The Zen of Fulbright
The Zen of Fulbright is the guide I always wished I could have read prior to embarking on a Fulbright in Political Science research. I can attest to many of the issues this book brings up, and the mental preparation for the level of independence you will experience as a Fulbrighter. If you are even considering applying for a fellowship, this is the best investment you could make. Thomas Burns has done an incredible job in collecting so many interviews on these potential issues and thoughtfully organising them to navigate from the writing preparation to post-grant adjustment.

As a Fulbright alumni, it is refreshing and uplifting to read about the many other stories of my colleagues. I keep a copy next to my desk, and open it when I need a little encouragement. After reading the Zen of Fulbright, I feel even more apart of the Fulbright community and am inspired to pay forward my Fulbright experience. I highly recommend this book to Fulbright scholars from all walks of life.

- Caroline Sutcliffe, Fulbright Program alumna
Applying to any grant, let alone a Fulbright is a daunting enough task, but this book truly helped to not only answer any questions, but also demystified the application process. FINALLY I found a book which I felt was written by someone who is talking to me as an equal. Thomas uses language we can all understand and I felt that he was able to lead me through the entire process and it was exactly what I needed as a prospective applicant. It's clear from the writing that Thomas not only has a ton of expertise about the subject, but perhaps more importantly, truly cares about the Fulbright community. I highly recommend this to any prospective applicants.
- Balbinka Korzeniowska, Fulbright applicant
As a Fulbright applicant with an unconventional arts project, I definitely appreciated the comprehensive nature of the book, including personal testimonials from individuals from all sorts of academic backgrounds, something you'd otherwise only get from knowing these Fulbrighters personally. Demystifying, and encouraging.
- Betsy Tsai, Fulbright applicant
The Zen of Fulbright
The Unofficial Guide to Making the Most
of Your U.S. Fulbright Scholarship
As a former Fulbright advisor, I would highly recommend this book. A thorough, thoughtful and well-researched resource. I really like the multiple perspectives and quotes from so many Fulbright alumni, but what especially stood out for me is that this book picks up where Fulbright leaves off. The author talks in detail about what to do and how to cope with actually being abroad, and then provides a list of ways to get involved and stay involved after one has returned home. A must for any Fulbright applicant and/or recipient!
- Allyson Martinez, former Fulbright advisor
If you are considering applying for a Fulbright, this book is an invaluable resource. Purchase it, read every word, and keep it close. Burns does a remarkable job of balancing anecdotes and tips from previous recipients with straightforward suggestions about maximizing every step of the process—from daydreaming about your proposal, to taking clear steps. Every quote and story is carefully curated to lead the reader closer and closer to concrete actions. I've already adapted the scope of my intended project as a direct result of my impressions from the alumni accounts in the book.

When I purchased The Zen of Fulbright I assumed that it would be helpful—and it is. I did not expect for it to be inspirational as well. I was pleasantly surprised by the breadth and ease Burns' writing. What could have been a how-to book, is actually something much more moving and compelling. I didn't think that I would want to read the book cover to cover, but it completely drew me in.

- Malika Williams, Fulbright applicant
As a PhD student who has written many grant proposals and done several summers of fieldwork abroad, and who will be applying for a Fulbright research grant this fall, I found this book exceptionally useful on two levels. First, the practical advice on the logistics of a Fulbright grant (how to budget, what to consider in terms of health insurance coverage, family, etc.) and in writing the application (including the numerous sample Fulbright essays) are invaluable. But what most impressed me was the wealth of rich advice for grant recipients on what to actually DO with one's time in the field. There are surprisingly few resources available for students embarking on their own research for the first time, and the emotional and practical challenges of being in the field can be overwhelming. This book draws on a rich set of interviews and advice from dozens of Fulbrighters, aiming to turn the lofty ideas articulated in an application into real, successful and rewarding projects.
- Caitlin Ryan, Fulbright grantee
Thomas has created what must be the most extensive guide to Fulbright out there, for applicants as well as recipients of the Fulbright Scholarship. At right around 300 textbook size pages, this unofficial guide to Fulbright leaves you with a very thorough understanding of what the Fulbright program is like, what makes for a strong application and how to make the most of your life in the field. The guide is divided into seven major areas:

1. The Big Picture - How Fulbright works
2. The Habits of Successful Fulbrighters - With dozens of perspectives from real Fulbrighters
3. What You Should Know About Fulbright Before You Apply - Thorough preparation strategy
4. Building Your Fulbright Application - How to make yours strong
5. On the Eve of Departure - Preparing and managing expectations
6. Life in the Field - Making the most of your service
7. Life After Fulbright - Returning, careers and more

In addition, in every section, there are dozens of stories and lengthy quotes from Fulbrighters in the sidebars which give great context to the content in every section. This, along with sample application essays, gives you a full perspective on the program in a way I've never seen before.

This is the guide I wish I would have had when I was applying for the Fulbright Program. You're so lucky to have it available to you.