Based on years of experience with Fulbright applicants, the common question we hear from students is: What is the difference between Fulbright Personal Statement and Study or Research Objectives? Therefore, for the 2023 Fulbright Applications, we have decided to write the key main points that students need to know while writing their Fulbright Personal Statement and Research Objectives.
What are the key points of Fulbright Personal Statement?
Fulbright Personal Statement should entail the following points:
Who are you? – An Introduction to yourself.
This includes your family and educational background. Give a brief account of your family background (if possible, relate it to your academic life). Mostly, this paragraph is about your academic achievements in your former degree programs. Mention the courses that you took during your Grad school, the volunteer programs that you were a part of, and the internships that you completed. You can also mention your final year project or the part-time/full-time jobs that you have worked during the past few years. If there are other achievements you can put on display, this is the right time to showcase them. This paragraph aims to impress the selection committee with your performance in your academic life in the past few years.
Why do you want to pursue this degree program/ Fulbright Scholarship?
You have to mention your driving force behind the pursuit of the Fulbright scholarship and chosen degree program. This should entail the reasons why you chose this particular field and how it is related to your previous academic pathway. This paragraph must reflect your passion for your chosen career. You can also mention your current job/activities and link them with your field of choice.
How will you benefit Pakistan after coming back with the degree?
In this paragraph, you need to mention your intentions regarding serving your country once you get back. You have to justify that once you get done with your degree abroad, you will be of benefit to your country and people back home. Show your motivation towards serving your own country. This will help convince the selection committee to see you as a motivated patriot who deserves to get an education abroad.
Future Actions and Why You?
Towards the end of your Statement of Purpose, you need to mention your future goals. This includes short-term goals (1 year) and long-term goals (3-5 years) after you are done with your degree. You need to mention if you plan to build a career in the USA or back home in the future.
In the last paragraph, write why this particular university is your university of choice and how it will add to your career building. You can also mention the Alumni significance of your chosen institute. In a few lines, give some solid reasons as to why the selection committee should choose you from a sea of potential applicants? Why do you deserve this scholarship, and how will you make the best use of it?
Fulbright Study Objective:
Fulbright Study Objective should entail the following points:
Your Topic of Interest:
Most applicants get confused in this portion as they cannot differentiate between a degree program and the topic of interest. Your chosen degree program is a vast field and has several courses, specializations, and divisions. You will be studying all of it to get through the Post-graduate program. But your topic of interest refers to that specific field “within” your degree program that you are most passionate about. It is the topic that you believe you are really good at and plan to take forward. You have to narrow down to this ‘specific,’ from the general field.
Not just this, but you also have to tell reasons as to why it interests you. Here, it is best to quote renowned professors, researchers, and achievers to show your affinity with the field. Mention any research that you have gone through and how they have added to your passion. Such knowledge of your topic of interest will indicate your aspiration towards it.
Now mention what sort of research you plan to do in the field (if selected). Your answer should be strong enough for the selection committee to take you seriously.
The second portion of your Fulbright Study Objective should talk about the degree program that you have opted for in your university of choice in the US. Here again, you can mention the specific topics of the program that are of your primary interest. Mention all the previous academic experiences that you have had and how they are related to your chosen degree program. You must justify that the practical experience that you have had is connected to your field. This connection can be established by listing down paid/unpaid jobs that you have worked, organizations you have volunteered for, and any field-related research (if conducted).
Benefits for your Home Country:
You need to touch briefly upon how this learning is essential for Pakistan. Here, you need to demonstrate a dire need for your chosen field in your home country. It can be depicted in the form of a comparison between different countries. Attribute this depletion to the expenses of this field, which are a little too heavy on an average Pakistani’s pocket. This will help the selection committee find out that you aim to serve your country in your field of interest, and the only thing holding you back is financial support, which Fulbright can provide.