Fulbright Foreign Student

Eddy Ixcotoyac, Fulbright Foreign Student Fellow in his host University.

“One of the things that I admire most of the U.S. higher education system is the dedication of the professors so that students can develop themselves in the best way during their students. I also like the modality of the classes and the education that combines theoretical and practical aspects.” Eddy Ixcotoyac, Fulbright Foreign Student Fellow 2018.

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States. The Fulbright Foreign Student Program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. Approximately 4,000 foreign students receive Fulbright scholarships each year. In Guatemala the Fulbright Foreign Student Program is administered by the U.S. Embassy. Since the start of the program in 1949 there have been 1,154 Guatemalan Fulbright Fellows.

The Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship gives Guatemalan citizens that fulfill all the eligibility requirements the possibility to study a Masters or Ph.D in the United States.

The call for applications to the Fulbright Foreign Student 2020-2021 fellowship program closed on May 15, 2019.

The interviews with the candidates selected for the second stage will be held from August 19 to 23. If you applied for the 2020–2021 call and have not received an invitation to participate in these interviews by August 18, 2019, it means you were not selected for the next stage in the process. No applications will be received after the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The next call for applications for scholar year 2021–2022 will open on 2020. All information concerning that will be published in this webpage.

Please take into consideration that this is a highly competitive program. Students from disadvantaged groups will be given a priority.
For more information visit: https://foreign.fulbrightonline.org/about/foreign-fulbright

Am I eligible for this Scholarship?
You must fulfill all the following requirements to be eligible:

  • Graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree (licenciatura) or Masters.
  • General point average (GPA) from 85 points out of 100 in the Guatemalan system or in the top 15% of their class. This must be proven with documents issued by your university.
  • Advanced English level: spoken and written.
  • At least, two years of work experience in a field related to your studies.
  • Leadership skills, highly motivated and capacity to adapt.
  • Committed to the development of your community through community service, volunteering or other activities.
  • Guatemalan citizen currently living in Guatemala. U.S. Citizens or permanent residents are not eligible.
  • Candidates with little or no prior U.S. experience will have a priority.
  • Be eligible for a J1 Visa
  • Committed to returning to Guatemala for at least two years after finishing your studies in the United States and multiply your knowledge from your professional field.

Please take into consideration that this is a highly competitive program. Applications from candidates that do not fulfill all requirements will not be reviewed.

Which expenses does the Scholarship cover?
The Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship covers expenses of the TOEFL exam, visa, travel, housing, university fees and an emergency medical plan called ASPE.

The expenses of dependents, such as husband, wife or children are not covered by the Scholarship. If you plan to bring your family, you will be requested to provide proof that you have the means to sustain them during your studies. The general rule is that you will need to show that you have financial resources ready to cover dependent(s) expenses for one year. You will be required to show an amount equal to half of your monthly stipend per month for the first dependent, and a quarter of the monthly stipen for the second dependent.

As a program participant, you will receive funding for university health insurance and be enrolled in the emergency medical coverage provided by the Department of State, known as ASPE benefits.

More information on J-1 Visas

Following completion of a J-1 program in the Research Scholar or Professor category, the exchange visitor is subject to a 24-month bar on repeat participation per US Department of State regulation. The visitor will not be eligible to begin a new program as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor for two years following the end date of a previous program in the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category, as identified on the Form DS-2019 or in SEVIS. For example, if a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor program was completed on 7/31/2018, the visitor would not be eligible to begin a new J-1 Research Scholar or Professor program until 8/1/2020 at the earliest.

The 24-month bar applies to all J-1 Research Scholars and Professors as well as their dependents (J-2s) and impacts eligibility for future J-1 Research Scholar or Professor programs within that period; this is different from the 212(e) Two Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement, which does not impact the ability to apply for a future J-1 program.

How does this fellowship work?

Candidates who meet all the requirements must send their application through the online platform. If the original document is in Spanish, it must be accompanied by a simple translation. At this stage in the process, sworn translations are not necessary.

Before sending your application, you must search for universities in the U. S. where you would like to study. There is no pre-determined list of universities and you may choose both public and private institutions. However, it is important to take into account that a maximum budget has been set for Fulbright to invest in each student. This fellowship covers only Master’s and Doctoral degrees of a maximum of 24 months.

Note: It is very important to clarify that, unlike other fellowships, with Fulbright, you must first apply for the fellowship and if you are granted it, you will apply to the universities included in your Application Plan, along with a specialist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What would be considered an advanced level of English?

First, that you are able to prove through a standardized test (such as TOEFL) that you are proficient in this language. You must bear in mind that Fulbright will require you to be able to fully function in a university classroom in the United States, and write academic texts and essays, among others.

The documents I send must be accompanied by a sworn translation into English?

During the first stage of the application process, it is not necessary to send sworn translations. They can be simple translations. Once you have been selected and granted the fellowship, you will need sworn translations.

How can I prove I am in the top 15% grade-point average of my class?

In some cases it is possible you have a grade-point average lower than 85%, but still be the best student of your class. Thus, it is important that in addition to your transcript, you ask your university to issue a certificate attesting what position you rank among all students. For instance, among 50 students, you rank number 1.

If I am granted the fellowship, can my family come with me?

It is important to make clear that the Fulbright fellowship only covers expenses for the fellow granted with it. That is, if you want your family (spouse or children under 18) to travel with you, you must cover their expenses. The Fulbright fellowship will provide you with support for your dependents to obtain a J2 visa. To be eligible for this visa, you must all prove, among other requirements, that you have the funds.

Fulbright fellows with dependents must prove they have medical insurance to cover for all dependents throughout their complete stay in the United States. More information can be found here: https://foreign.fulbrightonline.org/current-fulbrighters/in-program-requirements/bringing-your-family


Fulbright Fellows with dependents need to prove health insurance (for the dependents) for their complete stay in the United States. More information can be found here: https://foreign.fulbrightonline.org/current-fulbrighters/in-program-requirements/bringing-your-family