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How do I choose a university in the United States?

Many factors should weigh into your decision: courses offered, financial aid, geographic location, size, etc.
We offer several books in our Resource Library that can help you choose the schools to select (out of 4,300 recognized US colleges and universities).

Undergraduate: http://www.fulbright.be/study-in-the-us/undergraduate-studies/selecting-a-us-university/
Graduate: http://www.fulbright.be/study-in-the-us/graduate-studies/selecting-a-us-university/

Also try this website: http://www.petersons.com/educationusa/ to search through a database of 4000 US institutions using specific selection criteria.

Finally, if you are choosing an undergraduate institution, join us at our annual Brussels College Night which happens each fall: http://www.fulbright.be/about-fulbright/brussels-college-night/college-night-2010/

How will I go about getting an internship/job opportunity in the United States?

Most students find internships on their own or you can use a company to help find you an internship (for a fee). See more information at: http://www.fulbright.be/study-in-the-us/internships-in-the-us/

What exams do I have to take in order to study in the United States?

It depends on the program to which you are applying. Generally speaking, all students who do not have a degree from an English-speaking program will need to take an English proficiency exam (IELTS/TOEFL). For the LLM degree, only an English proficiency test may be required. For Master’s programs, the GRE or GMAT may be required in addition to the English proficiency test. For undergraduate (Bachelor’s) programs the SAT (and possibly the SAT II subject tests) in addition to an English proficiency exam could be required. On our website we have sections for each of these exams to get more specific information.

Where do I take these exams and how do I prepare for them?

You can prepare for these exams by borrowing a practice book from our center. We ask a deposit of 25 Euros. People generally borrow books for 2 weeks: http://www.fulbright.be/about-fulbright/advising-center/

How can I finance my trip abroad?

Many students finance their studies in the US with personal funds, loans (such as the Ferdinand Lazard Foundation) or scholarships (Fulbright, Belgian American Educational Foundation, Rotary etc). Working on or off campus may also be a possibility. Contact the institutions you are applying to for more information. http://www.fulbright.be/fulbright-awards/non-fulbright-awards/

I am a PhD student in Belgium and would like to go to the United States for research. Is this possible?

Indeed. If you do not have a PhD you are considered part of the Student Category at Fulbright, for which the final application deadline is April 30th. To prove admission to a US university, please submit a letter of affiliation to the Fulbright Commission.

I know what a letter of acceptance is, but what is a letter of affiliation?

A letter of affiliation is a letter (on university letterhead) written by a professor, dean or admissions staff members that proves you have been admitted to do research or work in a lab of that university. This letter should provide the student/researcher’s full name, exact dates of time in the US, and a brief description of what the student will be doing/researching.

What visa do I need to study or conduct research in the United States?

Generally students/researchers do not get to decide which visa they will need to travel to the United States. Once you are accepted to a degree program or as a researcher, the institution in the US will send you either an I-20 form or a DS-2019 form. Then you will need to call the US embassy for a visa appointment, pay the fees and obtain your visa.

Do I need a visa to do an internship in the US? Even if I am going for less than 90 days?

Yes. The 2008 law in the US requires ALL students pursuing an internship in the US to travel on a J-visa. For more information please consult: http://www.fulbright.be/study-in-the-us/internships-in-the-us/

What health insurance do I get if I get a Fulbright grant?
Fulbright uses the following health insurance Fulbright scholars and students: http://usdos.sevencorners.com.

Am I subject to U.S. taxation?

You are not subject to taxes for the money you receive from our Commission, as that is considered foreign source income. However, if you receive any additional funds from CIES (such as from the Opportunity Lecturer Fund you received information about in your DS-2019 packet), your university, or other American entity, you are subject to pay taxes on these funds.

All Fulbright Scholars, regardless of income (U.S. or foreign source), must file Form 8843, which establishes your presence in the United States as a non-resident alien. This form should be sent with your annual tax return. If you are not required to file an annual tax return, you should mail Form 8843 to the address provided in the form’s instructions. You can download the form and instructions from the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

If you do receive funds from a U.S. source and need to pay taxes, you may find more information about how to file in “23. Tax Matters” here: http://www.cies.org/vsgrantees/download/vsGuide/PartIV.pdf

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