Fulbright Scholarships


THE FULBRIGHT PROGRAM is the flagship international education exchange program sponsored by the United States government, and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.  The Fulbright Program attracts some of the greatest minds and talents in the world who share many attributes, amongst them a passion for innovation and collaboration.  The Fulbright Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.  Approximately 8 000 grants are awarded annually.  Since its inception in 1946 approximately 360 000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the program. More about the Program »

The Programs

Applications are closed for 2019-2020 academic year

Provides Grants for South African university graduates to pursue a Master’s or Doctoral degree at a United States university in any subject (excludes studies that require contact with patients).  Grants are awarded for two years towards one degree – Master’s or Doctorate (renewable each year).  Students are selected through a rigorous application and interview process and receive a high level of support ranging from visa processing and health insurance to a comprehensive pre-departure Orientation and re-entry session.


  • Be a SA citizen (Non-SA citizens are required to apply in their country of citizenship, even if they are resident in SA)
  • Have a four-year bachelors degree, a three-year bachelors degree plus honors year, or a four-year B-Tech degree when applying for Masters
  • Have a Master’s degree when applying for a Doctoral degree
  • For Non-Degree studies: Must be registered for PhD with a South African university

What do we look for in our applicants?

  • Academic excellence
  • Required scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for each specific field of study
  • Clearly written study objectives
  • Demonstrable ambassadorial 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,
  • Experience and interest in extracurricular and community activities,
  • Evidence of ambition and leadership potential, and
  • A desire to further the Fulbright Program and give back to your home country upon returning.

The Selection Committee and the Interview Panel will also be looking for clear reasons for selecting your US university preferences. The Fulbright Awards Program expects candidates to conduct a thorough university search and to identify institutions which are a strong fit for their academic, personal and professional goals.                                                      

More information on the Fulbright Program visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright/

Questions on the application process, please contact the Fulbright Office: Fulbright_Program_SAfrica@state.gov


Review these handouts before filling out your application 

Proposals for the program are received on a rolling basis.

The Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP), part of the larger Fulbright Program, was established in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).  The program consists of field-driven initiatives in which foreign host institutions conceptualize and design projects of interest within an eligible discipline that represent a priority for their respective organizations.  These projects are then paired with highly qualified U.S. academics or professionals who share their expertise and assist with strengthening linkages between U.S. and foreign host institutions.  Participating foreign host institutions benefit by:

  • Gaining global perspectives from experienced U.S. academics and professionals;
  • Executing projects that require a rapid response or flexible timeline through short-term exchanges, and
  • Building sustained relationships with individuals and institutions in the U.S.

In demonstration of institutional interest and investment, South African host institutions must contribute to the program through cost-share.  Further details are in the downloadable application instructions below.

 Download:  For further details about the program, eligibility requirements and online application instructions (PDF 120KB).

Further information about the program can be found on the World Leaning website:  https://fulbrightspecialist.worldlearning.org/

The Hubert H. Humphrey Competition for the 2019-2020 Academic Year has closed.
Program Objective:

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program is a Fulbright program that provides mid-career professionals from designated countries around the world an opportunity to enhance their professional capacities through participation in specialized 10 month non-degree programs.

During their stay at a host American university, Humphrey Fellows are invited to take graduate courses relevant to their professional interests.  However, as the Humphrey Fellowship is not a degree program, participants spend a considerable portion of their time engaged in professional development activities including: consultations and affiliations with U.S. faculty and experts, field trips, workshops, research projects, and the development of practical useful strategies that could be applied in the Fellows’ home countries.

Fellows are selected through a competitive process based on leadership and commitment to public service in the public or private sector.

Program Components:

Academic:  The Humphrey program is classified as a non-degree program. Humphrey Fellows cannot transfer from non-degree status to degree status.  Humphrey Fellows pursue tailored study programs at participating host institutions, where the freedom from the requirements of a degree program gives each Fellow the flexibility to pursue a self-directed, individualized program.

Professional:  Early in the academic year, each Fellow develops, with assistance from the local campus coordinator and faculty advisors, a plan for professional activities carefully geared to the Fellow’s need for relevant, practical professional experiences.  A Fellow’s professional-development plan may include professional visits, conferences, and a professional affiliation (mid-career internship/residency) that must be at least six weeks in duration.

