Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Sora H. Friedman, PhD


The Australian-American Fulbright Commission was established in 1949 in Canberra, Australia. Remarkably, the Commission had never before conducted an alumni impact report in its 72-year history. Thus, it was vital to carry out this study as soon as possible so as to hear from as many alumni as are willing and able to participate at this time. This study sought to answer the following research question: How have Australian Fulbright scholarships impacted the lives and careers of the American alumni? The research drew on the analysis of secondary survey data and through semi-structured interviews. The major findings of the study are that the Fulbright Program had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the personal and professional lives of the American alumni who traveled to Australia. However, the participants did raise recommendations around improving engagement with home institutions, adjusting the awardee perspective, and increasing alumni outreach and publicity about the Program. From these findings, the conclusion that can be drawn is that the Fulbright Program can have a greater impact on its alumni through increased efforts in the areas identified above. The implications for professional practice are potentially changing priorities around communications, alumni engagement and more. In addition, it may be that Fulbright Commissions will see value in adapting practices to better connect with home and host institutions as well as place increased emphasis on promoting alumni events and opportunities.

Keywords: alumni, Australia, Fulbright, impact, mutual understanding, public diplomacy, United States


International and Comparative Education


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