Fulbright Finland 2016-2017 Undergraduate grantee at Grand Canyon

Fulbright Finland Undergraduate Grant

The Fulbright Finland Undergraduate Grant Program is meant for students interested in becoming citizen-diplomats and representing Finland and the Fulbright Finland Foundation while conducting bachelor-level studies in an accredited institution in the U.S. Grantees also have a genuine interest in becoming an active member of the Foundation's alumni community.
The application period is closed for the 2024-25 academic year.

What is the purpose of the Fulbright Finland Undergraduate Grant Program?

This comprehensive program is for students interested in becoming citizen-diplomats who share their culture and contribute to the relations between Finland and the U.S. during their bachelor-level studies at a U.S. university. Grantees act as ambassadors for the Fulbright Finland Foundation programs, Finland, and (if applicable) their home institution in Finland during and after the grant period.

This program encourages candidates who seek to develop their potential to shape the future and be the driving force of change in different sectors of society or academia, and aspire to advance the development in their field and find solutions to the central challenges. Selected candidates also demonstrate an interest in intercultural communication, connecting with people, and becoming a part of the host community. In their application, the candidates should clearly demonstrate their motivation and strong interest in joining the program.

Eligible candidates include exchange students or free movers who travel to the U.S. for one semester/academic year. Also, students who travel to the U.S. to complete an entire bachelor’s degree and have secured funding for their studies can apply for the program (the degree studies must begin in the U.S. during fall 2024).

Associate degree studies or remote/online studies are not eligible. 

The host institution in the U.S. must be accredited.

The tremendous support and effort put in from the Fulbright Finland team made my move to the U.S. and freshman year excellent. - Fulbright Finland Undergraduate grantee 2022-23
Fulbright Finland 2016-2017 Undergraduate Grantee at Golder Gate
2016-2017 Fulbright Finland Undergraduate Grantee Taru Aitola at Golden Gate Bridge

Without the Fulbright Finland undergraduate grant I wouldn’t have had the great opportunities to connect with other Fulbright Finland students and the greater network between the U.S. and Finland that Fulbright Finland has established. - Fulbright Finland Undergraduate grantee 2022-23.

What are the benefits of the program?

We provide you with a wide range of support services to prepare you for your upcoming journey:

  • Orientation training: Extensive orientation training to U.S. culture, the higher education system, and details for the upcoming program term, including online materials, virtual meetings, and an orientation day in Helsinki. The orientation also helps to prepare for the ambassadorial role and studies in the U.S.
  • Personal advising and guidance services: Supporting you before and during the grant term.
  • Support in the visa process.
  • Networking opportunities: Enabling you to build connections professionally and internationally in Finland and the U.S. 
  • Alumni contacts and support: Access to Fulbright Finland Foundation's alumni network in Finland and in the U.S. and their support also while in the U.S.
  • Partial funding support: Grant ranging typically between USD 1 000 - USD 3 000

A special award available for studies at Cleveland State University.

Support for Grantees with Disabilities

Extra funding support is available for grantees with disabilities. If you have a disability that would cause additional costs for the grant term, contact the Foundation to discuss reasonable accommodations. Email the Foundation ([email protected]) by the grant application deadline your self-assessment with a description of the disability and the specific accommodations requested.

Please note that disclosing the need for disability accommodation does not affect the review and selection process.


The grant can be given to:

  • Students carrying out fixed-term (one semester/academic year) bachelor-level studies
  • Degree-students: for first-year studies that begin in the U.S. in the fall semester 2024
  • Finnish citizens

The grant cannot be given to those who

  • already have a higher education degree or who will complete one during 2024.
  • already studies/lives in the U.S.
  • has dual citizenship of Finland and the U.S. or a permanent residence permit in the U.S.
  • do not have secured funding for the planned academic year/semester in the U.S. Those completing a full bachelor's degree must also have a realistic funding plan for the whole duration of their studies in the U.S. 
  • cannot commit to serving in the role of an ambassador of the Fulbright Finland Foundation due to primary commitments to another organization or grant/exchange program.

Applicants who have no or little experience in the U.S. may be given priority in the selections.

This year exceeded my expectations: the classes I took really enriched and widened my understanding of global affairs... Additionally, I made lifelong friends that taught me about cultures from which they come from.” -Fulbright Finland Undergraduate Awardee 2016-17

Your Role as a Fulbright Finland Ambassador

As part of the role as an ambassador representing the Fulbright Finland Foundation, you act as a Fulbright Finland Ambassador during the grant period and after.

  • Students act as Fulbright Finland Ambassadors, visiting a few American universities (within the limits of their schedule) and telling young people about Finland. In this way, the ambassadors encourage them to consider studying in Finland and apply for the Fulbright Finland Foundation programs. The Fulbright Finland Ambassadors receive all the required materials from the Fulbright Finland Foundation.
  • Those doing fixed-term studies act as Fulbright Finland Ambassadors/Outreach Ambassadors after returning to Finland, within the limits of their schedule. The Fulbright Finland Foundation asks the alumni to participate in the Foundation's information events to share their own study experiences in the U.S. and to discuss with new grant applicants about studying in the U.S. and applying for the Fulbright Finland Foundation’s grant programs.
Fulbright Finland 2016-2017 Undergraduate Grantee on Halloween
2016-17 Fulbright Finland Undergraduate Grantee Teresa Tiainen celebrating Halloween

How to Apply?

