Educational Exchanges & Scholarships

Educational Exchange and Scholarship Opportunities for Citizens of Afghanistan

The Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy Kabul offers Afghan citizens a variety of different educational exchange and scholarship opportunities, both in the United States and in Afghanistan.

Program Announcement, Fulbright Master’s Program for Citizens of Afghanistan

Fulbright Master’s Degree Fellowship

2019-2020 Fulbright Master’s Degree Fellowship Program Announcement

CURRENT STATUS: Closed

Early Deadline for Application Submission: January 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. (Will receive early review and notification of any missing documents)

Final Deadline for Application Submission: February 28, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

Submit Your Application Package to KabulFulbright@state.gov

Download the MS Word Application and Instructions: Application (Microsoft Word 113 KB)

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 Fulbright Graduate Fellowship Program for citizens of Afghanistan to pursue a fully-funded Master’s degree in the United States. The Fulbright Graduate Fellowship pays for up to two years of graduate study in the United States to earn an MA, MS, MBA/MPA, LLM or similar graduate degree. Fellows receive a tuition grants for their coursework and a monthly stipend to cover living expenses at their host institution. Fellows also receive roundtrip transportation and health benefits. In addition, Fellows may also attend special enrichment activities throughout their program. These activities are excellent opportunities to network with Fulbrighters from other countries and to interact with prominent Americans across a range of professional fields. For more information about J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Program, please visit http://eca.state.gov/Fulbright.

2019-2020 Cycle

Early Deadline for Application: January 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. (Kabul time) Applicants who submit applications by this date will receive early review and notification of missing documents.

Final Deadline for applications: February 28, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. (Kabul time)

Interviews: Late March and early April 2018

Fulbright finalists notified: May 2018

Visa interviews: June-July 2019

Travel to United States: August 2019. (Note that certain candidates may be required to travel to the United States as early as January 2019 for a pre-academic Intensive English Program.)

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be citizens of Afghanistan and currently residing in Afghanistan.
  • Applicants must have a four-year bachelor’s degree (first university) by Spring 2018 and a strong academic background as demonstrated by their academic transcripts. Please note that if you have a three-year bachelor’s degree from any country, you are required to have at least a one-year Master’s/post-baccalaureate diploma in order to qualify. Applicants graduating in Fall 2017 or earlier who make it to the interview stage will be required to bring attested transcripts and diplomas to the interview; applicants graduating in Spring 2018 will be required to bring transcripts and a letter from their Registrar confirming that they are expected to graduate by May 2018.
  • Applicants must score a minimum of 75 on the Internet-based TOEFL exam and submit their score with their Fulbright application.
  • Applicants must submit two application essays (a Personal Statement and a Statement about Study Research Objectives) with clear goals, well-reasoned statements describing why they selected the academic field of study, and how their academic plans contribute to their long-term professional goals.
  • Applicants must present three letters of recommendation, usually two academic and one from an employer.

Evaluation Criteria

Applicants must be committed to returning to Afghanistan and demonstrate a specific plan for using their Fulbright experience in their professional lives and in service to their country. Strong preference will be given to applicants who have not had extensive recent experience in the United States. Note: All grantees are required to return to Afghanistan for at least two years at the conclusion of their grant in compliance with the J-visa requirements, to promote mutual understanding, and serve as future leaders in the public and private sectors of Afghanistan. After grantees return to Afghanistan and establish themselves in their careers, it is still possible to apply for a visa to the United States to allow travel for business or tourism purposes.

Applicants should demonstrate leadership qualities, including volunteer experience and involvement in their communities. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul encourages students from all academic backgrounds to apply.

Ineligibility Factors

  • Persons who will not have graduated in Spring 2018
  • Persons with a dual U.S./Afghan nationality or those having a spouse, parent, fiancé or child over 18 years of age who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Employees of U.S. government agencies such as the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development.
  • Persons who have a pending application for immigration to any country (this includes Special Immigrant Visas).

No Dependents

The Fulbright Graduate Fellowship Program in Afghanistan is provided for the recipient only.  Dependents, including spouses (Maharam) and children, are not eligible to receive a visa. There are no exceptions.

How to Apply

STEP 1: Determine eligibility. Read the instructions carefully. Before you apply, be sure that you qualify.

