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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Releases > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Fact Sheets > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Fact Sheets (2005)
Fact Sheet
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Washington, DC
February 17, 2005

U.S.-EU Cooperation in Education: The Fulbright Program

The United States and Europe have a long and extensive history of educational and cultural exchanges. These occur on both a formal and informal basis and can be seen in interactions such as tourist visits, international business training, study abroad programs, and musical and religious exchanges as well as more formal interactions between governments and academic institutions. The Fulbright program represents one prominent example of a successful exchange between the U.S. and Europe.

The Fulbright program is the flagship of the international educational programs sponsored by the U.S. Government and was designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." With this as a goal, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 250,000 participants chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential with the opportunity to study and teach in each other's countries, exchange ideas, and develop joint solutions to address shared concerns. Exchanges between the U.S. and Europe have comprised approximately 70 percent of these exchanges. Between 1949 and 2003, the Fulbright Program provided opportunities for 114,000 European nationals to study in the U.S., and 67,000 U.S. citizens to study in Europe. In spite of the increased emphasis of the Program on other regions of the world, Fulbright grants involving exchanges between the U.S. and Europe still numbered over 2,000 in 2003-04 and accounted for about 38 percent of grants awarded. In most cases, European partner governments pay half or more of the total cost of the program.

In addition to bilateral agreements with individual European states, the U.S. and the European Union also have a separate Fulbright agreement whose primary objective is to enhance U.S. interactions with the European Commission and contribute to the intellectual exchange between U.S. and EU policy-makers. The U.S. support for the U.S.-EU Fulbright program doubled in 2005.


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