In this session, I would like to share what I had faced when I was taking a part as one of Fulbright scholars candidate. I call this session as Pre-Fulbright Experiences. Please follow all steps that I have written and shared for you in the following items. There are eighteen topics that I have divided. Please ask me any question that you feel important for you to know. However, all my answers are based on my experience and it does not guarantee that you will be accepted into the program. The point of why I want to write here is to make you more ready so that you know a bit of things that you should know. These topics are written in the form of “I”, that means personal, to invite you to my perspective as an applicant and as a scholar.

I have divided this session into the following parts (Please click the link provided below):

  1. Fulbright: Learning from Experiences – the Failures
  2. Fulbright: Willingness to Try and Try again
  3. Fulbright: The Bright News from AMINEF, Fulbright Scholarship
  4. Fulbright: Starting to Dream for Studying in the United States
  5. Fulbright: The First Stage (Applying for the Fulbright scholarship)
  6. Fulbright: The Second Stage (Facing the Interview)
  7. Fulbright: The Third Stage (Attending the Qualifying Exams – Standardized Tests)
  8. Fulbright: The Importance of Social Networking during the Selection Process
  9. Fulbright: IIE, Submission Plan, and Waiting Time
  10. Fulbright: Rejected and Accepted by the University
  11. Fulbright: Gaining the Letter of Acceptance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
In spite of the things that I describe or share here are things that I did faced during the pre-Fulbright scholarship, I always suggest you and the other friends of mine who want to join this procedure should always relate the current information with Fulbright Committee in your country. In Indonesia, I consult with AMINEF (American Indonesia Exchange Foundation). All staffs in AMINEF, as I have seen and interacted with them, are officially professional. They are always ready to help you.
If you have any questions about this post, please leave your comment or reply here, I will try my best to reply yours as soon as possible.

Sincerely yours,

Syayid ’11

Fulbright Scholar 2011

Department of English Language and Literature

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE)

* The above picture indicates that that would be the logo for your application form when you want to apply for this Fulbright scholarship.  Be sure you fill in the application form clearly and concisely so that you could get the chance to be invited for an interview. Good Luck!

Please view the following video from Voice of America


  1. hi dear, i know you from indonasia i face today the same problem mentioned by my brother ahmad, the fact im really delighted to discover this website, because im interesting too to apply this fulbright program a long time i have been trying to have more information about how to be a successful candidates two times now im applying but no success. what do you think is nessacery for me to be selected?

    madiou Guinea conakry


    1. Why not? You deserve to be selected in this Fulbright scholarship and everyone has the same right to be chosen. However, please remember that a person who is selected for this scholarship must follow a long process and a suitable vision and mission with Fulbright scholarship: exchanging ideas between the U.S. and other countries, and to promote the essence of international education. What you need to do is to fulfill the required administration requirements and fit in with their expectations. I wish you good luck, Diallo! Keep trying! πŸ™‚


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  3. Great article! I loved the knowledge as well as the advice given . In addition, your blogging style is very fun to read. If you have enough time kindly explore my new blog and tell me what you think.


    1. Thanks for your comment, but, after I read your blog, that seems to be disconnected with my blog.
      And, I do not need credit keeper by this time.


  4. hi webmaster, your site’s theme is amazing and i like it. Your discussions are marvellous. Please keep it up. Sincerely!!!!


  5. Hello syayid!


    I have some queries involved the fulbright preparation!

    I was realized myself that i wasn’t come from an english education program but, i have a dream to go to study abroad to US..

    To make the dream comes true needed much good preparations such Toefl 550, GRE, and GPA..
    I want to improve my toefl score.. but, i need your referent what is the best toefl’s book preparation ??
    So far, i was read the Longman Toefl Preparation for CBT and PBT toefl test in ebook format..
    Could you share me how to improve toefl scoring till 600 ? May i reach that score ?


    1. Hello Ahmad! How are you?

      It’s not that problem for your educational background to apply for this scholarship. Even, I have known many of the Fulbrighters, especially those who are also Indonesian, are coming from non English background. The different thing is that by having an English background, it will ease you in the process of your academic development and achievement. Anyway, it’s not a guarantee.

