Exchange Programs

Educational Exchange

The Public Affairs Office selects Mauritanians participants for academic exchange programs sponsored by the United States Government under the Fulbright Program. Under the African Senior Research Scholar program, university professors can pursue research projects at American universities or comparable institutions. In the Junior Staff Development program, younger scholars can study for an advanced degree (M.A. or Ph.D) at an American university. The Hubert H. Humphrey North-South Fellowship enables Mauritanians a practical internship. These programs are highly competitive, both within Mauritania, and between Mauritania and citizens of other eligible countries.

The Public Affairs Office also supports American scholars and researchers at Mauritanians institutions under the auspices of the Fulbright Researcher Program. The Section assists unaffiliated American scholars with their inquiries about Mauritania.

The Public Affairs Office organizes special study tours of the United States through the International Visitor and Young African Leader programs. These tours last from three to four weeks, and provide official guests with a chance to exchange views with American peers.

The Fulbright Program was created in 1946 to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. It encompasses numerous student and teacher exchange programs.  The American government offers a certain number of Fulbright scholarships for Mauritanians students and teachers in all fields as part of their commitment to educational exchange.


“It is a modest program with an immodest aim.”

This is how Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright described the exchange program that has borne his name since 1946. The program has allowed tens of thousands of university students and teachers to bring different cultures and civilizations together. It is today considered the most important and diverse educational exchange program in the world. Almost 6,000 scholarships are granted each year to Americans and to citizens of more than 140 countries around the world. The objective of the program, since its inception, has been to promote mutual understanding between American citizens and citizens of other countries.

The Fulbright program is managed by the American government, and administered by the Department of States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, by the Fulbright Commission, and by the Department of Education. These governmental bodies collaborate with organizations such as the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars-CIES.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program brings mid-level professionals from developing countries to the United States for a year of academic study and professional experiences.

The Hubert H. Humphrey North-South Fellowship – HHH

This program, launched in 1978, permits mid-level professionals from developing countries to spend a year in the United States in both academic study and practical internships.  It is not a degree program and it is not designed for researchers or for study of purely technical subjects.

About the Program

Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis to Mauritanians in the public and private sectors working in diverse domains.  Domains of study may include:

  • Planning and management of human, financial or natural resources;
  • Banking and finance;
  • Public administration or management;
  • Rural or urban planning/development;
  • School and education administration;
  • Law and human rights;
  • Economic development;
  • Agriculture;
  • Public health; and,
  • Communication and journalism.

The HHH scholarship is designed for decision-makers who support the development of their sector and the future of their country.  Those selected will begin their program by attending theoretical courses in an American university before participating in practical internships (in an organization with a link to the candidate’s specialty) for the other half of their program.

Conditions for Mauritanians Seeking Hubert H. Humphrey  Scholarship

To obtain the HHH scholarship, candidates must:

  • Have a university degree: (‘license’)/undergraduate degree at a minimum;
  • Be young professionals with at least five years of professional experience;
  • Be at a level in their careers such that a year of study and practical experience in their professional field in the United States will bring a maximum level of benefit; and,
  • Be employed, and obtain assurance that they can return to their positions upon their return.