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Release: Immediate

Annual Fulbright competition begins

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Students, scholars, artists and professionals interested in study or research abroad can now begin applying for Fulbright grants for the 1998-99 school year.

The opening of this year's grant competition was announced by the United States Information Agency, the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the Institute of International Education in Washington, D.C.

The deadline for applications is Sept. 22. Further information and application forms are available by contacting Phil Carls, Fulbright Program advisor at the University of Iowa Office of International Education and Services (OIES) Study Abroad Center, at (319)335-0335. OIES is located in the UI International Center.

The Fulbright Program, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, was created by Congress in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, who sponsored the legislation, saw it as a step towards building an alternative to armed conflict.

As the U.S. Government's premier scholarship program, each year Fulbright fellowships enable more than 800 Americans to gain international competence through studies in more than 100 nations. Some of the fellowships provide round-trip travel, a research allowance and tuition wavers, while others cover only travel expenses.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent by the beginning date of the grant. Creative and performing artists are not required to have a bachelor's degree, but must have four years of relevant training or study. Candidates in medicine must have an M.D., D.D.S., O.D. or similar degree at the time of application. All applicants are required to have a certain degree of proficiency in the language of the country they plan to visit.