What is the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program?
Sponsored and managed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program has been a component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program since 1949. The program aims to:
- Strengthen English language instruction, while providing cultural insights
- Provide opportunities for personal and career development and international experience
- Enhance cross-cultural communication opportunities by providing a native speaker presence in local classrooms
The Fulbright ETA Program brings six to eight Americans as teaching assistants to Mongolian universities and colleges each year.
Fulbright ETA is a joint program of the U.S. Embassy and the host institution (HI). The program cost-shares:
- ETA’s round-trip transportation to Mongolia
- ETA’s health insurance
- ETA’s monthly stipend
- Pre-departure and in-country orientations
The HI cost shares, monetary or in-kind contributions:
- Costs related to obtaining Mongolian C2 Visa and work and residency related permits
- A reasonable and secure (with security personnel and/or cameras, alternate exit for in case of emergencies, etc.) housing in close proximity of the host institution or downtown, with private bathroom, running hot and cold water, working heating system, electricity, washing machine, full furnishings, and internet access. If unable to provide reasonable housing as described above, the host institution is responsible for providing a monthly allowance of approximately 1,500,000 MNT to assist the ETA procure alternate housing that meets the above requirements
- A workstation in the teacher’s room of the host department, with a desk, chair, computer, printer and copier, and internet access. The HI must also provide common office supplies such as printing paper and allow independent access to school library, faculty resources, online systems, etc.
The main role and responsibilities of the program include:
- Oversee the general administration of the ETA program
- Select the HI, assign an ETA to the HI, and conduct preliminary visits with the HI
- Inspect the housing offered by the HI to ensure it meets reasonable safety, security, and living standards as outlined above
- Provide an in-country orientation to the ETA and the HI program team
- Conduct a monthly check-in meeting with the ETA and visit the ETA at least twice during the academic year
- When needed, serve as a liaison between the ETA and the HI
The roles and responsibilities of the HI include:
- Designating the ETA’s mentor and two co-teachers:
- A senior teacher or department head as a mentor teacher to supervise/mentor the ETA and assist the ETA in adjusting to life in Mongolia
- Two full-time English language teachers who will co-plan and co-teach and help with other matters related to the ETA’s teaching duties
- An international/foreign relations officer to assist in visa and residency related issues
- Supporting the mentor and co-teachers’ participation in the program orientation:
- Opening and closing meetings to introduce their institute and the program team
- Co-teaching ESL Methodology Training and Practicum (5 days)
- Providing the ETA with a clear and finalized teaching schedule at the start of each semester
- Providing the ETA with reasonable housing and workspace
- Upon conclusion of each semester, drafting a feedback report to the embassy with a brief description of the classes and activities in which the ETA participated, and an evaluation of the ETA’s performance with suggested areas for improvement
Fulbright ETAs are motivated recent university graduates who are willing to serve as cultural ambassadors for the United States and help with English language instruction. The roles and responsibilities of the ETA include:
- Co-planning and co-teaching 16 to 20 hours of speaking and listening classroom activities per week to intermediate or above English students
- Dedicating up to 10 hours per week of class preparation with their co-teachers
- Conducting up to 8 hours of extra-curricular English activities, such as a conversation club
- Serving as a U.S. cultural resource for the host institution and community
- Giving presentations on topics related to the United States
Fulbright ETAs are not experienced teachers and should not be asked to design curricula, evaluate, and grade coursework, or take over teaching a full course without the participation of a Mongolian teacher. ETAs are exchange participants on a stipend, not employees of the host institution. Therefore, while they are serving as co-teachers in the classroom, they are also eager to learn from host institutions about teaching methodology and other aspects of professional teaching.
To qualify for the Fulbright ETA Program, interested institutes must meet the following requirements:
- Be an accredited Mongolian university, polytechnic college, or vocational training center
- Have at least 5-6 intermediate or above level English classes (with at least 100-120 students)
- Have a sufficient number of Mongolian English language teachers. Note again, ETAs are not experienced teachers and should not be asked to take over teaching a full course without the participation of a Mongolian teacher
- Demonstrate the need for an ETA as well as willingness to work with and house an ETA
Interested institutes also need to:
- Understand the goals and mission of the Fulbright ETA program and have strong commitment to follow through on program requirements
- Maintain effective communication with ETAs and the U.S. Embassy before and during the ETA’s time in Mongolia
- Be supportive of the ETA during his/her adaptation to a new working and living environment
- Preference is given to institutions in under-served areas with limited or no prior access to native English speakers
How to Apply
The U.S. Embassy is now accepting applications for the Fulbright ETA Program for the 2024-2025 academic year from accredited universities, polytechnic colleges, and vocational training centers. The application deadline is Tuesday, February 13, 2024, 8:00 a.m. ULAT.
To apply for the Fulbright ETA Program, interested institutes must:
- A sample schedule of the ETA’s co-teaching, co-planning, club, and Mongolian language classes, including with whom the ETA will study Mongolian language. Note: this is only a sample to give an idea of the institution’s plans for the ETA.
- A letter of support from the university/school director acknowledging the designation and role of the ETA’s mentor, co-teacher/s, and visa assistant for the duration of 2024-2025 academic year.
Things to remember when filling out the application:
- Applicants must answer all questions in the application form. Incomplete applications will be deemed technically ineligible.
- Submit the requested documents only.
- All documents submitted must be in English or have an official translation attached.
- Attachments in the following formats are accepted: .PDF and image files (e.g. .JPEG, .PNG, etc.).
- Note any word or character limit for writing portions of the application and answer within the limit.
The embassy will announce results in March – April 2024 and notify all applicants via email. Successful institutes will sign a tri-party memorandum of understanding with embassy and ETA prior the start of the program in August – September 2024.
Inquiries about the program will not be answered by phone. Please direct all questions to email@example.com.
Following are the main steps for selection for the Fulbright ETA program:
Application Review: After initial technical screening, all complete applications are reviewed by an application review committee.
Short List: Based on the recommendations of the application review committee, a shortlist for site visits is created.
Visit: Program representatives visit all short-listed institutions and select finalists.
December-February: Program is announced, and applications are received
March-April: Technical screening, application review, visit, and final selection announced
June-July: Selected HIs work with their ETAs to get a Mongolian C2 Work Visa
August: ETA arrival and program orientation
September-June (of next year): Program implementation