The Humphrey Fellowship offers opportunities in the following fields:
  • Sustainable Development
  • Economic Development
  • Educational
  • Public Health 
Eligibility Requirements:  Candidates must meet the following criteria:
  • Have a minimum of a four-year undergraduate degree from S.A. (BA + Honors)
  • Have a minimum of five years of full-time professional experience beyond the attainment of a first university/undergraduate degree prior to August 2018
  • University lecturers have to have management or policy responsibilities and experience. Exceptions apply to teachers of English as a foreign language and specialists in substance abuse preventions and treatment
  • Demonstrated Leadership Ability: candidates should have achieved positions of significant responsibility at the national, regional or local level and show clear promise to assume greater future leadership roles
  • A record of public service in the community: candidates careers must reflect a present and future commitment to public service, broadly defined in the public, NGO, or private sector
The following individuals are not eligible for the HHH Fellowship:
  • Individuals who have attended graduate school in the United States for one academic year or more during the seven years prior to August 2019 are ineligible to apply
  • Individuals who have had more than six months of U.S. experience during the five years prior to August 2019 are ineligible to apply
  • Individuals with dual U.S. citizenship or U.S. permanent resident status are ineligible to apply.
The Fellowship provides for:
  • Payment of tuition and fees at the assigned host university;
  • Pre-academic English language training, if required;
  • A living allowance, including a one-time settling-in allowance;
  • Accident and sickness coverage;
  • A book allowance; one-time computer subsidy;
  • Air travel (international travel to and from the U.S. for the Program and domestic travel to required program events);
  • A Professional Development allowance for professional activities, such as field trips, professional visits and conferences.

For additional information visit the HHH website: https://www.humphreyfellowship.org/


Applications have closed (for participation in August 2019-2020)

Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program: Teach IsiZulu in the United States

The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program (FLTA, is a nine-month, State Department-funded, non-degree program for early career English teachers or professionals in related fields (e.g. American Studies, American/English Literature, etc.). Participants have the opportunity to refine their teaching skills, increase their English language proficiency and extend their knowledge of the society and culture of the United States, while being teaching assistants for their native language to U.S. students and strengthening foreign language instruction at U.S. Colleges and universities.

Fulbright FLTA participants also interact with their host communities in conversations groups, extracurricular activities, and community outreach projects. Fulbright FLTA participants must return to their home countries upon completion of the program.

Fulbright FLTA participants may assist up to twenty hours of language classes a week and are required to enroll in at least two courses per semester, one of which must be in U.S. studies. Course work is offered on either an audit or credit basis. Participants will also be expected to facilitate cultural events, language clubs and language tables.

Eligibility Requirements

(Only candidates who meet and/or agree to meet all of the following requirements should apply)

  • Applicants must be South African English Language Teachers, or in the last year of training to become English teachers.
  • Applicants must be South African citizens, or permanent residents qualified to hold a valid South African passport.
  • Applicants must be fluent in IsiZulu
  • Applicants must be fluent in English, demonstrated by a computer-based TOEFL score of 80+ (Note: It is not necessary to take this test before applying. Final nominees will be assisted with taking the TOEFL test by the Fulbright Office).
  • Have a minimum of a U.S. Bachelors degree (four year undergraduate degree), or a S.A. Bachelors degree plus Honors degree by the start of the program (August 2017).
  • In addition to serving as a teaching assistant of the isiZulu language, participants must be willing to interact with their host communities in conversation groups, extracurricular activities, and community outreach projects.
  • Attend a U.S.-based orientation sponsored by the Department of State before arriving at their host institution in August 2018.
  • Attend a mid-year enrichment conference in the United States, hosted by the Department of State and coordinated by the Institute of International Education (IIE), to share and discuss foreign language teaching best practices and their current teaching experiences with other Fulbright FLTA participants.
  • Candidates must demonstrate maturity, dependability, integrity, and professionalism.
  • Candidates should be creative and self-reliant, team players who are able to maintain excellent relationships with faculty, staff and students.
  • Material misrepresentation (e.g., plagiarism) at any time during the application or grant period is grounds for selection withdrawal or grant termination, as well as ineligibility for future participation.
  • FLTA applicants should be early career educators capable of succeeding in the dual role of teaching assistant and student.
  • Must be open to living with their U.S. student peers in undergraduate or graduate level campus housing and also engaging with faculty and staff with maturity and professionalism.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have little or no experience living in the United States

How to Apply for the FLTA Program

All applications are to be submitted entirely onlinehttps://iie.embark.com/apply/flta

A complete application should include:
  • The online application information
  • Original university academic transcripts and certificates of graduation (Must be uploaded to the Online Application “Documents/Essays” section) with certified English translations if necessary.
  • Three letters of reference (you have to register your referees online to receive their references. Hand loaded references will not be accepted.
  • TOEFL and IELTS score report (not necessary for S.A. applicants to do these tests before final nominations)
  • We will not accept any documents or letters of reference via email or post.
  • Note: A valid passport with an expiration date of at least 6 months after your program is required.

