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Fulbright Program FAQs

When can I apply for the Fulbright/ Humphrey program?
The Public Affairs Office usually announces the program in March specifying the application deadline for a late May or early June date. Always refer to U.S. Embassy page for the details.


What is the difference between Fulbright Foreign Student, Fulbright Visiting Scholar, and Humphrey Programs?

The Fulbright Foreign Student, Fulbright Visiting Scholar, and Humphrey Programs are exchange programs targeting different audiences, varying in program length and focus:

  • The Fulbright Foreign Student Program (FFSP) is a one-to two year degree program for young professionals and university graduates interested in pursuing a Master’s Degree in the United States.
  • The Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program (FVSP) is a three to six month non-degree post-doctoral award program for junior and senior researchers, university lecturers and experts from academic and research institutions in Albania to conduct research and/or lecture at a university in the United States.
  • The Hubert H. Humphrey Program (HHHP) sends accomplished mid-career professionals with demonstrated leadership potential to the United States for ten months of graduate-level, non-degree academic coursework and professional development activities.

All scholarships are awarded competitively to candidates who best demonstrate a commitment to service in the public and/or private sectors and the potential to positively influence the future of Albania.


How do I submit my application?

The Fulbright/Humphrey applications should be submitted online through the Embark System (links: Fulbright Student 2020 and Fulbright Scholar 2020). If you are able to submit the application and all supporting documents through the online system, you do not need to send any information through the mail.

If you are not able to submit the supporting documents online, you may send the entire package via mail; however, to be considered for the scholarship, the actual application form must still be filled out and submitted online.  After you have submitted the on-line application, print a copy, add all the required documents translated and notarized, ink-signed signature form, and mail it to:

Fulbright Program
Public Affairs Office
U.S. Embassy
Rruga Stavro Vinjau, No. 14
Tirana, Albania


What are the stages of the selection process?

The selection process lasts 12-14 months between the initial application and the program start date and includes the following stages:

  1. Embassy officials review applications for the required documents and overall quality of the application.
  2. Selected candidates are interviewed with a panel composed of Embassy officials and program alumni.
  3. Selected candidates are nominated for further review by the Fulbright Scholarship Board (FSB) and final decision.
  4. The Institute for International Education (IIE) works with U.S. universities for candidates’ placement
  5. Successfully placed applicants start the program in July/August (depending on the academic calendar of their host institution, or pre-academic program requirements).


What are the chances that the candidate applies and commences studies in October of the year s/he submits the application?

None! When we announce the program, it is always for the following academic year. The application and selection process usually lasts for about 12-14 months.


What are the required documents that an applicant needs to submit with the application form?

Please, refer to the announcement posted for each program on the U.S. Embassy website: https://al.usembassy.gov/education-culture/educational-exchange-programs/; The Application form also includes some additional forms that every applicant is required to submit.


Translated and notarized copies of university diploma(s) and grade transcripts from all educational institutions attended – means translated and notarized in English or Albanian language?

Notarized copies of the original documents in Albanian and English translations of those documents; for diplomas and grade transcript issued in English a notarized copy of the original document is sufficient. Note: The grade transcript should be separate from the Diploma supplement.


Should the three letters of reference be in English or Albanian? Should they be notarized?

We recommend that the Letters of Reference be submitted on-line in English. You should register the individuals in the system, providing their full name and email address. The Embark system will send an automatic e-mail to the e-mail address of the referrer. The referrer then should complete the formatted Confidential Letters of Reference and submit it. However, in case the referrer cannot successfully submit a letter of reference on your behalf, you should print the formatted Confidential Letter of Reference from the system, and have the referrer complete it in English and mail it to the following address:

Fulbright Program
Public Affairs Office
U.S. Embassy
Rruga Stavro Vinjau, No. 14
Tirana, Albania


Do I need to submit an official TOEFL score report with the application?

No. Applicants do not need to submit an official TOEFL score with the application unless s/he has a valid score report.


Do I need to take other tests like GMAT, GRE, or LSAT?

Only some candidates are required to take these exams if they are nominated for further review by the Fulbright Scholarship Board (FSB).

  • Applicants in Business Administration will be required to take the GMAT test.
  • Applicants in all other fields, nominated by the FSB will be required to take the GRE test.
  • LSAT is required for law programs. However, Fulbright applicants in law are not required to take the test.


Can I apply for both the Fulbright and Humphrey program at the same time?

Yes, you may apply for both programs, however, typically candidates are much better suited to one of these programs. We recommend that you carefully review the criteria for each program and apply to the one that best matches with your qualifications and goals.


What kind of work experience should I have?

An applicant should have the required number of years’ experience in/related to the field s/he is applying for, as indicated in the announcement for each program:

  • The Fulbright Foreign Student Program applicants must have a minimum of two-year professional experience in the field of study and demonstrate leadership ability.
  • The Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program applicants must have a minimum of five years of teaching and/or research experience at an Albanian university or other research institution
  • Hubert H. Humphrey Program applicants must have a minimum of five years full-time professional experience in the relevant field of study

Please refer to the Fulbright program page.


What should the letter from employer say?

The letter from employer should provide information about your employment status and job responsibilities. The letter from employer should preferably indicate that you will be able to return to your job after you come back from the program.


Does Fulbright/Humphrey Program help me return to my previous job or find a job for me upon return from the program?

Neither the Embassy nor the Fulbright/Humphrey program is responsible for helping you get your job back upon return from the program. If you would like to return to your previous employer you are responsible for signing an agreement with your employer before you depart for the United States to participate in the program.


I have participated in a State Department exchange program before. Can I apply for the Fulbright/Humphrey program?

This varies depending on the program and the length of stay in the United States.  Please reach out to us directly at CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov to better understand your eligibility.


Can I stay in the United States after I finish the program and get a job?

No. Any participant in the U.S. State Department exchange programs travels to the United States on a J1 visa. Every participant is required to respect the J1 two-year home-residency visa requirement. This means that at the end of the program s/he should go back to her/his home country and spend a minimum of two years there, before they are allowed to pursue work opportunities in the United States.


Can I choose my University?

There are specific procedures for each program:

  • For The Fulbright Foreign Student Program, each applicant can only express preference about his or her host university. The IIE university placement team develops the placement plan matching the applicant and the program. The final decision is made by IIE.
  • For the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, we strongly recommend applicants identify a host institution and receive a letter of invitation.
  • For the Hubert H. Humphrey Program, IIE is responsible for the university placement based on the study program.

Please feel free to e-mail us with more questions at: CultureandEducationTirana@state.gov