Arianna Shaffer
at Newcastle University

Meet Our Fulbrighters »

SOAS, University of London Summer Institute


The Fulbright-SOAS University of London Summer Institute is a three week academic and cultural programme for US students held at SOAS University of London, in the UK.

The SOAS Summer Institute provides the opportunity to join a range of courses on the themes of Development Studies and Politics. As well as providing students with an international perspective on the subject of their choice, each course makes extensive use of London’s resources and culture through integrated activities which complement the academic learning. 

Participants in this programme will get the opportunity to:


  • Experience an exciting academic programme at the only Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, located at the heart of one of the most vibrant cities in the world
  • Critically appraise accepted theories and school of thoughts, reflect on their learning experience and engage into debates and discussions
  • Benefit from a unique, non-western outlook on world issues
  • Benefit from small class sizes which facilitates and encourages active class participation
  • Participate in a range of activities both within the student’s course of choice and as part of other summer courses, thus broadening their horizons
  • Meet people from all over the world, make friends and experience life as a real student in the UK
  • Have the opportunity to undertake excursions to points of cultural, historical, and international significance (Day trips to Bath & Stonehenge and Oxford, as well as a Thames river cruise in London and a visit of the landmark London Eye)
  • Become an ambassador for studying in the United Kingdom, and for the prestigious internationally renowned SOAS University of London


The Institute will take place from 4 July-22 July 2016



The majority of the participant costs will be covered. This includes:

•    tuition fees;

•    accommodation and social programme;

•    subsistence, e.g. food and drink

•    international airfare for US to UK and return

Participants are expected to pay for their own travel, health and accident insurance.

Participants are likely to be housed in the en-suite, self-catered Dinwiddy House, a short walk from SOAS. 


Special Programmes do not preclude participants from applying for a Fulbright Award later in their academic career. The summer institutes are intentionally designed in such a way that allows participants to come back to the UK at postgraduate or postdoctoral level as a Fulbright Student or Scholar.

Selection Criteria

To meet the minimum eligibility for this Institute you need to:

•    be a US citizen (resident anywhere except the UK) and possess a US passport;

•    be at least 18 years old by the start of the programme;

•    be able to participate in the programme in its entirety;

•    have a high level of academic achievement with a minimum GPA of 3.7 (confirmed by academic marks, awards and references);

•    have completed no more than two years of university study, i.e. applicants should currently be a Freshman or Sophomore in college/university;

•    be mature, responsible, independent, and open-minded;

•    be willing and able to fully participate in an academically intensive programme that includes attending all sessions, completing all assignments, contributing to classroom discussions and supporting student ambassador style work as required;

•    have had little or no study or travel experience in the UK or elsewhere outside of the US and; expect to return to the US and continue your education.

Note: The programme is open to students in all courses of study. 


Those holding permanent residency ‘green cards’ may not apply.

Please read the Terms and Conditions for this award before making an application.

In making these awards the Commission is looking not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, an indication of ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Programme and a plan to give back to your home country upon returning.


Candidates will be considered without respect to race, colour, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual preference or gender (including gender reassignment). 


Deadline: Applications are due 26 February 2016 by 5pm (UK Time).

Before you begin the application process, please read the FAQs document and application instructions. If you have questions or any general enquiries about the programme, you may send them to: Be sure to follow us on twitter and receive application tips throughout the period.

To Apply: 

1. Complete our online application form (including Equal Opportunities survey). We recommend you use a copy word version of the application form to draft your responses before submitting the online application form.

2. Request two reference letters: Request letters from two (2) references and supply them with the following online reference letter form.  Reference letters should come directly from the referee via the online  form.   References must be received at the Commission by 5pm (UK time) on the day of the deadline or the application will not be considered even if other pieces have been received on time. Students should not submit letters on their referees' behalf; we will be checking references. 

3. Send a copy of your transcripts: Transcripts should be sent to the Commission by email to: in the form of a PDF.  Please do not send links to transcript access sites, as we have not always been able to access transcripts from these sites and your application may be considered incomplete. We recommend you request a transcript be sent to you, and you send a copy to the address above. We will accept these transcripts.  Please note that we request official transcripts, however, if for financial or similar reasons it is difficult to obtain an official transcript, we will accept an unofficial transcript in its place.  

The 'Summer Institutes' email address is for transcript attachments only. Applications not submitted by the online system will not be accepted. Transcripts or reference letters sent in by post, fax or to any email address other than will not be accepted. 


