Earlier the U.S. Department of State (ECA) did not allow U.S. Fulbright students to renew their Fulbright status for the second year of their Master’s studies in Finland. On August 25, 2022, however, ECA and IIE confirmed that beginning academic year 2022-23 grantees can apply for a renewal in accordance with the following guidelines:
Prerequisites for the Fulbright status renewal
- The grantee continues studies in Finland in the same master’s program as in the first year.
- The grantee has been successful in their first year of studies, and the tuition award provided by the host institution continues to be available for the grantee’s second year of studies in line with the Foundation’s agreement with the host university.
- The grantee studies in Finland during the second year, i.e., cannot be doing an exchange period abroad, such as Erasmus, on a Fulbright status.
- The grantee has worked out a sufficient and realistic funding plan for the second year of studies. A monthly maintenance allowance is not provided by the Fulbright Finland Foundation for the second year. (In some cases, the host institution/sponsor may be providing maintenance. If so, the grantee should include documentation of that in the funding plan.)
- If the grantee’s residence permit is not valid for their second year of studies, they are responsible for securing it themselves.
Benefits of the Fulbright status renewal
If your status is renewed for the completion of your degree, your official Fulbright term will be renewed for the second year of your degree program, and you receive a renewal document to your Fulbright Finland Foundation Grant Authorization. The benefits for the second year of study include the following:
- ASPE benefits including ASPE Assist (note the restrictions in ASPE)
- Opportunity for federal student loan deferment
- Opportunity to participate in selected enrichment activities provided by the Fulbright Finland Foundation
- NCE Certificate extension (Note: Completion Certificates are only sent after completion of the first year)
- Continue to comply with FFSB Policies and Fulbright Program Terms and Conditions
- Complete standard Fulbright reporting requirements, including Mid-Year and Final Reports
- Serve as a peer mentor, for instance, in orientations for new grantees
How to proceed?
If you are interested in applying for a renewal of your Fulbright status, please review the above preconditions, responsibilities, and instructions carefully. After that, email your program coordinator at the Fulbright Finland Foundation ([email protected]) the information and proof that you fulfill all the prerequisites listed above. Please be sure to also include your latest transcript of records and a detailed funding plan for the second year of studies in Finland. Also please provide the requested time of the renewal, including the exact dates of the second academic year.
If you fulfill all the prerequisites for the renewal and the Foundation supports the renewal of your Fulbright status, the Foundation will inform your host and the U.S. program partners about the renewal.