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Our History

Our History

Throughout our history, we have made a commitment to education worldwide.

And today, more than ever, our commitment continues.


The commitment begins

The commitment begins

After World War II in 1946, Senator J. William Fulbright created his namesake program with the goal of contributing to global peace and the creation of cooperative relationships among nations through education, culture and science, as a model of international cooperation that today is present in 160 countries and has benefited more than 400,000 people around the world.

After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Arkansas, Senator J. William Fulbright received a Rhodes Award to study for three years at Oxford University and spend an additional six months in Vienna. It was this visit to another continent that awakened in the Senator the conviction to promote academic mobility between the United States and the rest of the world as an effective mechanism for cooperation and peace among nations.

Initially in the post-war period, the Fulbright Program was located in 27 countries, predominantly European and Asian. Following the success of the program in the first decade of its existence, the U.S. Congress approved the creation of 15 new commissions, 8 of which were in Latin America, including the Colombia Commission. On January 9, 1957, the Fulbright Commission in Colombia was established as an international organization through the founding treaty of 1957.

Throughout 64 years of cooperation between the governments of Colombia and the United States of America, nearly 5,000 people have benefited from the program to pursue graduate studies and advanced research residencies in both countries.

In 2007, the Fulbright Colombia Award for Excellence was created to honor the work of Colombian Fulbrighters for their achievements and excellence in their areas of knowledge, their professional performance and their efforts in the creation of academic and professional networks in our country. In the last five years, this distinction has been awarded to the following grantees: Adriana Pulido (2021), Fulbright Saldarriaga Concha 2011 Award; Clemente Forero Pineda (2020), J. William Fulbright 1968 Award; Andrés Jaramillo Botero (2019), Fulbright 1988 Award; and Brigitte Baptiste (2018), Fulbright Laspau 1991 Award.

In Colombia, the Commission has contributed to the teaching of English in the country through its awards for U.S. citizens. In the last five years, more than a hundred U.S. citizens have visited Colombian institutions to develop specialized projects and support the teaching of English.

The Fulbright impact map in the country has been transforming. This phenomenon has direct implications on the quality of our higher education institutions and on the inter-institutional relations that are generated during the residency of each student and professor from the United States.

The attainment of new resources has also allowed the creation and consolidation of more award programs aimed at vulnerable populations or underrepresented sectors.

In 2022, Fulbright Colombia celebrates its 65th anniversary, having supported around five thousand people who have participated in one of our programas and have had the opportunity to create change, to become a conduit of communication between cultures, and to humanize the relations between countries through intercultural dialogue.

The Fulbright Program

Fulbright global

Fulbright awards are among the most recognized and prestigious in the world.

Over 75 years we have created a global community of more than

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Nobel Laureates

Pulitzer Prizes

Prince of Asturias Awards

Heads of State

form part of our global knowledge network