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U.K. Fulbright questions


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Hello, if people more familiar with the Fulbright process could give me some advice here, I would really appreciate it.  In the fall I'll be starting my senior year at a very good US school, majoring in mathematics.  My GPA is very high, and consequently I've been encouraged to apply for postgraduate fellowships.


Here's the thing: my end goal is to go to medical school and become a surgeon -- a career that has almost nothing to do with math.  At the same time, I absolutely love the subject of pure mathematics; I'm just not particularly interested in any of the careers which involve it.  I would love to spend a year pursuing a Master's degree in math before entering medical school, and am considering applying for a Fulbright to do so.  Is it a problem that my proposed project and studies would not really be relevant to my future career?  I.e. I don't really have a good reason to study abroad for a year, except that I want to challenge myself and learn for the sake of learning.


Additionally, the only place it's really feasible to go is the U.K., since Master's degrees in most other countries take more than a year.  (For example I can speak German, but all German-speaking countries require 2 years.)  However, the U.K. is the most competitive country for applicants… should I even bother applying?

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So I applied for a Fulbright this past year and I would recommend not applying for a Fulbright unless you really want to go abroad and be a Fulbrighter. The purpose of the Fulbright is to promote cross-cultural experiences. They want to know that what you are doing with the Fulbright relates to what you'll do back in the US and also that you will continue to promote US-UK relations.


If you're up for that, go for it. A high GPA is not that important. Most people applying will have that. What you really need are extra-cirricular activities and experiences that make you stand out, while also demonstrating that you won't be only studying while abroad: you'll be volunteering, joining clubs, etc. References and relevant coursework, as well as that letter from your intended Uni also matter.


You may also wish to look at the Gates Cambridge Scholarship as well as the Churchill (which I think is just for STEM programs). 


Good luck and feel free to PM me if you have questions. 

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