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Fulbright Scholarships

2017-2018 J. William Fulbright Foreign Student Program Scholarship

March 16, 2016

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 J. William Fulbright Graduate Scholarship Program for citizens of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. The scholarship pays for up to two years of graduate study in the United States.

One Fulbright scholarship recipient will be chosen for his or her academic merit and leadership potential. Only online applications will be accepted this application cycle. Applications are due on Friday, May 27, 2016 via

The successful candidate will be able to earn a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Public Administration (MPA), or a Master of Law (LLM) degree. Scholarship recipients receive a tuition grant for their coursework and a monthly stipend to cover living expenses at their host institution. Recipients also receive roundtrip transportation and health benefits. In addition, recipients may also attend special enrichment activities throughout their program. These activities are excellent opportunities to network with fellow international Fulbright recipients and to interact with prominent Americans across a range of professional fields. The selected candidate may be required to travel to the United States as early as August 2016 for pre-academic programs.

About the J. William Fulbright Program

The J. William Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. In addition to receiving the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, recipients will also become part of the global network of renowned Fulbright Alumni who have achieved distinction in countless fields including government, science, the arts, and business:

For more information about the Fulbright Scholarship program, please visit

Eligibility Requirements 

  • Applicants must be citizens of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu and currently reside in these countries
  • Applicants must have a four-year bachelor’s degree (undergraduate) and a strong academic background demonstrated by their post-secondary transcripts
  • Applicants must have a minimum have two years of professional work experience
  • Applicants must demonstrate leadership qualities -- including volunteer experience and involvement in their communities
  • Applicants must have excellent English communication skills
  • Applicants must present three letters of recommendation from their professors and/or employers.  Two from professors and one from an employer is highly recommended.
  • Applicants must submit two application essays (a Personal Statement and a Study Research Objectives) with clear goals, well-reasoned statements describing why a specific academic track is the best fit, and tying their academic plans to longer term professional goals
  • Applicants must be committed to returning to his or her country of citizenship and outline a specific plan for using their Fulbright experience in their professional lives and in service to his or her country
  • Strong preference will be given to applicants who have not had extensive or recent experience in the United States 

Ineligibility Factors

  • Persons who have not been conferred their bachelor’s degree
  • Persons with a dual U.S./ Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu nationality
  • Persons who have a spouse, parent, fiancé, or child over 18 years of age who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Persons who have a pending application for immigration to any country (this includes Special Immigrant Visas)
  • Employees of any U.S. government agency (U.S. Embassy, USAID, CDC, DOD) 

Scholarship Program Restrictions

No Dependents:  The Fulbright Graduate Scholarship Program in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu is provided for the recipient only; dependents cannot be supported.  There are no exceptions. 

J-visa requirements: All scholarship recipients are required to return to their country of citizenship for at least two years at the conclusion of their scholarship in compliance with the J-visa requirements, to promote mutual understanding, and serve as future leaders in the public and private sectors of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.  After recipients return to their country of citizenship and establish themselves in their careers, it is still possible to get a temporary visa to the U.S. allowing travel back and forth for business and tourism purposes.  The restriction is on permanent work or immigration U.S. visas. 

Application Instructions

Step 1: Determine eligibility. Read the instructions carefully. Before you apply, be sure that you qualify.

Step 2: Create an Embark account with a valid e-mail address at You do not have to complete the entire application in one sitting; you can continue the application later using your Embark account information.

Step 3: Start and complete all sections of the online application. For helpful hints, please refer to the tips for success section on the top right of this page.

  • Be sure to select the 2017-2018 Fulbright Graduate Scholarship cycle on section 11 of the online application.
  • Applicants are not required to take any of the standardized tests in order to submit the application. The scholarship finalist and alternate candidates will receive test vouchers from the U.S. Embassy to complete the required tests as part of the candidate's preparation for U.S. university admission. In section 24, applicants may list the following dates to indicate when he or she plans to take the tests: For the TOEFL and GRE, please list June/2016.
  • Request letters of recommendations and provide all relevant instructions to professors and employers with the date by which they need to be completed. It is your responsibility to ensure they complete the letters on time towards your application.
  • Your essays are the most important part of your application. Plagiarism - the unfair use of the words and ideas of others - will not be tolerated and can lead to disqualification from the Fulbright program. Please review the advice titled "Focus on Your Essays" on the top right section of this page under "Tips for Success."

Step 4: Submit your online application before Friday, May 27, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. (23:59) according to local time of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu time. Late applications will not be accepted.

Previous Fulbright Scholarship Applicants

Any person who has previously submitted a Fulbright application must submit a new application. If you have submitted a previous application via the online platform, you must create a new account and create a new application to avoid technical complications. Fulbright becomes more competitive each year as the number of applicants increases. Therefore, you are encouraged to revise your essays and update your information.

Standardized Testing Information

TOEFL Test and Test Centers in Papua New Guinea:

The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. It evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.

TOEFL exam is conducted in Ukarumpa in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province. To see scheduled testing dates and to register for the TOEFL test, please visit

IELTS Test and Test Center in Papua New Guinea:

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests English proficiency across the globe. The IELTS Test is conducted at the Port Moresby International School, on Bava Street, Boroko East in the National Capital District. Interested applicants can take the IELTS test scheduled for April 29, June 10, July 22, October 7 and December 2, 2016. To register for IELTS test please visit here.


If you cannot find the answer to your question on this page, please for assistance.  To stay informed about other U.S. educational opportunities, please “like” the EducationUSA PNG page at


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