Program history

About the program…



“Our future is not in the stars but in our own minds and hearts. Creative leadership and liberal education, which in fact go together, are the first requirements for a hopeful future for humankind. Fostering these–leadership, learning, and empathy between cultures–was and remains the purpose of the international scholarship program that I was privileged to sponsor in the U.S. Senate over forty years ago. It is a modest program with an immodest aim–the achievement in international affairs of a regime more civilized, rational and humane than the empty system of power of the past. I believed in that possibility when I began. I still do.”

— J. WILLIAM FULBRIGHT (1905 – 1995)

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. While the Fulbright Commission in Brussels administers the Fulbright Program for citizens of Belgium and Luxembourg as well as participants in the Fulbright Schuman Program, the program operates in over 160 countries worldwide and awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Roughly 1,900 U.S. students, 4,000 foreign students, 1,200 U.S. scholars, and 900 visiting scholars receive awards, in addition to several hundred teachers and professionals. More than 380,000 “Fulbrighters” from over 160 countries have participated in the program since its inception in 1946.

The Fulbright Schuman Program, administered by the Fulbright Commission in Brussels and jointly financed by the U.S. State Department and the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission provides grants for citizens of EU Member States to conduct research in the United States and to American citizens to conduct research in the European Union.