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             Fast Track to Fulbright Candidacy

Introduction to PROGRAM

Registration Level


Updated 5/23/12

CONTENTS
1. Preamble
2. Above All, Start Early!
3. Illustrious
4. Preparation
5. Stage One - Registration
6. Stage Two - Application
7. The Home Campus Proving
8. Correcting 3 Misconceptions
9. Stay in Touch
10. How to Get Going Right Now


1. PREAMBLE

YOU may have received an email along the following lines and, by clicking the link in it, came to this page you are on now:

Well done on successfully completing the Enquiry Level of Fast Track to Fulbright Candidacy!
You are now at the Registration Level which is the next stage on this journey to an adventure of a lifetime.
IF you read and digest EVERYTHING* at and linked from
http://www.smith.edu/fulbright/reg/intro.php
and carefully follow all the step-by-step instructions from here on, we will be able to guide you to your greatest chance of success.
Bookmark this link as a Favorite NOW because this URL is the only way to return to this Registration level of the overall application process.
Shoot me an email (dandrew@smith.edu) to let me know what you thinking/feeling after plowing through All* this information, which is the only way to acquire the perspective on the program that you need to make knowledgeable decisions.
I am happy to help you parlay your interests and or strengths into a Fulbright plan, be it teaching (need experience) or research/study (need background) for a country where you speak enough of their language.
You do not have to finish completing a Registration Form until early spring junior year.
For further Preparation advice, contact Associate Fellowships Adviser Amelia VanderLaan avanderlaan@smith.edu (copy me) after re-visiting
http://www.smith.edu/fulbright/prep.php
I look forward to hearing from you once you have done All* the reading and have (numbered) questions flowing therefrom!

* EVERYTHING (All) includes the text on this page (Introduction to Program) you are on now, plus these three left links ONLY:
Smith College Deadlines
Design Your Project
Applicant Guide to Securing Recommendations
Registering to Apply (do NOT yet read the right links on this page, just the Introduction)

If you are interested in Teaching English and have teaching or related experience, study
Easiest ETA Countries
to understand how to choose a country.

Do NOT at this stage bother with left links Reference Guidelines or Campus Evaluation Input.
Use Fulbright I.I.E. Website's Quick Link Menu for reference purposes on an as-needed basis.

Whatever way we introduced you to this page, we are pleased to escort you through this site: Improvement suggestions welcomed.
Please alert fellow@smith.edu to errors.

2. ABOVE ALL – START EARLY!

Okay, so you have made it thus far from the Enquiry Level to the Registration Level.
Here sadly is where too many stall for too long as their opportunity to make hay while the sun shines slips away through procrastination.

Yes, completing the Registration form itself is daunting, no doubt.
Yes, the process is information-heavy and the work front-loaded.

Knowledge however is power, so if you invest the time now in understanding what's ahead, you'll make your load lighter later.
Deep understanding of your potential in relation to the Fulbright comes from completing the Registration form itself.

Please re-read Act Now: Single Most Important Factor at
http://www.smith.edu/fulbright/intro.php#actnow
because it cannot be stressed enough how vital it is to Register preferably by J-Term of your Junior year.
Building a "Fulbright" relationship with a designated professor who agrees to mentor you from Junior year, as you fashion a Fulbright concept, is a rare gift.

This is one of the treasures of being at Smith and research shows that students who develop such relationships get the most out of college -- and have the highest success rates in winning Fulbrights.
Problem is, if you don't do this early in Junior year, you face a frustrating self-imposed uphill battle because professors are generally not available over the summer when you are required to produce Fulbright materials -- unless you have already established that special mentor relationship with them.

A hallmark of success is the ability to think and plan ahead.
Stake your claim today to a serious bid for the Fulbright.

3. ILLUSTRIOUS

Smith has a tradition of being a leading college producer of Fulbright Fellows, with a high success rate.
You are invited to join this illustrious group of Smithies by putting yourself in the best position now to win a Fulbright.

The chances of winning a Fulbright by applying through Smith have in recent years been about double the national average.
But you must act now by junior year before this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, open to undergraduates for the year after graduation, slips away.

To be a successful Fulbright Fellow in a foreign country, and to excel through the rigorous application process, requires among other qualities you already possess or desire to acquire:

1. A self-starting go-getter.
2. Courageousness of spirit.
3. An impressive presence.
4. Devotion to your subject.
5. A desire to help others.
6. Keen open-mindedness.
7. Acute cultural sensitivity.
8. Able to follow instructions.
9. Rises to learning challenge.
10. Determined to persevere.
11. Resourceful independence.
12. Networking connectedness.

To help you achieve this, we offer:

1. A superbly streamlined program to guide you every step of the way.
2. Pointers to resources to prepare yourself in preceding college years.
3. Deep understanding of what makes for an outstanding Fulbright project.
4. To teach you how to design a Fulbright research/study plan or a year Teaching.
5. Know-how to tailor this extremely valuable knowledge to your own proposal.
6. To teach you the powerful new expository fellowships grant writing genre that you will learn along the way.
7. Professors across campus willing to mentor and advise you, and to consult.
8. To put in countless hours guiding you so your application is your best bid.

