Fulbright’s admissions package includes diverse questions that allow applicants to express themselves in the most authentic and personal way. We call this “comprehensive admissions”, as different parts of the application are structured to help us gain insights into the applicant’s profile from multiple aspects, in order to discover their unique strengths and potential. If you are applying to Fulbright this year, there are two main sections where you can really show your competence.
Activities and awards
In this section, the applicant can list out the activities they have participated in in recent years. These activities can be in the context of their own families, communities or student organizations. They don’t have to be grandiose events or certified contributions. Other than academic, athletic or artistic awards, you can share any story that you are proud of, such as a sincere thank-you note from a close friend for something you did for them.
Ms. Le Thi Quynh Tram, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid understands that this section may cause many students to lose confidence. Some students may feel inferior comparing themselves with their peers who possess outstanding records of extra-curricular activities. Most applicants only submit information about activities they have official certificates for, but it is not necessarily so.
The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid strongly suggests that you prioritize quality over quantity, and not overlook anything that can demonstrate your personality. A small, simple action, like a weekend of cooking for your beloved family, may be just as impressive as any other activity.
Personal Essay or Original Piece of Work
This section will allow you to show us who you are – your character, your true colors! Whether you are an inventor, an artist or a philosopher, you can choose to either submit a Personal Essay or an Original Piece of Work, with a description attached to explain it.
The Original Piece of Work gives you the freedom to portray yourself, what you think, who you are and how you stand out from others. There is no limitation on the format of your piece of work. It can range from artistic creations, like a painting, a composition, a song, a choreography, to academic research or mechanical inventions.
This section plays an enormous role in helping the admissions team truly understand the applicant, hence it should be invested in with sufficient time and effort. Don’t be shy to “advertise” yourself with every little detail. Make sure your best traits, your distinctiveness and your capability are manifested.
Take the chance to explain yourself
While the personal essay and original piece of work are restrained in length, the application includes a section titled “Additional Information”, where students can say more about themselves. As we have witnessed in previous cycles, it is not uncommon for students to feel they couldn’t express themselves to the fullest in the previous given sections. Whatever it is that can fill in the missing pieces of your puzzle, please share it with us here.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us
Fulbright’s Admissions team encourages applicants to consult with family and friends in order to complete the that application that can best represent them and encompass who they are. Our admissions officers are always available to offer advice or guidance if needed. When applying to a university, it is a great idea to talk with its alumni or currently enrolled students to gain insights into the institution’s environment and overall experience. This will help the prospect students decide if the place is actually suitable for them.
We highly recommend reaching out to us and having earnest conversations with our Admissions and Financial Aid officers, as we can provide you with all the information you need. You can also request to get in touch with a current student or with the faculty to get to know Fulbright from different perspectives.