Fulbright – Thanks to Scandinavia  Grant


The competition for AY 2025-26 is now open.  

DEADLINE: 10 MAY 2024 


For Bulgarian citizens


Completed bachelor's degree


Scholarship for one academic year


2 scholarships are awarded


Application deadline: May 10, 2024

Fulbright scholarships for master’s and doctoral programs

The Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange and the Thanks to Scandinavia Foundation announce a competition for a one-year scholarship for a master’s program at a prestigious American university. 

The scholarship is intended for Bulgarian students (after a bachelor’s degree) and is an expression of the Jewish community’s gratitude to Bulgaria in connection with the rescue of Bulgarian Jews during the Second World War. Applicants are preferably majoring in one of the following fields: human rights, history, sociology, Jewish studies, intercultural communication, etc. 

To receive a scholarship in this category, applicants must first be nominated for a Fulbright scholarship for master’s and doctoral programs. Subsequently, the applicants are approved by the representatives of the Thanks to Scandinavia Foundation about the additional funding under the program. 2 scholarships are awarded per year.  

Eligibility Requirements

Bulgarian citizenship, excellent English proficiency 

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  • Applicants must have Bulgarian citizenship. Green card holders and persons with dual (Bulgarian and US) citizenship are ineligible.  
  • Applicants must hold at least a Bachelor’s degree and be able to submit the official diploma by September 1, 2024.  
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (TOEFL, GRE/GMAT scores) is an advantage, however is not compulsory. 
  • Applicants should be in sound health.  
  • Candidates already studying in the U.S. are ineligible for a Fulbright grant.  
  • Candidates who have resided in the United States for five or more consecutive years during the six-year period preceding the date of application are ineligible for a Fulbright grant.  


Forms, diplomas, essay in English

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  • Application form (please use the standard IIE form to apply for this grant.) The web-based Fulbright Foreign Student application is located at https://apply.iie.org/ffsp2025/ 
  • Three letters of reference (submitted online by instructors, professors or work supervisors);  
  • Academic transcripts/diplomas (certified translation into English of verified copies of original academic transcript and degree certificate – scanned and attached to the application);  
  • Valid results from American standardized tests are an advantage: TOEFL (required for all candidates) and GRE (required in most fields of study with the exception of MBA and Law) or GMAT (required for MBA and business-related programs). Candidates, who have been nominated without valid test scores will receive free test vouchers for the relevant exams.  

An essay related to the topic of fighting intolerance, racism, and extremism in the modern world would be required by the Fulbright principal nominees, who are interested in the joint grant. 



  • All items should be translated into English. 
  • All supplementary documents should be submitted as scanned attachments in the online application form.  

Application deadline: 10 May 2024

Interview dates are fixed and there is no option for rescheduling.

Why apply


You receive funding for your studies


Possibility of qualification from a prestigious university in the USA


Educational and cultural exchange


Establish contacts with top experts in your field


Opportunity for a successful start or promotion in the career

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Fulbright graduate study grant cover?

The Fulbright graduate study grant offers up to USD 60,000 toward tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the program. The Fulbright grant covers travel costs (round-trip) and includes a US Department of State health insurance plan for exchange visitors.

How many Fulbright awards are granted annually to Bulgarian graduate students?

Up to 5 Fulbright graduate student awards are offered annually.

Do I have to be admitted to a US university in order to apply for a Fulbright grant?

No. Application for a Fulbright grant precedes application to US universities by one year. Candidates first apply to the Fulbright program. The Fulbright Commission and the Institute of International Education (IIE) arrange placements of grantees on the basis of their preferences, academic credentials, and Commission’s policies.

Is there an exclusive list of US universities the Fulbright program works with?

The Fulbright Commission works with a large number of accredited, high-ranking private and public universities in the U.S.

For information on US universities offering graduate programs, you can consult our useful resources section, esp. www.petersons.com/graduate-schools/grad-search-by-subject.aspx and grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools.

Do I have to complete the preferred institutions section in the online application form?

It is advisable to do so. Please rank your first three preferences, include 3 or 4 additional options in the space provided. When deciding which universities to include, study the relevant program descriptions and consider how closely they fit your academic, professional and research interests.

You can consult your choice with:

  • Program Officer Maria Kostova, e-mail: mkostova@fulbright.bg , Tel. 0879164095, 5th floor, visiting hours: Monday-Friday, 2:00–4:00 PM
  • Education USA Adviser Snejana Teneva, e-mail: steneva@fulbright.bg , Tel. 0898 823 329
Do I have to submit separate applications if I want to apply for the core Fulbright graduate study grant and for "Thanks to Scandinavia" grant?

No. In the Fulbright application simply mention that you are interested in the Thanks to Scandinavia grant.

Are TOEFL waivers possible?

The TOEFL test is expected from all candidates in the graduate student category. However, candidates who graduated from a degree program taught in the English language could be considered for waiver. 

If you are unable to submit test results by the application deadline, and you are nominated for an award, you will be provided with a test voucher and required to take the TOEFL exam. 

Information on the TOEFL test and registration instructions can be found here: www.ets.org/toefl  

What TOEFL iBT scores should I aim for?

For applicants in science and technology, scores above 81 points are desirable. For applicants in law and the humanities, business administration, and economics, scores above 101 points are considered an excellent result.

Do I need the GRE / GMAT test?

Only applicants in the field of law and non-degree doctoral researchers are exempt from taking GRE or GMAT. Applicants in all other disciplines are expected to submit satisfactory GRE or GMAT results. Presenting test scores prior to the competition deadline is a major advantage.
Information on the GRE test and registration instructions can be found here: www.ets.org/gre

Information on the GMAT test and registration instructions can be found here: www.mba.com

What GRE / GMAT score should I aim for?

GRE is required for pursuing Masters and PhD programs in all disciplines, except law and business*. High scores in the quantitative section (above 700 or 155 on the new GRE score scale) are important for successful applications in science and technology; high scores in the verbal section (above 600 or 160 on the new GRE score scale) are important for successful applications in the humanities. Applicants in arts and music are not required to score as high on the GRE test.

GMAT is a test required for applicants in business*. GMAT scores over 600 are essential for applications to A grade schools.

*A growing number of schools accept both GMAT and GRE tests for business disciplines. Please consult the website of your preferred programs to confirm the admission requirements.

I am not able to be present at the interview. May I be interviewed via telephone or Zoom?

Yes. Applicants will receive personalized instructions about the format of the interview.

What type of visa is required for the Fulbright Program?

Fulbright grantees are issued J-1 visas for exchange visitors; their dependents travel on J-2 visas. All grantees are expected to return to their home countries for at least two years at the conclusion of their grant, in compliance with J-visa requirements.

How do I register referees?

In the online form you will find a section “references” in the top left corner of the menu bar. Please select this section. In “register referees” please enter the e-mail addresses of your three referees and click submit. This will send electronic invitations with links to the online confidential recommendation forms to the e-mail addresses of your referees. Please make sure in advance that they agree to complete your reference. (In the rare case they do not speak English, they can upload both the Bulgarian version of the recommendation and an English translation into the electronic portal.) Your references will become accessible for review after you have submitted your entire online application.

How do I submit supplemental forms?

We recommend that all supplemental forms should be scanned and uploaded as PDF files into an “Additional Information” section of the online portal. It is not necessary to send hard copies of the supplemental forms by the deadline. If necessary, the Commission will request the hard copies later on in the application process.

Maria Kostova

Maria Kostova

Program coordinator for scholarship holders from Bulgaria

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