With every application cycle, we share useful resources and tips to help future applicants in their applications. In this resource, we reached out to some of our outstanding alumni and grantees and asked them for advice and tips they can share.
Earlier this year of 2021, the application cycle for the Jordanian programs was launched with an upcoming deadline of June 30th. And when it comes to sharing helpful resources and tips to future applicants, we thought who better than our Fulbrighters to help, and so the Communications and Outreach department at Fulbright Jordan reached out to a number of Jordanian alumni and grantees from various programs who have submitted outstanding applications. Below you can find a collection of helpful tips that would support anyone applying this year.
The Fulbright application process takes some time, as a consequence, and we always advise applicants to take their time and pay attention while working on their application. One of the important things before applying to the program, according to Nour Gharaibeh - a Jordanian Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship Grantee is that you need to “know why applying to Fulbright is important to you. Once you can communicate that to yourself, it becomes much easier to put it through in an application. Why Fulbright? Why now? Why you?”
Dr. Duaa Salameh, a Jordanian Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship alumna, also said: “If you plan to apply for a Fulbright scholarship, you need to plan for it and have an idea about what you want. This doesn’t mean that you need to know everything, but you need to have that kind of passion and belief, that “yes” that indicates that you are ready to learn and ready to carpe diem.”
Tips from Fulbrighters
When we asked our alumni to share their best tips, this is what they said.
Now after you figured out the reason behind wanting to apply to a Fulbright award, you have to start preparing your application. This is the most important phase in the selection process, and depending on it, your application might proceed to the next interview phase. Once the cycle is launched by the Commission, you can start an online or paper based application depending on the program.
Bayan Abu Sini, a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Alumna, emphasized the importance of “starting to prepare the application as early as possible, especially for the TOEFL-iBT test. You may need to take a training or a course or a workshop or you need to include training or workshops to support your application with evidence of your capabilities and competencies.” She continued to add specific advice for those who want to apply for the Humphrey Fellowship in particular and said “plan the program design and how you would reflect your problem on that program design, especially what classes you are going to take, what professional organizations and people you would like to network with. Also, what professional programs and training you would like to engage in.”
Nour Gharaibeh, on the other hand, said: “you have to have one core message that all different parts of the application are communicating. It is important that you have a clear narrative throughout your application that reflects your individual journey, not just what the different stops in your journey are, but how they prepared you to be a Fulbright candidate. You should also never shy away from sharing your failures and challenges and how they shaped you. Ultimately, it is about you telling a story. You might take for granted some aspects of your life, your victories and failures, your interests and values, but they are all new and undiscovered to the Commission who is eager to learn about you.” Zeyad Tuffaha, a Jordanian Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship Alumnus, emphasized what Nour said and formed his advice to applicants saying: “My best advice is to find what makes you stand out from the competition, and what would leave a lasting impression on the reader/interviewer. Our society's norms and traditions usually sculpt us into the same mold, but you'll have to break out of that mold and embrace what makes you different.” He continued: “Once you identify what makes you unique, weave it into a thread that flows through your life story and where you want to go.”
One of the most important parts of your application is the essays. Through them, you will be able to communicate your story to the selection committee. The advice here was “just start writing! The first few drafts will probably not be any good, but the sooner you start writing the more time you will have to edit and edit and edit, which is when the essay starts taking shape.” Bayan continued: “Good essays always seem to me like a huge sculpture; it feels very daunting when you start and all you have is a huge blank stone, but once you start working on it, carving and carving, it starts taking shape and eventually becomes your very own masterpiece. It is hard work, you just need to trust the process. Don't be afraid to restart, rewrite, and delete huge sections that just don’t feel right. As long as you just keep drafting you will get there. The fastest way to get the essays done is to start!”
Dr. Nancy Ajarmeh, a Jordanian Fulbright Scholar Research Award grantee, emphasized the importance of writing to strengthen your application, she said: “Do not be discouraged. If you believe you have a good research idea, go ahead and translate it into a proposal according to the requirements listed on the Commission’s website. The application parts should be strong to the reader and the evaluation committee; try to be direct and clear in delivering the idea to others. The used language should be clear, simple, and not too detailed. Also, have someone in the field review your proposal to verify its content, and don’t forget to proofread it before submission.”
The used language should be clear, simple, and not too detailed. Also, have someone in the field review your proposal to verify its content, and don’t forget to proofread it before submission.
In conclusion, Abdullah Braik, a Jordanian Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship alumnus, encourages interested applicants to “not to be afraid to apply because of the requirements, this fear might prevent you from applying, and to get over it, make sure that you applied all of your papers, followed all of the instructions, and managed your time carefully. By then, you will get the feeling that you have a chance to compete and be selected for the award.”
For other tips and resources, be sure to follow our social media pages, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.