The Center for Work & Life runs workshops and issues booklets on how to break the ice with faculty, from emailing professors to meeting with them, the point being that the more professors who get to know you well, the better off you will be down the line when you need to turn to faculty for advice, assistance and recommendation letters:
http://www.smith.edu/cwl/index.php

4. PREPARATION

Juniors and Seniors consult Fulbright Deadlines and read on below.
Sophomores, acquaint yourselves now with the program's offerings and requirements as there is much preparation you can do early on to position yourself to boost your chances of winning later.

Fulbright Preparations offers plenty tips for getting ahead while enriching your college life with rewarding pursuits and must also be read by everyone interested in applying for a Fulbright no matter how much past the preparation stage you think you might be because there is always a chance there may be something more you can do in a hurry to boost your chances.

A Fulbright Fellowship is a rare opportunity to build bridges between countries and cultures, a vitally important role for world peace that will be a springboard to a rich life full of meaning and purpose.

Fast Track is designed to:

1. Lead beginners through the process from learning about the Fulbright to seeing where you could fit in and what would be best for you.
2. Guide and support those interested all the way through the application process.

The more you are familiarized with at least the basics, the better able you will be to make wise decisions about applying – from whether to apply at all to what to do in which country.
Through a step-by-step interactive Q&A discovery, called the Registration, you find yourself building an application!

Before you know it, you are well on your way to the goal of winning a Fulbright and having an fabulous year abroad in one of 156 countries following graduation.

To give you an idea of the lines along which you should be thinking, to whet your appetite and get your juices flowing to spark inspiration, read
http://www.smith.edu/fulbright/abstracts.php

There are Two Stages to Getting On Track – Fast!

5. STAGE ONE – REGISTRATION

Introduces you to the Fulbright by asking a series of questions – called the Registration – whereby you register your interest in exploring the possibility of applying for a Fulbright.
There are two broad tracks: Teaching English or Research/Study (a label that can include much else).

If you possess basic eligibility (US citizen 3.4 GPA) consider yourself a viable candidate to start.
Responding to Registration prompts, you:

1. Are led through an interactive tutorial survey about the Fulbright, discovering on the way the suitability of your participation.
2. Begin seeing where and how you might fit – while conceptualizing a Fulbright project.

A project is what you propose to do during your Fulbright year aboard, from several choices including Teaching English.
To begin, what you propose can be tentative, a suggestion, a dream to bounce ideas off Smith’s FPA (Fulbright Program Advisor) to elicit a response and so feel your way to obtain a better idea of what is realistic and will be acceptable – what will fly!

The FPA at Smith is the Fellowships Advisor in the Class Deans’ Office.
Consultations follow Registration.

Once you have arrived at a doable concept, every answer you have recorded in your Registration/s will be used later in your application.
Other information you have provided will have already been used by the FPA in offering you further ideas to consider.

No time or effort is wasted.
Even sophomores are invited to begin a Registration (Save it) which becomes a work in progress that gets updated as you proceed to discover and narrow down what you want to do, what will work – how to succeed.

The Registration questions themselves are designed to stimulate you to think creatively along the right lines.
You may re-submit your Registration/s as many times as it takes to reach a feasible project concept.

This probably entails entering into discussion with the FPA via email, phone and or in person.
You may also advisably be floating ideas and discussing project concepts with professors and others.

The FPA will keep offering suggestions and provoking fresh ways of thinking and new ideas for you to investigate – just keep on presenting concepts until you hit the jackpot!
Persistence pays for those who really want this terrific opportunity, who really appreciate its worth.

Once you have developed a feasible concept and demonstrated a viable candidacy, you will be admitted into the Smith Fellowships Program as a Candidate, which permits you to complete the process of applying for a Fulbright through Smith.

As an undergraduate, the only way to apply for a Fulbright is through your home institution.
Other Smithies, see 10. Alumnae Questions at
http://www.smith.edu/fulbright/intro.php

6. STAGE TWO – APPLICATION

Begins when notified via email of your admission as a junior to Smith’s Fellowships Program, of course after remaining in contact with the FPA, informing him of your preparations.
All further information is provided then about how to proceed.

Our Fellowships Program will provide you with all the guidance you need to develop your project concept into a Fulbright application.
Just follow the instructions, which is the next test of viability – showing you can follow instructions!

Fulbright has a stark philosophy: If you can't follow the instructions, you don't deserve a Fulbright.
Clarifications are always available but based only on a reading of the guidelines.

Questions from a non-reading reveal that someone is not serious and is expecting to waste another person's time with questions because they have not been willing to invest their own time in studying the materials.
Only people sincere about exercising their faculties are welcome.

As a program participant you are a provisional candidate until you have completed a satisfactory application, meaning the project remains feasible and your candidacy viable.
Our campus program is a support system to help you develop a compelling proposal and thus have an excellent chance of succeeding in the Fulbright competition.

