Introduction to Fast Track
Submit your short answers
to the quick questions at
after doing the reading below
(including the links on the left and right).
Apply for a Fulbright and watch yourself
G R O W I N M U L T I P L E W A Y S
through the process.
Greetings and congratulations on your interest in our Fast Track to becoming a candidate for this exciting fellowship, the Fabulous Fulbright that can take you to one of 160 countries for a year after graduating from Smith to do whatever you wish to propose, including teaching English, for an invaluable experience that will leave an indelibly positive impression for the rest of your life.
We assume you are acquainted with Smith's tremendous success in producing distinguished Fulbright Fellows
and realize how exceptionally fortunate you are to be in the right place at the right time to have about the best chance possible to win the prestigious and lucrative Fulbright Fellowship that will stand you in good stead in the world and open doors to a meaningful career of fulfilling purpose and enriching reward.
This website is designed systematically to be read in a methodical way following the order in which the information is presented.
Every next step is explained so there's no guess-work, no intuitive clicking recommended.
If you jump around, you are likely to get lost, confused or overwhelmed.
Worse, you risk missing vital information.
There is quite a bit of reading, especially in the beginning, to be properly informed.
This unfortunately tends to make the whole process look longer and harder than it is.
Once over this "front-loaded" hump, the going gets easier, like pedaling up a hill and then cycling along a plateau.
Students are thus sometimes intimidated in the beginning and put off plunging in, only later deciding to go for it.
Please do not be daunted because starting earlier makes it much easier and increases your chances of winning.
When you are done, you will join many before you who have happily hit the "That Was Easy" button on my desk!
See Smith's Fulbright website as a manual to follow (in addition to a stairway to success) not as a website to navigate.
The layout is more in textbook form than in popular website format.
Summary of Steps: Follow the instructions and trust the process.
Juniors, Sophomores, and First-Years are guided accordingly.
1) Read everything below in order.
2) Submit your Enquiry answers/questions.
You know that a Fulbright will allow you to give to the world while benefitting yourself from an extraordinary experience building bridges of understanding between nations.
As outlined by Senator Fulbright, the purpose of the program is threefold:
1) To promote mutual understanding through a commitment to the free flow of ideas and people across national boundaries.
2) To expand, through this understanding, the boundaries of human wisdom, empathy and perception.
3) Through cooperation in constructive activities among people of different nations, to create true and lasting world peace.
This is truly a chance in a lifetime and, yes if you feel this might possibly be you and perhaps see yourself in this role, or would like to, now's the time to get started no matter your year, or grad school or job/career plans.
Some get stalled before they even start because they erroneously believe they must have a research project concept before they can proceed, or must have a country to go to, or must know if they want to do an English Teaching Fulbright or a Research Study Fulbright.
The magic of our program is that you can go in almost blind and will be led through a process that will unveil possibilities you would not have imagined on your own.
It is immensely important to start your Fulbright Enquiry (this webpage) as soon as possible in your Smith career anytime from First-Year on, so you can be introduced to the Preparations you make to position yourself to win a glorious Fulbright. There are profoundly sound reasons for this that will affect your capability and success in this endeavor:
1) Even if you do not know whether you want to do a Fulbright, you will not be clear until you have informed yourself fully about what it offers -- by completing the Enquiry Questions on this page.
2) Even if you are unsure what you might like to do with a Fulbright, gaining access to the Preparations (by Answering the Enquiry Questions below) will give you that crucial foothold on the process.
There are even more important reasons:
1)The Preparations lead to Registering to apply for a Fulbright through Smith, which (even if you are still unsure exactly what it is you want to do) introduces you to all sorts of campus resources and direct guidance to help you figure your possibilities.
2) It is vital that you establish these formal relationships including with an official mentor well before the end of your junior year: If you wait until the summer that you are a Rising Senior, you will inevitably find that faculty members are virtually impossible to contact at all.
This leads to several difficulties, including:
1) You may be forced to try to begin a Fulbright application in earnest at the start of your Senior year when, alas, it will be too late because you would have missed critical deadlines.
2) Research projects require securing host-country affiliates but only after you have formulated your proposal concept that must first be shown to be suitably feasible and viable.
3) You have to line up recommenders but only after it is clear what you are proposing, and they can write their letters only after you have completed your application.
The above three situations lead to the same result: Impossibly squeezed for time, you get squeezed out of the application process.
Problem is, many students don't know what they want to do until it is too late to begin a Fulbright application.
SOLUTION: Follow our sage advice to begin the process early even if you are uncertain because only by starting the process can you really discover a way forward or decide clearly that the Fulbright is not for you.
The key factor is that you need -- ideally by Early spring of Junior year -- to have established a "Fulbright" relationship with a professor (formally introduced through our Fast Track program).
Upperclasswomen have not a moment to pause so you don't miss the boat.
It is never too early for Sophomores, even First-Years (after they have their first Smith GPA) to begin to position themselves.
If you are interested in learning more, shoot off a quick message, from your Smith email address, to the Fulbright Program Adviser (FPA) at Smith
with your answers to the questions farther below BUT only after first familiarizing yourself with the Fulbright by self-qualifying yourself at
(including U.S. citizenship and ~3.4 GPA).
Then scan the following Fulbright page to give yourself just enough knowledge of the program to be clear about your interest but do not get bogged down in any of their detail or worry about what they say you should do.
