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Fulbright-Hays/grants that require staying in country for specific amounts of time

Nom dePlumé

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Ok so listen.

I've made a new account (check the username, oh so clever) because I have a controversial concept to harvest opinions on. 

I am interested in applying to the Fulbright-Hays grant, I know that my application would be competitive, but what hangs me up is the requirement to spend 6 months minimum, consecutive, in-country. I am a "nontraditional student". I have responsibilities, I have pets, I own my home and I have already done a long-haul grant that had me away from all of these things for 6 months in 2019. I do not want to be away for that long without at least a 2 week break back home in the middle, which is what I did in 2019.

With Fulbright-Hays and similar grants I really want to know....how do they make sure that you are staying put for 6 months? Yes you sign a contract, yes I am aware that ethically you SHOULD honor that contract etc. etc., but just literally does anyone have any information on how they verify that you are honoring that specific part of it? Are they allowed to track entry/exit information on your passport? Is that kind of data sharing even legal? Obviously I would pay for flights out of pocket to come back and take a break and obviously I know that I would be doing something that they didn't want me to do but those issues not withstanding, has anyone done this? Does anyone have any insight into the passport tracking issue? 

Most likely I won't apply to this grant but I really am curious about this and would love to hear any knowledge or personal experience anyone may have. Did you try this? Did it work? Did it not work? If you got caught, how and what happened next? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

As far as I know, they will not check/track your official documents such as passports and the like. That is far too much hassle for a student. However, a fair warning that if something/anything does happen and they find out that you are back stateside, you are going to be in a world of trouble. You would be surprised at how they can find out things.

I remember when I was overseas, a couple of my classmates left the country for a weekend when they weren't supposed to and almost got away with it. That is, until someone mentioned a specific rendezvous from the outing that raised the suspicions of one of the school officials. In the end, they almost got kicked out of the country and all of their home university directors were notified. It was very rough, but that's a gamble they took.

I wouldn't go through with this if I were you. These types of awards are developmental and intended to allow you learn as much as you can from the host country you are studying in. If you are not able to participate fully (especially since you've already done this before), why not just allow someone else to accept the award who can completely benefit from it? Just my thoughts, good luck.

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