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Fulbright Assistance

//Fulbright Assistance
Fulbright Assistance 2017-08-15T18:16:54+00:00

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The ACMS acts as the local resource center for Fulbright Fellows, Senior Scholars, and Visiting Faculty Members. Fulbright Fellows utilize the ACMS because of its open environment and extensive resources, which include a library with over 5,000 books on Inner Asian and discipline-based topics, large reading room, JSTOR access, high speed internet access, and printing and copying equipment. The ACMS also allows Fulbright Fellows to use the organization’s mailing address to receive packages and letters. As the only Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) member in Central and Inner Asia, the ACMS places great emphasis on assisting Fulbright Fellows in achieving their research and cross-cultural education goals. No other non-governmental organization in Mongolia or Inner Asia operates to meet the specific needs of Fulbright Fellows, which often go beyond what other organizations are prepared to provide.

The ACMS manages a training and support program for incoming US Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETA) in Mongolia. Included in this 4-week training program are Mongolian language lessons, lessons on Mongolian culture, as well as specialized ESL instruction training and research project development.

Fulbright Fellows and prospective applicants are encouraged to seek assistance from the ACMS in identifying potential local research partners, finding previous literature related to research topics, and applying for appropriate permits, clearances, and other official documents. The ACMS is here to serve researchers and scholars, and its local and international network of contacts makes it the ideal partner in facilitating independent research.

Identifying Host Institutions

The process of establishing contacts with potential host institutions is challenging from abroad. A significant number of individuals draw upon contacts made during prior visits to Mongolia, but having contacts in the country does not necessarily guarantee success due to communication difficulties and divergent expectations between the scholar and host institution. These difficulties are only compounded when a scholar has no substantial contacts in the country. It is common for scholars to become discouraged and even doubt the viability of their research proposal because attempts at networking with Mongolian institutions from abroad fails to produce tangible results. One of the core services the American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS) offers to international scholars is acting on their behalf to establish contacts and mediate the development of research plans. The ACMS does not and cannot develop research proposals for scholars, but it can facilitate completion of particular elements of proposals scholars cannot feasibly complete on their own. Scholars are encouraged to contact the ACMS (info@mongoliacenter.org) with questions and requests for assistance. If scholars have clear research objectives, the challenges of establishing contacts disappear with ACMS assistance.

Contacting Fulbright Alumni

The Public Affairs Office at the US Embassy in Mongolia has responsibility for maintaining information about current and past Fulbright Fellowship recipients. However, ACMS staff has regular interactions with fellows and alumni, making it an additional place to seek information about Fulbright related activities.

Safety and Security

It is common for visitors to Mongolia to become complacent about safety and security issues because of the generally warm and open treatment they receive from Mongolians. Visitors to Mongolia should take the same precautions they would in their own home countries when visiting urban and rural areas. Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, is a major urban area with nearly one million residents. It has crime, both petty and violent, and other dangers present in urban environments such as heavy traffic and pollution. In addition, many areas have crumbling infrastructure and lack clear warnings about dangers such as uneven walking areas or missing manhole covers. Those who become complacent are more likely to experience theft, abuse, or injury. For more information about safety and security visit the US Embassy website.

In addition, all visitors to Mongolia should have emergency medical evacuation travel insurance. Local hospitals and clinics are not equipped to provide adequate trauma care. Injuries and illnesses that require intensive treatment generally require medical evacuation to Korea. Medical evacuation is expensive, ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 depending on the severity of the medical condition. University students and faculty generally have SOS International coverage through their institutional medical plans. However, check with your medical insurance provider to make sure you are covered for international travel.

Applying for Visas

The process for applying for a student or work visa involved the following steps to complete. These must be completed with assistance from a host institution:

  • The applicant and host institution discuss the applicant’s intended affiliation with the host institution (e.g. student or faculty member), and the host insitution prepares a formal letter similar to a contract outlining the conditions of the applicant’s affiliation and his/her intended purpose for residing in Mongolia.
  • The applicant sends a copy of the photo page of his/her passport and current HIV blood test results to the host institution.
  • The host institution then sends a letter of request along with the contract, passport copy, and HIV blood test results to the Ministry of Education for a permit to apply for a student or work visa. Upon approving the request, the Ministry of Education issues a letter of request to the Office of Immigration, Naturalization, and Foreign Citizens.
  • The host institution sends another letter of request to the Office of Immigration, Naturalization, and Foreign Citizens to receive a permit to apply for a student or work visa. Upon approving the request, the Office of Immigration issues the permit to the host institution.
  • The host institution then forwards the permit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which sends a letter to the Mongolian embassy authorizing the consulor’s office to issue a student or work visa.
  • After the embassy receives the letter, the applicant must send his/her passport to the embassy with a complete visa application form and results of an current HIV blood test. The passport and application should be sent with a pre-paid self-addressed stamped envelope which can be tracked. UPS and FedEx are two options. Call the embassy directly for current instructions and visa fees.
  • After receiving the visa in his/her passport, the applicant is prepared to enter Mongolia as a student or faculty member on a non-tourist visa.

This process can only be completed with the assistance of a host institution, so identifying an appropriate host institution early on in the application process is very important. Without the proper visa, Fulbright scholars must apply in-country to change their visa status from tourist to non-tourist, which requires going through the same process outlined above, with the addition of having to exit Mongolia and reenter it on a new visa issued at a consular office abroad (usually China).

Preparing for Arrival in Mongolia

Gathering information about necessary preparations prior to arriving in Mongolia is another challenging aspect of developing research proposals from abroad. Although many of the government regulations and statutes relevant to internationally directed research are available on the internet through ministry websites, much of the information is not in English, incomplete or difficult to find. Moreover, regulations and statutes change, but the published information or the knowledge of the responsible civil servant may not, further adding to confusion about the proper steps in acquiring official clearances.

Our Frequently Asked Questions section with answers to more common questions about acquiring clearances, which include visas, registration, travel or research permits, and exportation of specimens. Scholars may also contact info@mongoliacenter.org with specific questions.

In general, US citizens planning to reside in Mongolia longer than 30 days must register with the immigration office within one week of arriving in Mongolia. If visitors plan to stay longer than 90 days, then they must also obtain a long term residency permit from the immigration office, as well as register with the local district in which they reside. The entire process is described in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this website. It is a good idea to come with several passport sized photos and smaller 2cm x 3cm identification photos for applications and permits. The government offices expect applicants to provide these photos.