Applications will be short-listed and successful applicants will be invited to telephone interview sometime between the dates of 5 -15 April (subject to change). Interviews will only be held selected days and may not be rescheduled.

If you are making an application, please save these dates as an invitation to interview may come within a few days of the interview date. The selection committee will be comprised of Fulbright Commission staff and on occasion representatives from partner universities, US Embassy representatives, or Fulbright alumni.

Important note: The US-UK Fulbright Commission is unable to give feedback on individual applications or to provide reasons for their refusal.

Individuals from a broad range of ethnic, religious, geographic, and socio-economic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.


December: Competition opens

26 February:  Application deadline

Late March:  Short-listed candidates invited to Interview

5-15 April:  Telephone Interviews 

Late April:  Notification for successful applicants

May: Preparation and Pre-Departure Information

1 July:  Departure for UK

2 July:  Arrival in the UK

23 July:  Return to USA

Additional Information

Programme Outline (please note that this is subject to change)

Please note that all courses require a minimum number of students in attendance to run. Should your chosen course be cancelled due to lower than expected recruitment figures, you will be offered a place on an alternative course. Notifications of course cancellations will be made w/c 30/05/2016

Academic Programme

SOAS LibriaryFulbright students will join a larger cohort on the SOAS Summer School . You should choose to study one of the following courses (Some course titles subject to change):


NGOs & Social Movements: the Politics of Protest & Change

•     Feminist Economics & Development

•     Development and Conflict


Introduction to Political Theory

Gender & Politics in the Middle East

Approaches to Global Migration

Courses are based around a combination of lectures, tutorials and ‘additional activities’. 

Those activities are embedded in each course and will offer participants with an opportunity to both engage with the topic in a different way as well as discover London and the British culture. Depending on the course, activities will include museum visits, guided walks, institutional visits, engagement with local communities, practical workshops, visits by guest speakers etc… 

In addition to those ‘course embedded’ activities, students will be given the option to choose from a menu of other educational activities offered as part of parallel summer courses. Those will take place on the 1st and 2nd Friday of the course (see template timetable for details) and will allow for interactions to take place with other summer school students and other topics of interest.

Class participation and interaction is at the heart of SOAS’ teaching ethos and all students are actively encouraged to critically appraise accepted theories and school of thoughts, reflect on their learning experience and engage into debates and discussions.

The summer institute’s small class format – the average ratio of students to lecturer is 12:1 - offers an excellent opportunity for class participation to take place both in lectures and tutorials. An active participatory group dynamic is also sought and facilitated from the outset by the course lecturer.

Cultural Activities

The SOAS Summer Institute programme will include two London-based activities and two guided day trips outside of London, which will provide participants with the opportunity to discover some landmarks of British culture:  

Guided Day Trips

Bath & Stonehenge 


London-based activities

Thames River Cruise 

Guided tour on the London Eye 

Students will also be provided with a list of key attractions that they may wish to visit in their free time.

In addition, all participants will be given as many opportunities as possible to join informal gatherings of local British and International students from various ethnic, social, and professional backgrounds. The SOAS Student Union Sabbatical Officer for Activities & Events will act as a point of contact regarding student societies' and sports clubs’ activities taking place in the summer and ensure that they are kept abreast of opportunities to socialize with university students. 


If students wish to receive credit for their course they will need to contact the office in their university that deals with external credit. We strongly advise students to do this before they apply.

It is up to the home institution to decide whether credit is awarded as credits are not printed on the SOAS Summer School transcripts. However, SOAS University of London is happy to offer advice to institutions if necessary and provide them with the course outline. A three week Summer School module consists of 46 contact hours. As a general guideline, our Summer School courses involve learning time equivalent to courses worth 3-4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. 


SOAS will make available one UK peer mentor who will accompany students during Fulbright students dedicated cultural activities, as well as hold dedicated weekly meetings in order to assist with any issues and collect student feedback. They will also provide guidance on living in London, cultural attractions, outings etc…. 

On the first day, Fulbright students will join other Summer School students for general orientation on and around the campus. This approach will give them an opportunity to interact with their peers from the outset. A Welcome Reception and farewell event will take place on the first and last day of the course, where students and SOAS key personnel will have an opportunity to informally connect and form networks.

SOAS personnel will be contactable throughout their stay.