Don't do anything except speed-read this page to help orientate yourself and then follow our instructions which take you on Smith's step-by-step Fast Track: http://us.fulbrightonline.org/about/fulbright-us-student-program
Smith's official FPA (Fulbright Program Advisor) is Donald Andrew, the college's Fellowships Adviser, in the Class Deans' Office.
Appointments to speak, in person or via Skype or phone, are made directly with the FPA via your Smith email to
after exchanging a few messages to confirm your eligibility and earnestness, which includes your answers to the Enquiry questions in the first instance.
Want to get good advice and or get ahead with the Fulbright?
Establish a relationship with the FPA by keeping him informed about where you are in the process, starting from your Enquiry originating from this webpage, all the way through Preparations, and Registration, which comes later, and then Admission into our application-support program.
Keep emailing him little updates about your thinking, your progress or lack of it, whatever is going on with your even vague (or eager!) interest in the Fulbright.
There are no right or wrong things to tell him because if you keep him abreast of developments or delays, he is able to see in advance how he can work with your situation, what to expect.
If you are stuck, bogged down or have hit a brick wall, let him know.
If you are struggling to figure a way into the Fulbright, how possibly to conceive some approach to it, let him know.
Ask him questions that are not answered by information on this website or seek clarifications.
If you keep yourself on his radar*, you will benefit handsomely.
*When emailing with the FPA, always include all your and all his previous messages in your emails so the thread of the conversation is recorded.
The FPA is emailing with about 100 students at any one time and must always have this thread to refer to regardless of the duration between emails.
After reading this page and the links off the top left and top rightcorner, quickly answer the short Enquiry Questions at
to introduce yourself to the Fellowships Program.
(Alumnae, Ada Comstock Scholars and Graduate Students have additional questions. Find detail on alumnae applications at the bottom of this page under chapter 8.)
We will learn more about you and your aspirations later, as you will about our campus program.
A quick expression of interest via Smith email will get you on our speedy Fast Track right away!
Speed is of the essence.
The main reason students fail to complete a Fulbright application in time is because they delay starting the process for too long.
All you have to do is take the first step and answer the above questions.
We are here to help with this all along the way.
But since the ball is in your court, you have to help yourself first by sending in your answers NOW when you read this.
Nothing is fixed in stone at this stage.
Your answers are tentative – just to get the ball rolling – as the biggest thing of all initially is in actuality to start the process!
It is never too early to begin from First Year on because there is always some preparation you can be doing ultimately to strengthen your case, such as learning a target-country language.
Pondering what your objectives might be is productive, so read again what it says on the right side of the Fellowships website home page at
Ideally (though not everyone is able to start this early) the sequence of your involvement would be:
First Year (while familiarizing yourself with Smith and choosing courses) – Enquiry Answers and Begin Preparations.
Sophomore (while deciding on your major, and junior-year plans) – Conduct Preparations and Begin Registration.
Junior (study away and pursue research while begin planning post-graduation career) – Continue Preparations, Complete Registration, Begin Application.
Rising Senior – Complete Application substantially the summer before start of senior year.
Deadlines do however apply, so be sure to note the following:
Priority Enquiry Deadline March 4.
Alumnae Enquiry Deadline June 20.
Petition Senior Enquiry Deadline July 15 (Teaching August 1).
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -- Marianne Williamson (and quoted by President Nelson Mandela in his inauguration speech).
Applying for a Fulbright through Smith, you will develop capacities you did not know you had by tapping resources hidden within yourself.
The challenging application process inevitably proves rewarding, even for those applicants who are not selected.
"I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint -- and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you." -- Oprah Winfrey (who built and funds a boarding school for bright underprivileged girls in South Africa).
We accept qualified (as per above) Smith alumnae who live close enough to attend at least three consultative or interview sessions at the college over a period of months roughly at a time when the Fellowships Program requires.
This applies particularly between September 16 and October 12 when multiple interviews are conducted in person and interactions finalizing applications with paper copies occur face-to-face.
If you cannot physically be at the college over this period then we will consider conducting the process via Skype but this can be done only up until end-August which means you must complete and submit your entire application, including Research Affiliations, by August 31 except for recommendations which can be added by September 21 by the recommenders.
If attending another higher-educational institution or are graduated from one, and they have an FPA (Fulbright Program Advisor), you must apply through them.
Otherwise we are happy to consider enquiries case by case, as we are open to accepting Smith graduate students pursuing post-bac studies, post-doc research, or graduate degrees at Smith.
Graduate students in their first year at a university (different from their undergraduate college) often wish to apply through the institution at which they were previously enrolled.
This may be possible with the Fulbright interview, that is required, conducted via phone provided there are professors here who remember and can vouch for you.
In exceptional circumstances, we may consider others who live farther afield and already have a developed, realistic idea what they want to do and preferably where.
If you are over 30 years old (Ada's excepted) or graduated more than five years ago, then Fulbright no longer considers you a student and you should explore
If you are applying for a Teaching Fulbright then some of the restrictions above may not apply because Teaching applications are far less complicated, much easier and relatively straightforward.
We welcome and encourage alumnae to apply for Teaching Fulbrights to one of the countries listed at
if you have some teaching experience.
After reading this page and the links off the top left corner, quickly answer the short Enquiry Questions at
to introduce yourself to the Fellowships Program.