STEP 2: Submit the application. You must submit the completed application package and supporting documents by the deadline; late applications will not be accepted.

Fulbright Selection Process Announcement

Stage 1: Technical Eligibility Review

For the complete Fulbright Scholarship Program Selection Criteria, please click here. An applicant may be considered technically eligible for consideration as a Fulbright candidate if he or she meets the following minimum requirements:

  • Completed a four-year Bachelor’s Degree, or a three-year Bachelor’s Degree with one additional year of undergraduate or graduate studies in a related field by Spring 2018.
  • Has an official TOEFL iBT test score of at least 75.
  • Holds Afghan citizenship.
  • Does not hold U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency.
  • Maintains a permanent residence in Afghanistan.
  • Does not have a pending application to immigrate to any country.
  • The following persons are ineligible for grants during and for a period ending one year following the termination of such employment, association, or service:
  1. Employees of U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development. This provision includes all employees, paid or unpaid (including part-time or temporary employees, consultants, externs, fellows and contract employees). This provision does not apply to interns.
  2. Board members or staff of a Fulbright Commission.
  3. Officers of an organization, in the United States or abroad, including members of boards of trustees or similar governing bodies, and individuals otherwise associated with the organization, wherein the organization and the individuals are responsible for nominating or selecting individuals for participation in any exchange program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
  4. Immediate families (spouses and dependent children) of individuals described in paragraphs a-c. This provision does not disqualify self-supporting children who live apart from their parents.
  5. For purposes of this section, the one-year period of ineligibility is calculated from the date of termination of employment, service, or association until the due date for submission of applications for programs under this chapter.

Application Requirements

Interested applicants must submit a complete application by February 28, 2018 at 11:59 PM (Kabul local time). The complete application package must be attached in one single e-mail message to KabulFulbright@state.gov.

  • One Word editable version of the application.
  • Three academic or professional letters of recommendation; two academic and one from an employer is recommended.
  • Two application essays (a Personal Statement and Study Research Objectives).
  • One PDF file that includes the entire application and the aforementioned supporting documents.

Stage 2: Application Review and Interview Selection

The application materials of any applicant who is found technically eligible will then be thoroughly reviewed by a review panel from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. The panel will evaluate and rank applicants on the following areas:

  1. Quality of academic proposal and relevance of proposed study to achieving professional goals
  2. Demonstrated leadership qualities and leadership potential
  3. Volunteer experience and/or community involvement
  4. Work experience
  5. Educational experience
  6. Writing ability and content
  7. Commitment to helping Afghanistan
  8. TOEFL iBT Score

Those who receive the highest ratings on this review will be invited to the interview phase.

Stage 3: Interview and Essay

Applicants who are found technically eligible and who pass the application review phase will be invited to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for an interview, and to write an additional essay.

Interview: During the interview, applicants will be asked detailed questions about their proposed course of academic study, motivations for study in the United States, experience and qualifications, and will be evaluated on their English speaking and comprehension, as well as their ability to speak clearly, broadly, and intelligently on the following main topics:

  1. The applicant’s goals (professional, academic, and personal).
  2. How the Fulbright experience will support the applicant’s goals.
  3. How the applicant’s Fulbright experience will help Afghanistan.
  4. How the applicant’s prior experience has prepared him/her for Fulbright.

Essay: While at the Embassy, the applicant will be asked to write a short essay on a topic chosen on the day of the interview. The applicant will have 30 minutes to complete this handwritten essay, without dictionaries or other assistance. The interview panel will review the essay for English writing ability and for content.

Stage 4: Finalist Fulbright Candidate Selection

All applicants will be ranked by the total scores they received during the Application Review, Interview, and Essay stages. The highest ranked applicants for the Master’s program applicants will be nominated by the U.S. Embassy as finalist candidates. The Embassy will also choose alternate candidates. Finalist and alternate candidates will be notified of their status at this stage. Nomination as a finalist does not guarantee that a candidate will be accepted at a U.S. university or participate in the Fulbright program. A candidate may also be dropped at any time for failure to fulfill the requirements of the program or for failure to be admitted to a U.S. university.

