Skip Office Navigation
OPE: Office of Postsecondary Education
Current Section
Fulbright-Hays 55th Anniversary

2016 marks the 55th anniversary of the enactment of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961. The International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) Office of the U.S. Department of Education invites you to join us in commemorating this anniversary and celebrating the importance and achievements of Fulbright-Hays grant programs and fellowship recipients.

Celebrate with ED!

Join IFLE in commemorating the 55th anniversary of Fulbright-Hays!


The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, commonly referred to as the Fulbright-Hays Act, was enacted by the 87th U.S. Congress on September 21, 1961. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas introduced the legislation in the Senate, and Representative Wayne Hays of Ohio in the House. This law represents the basic charter for U.S. government-sponsored educational and cultural exchange. It is the most comprehensive Congressional action relating to international academic exchange, consolidating previous laws and adding new features that strengthened the program’s ability to support study abroad as well as language and area studies education in U.S. schools.

The preamble of the Act states:

The purpose of this chapter is to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations, and the contributions being made toward a peaceful and more fruitful life for people throughout the world; to promote international cooperation for educational and cultural advancement; and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.

Learn more about the Fulbright-Hays programs and their impact through this slide presentation: MS PowerPoint (11MB)

Current Fulbright-Hays Programs

IFLE administers several Fulbright-Hays programs that support U.S. students and educators as they research and travel abroad.

  • Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowships
    The DDRA Program provides fellowship funding to doctoral students looking to perform research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies in order to complete their dissertations. Recipients must plan to pursue teaching careers in the United States.

  • Group Projects Abroad (GPA)
    The GPA program supports groups of K-12 teachers, college students, and faculty as they engage in short-term and long-term overseas projects focused on training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies. Short-term projects include seminars, curriculum development, and group research or study. Long-term projects support advanced intensive overseas programs that focus on the humanities, social sciences, or languages.

  • Seminars Abroad
    The Seminars Abroad Program provides four to six-week summer seminars for K-12 teachers, administrators, curriculum specialists, and college faculty in the fields of foreign languages, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Upon their return, participants complete curriculum projects for implementation in the classroom, and share their broadened knowledge and experiences with their local communities through various outreach activities.



Last Modified: 10/07/2016