Educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations.
Who we are
Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission
Our mission is to develop and strengthen the cultural and scientific cooperation between Poland and the United States.
The Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission administers the Fulbright Program in Poland. We offer prestigious scholarships to outstanding Polish and U.S. students and scholars to study, teach and conduct research at Polish and U.S. higher education institutions. We are a part of the international EducationUSA student advising network. The network promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States. The Commission in Poland is a non-profit organization financed by the Department of State and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
The Fulbright Program in Poland is one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 through legislation introduced by Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The proposal called for the use of proceeds from the sale of surplus war supplies from World War II to fund the “promotion of international goodwill through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science.” On August 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed the legislation into law (PL 79-584), creating the Fulbright Program. The first Fulbright grantees traveled overseas in 1948.
The Fulbright Program in Poland was established in 1959, with the first grantee traveling from Poland to the United States in that same year. The Program was jointly administered by the U.S. Embassy and the Ministry of Education.
On March 22, 1990, both the U.S. and Polish governments signed a bilateral agreement establishing the Office of Polish-U.S. Educational Exchanges, the first such office in Central and Eastern Europe, delegating it the task of administering the Fulbright Program.
The next Fulbright accord was signed on October 22, 1995 by Mr. Nicholas A. Rey, the U.S. Ambassador to Poland, and Mr. Władysław Bartoszewski, Minister of Foreign Affairs, changing the name of the Office of Polish-U.S. Educational Exchanges to the Polish – U.S. Fulbright Commission.
On March 10, 2008, in conjunction with Polish Prime Minister’s official visit to Washington, the United States and Poland signed a new Fulbright Agreement which significantly raised the financial contributions made by the Polish side, and, as a result, expanded the exchange of students, scholars, and teachers between the countries.
After over 70 years, the Fulbright Program currently operates in over 160 countries worldwide, having operated in more than 180 throughout its lifespan. It is still the largest and most prestigious educational exchange programs in the world. More than 370,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the program since its inception. Today, the Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. Its alumni include 33 current or former heads of state or government, 54 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 29 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Since its establishment almost 58 years ago, the program has had more than 4,000 participants, continuously adding to that tally by awarding approximately 100 grants each year.
International educational exchange is the most significant current project designed to continue the process of humanizing mankind to the point, we would hope, that men can learn to live in peace.
Senator James W. Fulbright
J. William Fulbright
J. William Fulbright was a prominent and gifted 20th century American politician whose political career spanned over thirty years. While in Congress, he was distinguished by his tremendous contributions to international affairs as well as his tenure as the longest serving chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He had profound influence on America’s foreign policy, with his vision for mutual understanding shaping the extraordinary exchange program bearing his name. It was his legislation that, in 1946, established the Fulbright Program.