Fulbright and Community Colleges

The Fulbright Program offers opportunities for community college faculty and administrators to go abroad and for community colleges to host international Fulbrighters, supporting Fulbright’s goals of representing the range of higher educational institutions in the United States and the full diversity of our citizenry to communities abroad. See Fulbright awards highlighted for community colleges.
  • Community college faculty offer a wealth of experience that they can share with the world as Fulbright U.S. Scholars and Fulbright Specialists, and return to enrich the classroom experience of their students.
  • Community college administrators build connections to international partners and attract students to their campuses through Fulbright International Education Administrators Awards, supporting the internationalization of curriculum.
  • Community college students who go on to graduate with their bachelor’s degree participate in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Fulbright selects community college alums to serve as Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors, to represent a variety of backgrounds and perspectives of Fulbright participants.
Mary Nia Santos (left), Fulbright Visiting Scholar
American Samoa Community College
Snehal Donde, Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at Bronx Community College
Cush Jenkins, Fulbright U.S. Scholar from Northern Virginia Community College
Blanca Alvarado, Fulbright U.S. Scholar from Austin Community College

How Community Colleges Engage with Fulbright

The Fulbright Program invests in both faculty and students at community colleges. Partner countries have indicated over 120 awards for which U.S. community college faculty are especially encouraged to apply. Some have created new awards specifically for community college scholars, for instance, the new Community College Faculty Award to Denmark for 2025-2026.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers a “Flex” award option that lets faculty conduct their projects over multiple shorter trips abroad. Faculty are also encouraged to apply for short term opportunities to serve as consultants or lecture abroad through the Fulbright Specialist Program.

Community colleges are prioritized for programs where institutions apply to host international Fulbrighters to meet their specific needs, such as Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants, Fulbright Scholars-in-Residence, and Fulbright Outreach Lecturers.

Arizona State University
Baruch College, CUNY
Baccalaureate and Special Focus
Austin College
LaGuardia Community College, CUNY
Special Focus
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Building Bridges with Technical and Vocational Schools Abroad

U.S. community colleges are respected around the world as a model for locally-based vocational education. Through the Fulbright Program, Scholars and Specialists are sharing the community college model and building international relationships.
Through the Fulbright Specialist Program, Santa Fe College administrator Vilma Fuentes developed a partnership with the Kyiv Professional College of Applied Sciences that enriches both institutions.

Outreach to Community Colleges

Fulbright Scholar Liaisons from community colleges across the country are invited to take part in virtual trainings and in-person workshops to help them connect faculty with Fulbright opportunities and work with campus leadership to develop policies that encourage international experience.

In March 2023, Fulbright hosted a workshop attended by community college leaders and advisors. The workshop was an opportunity for administrators of the Fulbright Program to listen to community college faculty and administrators about the challenges facing their institutions, and share their ideas for engagement with the Fulbright Program in the future.

As an outcome of the workshop, a number of leaders in field of community college education independently formed a new Fulbright Alumni Association Chapter, which meets virtually to accommodate members throughout the United States.

Fulbright Scholar Liaisons from community colleges across the country are invited to take part in virtual trainings and in-person workshops to help them connect faculty with Fulbright opportunities and work with campus leadership to develop policies that encourage international experience.

In April 2024, the Fulbright Program, in partnership with the Ohlone Community College District, brought together over 40 Fulbright Scholar Liaisons from community colleges from across the United States to exchange knowledge and resources on increasing the participation of community college faculty and administrators in the Fulbright Program. Read article.

The Fulbright Specialist Program convenes a working group for Fulbright Specialist alums currently at U.S. community colleges so Fulbright can better include participant perspectives into outreach efforts, initiatives, and resources to increase applicants from community colleges. This working group also communicates with and supports faculty and administrators at community colleges interested in the Fulbright Specialist Program.

Conferences and Webinars for Faculty and Administrators

Each year, the Fulbright Program partners with national community college organizations such as Community Colleges of International Development (CCID), Association of Community College Trustees (AACT) and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and attends their annual conferences.

Fulbright staff also conduct training webinars to address the challenges faced by community college applicants with the help of past participants from community colleges.

