On August 30, 2019, the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and the United States Embassy in Tallinn modified the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Fulbright Academic Exchange Program. The amendment to the MoU, which was originally signed in Tallinn in 2007 and extended in 2015, further enhances cooperation between educational, scientific, and research institutions in the United States and Estonia; allocates additional resources for Fulbright scholarships and academic exchanges for Estonian scholars and students in special fields of interest; and promotes mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries.
The history of academic exchange between Estonia and the United States dates back to the 1970’s and was strengthened after Estonia’s independence from the former Soviet Union. When diplomatic relations with the United States were re-established in October 1991, the administration of the Fulbright Program and other academic exchange programs in Estonia transitioned to the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn. Through the Public Affairs Section (PAS), programs are currently implemented for U.S. Fulbright scholars, U.S. student researchers and English Teaching Assistants in Estonia, and Estonian scholars, students, and researchers (including PhD students) conducting exchanges to U.S. universities. Additionally, the U.S. Department of State and Estonian host educational institutions co-fund travel and research for up to three U.S. Fulbright Specialists for several weeks each, per year.
Since 1991, close to 200 Estonian researchers, lecturers, and students have had the opportunity to perform research and study at top U.S. schools, including to Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, and the US Naval War College. Estonian universities have also hosted approximately 200 American scholars, researchers and students, many of them continuing academic relationships with their host institutions to this day. The U.S. Embassy in Tallinn and the Ministry of Education and Research value the ongoing educational and academic cooperation between Estonia and the United States and are honored to build upon this strong foundation of science and research exchanges.
Led by the United States government in partnership with more than 160 countries worldwide, the Fulbright Program is a diverse and dynamic network of scholars, alumni, and global partners who foster mutual understanding between the United States and partner nations, share knowledge across communities, and improve lives around the world. Since its establishment in 1946 by Congress, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.