Stage 5: Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and TOEFL Testing

Once notified, finalists and alternates will be required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in order to be admitted into a U.S. university. Applicants who are unable to achieve a high enough score on the exam may be unable to gain acceptance at a U.S. university. The Embassy will offer finalists and alternates a voucher to take the exam free of charge at the registered Test Centers in Kabul, Herat, or Mazar-e-Sharif. Finalists and alternates will also receive one voucher to re-take the TOEFL test for free in order to achieve a higher score and help their chances of being accepted into a U.S. university.

Stage 6: University Placement

The Institute of International Education (IIE), the U.S. Embassy’s implementing partner for the Fulbright program, will submit applications to U.S. universities on behalf of the Fulbright finalists and alternates. Fulbright candidates must not apply to universities on their own, and must notify the Embassy about any prior contact they have had with a U.S. university. IIE selects universities that offer academic programs that match a candidate’s study objectives and academic preferences. Fulbright candidates who have higher TOEFL and GRE scores and better academic records are more likely to be accepted to a university. The minimum TOEFL scores are insufficient to gain acceptance at well-known universities in the United States.

Stage 7: Visa Interview

In order to participate in the Fulbright program, all Fulbright finalists must qualify for a non-immigrant visa by attending an in-person, scheduled interview. The Public Affairs Section has no influence on the decision of the Consular Section. At this stage, applicants will be disqualified from the Fulbright program if they are found ineligible for a non-immigrant J1 (exchange visitor) visa. Common factors that would make a person ineligible for a visa include, but are not limited to: unclear study or post-program plans, fraud or misrepresentation, current or past applications for an immigrant visa, previous violations of U.S. visa or immigration law, prior criminal acts, terrorist affiliation, violations of drug or alcohol-related laws, and past or current drug use.

Stage 8: Study at a U.S. University as a Fulbright Student

Once Fulbright finalists are issued visas, they can travel to the United States to begin their studies. At that point, they officially become Fulbright students, or “Fulbrighters.” Fulbright Master’s programs typically last one to two years. Afghan Fulbrighters are typically issued one-year multiple-entry visas, so they may return to Afghanistan (at their own expense) during school breaks. The initial flight to the United States and the return flight to Afghanistan at the conclusion of the study program are covered under the Fulbright grant award. The Fulbright grant also includes orientation and enrichment seminars designed to enhance the Fulbright student’s academic experience and understanding of U.S. society and culture.

Stage 9: Return to Afghanistan and Make a Difference

Once Fulbrighters earn their degree, they must return to Afghanistan for a period of at least two years. Applicants unable to fulfill this requirement will be considered ineligible for the Fulbright program. Once Fulbrighters return to Afghanistan, they officially becomes a Fulbright Alumni and may be invited to participate in Embassy events and activities that are only open to exchange program alumni. Fulbrighters are strongly encouraged to use their new skills and knowledge to become successful leaders in their institutions and to implement improvements and innovations in their professional field. Fulbrighters are also encouraged to share their experiences with friends, family, and colleagues in order to expand the positive impact of the program on Afghanistan.

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program brings accomplished mid-career professionals with demonstrated leadership potential to the United States for up to a year of graduate-level non-degree academic coursework and professional development activities.

CURRENT STATUS: Closed

Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship Program

The FLTA Program is a nine-month, non-degree program that provides young teachers of English an 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 teaching their native language to U.S. students and strengthening foreign language instruction at U.S. colleges and universities.

U.S. Embassy Kabul also offers Exchange Opportunities Other than Fulbright, Specifically Designed for Afghan citizens.

Afghan Junior Faculty Development Program

The Afghan Junior Faculty Development Program provides an intensive professional training program at a U.S. university for full-time junior level faculty members from public and private Afghan universities.

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary School Educators 2018 program.

The Embassy of the United States of America is proud to announce the Study of the U.S. Institutes for Secondary School Educators 2018 program.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW:

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Secondary Educators are intensive post-graduate level academic programs with integrated study tours whose purpose is to provide foreign secondary educators and administrators the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions.  The ultimate goal of the Institutes is to strengthen curricula and to enhance the quality of teaching about the United States in secondary schools and other academic institutions abroad.  Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit our website page to obtain general information about the Institutes.  You can find more information about SUSI at http://exchanges.state.gov/susi.