In April 2024, Fulbright joined CCID and the Faculty Association of California Community College (FACCC) to host a webinar to showcase how community college faculty and administrators can gain important research skills and internationalize their campuses and classrooms through the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Voices From Our Community

Fulbright Community College Highlights

Genesee Community College professor Heather Jones brings students in the United States and Mexico together through collaborative photography classes and exhibits.

Color Connection Project Creates a “Cultural Bridge”

Fulbright experiences in India and Indonesia help Hawaii Community College professor Pamela Scheffler to internationalize her teaching and campus.


Fulbright experiences empower community college president Charles Sasaki to make global connections and share his AAPI identity abroad.


Attending a community college gave Juan Gonzalez “the benefits of non-traditional pathways.” As a Fulbright ETA, he understood "my students who attended smaller institutions in rural parts of Argentina."


Fulbright Opportunities for Community Colleges

Fulbright U.S. Scholars

The majority of community college participants take part in the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.   Scholar Awards include opportunities available to community college faculty at all stages in their careers and in all disciplines, as well as to established professionals and artists. Flex Awards are offered as an option within many Fulbright U.S. Scholar opportunities and allow scholars to divide their grant into multiple, short-term stays in the host country over a period of one to two years. (See award descriptions for availability.) Nearly 120 Awards indicate an interest in having community college faculty apply. Learn more.

International Education Administrators Award

The Fulbright International Education Administrators (IEA) award provides an international networking opportunity between senior administrators of U.S. institutions and institutions abroad. These connections help community colleges, among other institutions, to strengthen their study abroad offerings and attract international students to their campuses. Learn more.

Fulbright Specialist

The Fulbright Specialist Program is a short-term opportunity that provides faculty members and professionals with the flexibility to go abroad. Institutes abroad ask for U.S. faculty and professionals to come and share their expertise in specific disciplines according to their high priority areas. A U.S. faculty member or expert may then apply to be on the “Fulbright Specialist Roster” for a period of three years, during which time they may match with an institution abroad for a specific project. There is a growing interest abroad in hosting faculty from U.S. based community colleges, technical, and vocational schools at their international equivalents.

Those interested in the Fulbright Specialist Program should check the list of eligible disciplines every year for the most up to date projects abroad. There are approximately 400 projects awarded annually for visits to over 150 countries.

Once abroad, U.S. faculty and professionals serve as expert consultants and engage in education and/or training activities for a period of two to six weeks; they may also be divided into more than one visit. In addition to institutes of higher education, specialists are hosted by a range of overseas institutions, including government, cultural institutions, non-governmental organizations, and medical institutions. Learn more.

Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program

U.S. higher education institutions host an experienced language instructor for an academic year to teach their native language and culture on campus. The program expands campus language offerings and internationalizes curriculum. Learn more.

Fulbright Outreach Lecturing Fund (OLF)

The OLF provides funding for institutions to invite international Fulbrighters, who are already in the United States, to their campuses for short-term speaking engagements. Community colleges can invite OLF lecturers to talk about their research to faculty and students, have study-focused talks complementing existing coursework, discuss their home country and culture, and share their experience on Fulbright as a way to promote further engagement with the Program. Learn more.

Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence (S-I-R)

This program empowers U.S. higher education institutions to invite an international scholar to their campus to teach courses, develop curriculum, guest lecture, and/or create study abroad or faculty exchange programs for a semester or an academic year. This program supports institutions that want to increase their campus internationalization with international exchanges. S-I-Rs are also motivated to engage in the local community through speaking engagements, community meetings, and volunteering. The S-I-R Program prioritizes community colleges, along with Minority-Serving Institutions, rural institutions, and institutions in states or regions that want support promoting themselves on a global stage through Fulbright. Learn more.

Fulbright U.S. Student

The Fulbright Program encourages community college students to think early about how their future includes Fulbright. The Fulbright Program partners with organizations such as Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to provide early guidance and mentoring to students as they transfer to a four-year college.

136 Fulbright U.S. Student Program Finalists indicated that they started their higher education at a community college (2023-2024), before earning a bachelor's degree and then a Fulbright award. They join more than 2,000 Fulbright U.S. Students—recent bachelor’s degree holders, graduate students, and early career professionals from all backgrounds—pursue graduate study, conduct research, or teach English in schools abroad each year. Learn more.

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