Friday, February 10, 2023

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has again named the University of Iowa a Fulbright Top Producing Institution for U.S. Students.

This is the seventh year the UI has received this prestigious ranking, given to U.S. colleges and universities that received the highest number of applicants selected for the 2022-23 Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Seventeen UI students and alumni were chosen from about 10,000 Fulbright Award applicants nationwide to serve as representatives of the U.S. Department of State to teach English abroad and to undertake public health, research, and creative writing projects in 16 countries during the 2022-23 academic year.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has again named the University of Iowa a Fulbright Top Producing Institution for U.S. Students.

“Being named a Fulbright Top Producer signals Iowa’s commitment to student success in international education,” says UI President Barbara Wilson. “Our program advisors go above and beyond to assist students with the rigorous application process, resulting in greater student access to life-changing global experiences.”

The UI is ranked 21st nationally among doctoral institutions, in a tied ranking with two peer institutions, with more than 35% of UI applicants receiving these prestigious awards.

The 2023-24 Fulbright announcements will be made later this semester; the UI has 28 semifinalists out of 39 applicants. 

“The University of Iowa’s continued success in being named a Fulbright Top Producer is further proof of our strong rebound from the pandemic,” says Russ Ganim, associate provost and dean of International Programs, which oversees the university’s Fulbright program. “The resilience of our students is matched by their overall talent, intellectual curiosity, and keen optimism for the future. Their achievements in disciplines ranging from health to the humanities are testimony to Iowa’s broad and deep commitment to global education.”

The UI Fulbright program is administered through International Programs under the guidance of Fulbright Program Advisor Karen Wachsmuth.

How to apply

Current students and alumni interested in applying for future Fulbright programs should make an appointment with Fulbright Program Advisor Karen Wachsmuth to learn more about the application process.

“We have built an amazing ‘UI Fulbright Team’ in the past 10 years consisting of two dedicated advisors, six Fulbright mentors, a Fulbright librarian, a 40-member Fulbright faculty committee, and an alumni network of more than 100 recent Fulbright students and faculty,” says Wachsmuth. “Once they receive the Fulbright, awardees move forward to achieve their professional goals with the support of a State Department network that includes heads of state and Nobel Prize winners.”

Living and working in another country for a year offers unparalleled opportunities for students to learn, research, teach, create, and form invaluable relationships.

“It's a unique opportunity to represent yourself, your state, and university in an international arena,” says Wachsmuth. “An international experience can open doors for the rest of your life.”

Sarah Nunez, who received a Bachelor of Arts in social work from the UI in May 2022, says moving to Mexico for a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship Award for 2022-23 challenged her to trust herself.

2022-23 Faculty Mentors


  • Jeanine Abrons, clinical associate professor in pharmacy
  • Brenda Longfellow, associate professor of art and art history
  • Kathleen Newman, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese
  • William Reisinger, professor of political science
  • Christopher Squier, professor emeritus of dentistry and global health studies
  • Melissa Tully, associate professor of journalism and mass communication

“I quickly learned to handle the unknowns with curiosity instead of anxiety and fear,” Nunez says. “Fulbright is about learning to embrace lifelong learning.”

The Fulbright Program was established more than 75 years ago to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. While the primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, it benefits from additional support from foreign partner governments, nongovernmental organizations, private organizations, corporate partnerships, and individual donors. Importantly, U.S. and foreign host institutions provide support as well.

Fulbright alumni work to make a positive impact on their communities, sectors, and the world, and have included 41 heads of state or government, 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 78 MacArthur Fellows, and countless leaders and change-makers who carry forward the Fulbright mission of enhancing mutual understanding.