The SUSI Secondary Educators program will take place over the course of five weeks in June 2018.  Three Institutes for Secondary Educators will be offered: two with a focus on classroom teachers and the third with a focus on administrators, teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, and ministry of education officials, among others.  Each Institute will have 20 participants and will include a four-week academic residency component and a one-week integrated study tour.

INSTITUTE DESCRIPTION:

SUSI for Secondary Educators will provide three multinational groups of 20 experienced secondary school educators (including teachers, administrators, teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, ministry of education officials, and others) with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, education, and culture – past and present.  The focus of the Institutes will be on providing content and materials for participants to develop high school level curricula about the United States.  To this end, the Institutes are organized around central themes in U.S. civilization.  Through a combination of traditional, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary approaches, program content will examine the history and evolution of U.S. institutions and values, broadly defined.  The programs will also serve to illuminate contemporary political, social, and economic debates in American society.  The four-week academic residencies will take place at U.S. universities, colleges, or other academic institutions and will consist of a balanced series of lectures, panels, seminar discussions, readings, workshops, site visits, meetings with practitioners in the field, and cultural activities.  One-week study tours to a different region of the United States will complement the four-week academic residencies.  One goal of the study tours is to showcase the cultural, geographic, and ethnic diversity of the United States.

Two of the Institutes will be tailored for secondary school teachers; please note that the main focus of the Institutes for teachers is on content and materials about the United States rather than teaching methods and pedagogy.  The third Institute will be tailored for experienced administrators including teacher trainers, curriculum developers, textbook writers, ministry of education officials, and others.  All three Institutes are being openly competed this fall and will be administered under one award; the selected recipient and sub-recipients will be announced in April 2018.

OTHER ESSENTIAL PROGRAM INFORMATION:

Program Funding: The State Department will cover all participant costs including: program administration; travel and ground transportation in the United States; housing and subsistence; and book, cultural, mailing, and incidental allowances.

Housing and Meal Arrangements: Participants may be asked to share living quarters with a person of the same gender during the four-week residency portion of the Institute.  During the one-week study tour, participants may share a hotel room with a participant of the same gender.  During the residency, housing will typically be in college- or university-owned housing.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.  The host institution will provide full details in pre-institute communications to participants at least six weeks in advance of the Institute.

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State’s coverage of up to $100,000, with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program.  Pre-existing conditions are not covered.  Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.

Program Requirements and Restrictions: All applicants are expected to participate fully in the program.  Selected participants must attend all lectures and organized activities and complete assigned readings.  Family members and/or friends cannot accompany participants on any part of the program.  This is an intensive Institute and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.  The Institute is not a research program.

CANDIDATE DESCRIPTION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

The SUSI programs are highly competitive.  Priority will be given to candidates who have firm plans to enhance, update or develop courses and/or educational materials with a U.S. studies focus or component, who have no or limited prior experience in the United States, and who have special interest in the secondary education as demonstrated through past scholarship, accomplishments, and professional duties.

Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly-motivated and experienced secondary school teachers and administrators.  Ideal candidates are individuals who are seeking to introduce or enhance aspects of U.S. studies into their curricula or to offer specialized seminars or workshops for education professionals in U.S. studies or related fields.  While the nominee’s scholarly and professional credentials are an important consideration, the potential impact and multiplier effect of the Institute is equally important.

Candidates must demonstrate English language fluency.  Institutes are rigorous and demanding programs; participants will be expected to handle substantial reading assignments in English and to fully and actively participate in all seminar and panel discussions.  English fluency is vital to a successful experience in the Institute.

Candidates should be willing and able to fully take part in an intensive postgraduate-level academic program and study tour.

Application procedure:

The complete application should include the following components:

  • Completed application form (.doc 23 KB)
  • Copy of recommendation letter preferably from the Principal of the school
  • Updated CV
  • Copy of Diploma attested by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Higher Education

Please submit your application to KabulSUSI@state.gov in .doc or .docx format. Application Deadline: November 22, 2017 at 11:59 PM Kabul time.

