their return to the United States following the completion of the Institute.

The specific nature of each Summer Institute varies according to the program. The number of places available in each program varies from three to 10. Specific details about each program are generally not finalized until close to the start date of the program. Students who have been selected to participate will receive more detailed information about their program. For more information about the Summer Institutes being offered, visit the Fulbright Commission website.

Award stipend and benefits

The Fulbright Commission and host institutions work together to cover the cost of round-trip airfare from the United States to their host university in the United Kingdom, accommodation and program expenses, and tuition and fees at the host university for program participants. Some Institutes may also provide a small subsistence stipend to help cover daily costs of food and beverages.  

Program participants are expected to pay for their own travel, health, and accident insurance. Participants may be eligible to receive academic credit for most Summer Institute programs. Students should consult with their home college as soon as possible to discuss the possibility of receiving credit for their participation and consult their university advisor with questions.

Program and eligibility requirements

A minimum 3.7 GPA is required to apply for this scholarship. Candidates who have a GPA lower than 3.7 at the time they are applying but who expect their GPA to meet or exceed the requirement by the start of the Institute may apply, but an academic advisor must provide a statement (to be included with the candidate's application) supporting the claim that the candidate's GPA is expected to rise. Other program and eligibility requirements include:

  • Candidates can submit their applications directly to the foundation. Advisors are not required to submit on the candidate's behalf.
  • Candidates must submit two letters of recommendation as part of their application. At least one of these recommendations must be from a professor or academic advisor.  
  • Candidates who are U.S. citizens are eligible to apply. Candidates with dual U.S.-U.K. citizenship may apply. Additionally, candidates applying must possess a valid U.S. passport.  
  • Candidates must be at least 18 years old by the start of the program to apply. 
  • Strong preference is given to candidates who have had little to no experience living and/or studying outside the U.S. before the Institute. Applicants who have spent more than four weeks outside of North America in the past five years are not eligible to apply. Applicants who have spent up to four weeks outside of North America in the past five years may be at a disadvantage, but strong applications from such candidates will still be considered.
  • Candidates must be freshmen or sophomores at the university which they attend in the United States and must have at least two years of undergraduate study remaining after the conclusion of the Institute.  
  • Candidates must be able to participate in the program for its full duration in order to be eligible to apply. Candidates must also be able to travel to and from the program on the dates specified by the Institute, as the tickets with arrival and departure dates centered around the dates of the Institute are booked and cannot be altered.
  • Applicants may apply for only one of the Summer Institutes offered per session.
  • Candidates who are offered a place in the program may not defer the offer until the following year. Candidates who are offered a place and choose not to participate must reapply for subsequent programs.
  • Students who participate in a Fulbright Summer Institute are eligible and encouraged to apply to be Fulbright Students and/or Scholars at the postgraduate or postdoctoral levels.

Application instructions

The application for the Fulbright Summer Institute opens in late November and closes in early February. Candidates apply using the online application portal and upload a transcript along with the application (official transcripts are preferred). Candidates should select two references and insert their email addresses into the application; the system will send a notification message that will direct the recipients to a portal through which they can submit a letter of recommendation. Finalists for the Institute will be notified in late March, and interviews will be conducted by video conference calls in early to mid-April. All applicants should be notified of their status by the end of April. Preparation and pre-departure information for Institute participants will be available throughout May and June.

University contact information

Interested students should contact Kent State University's Fulbright Summer Institute advisor Frank Congin at fcongin@kent.edu with any questions.  

Please check back in the future for Kent State's internal deadline process schedule.