A shortest guide ever:
1) Get your English. Toastmasters is a good place to start.
a) Go to the AEC to get spoken English. (it’s not very good for everything else)
b) Go to Arttalkers/Chambers/Dniprohills/other. Find a good place to speak.
c) Hang out with native speakers.
2) Before you apply it’s good to:
a) Get publications/conferences/other records of activity
b) Get Coursera certificates
c) Get GRE general, GRE subject, TOEFL
d) Get some extracurricular activities you like.(I read molecular biology lectures)
e) Get into summer schools/seminars/etc.
f) Fail. My first letters have shown how incompetent(or inaccurate) I was. Take a look how many times I have failed.
3) When you apply
a) Forget about everything you’ve done before. Everything you have/do not have.
b) Two weeks in advance open the site, and open the form that you will have to fill no to overlap with your essays.
c) Determine which information goes to the CV, which to the form, which into the recommendations 1,2,3, which essay 1 and 2. No overlap!
d) Write your essays. Have someone to read a whole application. (I somehow passed with dozens of mistakes.)
e) It’s much better if your professors email recommendations.
d) Visit an office on Esplanadna 20, Kyiv, Ukraine to ask specific questions.
e) At any price get this picture on time !
4) Spend the Summer productively.
a) Determine the Universities (you can change them if you pass the interview)
b) Have a backup plan. Chances of not getting a Fulbright are 60 against 1. (>1000 applicants/~30 places)
c) Contact to the professor. Can be a good advantage when applying to the university later.
d) You will be waiting for this letter.
5) Before the interview.
a) It’s probably a good idea to summarize everything you’ve done before in a portfolio, and take it with you.
b) Go to youtube. There are Fulbrighters sharing their interview experience.
c) Get the idea, of what you will be asked about. Watch Embassy Kabul Make the same form and learn it.
d) Ask yourself every possible question you can imagine,and answer it.
e) Get someone to interview you. (Toastmasters is a great place, again)
f) Relax and have fun. 10-15 people that I’ve met in that room, are perhaps the biggest concentration of intelligence I’ve met. (c) Some other Fulbrighter.
6) After you are selected
a) You will be waiting for a phone call
b) Rewrite motivation letter once again.
c) Change universities
d) Possibly negotiate on the university list with the IIE
7) Invest in your education
a) I had private tutor
b) I visited expensive/really good courses
с) I bought the best books the amazon
d) The first scholarship covered every expense twice.
e) I went to the library Esplanadna 20, 5th floor. It has all the GRE/TOEFL/GMAT books.
f) Education is your future. Good luck !