Read the following instructions carefully. The Fulbright Finland Foundation only reads the applications that have arrived by the deadline and includes all required attachments. Read the evaluation criteria with care. These guidelines are approved by the Fulbright Finland Foundation Board and they are applied also for the Fulbright Finland Undergraduate Grant Program. In the interview, the main focus is on studies instead of research.

Fulbright Finland Undergraduate Grant Application and Checklist (PDF)

Please fill in the application form and attachments in English, and remember to sign the checklist and the application form.

In addition to the Application Form (which includes the signed checklist, signed application form (2 pages), study objectives, personal statement, and Fulbright Finland Ambassador statement), a complete application also includes:

  1. Two English letters of recommendation (which the reference submits directly to the Fulbright Finland Foundation). A reference can be a teacher, a study counselor, or a rector. A reference cannot be a family member, a relative, or a friend. The applicant has to make sure that the letters of recommendation arrive on time. Recommendation letters can be submitted here.
  2. An acceptance letter/a confirmation for studies from an accredited U.S. university (contact the Fulbright Finland Foundation well in advance if you have not yet received this).
  3. A proof of the tuition fees of the U.S. university. This can also be a screenshot from their website.
  4. A proof of funding by a higher education institution (add this information if you have it)
  5. The signed checklist
  6. Copies of certificates and English translations of every certificate copy. If these aren’t available, you can also translate the certificates yourself.

If you’re graduating from an upper secondary school this year: 

  • provide your latest grade certificate

If you have graduated from an upper secondary school or other secondary-level education institution:

  • the final certificate of upper secondary school or other secondary level education institute
  • Upper secondary school graduates: A copy of your Matriculation Examination certificate

In addition, if you are currently studying or if you have other previous studies:

  • a transcript of records from higher education students or the latest certificate from your current institute.
Please submit the application and required attachments here by the DL. NB! You need to submit all your documents at once, you are not able to save the form and return to it later. Inadequate applications or applications that arrived after the deadline will not be read.

As an exception to this are the two letters of recommendation, which the referees submit directly to the Fulbright Finland Foundation. A referee can submit the letter here. The letter can also be sent by regular mail to:

Fulbright Finland Foundation
Emilia Holopainen
Hakaniemenranta 6
00530 Helsinki


Application period opensIn February
Application period ends10:00 (Finnish time) on April 3, 2024
Interview (cannot be arranged at any other time)April 24, 2024
Final SelectionsAt the beginning of May
Orientation WebinarMay 8, 2024
Compulsory Fulbright Finland Pre-Departure Orientation day in person in Helsinki (virtual participation not possible)May 13, 2024

We will notify all applicants about the decisions in early May at the latest.

Both the orientation webinar and Fulbright Finland Pre-Departure Orientation include mandatory pre-assignments that selected grantees are required to review before the meetings. Remember to schedule time for yourself in May before and after both meetings to review the materials. 


The selection committee will interview some of the applicants on April 24, 2024. Participating in the interview is a prerequisite for being selected and it is also an important part of the overall evaluation of applications. Please note that the interview date and schedule are fixed.

You should carefully prepare for the interview: The grant interviews for the Fulbright Finland Undergraduate Grant Program. The Fulbright Finland Foundation does not cover travel or other costs caused by the interviews.

Alumni Experiences

The community, experience, and mission of Fulbright Finland is a unique resource and a privilege, which you should definitely take an advantage of! -Ilja Orre, Fulbright Finland Undergraduate Grantee 2008-09, The College of William and Mary

Ilja's five tips for Future Fulbrighters

  1. Find Your People - Get to know the university, faculty and students through social media, LinkedIn and phone calls before making a decision on the university you will attend. If you can visit the university before deciding, even better!
  2. Feel Good About Your Decision - Studying and living abroad is a challenge, but you'll quickly notice that you made the best decision of your life if you let your stress and worries go and enjoy the ride!
  3. Explore - Going to the U.S. to study is an amazing opportunity to get involved in different communities, to travel the continent and to meet people from a wild variety of backgrounds. Explore your community and make time to do things outside the classroom and studies.
  4. It's a Marathon - Your schedule with studies, athletics and social life can get hectic. Be sure to take time to take care of yourself and remember that you're in it for the long game.
  5. Play Your Heart Out - if you're going to the U.S. to play college athletics, enjoy every moment of it. It's a unique opportunity to play at a level that is in many cases just one step below the professional leagues.


What is the Fulbright Finland Foundation?

The Fulbright Finland Foundation is a private, independent, not-for-profit organization based in Helsinki, Finland. The Foundation’s aim is

  • to promote a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts between Finland and the United States, and
  • to support the internationalization of education and research in Finland, and help U.S. and Finnish institutions create linkages.

What Makes the Fulbright Finland Foundation Programs Unique?

  • In addition to the grant, the Fulbright Finland Foundation offers the grantees several additional benefits and free support services, as well as an access to a global, multi-professional network.
  • We are looking for applicants who want to impact the future and to make a difference – applicants who want to facilitate positive change, develop and advance their own profession or discipline, and find solutions to national and international challenges in their field.
  • The grantees also act as ambassadors for the Fulbright Finland Foundation, their home country, and their home organization and, in this way, do their part in sharing their home country and culture and contributing to the relations between Finland and the U.S.