December 10, 2015
On December 10, U.S. Ambassador Michael McKinley announced the start of the recruitment season for the U.S. government’s flagship Fulbright exchange program. The Fulbright Program is one the most prestigious U.S. government academic exchange programs, awarding highly competitive scholarships to participants from more than 165 countries around the world to pursue graduate studies and research at U.S. universities. Since 2003, 450 Afghans have participated in the program. Fulbright alumni worldwide include 53 Nobel Laureates and 31 heads of state, among them Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. President Ghani advocated for an increase in the number of scholarships granted to Afghans during his 2015 visit to the United States.
In his remarks, Ambassador McKinley recognized prominent Fulbright alumni, including the Minister of Agriculture Asadullah Zamir and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasir Andisha, as examples of the success Fulbright alumni may achieve upon returning to Afghanistan. The Ambassador called on academic institutions to encourage more Afghans to participate in the program and become future leaders of their country.
Fulbright selection is highly competitive and is merit-based. The selection process is managed by U.S. Embassy staff and involves seven stages, beginning with a technical review for eligibility and ending with approval by the 12-person Presidentially-appointed Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board located in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Embassy will accept applications from interested Afghans from any region of the country from December 10, 2015 to March 20, 2016. All applicants must hold a Bachelor’s Degree, have a TOEFL score of at least 75, and demonstrate their commitment to return to Afghanistan to contribute to the country’s development after completion of their degree. For detailed information on requirements and the application process, visit kabul.usembassy.gov.