 The subject line on your application email must include your full name and program name

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders on Women’s Leadership Program, 2018

The Embassy of the United States of America is proud to announce the Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders on Women’s Leadership Program, 2018

PROGRAM OVERVIEW:

Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders are intensive short-term academic programs whose purpose is to provide groups of undergraduate student leaders with a deeper understanding of the United States while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills.  The five-week program will consist of a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures.  The coursework and classroom activities will be complemented by educational travel, site visits, leadership activities, and volunteer opportunities within the local community.  Each Institute will have 20 female participants and will include a four-week academic residency component and a one-week integrated study tour.  During the academic residency, participants will also have the opportunity to engage in educational and cultural activities outside of the classroom.  During the Women’s Leadership Conference, more than 80 SUSI participants will have opportunities to network with one another and to meet with inspiring U.S. women leaders.  The conference location will be communicated at a later date.

 

The SUSI program for Student Leaders on Women’s Leadership will examine the history and participation of women in public life in the United States.  The Institute will focus on two major areas: developing participants’ leadership skills in areas such as critical thinking, communication, decision-making, and managerial abilities; and, placing these abilities in the context of the history and participation of women in U.S. politics, economics, culture, and society.  The program will also examine the historical domestic progress towards women’s equality in the United States, the current domestic successes and challenges to women in a variety of fields, and current challenges in global women’s issues.

OTHER ESSENTIAL PROGRAM INFORMATION:

Program Funding: All participant costs, including program administration, international and domestic travel and ground transportation, books, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances, along with housing and meals will be covered by the U.S. Department of State.

Housing and Meal Arrangements: Housing will be in university dorms or a full service hotel.  Participants may be expected to share a room and bathroom with another student of the same gender.  Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State’s coverage of $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program.  Pre-existing conditions are not covered.  Information on the health benefit program may be found online at usdos.sevencorners.com.

 

Program Requirements and Restrictions: Participants are expected to fully participate in the academic program.  They should attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings.  Candidates should be made aware that the Institute is very intensive and that there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.

Under no circumstances are participants allowed to arrive in the United States prior to the start date of the Institute or remain after its end date.  Similarly, participants will not be permitted to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends while in the United States.  If a relative or friend wishes to visit them, it will be addressed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution.  Participants are required to return to their home countries immediately following the end of the Institute.

English Language Ability: All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.

CANDIDATE DESCRIPTION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

Candidates nominated for this program will:

  • be female
  • be proficient in English
  • be interested in the topic of Women’s Leadership;
  • be between 18 and 25 years of age
  • have at least one semester left of their undergraduate studies, and therefore be committed to
  • return to their home universities following completion of the program

 

  • demonstrate strong leadership qualities and potential in their university and community
  • activities

 

  • have a sustained high level of academic achievement, as indicated by grades, awards, and
  • teacher recommendations

 

  • demonstrate commitment to community and extracurricular university activities;
  • have little or no prior study or travel experiences in the United State or elsewhere outside of the country

 

  • be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and educational travel

 

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

 

The complete application should include the following components:

 

  • Completed application form  (doc 59 KB)
  • Copy of recommendation letter preferably from the Rector/Dean/Head of Department of the school
  • Updated CV

 

 

Please submit your application to KabulSUSIWomen@state.gov in .doc or .docx format. Application Deadline: November 24. 2017  11:59 PM Kabul time.

 

The subject line on your application email must include your full name and program name

 

The EducationUSA Opportunity Scholarship

The EducationUSA Opportunity Scholarship provides small grants for students who are highly qualified and have been awarded substantial institutional financial aid, but would have difficulty paying for the cost of international airfare, books, supplies, and other required university expenses.  Applications are accepted throughout the year, but awards are not granted until an applicant has received his/her U.S. student visa.

The Embassy of the United States of America in Kabul, Afghanistan and the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) will offer a limited number of scholarships for qualified female applicants and for male and female alumni of U.S. Embassy exchange programs (the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES), the Youth Solidarity and English Language Program (YSEL), the Afghan University Students Exchange Program (AUSEP), Camp Future Stars (CFS), the Leadership and English Advancement Program (LEAP), Lincoln Learning Center English courses, and the English Access Microscholarship Program) to earn undergraduate degrees at AUAF. Click this link to download the file (PDF 203 KB) with information about dates and eligibility criteria.