22nd February 2024 4:10 pm
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Applications open for Fullbright Scholarship in the USA

South African postgraduate students should take note of the Fullbright Scholarship which has opened applications to pursue studies and research in the United States in 2023 and 2024.

While the years that the scholarship will be active are some time away, the closure of said applications is happening much sooner on 1st May 2022.

Two types of scholarships are available through the programme, according to the listing on the US Embassy and Consulates website:

  • “VSR (non-degree) : South African PhD students enrolled with a South African University may apply to conduct one year’s research at a U.S. University as a Visiting Student Researcher (VSR). Current National Research Foundation (NRF) funded PhD students are encouraged to apply.
  • MA/PhD: Post-graduate students may apply for scholarships towards Master’s or Doctorate degrees. Scholarships are awarded for two years towards one degree – Master’s or Doctorate.”

The application and acceptance programme is rather extensive but successful applications will receive quite a lot of funding with allowances for transport from South Africa to the USA, books, computers, living expenses, the J-1 visa sponsorship and more.

Interestingly health benefits are also included which is really nice to read as both America and South Africa do not have universal healthcare, a shame that both of our countries share.

That aside the covered fees vary depending on what of the two aforementioned types of scholarships are awarded. For Master’s and Doctoral degrees there is two years of funding (towards one degree). For the non-degree research, participation in one academic year (nine to 10 months) is covered.

For those thinking of applying the eligibility list is rather long and includes the prerequisites we’re used to reading in scholarship offers such as academic excellence, extracurricular activities, “leadership potential” and more.

Interestingly there needs to be clear interest in America and its culture, together with representation from South Africa.

“What do we look for in our applicants?…Demonstrable interpersonal skills with evidence of cultural sensitivity and a genuine desire to learn more about the United States and share with American citizens aspects of South African culture,” reads part of the scholarship page.

This isn’t too surprising because cultural exchange is a substantial reason as to why these kinds of programmes exist, aside from the purely academic and monetary reasons.

Students who feel they would be a good fit can find the landing page with more information available here.

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