We give you our all but at the same time, the FPA is a gatekeeper who safeguards standards to uphold the Fubright Mission and Smith's credibility.
For this reason, we have:

7. THE HOME CAMPUS PROVING

You prove your capability to be a successful Fulbright Fellow abroad when you apply through Smith, a process that requires demonstrating your initiative, independence and maturity by being proactive, organized and superbly self-presenting in written work and in person.

In every encounter with faculty members and the FPA, be it on paper, in email or face to face, you create an impression.
It's a series of on-going two-way interviews through which you build an evaluation profile – by interviewing professors for information, and from your responses to guidance.

How you elicit information shows how motivated you will be on your own abroad.
How you answer questions reveals suitability, as does your responsiveness.

No one expects you to know already how to apply for a Fulbright but it is how you navigate this application process itself that is your proving to be a student diplomat who will build bridges between America and the world.

Only this way can Smith recommend you for a Fulbright with confidence.
We hope to welcome you as a polite candidate of whom Smith will be proud, someone who, for starters, always says Please and Thank You!

8. CORRECTING 3 MISCONCEPTIONS

There are three linked misconceptions still floating around campus from the old days that can undermine, forestall and even prevent your Fulbright bid.

(1) That the Fulbright is done in the fall of your senior year.
WRONG !

This is when Smith submits your application that you do during junior year and over the summer as a rising senior per
http://www.smith.edu/fulbright/reg/deadlines.php

(2) That if you apply for a Fulbright, it is then too much work also to do a Senior Honors Thesis.
INCORRECT !

This may have been true for some students in some disciplines in the old days when Fulbright applications were attempted in the fall of senior year but, since this is no longer allowed, there is no clash although the finishing touches to applications are done in the beginning of the fall.
Besides, many students have managed to do both.
And doing an Honors Thesis, in the same field as your Fulbright proposal, strengthens your application.

The trick is to spread your Fulbright application over an extended period so that it does not overburden you but even then some applicants have completed theirs in shorter periods although to rely on this risks finding that you cannot cope.
So start as early as you can to maximize your chances of staying the course and also producing a superior application that allows for inevitable delays in finding and then waiting for key people overseas to get back to you.

(3) That before you start the enquiry or registration process with our Fellowships Program, you must first have formulated a research concept and or established overseas partners or sponsors, called Affiliates.
NOT SO !

While it is an advantage to have contacts in your target country, most applicants do not have them when they begin the process of applying through Smith, which begins with the Registration, the level you are at now.
We show you how to find these people and help you secure them as Affiliates.

To begin, all you need is an idea or even just a desire and we will guide in how to go about developing these into workable research concepts.
For Teaching, neither concepts nor contacts are required.

9. STAY IN TOUCH

If you have gotten this far and are still even vaguely interested, just maybe, not even (or at all) sure yet, make some kind of contact with the FPA by shooting off a quick email to him at dandrew@smith.edu to let him know your thinking, your hesitation, your intentions, or wherever you are at.
Perhaps you have fears, feel intimidated by this prospect, don't believe you have time to take it on, even really to think about it deeply right now.

Strike up some kind of conversation with him – you might be surprised by what he can tell you that has not dawned on you in terms of Fulbright possibilities for you or other ways of thinking about it that may allow you a different way in.
Don't write yourself off until you have first checked in with him about your doubts, about feeling at sea with all this, whatever your situation or thoughts.

Of course, if you are keen, let him know too, even if you are procrastinating because there is a reason for this and, once this is aired, things lighten up and avenues open.
So, make contact, with or without a Registration and what you never dreamed of may manifest to offer you hope.

Talk to him, he is your FPA.
Silence is a closed door.

10. HOW TO GET GOING RIGHT NOW

After reading

Fulbright Introduction (this page you are on)
Fulbright Preparations (Enquiry Level)
Smith College Deadlines
Winning Proposal Abstracts
Design Your Project
Applicant Guide to Securing Recommendations
Earning TESL Certification (courses on offer, if applying for an ETA)

go to

Registering to Apply Introduction

bearing in mind
HOW TO DECIDE WHAT TO APPLY FOR WHERE:

1. List the countries where the languages I speak is enough to do what I might propose for Research and or Teaching, by consulting
http://us.fulbrightonline.org/countries/regions
and self-evaluating using
Foreign Language Evaluation

2. List my background knowledge and experience, the theoretical and practical skills I bring that enable me to carry out what I might propose.

3. List all ideas, desires, projects, includes ETA, that I am possibly interested in doing or pursuing for my Fulbright year.

4. Combining 1. to 3. above, match the countries and projects that fit, carefully re-consulting
http://us.fulbrightonline.org/countries/regions

5. From my short 4. list, which projects sound interesting and exciting if I were a Fulbright pre-selector in America?

6. From my shorter 5. list, which projects would be deemed important to the in-country selectors, who choose from a short-list of applications chosen by the American selectors, and are now weighing projects from their self-interest, what would most contribute to the betterment of their country?

7. Go back over this process and add back in some that were eliminated, that just might fly, or that I am particularly attached to, so that I can then bounce all these ideas off Mr. Andrew who is more than happy to discuss them with me preferably by phone.