This is the VOA Special English Education Report.
This week is the sixtieth anniversary of the Fulbright Program of international
educational exchanges. On August first, nineteen forty-six, President Harry
Truman signed legislation to create the program.
Fulbright grants are given to
graduate students, to scholars and professionals, and to teachers and
administrators. Today about six thousand people each year receive grants. People
come to the United States to study or teach, while Americans go to other
The Fulbright program operates in about one hundred fifty countries. Around
two hundred seventy-five thousand people have taken part over the years. Some
have gone on to become Nobel Prize winners and leaders in areas like business,
technology and politics.
Those who take part in the program are called Fulbright scholars or
"Fulbrighters." They receive money for travel, education and living costs. The
program is paid for by the United States government and by foreign governments
and private groups.
Thomas Farrell is a deputy assistant secretary in the State Department which
supervises the program. He says that right now the number of American students
who want to spend a year as a Fulbright scholar is at the highest point ever.
And, he says, so is the number of Fulbright scholarships they are being awarded.
The number is close to one thousand two hundred a year.
In nineteen forty-six,senator William Fulbright of Arkansas proposed the
legislation to create the program. At that time, just after World War Two, he
saw the idea as a way to improve world understanding.
Senator Fulbright thought exchanges would help people better understand other
ways of life as well as their own. He believed the program could educate future
You can learn more about the program online from the Bureau of Educational
and Cultural Affairs at the State Department. We have a link to the Web site at
voaspecialenglish.com, where you can also download archives of our reports and
And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy
Steinbach. A program note -- in September we will begin our Foreign Student
Series. This is information about how to attend school in the United States. So
please send us your questions. Write to email@example.com. We cannot answer
mail personally, but we might answer your question during our series.