Things to know about applying for a Fulbright grant to Norway.
What are you looking for in a potential Fulbright grantee?
The selection of Fulbright grantees by the U.S.-Norway Fulbright Foundation is based on a variety of factors. First and foremost, the program seeks applicants with strong academic backgrounds and a demonstrated ability to undertake independent research of the highest quality. At the same time, Fulbright is an ambassadorial program, and it is critical that candidates are capable of building international relationships and contributing meaningfully through non-academic activity in their communities. There is no single formula for the successful Fulbright application and no single type of Fulbrighter. Norway offers unique academic and cultural opportunities, and we look for the students and scholars ready to utilize these opportunities to not only produce great work, but also to promote personal and professional contact between the United States and Norway.
What is the difference between a Fulbright scholar, Fulbright student, ETA, and Roving Scholar?
According to Fulbright, all recipients of a Fulbright scholarship can refer to themselves as “Fulbright scholars,” though the preferred umbrella term is “Fulbrighter” or a more specific title (i.e. Fulbright U.S. Student). Using “Fulbright scholar” might cause some confusion as there is a Fulbright Scholar Program and a Fulbright Student Program which are distinct from one another. With a few exceptions, Fulbright scholars must have earned their PhD by the time they submit their applications. Students are required to have completed their bachelors degrees by the time they start a grant, and applications from seniors in college are common. In addition, there are ETAs (English Teaching Assistant), who teach English but apply through the student program, and Roving Scholars who apply as scholars to visit secondary schools throughout the Norway to give presentations, lectures, and seminars.
Do you prefer certain disciplines and types of projects to others?
No. While we receive a number of applicants engaged in the natural sciences and engineering, we judge each proposal on its quality, feasibility, and capacity to further the goals of the U.S.-Fulbright Foundation and the Fulbright program as a whole. Successful grantees in recent years have studied subjects as different as the relationship between sound and movement, the dispersal of juvenile brown trout, Polish migrant workers in Oslo, and the works of Henrik Ibsen and Jon Fosse. Norway has Centres of Excellence which focus on a variety of “…ambitious ideas and complex problems,” but we certainly invite applicants from all fields to apply.
Do I need to know Norwegian to apply for a Fulbright grant?
No. It is not necessary to speak Norwegian to apply for a Fulbright grant to Norway. That said, a number of past grantees have found it useful to learn some Norwegian before arriving and many take language courses during the Fulbright term. The grantees typically report that, despite the widespread use of English in Norway, learning at least some Norwegian deepened their experience and offered valuable insight into Norwegian culture and media.
Do I need to have an affiliation in Norway to apply? How do I get one?
Yes, unless you are applying as an ETA or a Roving Scholar. We do ask that all other applicants have an affiliation in Norway before applying. Securing an affiliation can be done in a number of ways, the easiest of which is e-mailing a description of your background and project to people you would hope to work with. Affiliations can be with any group or organization which will facilitate your project, though we highly recommend that all applicants, including artists, seek affiliation with a Norwegian university or college, as this offers potential benefits in securing housing, student status, and work space. When applying for Fulbright, we ask that you attach a letter from your affiliation host indicating their willingness to work with you during the Fulbright term. Information on affiliations (and other application components) can be found here.
If I am a Fulbright student planning to be at a university, do I need to apply there separately as a student?
Generally not. Most universities in Norway admit Fulbright students after they have been awarded grants and will send instructions about how to do so after the grant has been accepted. However, programs in music and the fine arts may require a separate applicaiton in advance of any decision from Fulbright. Whatever your proposed course of study or research, please check with the university you are interested in for specific advice about how to proceed.
Does Fulbright pay my university tuition?
Norway is one of the few countries where higher education remains largely tuition-free. With the exception of a nominal enrollment fee (e.g. 590 NOK per semester at the University of Bergen in 2022), Fulbright students need only pay for books if they take courses.
So, can I attend/be affiliated with a private university?
Yes, but be aware that private universities, such as BI in Oslo, might have substantial tuition fees. Fulbright does not adjust the stipend to cover the cost of attending a private university.
As a Fulbright student grantee, can I take university courses during my Fulbright term?
Yes. At most Norwegian universities and colleges, Fulbright students should be able to take master’s-level and Norwegian language classes without enrolling in a full degree program.
Can I combine a Fulbright grant to Norway with a Fulbright grant to another country?
While extremely rare, it may be possible to combine a Fulbright grant from Norway with one in another country. Be aware, however, that this process requires applying to and being approved by both commissions in question. Multi-country grants for ETAs are not permitted.
I have dual citizenship with Norway. Am I eligible to apply?
No. Persons who hold dual U.S./Norwegian citizenship will not be considered for grants to Norway.
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the final year of my dissertation. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. In addition, you are not obligated to stay in Norway for the entire 10 month grant period that is otherwise the norm for student grantees. It is possible to do a shortened stay if this better suits the work you will be doing in Norway and the finalization of your dissertation.
I graduated a few years ago. Am I still eligible to apply for a Fulbright student grant to Norway?
Yes, as long as you have or will have your bachelor’s degree by the time you start the grant term. For ETAs, Fulbright recommends applicants be under 30 years of age.
I lived in Norway for a period of time. Can I still apply?
Yes. Having been in Norway before–on study abroad, for example–can prove advantageous for securing an affiliation and building a network for potential research. We do, however, ask that you please disclose in your application if you have been a resident in Norway.
Will I receive additional funding for dependents?
In most cases, yes. Unless you are an English Teaching Assistant, you will receive an additional 2000 NOK per month, per dependent, for up to three dependents. Be advised, however, that this sum is not sufficient to meet income requirements for family member residence permits. The grantee and/or his/her family member should therefore be prepared to supplement the Fulbright grant with personal funds or proof of employment during the grant period.