Contact EducationUSAdbn@state.gov with any questions that are not covered in this document

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How will my English language fluency be tested if English is not my first language
    Applicants who make it through to the final selection will be given the opportunity to write the Test of English as a Foreign Language by the Fulbright Office.   Candidates will write the online TOEFL test and will have to receive a score of 80+.
  • How will I know if my application was successful?
    Due to the high level of applications, only short-listed applicants will be notified of their final status within one month after their interview. All other applicants may assume that their application was not successful if they have not been contacted by their Fulbright Office within a month after the closing date of the FLTA Program.
  • What does the FLTA Program cover?
    All Fulbright FLTA participants receive a monthly stipend (meant for necessities only and are non-negotiable), accident and sickness coverage, and travel support.  U.S. host institutions provide tuition waivers to support the required coursework.
  • As a participant, can I submit an extension request to stay in the United States and study for a longer period of time?
    ECA will not support any extension requests for participants.
  • What are the regulations for accompanying dependents and/or visits from family?
    Candidates may not have any dependents accompany them for any time during the program.   The Fulbright FLTA program does not support dependents or family members. Family and friends may visit program participants during holiday periods
  • What kind of school will I attend in the U.S.?
    FLTA participants will be spread amongst both large and small universities in all 50 states.  Some           placements may be smaller or more ethnically diverse, while others may exist on a larger scale.

Application for academic year 2020-21 will open on May 1, 2019

The Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar Program  is an opportunity for a South African University Faculty or Research Institute Professionals to conduct research in their field of expertise at a U.S. Academic or Research Institution for a period of 3 to 9 months.  A research grant enables the scholar to perform high-level research at a U.S. educational institution, aimed at strengthening academic programs or curricula at his/her home institution.  Applicants need to have a proven track record of productive scholarly research, and publications.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be South African citizens or permanent residents with the ability to hold a South African passport.
  • Open to Scholars in all disciplines and without regard to gender or age; however, proposals for clinical medical research involving patient contact cannot be approved under the Fulbright Program.
  • Applicants must have a doctoral degree or equivalent professional/terminal degree in their field.  Preference is given to individuals who have extensive university teaching experience and a productive scholarly record.
  • Applicants may be affiliated with local universities, research institutes, or other institutions that have educational and/or research objectives.
  • Applications for doctoral dissertation research, post-doctoral research immediately following the completion of a doctorate degree, or general professional travel, are ineligible.
  • Applicants must have sufficient proficiency in the English language to carry out the project required.  TOEFL exams are not required.  English Language Proficiency may be tested by Fulbright Offices.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have not previously received a Fulbright Scholar Grant.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have had no experience or only limited experience in the U.S.
  • Scholars must be in good health.  Successful candidates will be asked to submit a Medical History and Examination Report.
  • Scholars who were unsuccessful in previous competitions may re-apply.  Repeat applicants should revise their proposals, update curriculum vitae, and obtain current letters of reference.

How to Apply

A completed application should:

  • Be submitted online only by October 1, 2018. No part can be submitted by post or email.
  • Include fully-completed online application information with all the uploaded documents including a detailed CV.
  • Include a well written research proposal with easily explained methodology that can be understood by a general reviewing committee as well.
  • Include three confidential letters of reference. These letters must be uploaded by your referees through the online application system on Embark. (Guidelines on how to register your referees are on Embark).  We will not accept any documents or letters of reference via email or post.
  • A Letter of Invitation from a U.S. host institution is strongly encouraged but not required.
  • Applicants are discouraged from requesting affiliation with an alma mater. CIES will honor institutional affiliation preferences as far as possible.  Applicants unfamiliar with U.S. institutions may request that CIES identify suitable placements.
  • Applicants should note that laboratory fees are not part of the standard benefits package for the African Research Scholar Program and are awarded on a limited, case-by-case basis, and only if funding is available.

What does a Grant Include:

  • Monthly stipend based on the cost of living at the research site.
  • Monthly dependent allowance for accompanying dependents.
  • Round trip airfare for the grantee.
  • Round trip airfare for one dependent accompanying the grantee for a minimum period of 80% on a nine month grant.
  • Excess baggage allowance for return travel.
  • Professional allowance for books, conferences, and seminars.
  • Settling-in allowance.
  • Primary medical insurance coverage for the grantee.


Contact your nearest Fulbright Office with questions that are not answered online:

Pretoria:                      Fulbright_Program_SAfrica@state.gov

Johannesburg:           MothianeM@state.gov

Cape Town:                 WilliamsKM@state.gov

Durban:                        EducationUSAdbn@state.gov