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Academic Exchange Programs - Special Academic Exchange Programs

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This federal aid program is managed by:

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State


As authorized by the Fulbright-Hays Act, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) seeks to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange programs, including the exchange of scholars, researchers, professionals, students, and educators. ECA programs foster engagement and encourage dialogue with citizens around the world. Educational and cultural engagement is premised on the knowledge that mutual understanding, the development of future leaders, and the benefits of education programs influence societies and affect official decision-making almost everywhere in the world today. ECA programs inform, engage, and influence participants across strategic sectors of society – including young people, women, teachers, scholars, journalists, and other professionals – increasing the number of foreign individuals who have first-hand experience with Americans and with the values of freedom, representative government, rule of law, economic choice, and individual dignity, while building international knowledge and capacity among Americans. The purpose of Special Academic Exchange Programs is to provide targeted support for U.S. and foreign students who may not otherwise have the resources to pursue international exchange opportunities or who are in fields directly relevant to identified needs in their countries.

Funding obligations:

(Cooperative Agreements) FY 08 $38,395,000; FY 09 est $33,602,000; FY 10 est $0 - FY2010 estimate not available.

Uses and Use Restrictions:

Special Academic Exchange Programs support participants in undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree professional development programs. Special Academic Exchange Programs target underserved populations from the developing world or strategically important areas. These programs provide selected participants with the opportunity to participate in exchanges and develop international competencies and skills, which allow them to serve as leaders in their professions and communities. Funding for these programs supports nonprofit organizations to plan activities, recruit and select participants, and administer and monitor international exchange programs. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides scholarships to U.S. undergraduates with financial need for study abroad, including students from diverse backgrounds and students going to non-traditional study abroad destinations. The Edmund S. Muskie Fellowship Program provides fellowships for Master's level study in the United States in selected fields to young and mid-career individuals in order to foster democratization and the transition to market economies in Eurasia. The Junior Faculty Development Program provides university faculty in the early stages of their careers opportunities to upgrade their knowledge of the subjects they teach, and to maintain on-going contacts between their home and host institutions. The United States--South Pacific Scholarship Program provides educational opportunities for academically talented individuals from South Pacific countries to pursue bachelor's and master's degree study at U.S. institutions in fields that are directly relevant to development needs in the Pacific region. The Timor Leste Scholarship is a scholarship program open to Timorese who meet specific selection criteria. The objective of the program is to identify and support the education of academically talented Timorese who are in the future expected to assume leadership roles in Timor-Leste. Special Academic Programs include several other academic exchange initiatives in which the U.S. Congress has particular interest. Please refer to the or Federal Register announcement for further information.

Examples of Funded Projects:

Not Applicable.

Program Accomplishments:

Fiscal Year 2010: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2012: No Current Data Available

Types of Assistance:

Cooperative Agreements; Project Grants

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

No Data Available.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

As stated in the and Federal Register announcements. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Through the Department's central financial management database.

Applicant Eligibility:


Beneficiary Eligibility:


Award Procedure:

Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures. Successful applicants will receive a Federal Assistance Award (FAA) from the Bureau’s Grants Office. The FAA and the original proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the only binding authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. Government. The FAA will be signed by an authorized Grants Officer, and mailed to the recipient’s responsible officer identified in the application.

Contact Info for Headquarters Office:

Roz Swenson 301 4th Street, SW SA-44, Washington, District of Columbia 20547 Email: Phone: 202-453-8534

Website Address:

Related Programs:


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