The Fulbright program was created by the US Congress in 1946. The purpose of the program is "to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. . . . It enables US students and artists to benefit from unique resources in every corner of the world . . . [and] to gain international competence in an increasingly interdependent world." Funding is provided by an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress and contributions from other participating countries.