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Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Fulbright Foreign Student Program

Scholarship requirements

  1. Is there an age limit for participation in Fulbright Foreign Student Program?
    No. There is no specific age limit for participation in the program.
  2. I am a senior student and I have not completed my university degree at the time of application. Could I apply for the program?
    No. Applicants must have at least 2 years of substantive professional experience after university graduation. Applications from 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students will not be considered.
  3. I am not currently living in Kazakhstan. Am I eligible to apply for scholarship?
    This program is designed for citizens of Kazakhstan, permanently living there. If you are a permanent resident of another country, you are not eligible for participation in the program. Also, if you are temporarily out of the country, you are expected to return back in Kazakhstan for the interview stage, if selected for interview.
  4. I obtained a degree in an U.S. university. Am I eligible to apply for scholarship?
    No. Eligible applicants must not have a university degree from a U.S. higher education institution.
  5. I do not have any working experience. Am I eligible to apply for scholarship?
    No. Applicants must have at least 2 years of substantive professional experience after university graduation.

Universities and content area of study

  1. Can I apply for a scholarship whatever subject I am studying?
    Participants could apply for any subject area, except for Medical sciences.
  2. Which universities could I choose under the framework of the program?
    You could indicate any U.S. universities in the application. However, we do not guarantee that grantees will be directed precisely to the universities they have indicated in their application.
  3. How long does it take to complete the Program after receiving the grant?
    Usually, master’s programs can be completed in 2 years or less. The grant is first awarded for one academic year and will be renewed for the second year of study based on academic standing of the grantee.
  4. Should I be already accepted to U.S. university to participate in the program, or will I be enrolled to an university after I receive the grant?
    You do not have to be accepted to a U.S. University in order to apply. Placement will be done by the Institute of International Education (IIE) if your get the grant.

Language skills / GRE, GMAT, and TOEFL

  1. What language skills do I need to apply for a scholarship? Which TOEFL score should I have to be accepted to the program?
    Nominees must have a sufficiently high level of English to undertake full-time graduate level study in the U.S. For most academic programs, applicants must have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (Paper-based test) or 79-80 (Internet-based test). You could further access websites of U.S. universities to learn what specific requirements of each academic program are.
  2. Could I submit IELTS scores instead of TOEFL?
    Yes. U.S. universities do accept IELTS scores instead of TOEFL. By the way, if you are nominated for the program, you will receive a voucher for free TOEFL test, so you could undergo this test if you have only IELTS results.
  3. I have read that U.S. Embassy provides vouchers to nominated candidates for undertaking TOEFL, GRE or GMAT tests. Could you provide more information about that?
    All nominated candidates will be requested to register for TOEFL and GRE/GMAT if they have not taken the tests already. Only nominated candidates are entitled to an exemption from the test fees by vouchers. Vouchers will be distributed by the U.S. Embassy.
  4. I am interested in a Master’s program that does not require taking GMAT or GRE. Do I still have to submit these tests?
    Yes. All nominated candidates have to take GRE tests.


  1. When is application deadline?
    Application Deadline is May 1, 2017 (inclusive, up to midnight local time).
  2.  How do I apply?
    Potential applicants can access the online application by going to https://apply.embark.com/student/fulbright/international/20/. All documents should be submitted online. We do not accept applications, submitted in any other form.
  3. Which documents do I have to submit?
    1. Completed online application form
    2. Official copies of academic transcripts, diplomas, and translations
    3. Three reference letters from university professors or employers
    4. TOEFL and GRE/GMAT test scores. Applicants do not have to submit the test results by the application deadline.
    5. Resume or CV
    6. Copy of passport bio-data page
  4. Do I have to provide both copies of my diploma and academic transcript?
    Yes. You have to provide scan copies of your diploma and application to the diploma, as well as a notarized translation if necessary. You are expected to submit your diploma, transcripts and translation in a single file.
  5. Do I have to provide a writing sample? For instance, an example of my published article.
    No. You should not submit any writing samples unless you are specifically asked to.
  6. Do I have to submit printed copies of my application or any additional documents?
    No. You should only submit the online application. We do not accept applications by Email or mail.
  7. Which additional documents could I provide? For instance, certificates, letters of appreciation etc.
    Please, do not provide any additional documents, unless you are asked to. You could indicate your achievements in the CV form or in the personal essay, without providing additional documents.
  8. Is there any specific form for reference letters? Who could write a reference letter for me?
    Letters of reference must be written by a teacher under whom the applicant has studied or pursued research in the proposed field of study or by someone who has supervised the applicant in work related to the proposed field of study. A reference letter must be in English. If not in English, then an accurate officially notarized translation must accompany the original.

Your recommenders have two ways in which they can submit their letters.

  • HIGHLY PREFERRED OPTION. Your recommenders can complete the forms online and submit electronically. You must click on the Recommendation button on the Home page of your electronic application to register your recommenders.
  • ONLY IF THE FIRST OPTION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR YOU. You can forward the interactive Word format Letter of Reference form to your recommenders who will then complete the forms and email to the U.S. Embassy Astana (AstanaInfo@state.gov). The interactive Word format Letter of Reference is available under the link (DOCX, 149 KB). Your recommenders should indicate “Letter of Reference for ___(family name of applicant)” in the subject line of the email.

Please, do not submit more than 3 recommendation letters.

Selection process

  1. How does selection process look like?
    After the application deadline, all submitted online applications undergo a technical review. Applications that pass the technical review will then be reviewed by an independent reading panel that will evaluate and score each application based on a set of standard criteria. Applicants with the highest scores will then be invited to an interview, held either in Astana. Nominations will be made from the top candidates, after the interviews.
  2. According to which criteria does the selection committee make its decision?
    1. Nominees must have a sufficiently high-level of English to undertake full-time graduate level study in the U.S.
    2. Nominees should have an outstanding academic record.
    3. Nominees must have satisfactory TOEFL and GRE/GMAT test scores.
    4. Nominees must demonstrate high motivation, serious commitment to completing the program and the leadership potential to create positive influence upon returning home.
  3. How many scholarships will be awarded to Kazakhstani citizens? How big is the competition?
    Usually, 2-4 grants are provided to Kazakhstani citizens annually. We expect 150-300 applicants to the program in this year.
  4. When I will be notified about results of scholarship?
    Your status will be defined after the reading panel results are available. All shortlisted candidates invited to the selection interview will be notified in summer 2017. If you are not amongst shortlisted candidates you will receive no notice. However, all applicants who did not make through the competition will receive regret letters after October 1, 2017.


  1. Can I bring my family with me?
    Yes, all eligible dependents (spouse and children) of grantee will be provided with visa support from the U.S. Embassy.