      To my mind, TOEFL-iTP is an official test conducted in Indonesia as a way for AMINEF to select new applicants. You could also attend IELTS test to get score higher than 6.0. Then, when you are selected after the selection process, you should follow formal TOEFL-iBT, which is internationally known as a test for speakers of English as a foreign language. However, trust me, you should have good score to be accepted in one of universities in the United States although sometimes TOEFL-iBT score does not reflect overall capability of a graduate student.

      Good luck with your application!


      1. From my comment before you should know how my writing isn’t really nice, huh.
        1. What can i do to improve writing skill?
        2. What are the basics in writing?
        3. Could you share me how you started writing english in the first time? And what are the efforts did you do to improve it till it’s perfect today?
        the other bout english enhancement:
        4. What kinds of effort in which i can do to improve the english skill ?
        5. What are the tips to scoring 600 on ITP toefl or 100 on Ibt toefl ?Thank you very much.Ahmad, Fulbrighter candidate for 2013 or 2014 (my aim)


        1. Hello Ahmad.

          That’s okay. You are from Indonesia, aren’t you? That means we are coming from the same background. People know that you are not growing up as a man with English-speaking-people environment.

          Now, here I try to answer your questions:

          1. To improve your writing skill needs practice. People say “practice makes perfect”. Yes, it does. One of the ways that I do to improve my writing skill is by writing something in this blog. The writing must be in English; therefore, I have a space that I can use to grow myself. Learning language means learning how to use it. If you never use it, you never know how to use that language. This is my principle. Talking to people whose language is English is also good for you to practice more. The more you write, the more you know the sense of writing. It is indeed different from speaking.

          2. The basics in writing, so far, are ideas or content, grammar or tenses, vocabulary, mechanics, spelling, and style. However, you don’t need to be able to use all these things in advance or in the same time when you are writing something. If you could apply it, then, you have a good sense of writing. Anyway, writing is sophisticated. It needs knowledge and a lot of readings. That is why, as my Professor said, the more you read, the more capable you are in writing something. It’s just helping to construct something in your mind.

          3. Well, the first time I wrote something in English was when I was in senior high school. I had my personal diary. My friends told me that writing a diary was a girl-thing to do. Anyway, I did not listen to that. I kept writing and writing. When I entered the university and met a lot of friends, I kept improving myself. Since then, I never stop writing something. If something comes up in my mind, usually, I wrote it in my mind first. If I think it was good, then, I express it by writing it. The efforts? The answer is simple. Practice and use it. There is no other way. Your professor cannot make you able to write because the one who writes is you. Is that right? ^_^

          4. Anyway, I am not your professor, but, I will try to answer your question through this way:

          – If you want to improve your English skill, the thing that you should do is to read much and then, from what you read, you should rewrite it on your own understanding about the text that you have read

          – If you want to be able to improve your skill in delivering your thought in writing, you need to be able to speak well. Sometimes, I notice that some people have worse writing skill simply because their speaking is not that well, especially this happens between speakers of English as a foreign language, like us.

          – Then, love the language. You could feel it coming to your mind when you love it. I love English since I was a teenager. Since that time, I often think that it’s so interesting. English is an international language. From that thought in my mind, I keep using it in every possible moment. Even I still keep in touch with my friends who are not Indonesian but they do speak English everyday.

          – The other thing is understanding your learning style. My style in learning would be somehow different from yours. Therefore, you should understand your learning style so that you could reach your goals better than following what other people do in their learning habit. Does it make sense to you?

          5. Scoring 600 on ITP TOEFL would not be that difficult since it is conducted in the level of passive English. Your understanding about grammar and sentence structure, reading comprehension, listening comprehension are tested accordingly. When you reach TOEFL-iBT, it is a different case. I found that TOEFL-iBT is much more challenging because it is performed through the computer screen. Your voice will be automatically recorded once you followed this test. A different thing from TOEFL-iBT is that IELTS has a real person who listens to your speaking or arguments. Meanwhile, TOEFL-iBT has a computer. Sometimes, technical problems can occur in TOEFL-iBT and these can impact your score. For your purpose to study in the United States, I think TOEFL-iBT is a good option, but, if you find IELTS is much more comfortable to attend, choose this test. Anyway, I am only giving you some perspectives. At last, to reach good scores is difficult but it is not impossible. Just remember one thing, you psychological mood when you want to face the test is crucial. It helps you earn score well. You are better than what you think.

          Good luck!
          It’s a great opportunity to meet with other Fulbrighters around the world when you are selected. Then, you will see what English looks like. Keep spirit, Ahmad!


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