Fulbright scholarship offers brighter future

Written by Kgaogelo Letsebe

Applications are open for the South African Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship Programme.

The scholarship funds postgraduate study at a United States (US) uni­versity in any subject, excluding an MBA or studies that require contact with patients.

The (US) government and South Africa’s National Research Foundation fund the scholarship, which covers two years’ tuition fees and living expenses in the US.

Frank Whitaker, the Minister Counsellor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Pretoria, says the programme has benefit­ted more than 2 100 South Africans.

“After completing their studies, Fulbrighters return home where they make huge differences in their communities and transfer skills that continue to contri­bute to the development and economic growth of South Africa,” he says. Dr Mzamo Shozi is one of the many South Africans to have benefitted from a Fulbright scholarship.

One such success story is 35-year-old Dr Mzamo Shozi from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Shozi, who hails from Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal, holds a PhD in Chemistry and specialises in catalysis and organometallic chemistry research. He was awarded the scholarship in 2018 to do chemistry research at the University of California.

“I grew up in a township with little to no opportuni­ties. I guess I see myself as one of the examples of ‘it doesn’t matter where you come from’. You can be what you want to be when you work hard for it.”

He says the programme provided him with the chance to accumulate inter­national experience.

How to apply

South Africans wishing to pursue a master’s degree must have completed a four-year B-Tech degree or a three-year bachelor's degree with an honours degree. Prospective doctoral students must have succes­sfully obtained a master’s degree.

Successful applicants will start their Fulbright studies in August 2023.

“We encourage talented South African students, graduates, and young pro­fessionals to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime academic exchange programme and to join the Fulbright family of change-makers,” says Whitaker.

Applications for the Fulbright Foreign Student Programme close on 1 May 2022.

To apply or for more infor­mation, visit za.usembassy.gov/ education-culture/ fulbright-postgra­duate/or email fpsa@state.gov