Do I know what I want to study or research overseas and why?
Do I know why I want to teach English overseas?
A vital part of any application is the enthusiasm for, and understanding of, a period of study or research overseas. This is true whether you are applying as a graduating senior or as an advanced graduate student. The core of a Fulbright application is the argument that you make for the importance of your experience abroad, whether it be academic study, research overseas, or teaching English. While the Fulbright considers other aspects of an application, priority is given to your academic goals.
Is my academic record strong enough?
Although there is no minimum grade point requirement, the Fulbright Awards are academically competitive and it is unusual for recipients to have a GPS below 3.5.
Do I come across as someone who is interested in things outside of the academic area?
The Fulbright looks for evidence of non-academic interests and pursuits. Your extracurricular involvement and achievements can be in any area (e.g., volunteer activities, student organizations, work, and sports). These activities should be meaningful aspects of your life and you should have a comfort level when talking and writing about them.
Do I know enough faculty members and/or advisors to submit the number of references required? Do I know these faculty members and/or advisors well enough to ask for the references, and will they be able to speak to my qualifications and character as required?
The Fulbright requires three letters of recommendation and a language evaluation if required. At least two of the three references should be from those who have known you in an academic setting and who are able to comment on your other characteristics. From our experience, students who are successful in these competitions receive very detailed references from faculty, supervisors, advisors, etc. If possible, references should provide an in-depth evaluation of a student based on a relationship with faculty who have taught you in more than one large class.
Do I need to have contacts in the country where I am applying?
If you are applying for the Study Research Grant, it is extremely important that you have at least one contact overseas, usually at a university or organization. The Fulbright committees needs to feel confident that you will have the support and guidance necessary to carry out your proposed project in your host country.