What is Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program?
The Fulbright ETAs are U.S. college graduates eager to teach English overseas and serve as U.S. cultural ambassadors. The program aims to support English teaching and learning. The ETAs are typically young recent college graduates who do not necessarily have formal training in teaching.
The host institutions assign a full-time mentor to co-teach with the ETA in classroom and in other matters relating to ETA’s teaching duties, living environment, and visa and residency related requirements. The ETAs co-teach 16-20 hours of speaking and listening classes per week to the students of the department or the school that has applied for the ETA program. ETAs will spend an additional 8-10 hours for projects outside classroom such as running speaking clubs and cross-cultural student activities.
Since 1949, the Fulbright ETA Program has been a component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The Fulbright ETA Program is sponsored and managed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State (ECA) and aims to enhance cross-cultural communication opportunities. Fulbright ETAs assist with strengthening English language instruction, while providing cultural insights. At the same time, U.S. participants will grow and learn from intensive cross-cultural interaction and an international education experience. Fulbright ETAs may also pursue individual study/research plans in addition to their teaching assistant responsibilities.
The Fulbright ETA Program is currently offered in 53 countries. Mongolia ETA program started in 2011. Annually Fulbright ETA program brings four to six Americans as teaching assistants to Mongolian universities and colleges.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant numbers are subject to the availability of federally appropriated funds. The United States Department of State reserves the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, numbers of awards, terms of agreement, and allowances. Grant benefits for all Fulbright U.S. Student grants include:
- Round-trip transportation to the host country
- Monthly stipend
- Accident & sickness health benefits
- Pre-departure and in-country orientations
Early Terminations: Acceptance of a grant by a candidate constitutes an agreement between the grantee and the sponsor involved. It is expected that, barring unforeseen emergencies, grantees will remain in the host country for the full tenure of the award. A grantee who leaves the host country or resigns from the grant at an earlier date than that specified in the grant authorization may be required to reimburse the supervising agency for any expenditures made on his or her behalf, including allowances for orientation or round-trip travel.
Individuals interested in serving as a Fulbright ETA must meet all eligibility requirements including:
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application. Permanent residents are not eligible.
- Applicants must have a conferred bachelor’s degree or the equivalent before the start of the grant.
- Applicants must be in good health. Grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Medical Certificate from a physician
The Fulbright ETA program consists of three main components:
- Candidate: American college graduate applying to be a Fulbright ETA
- Host institution: Mongolian university/college applying to receive a Fulbright ETA
- Embassy: the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia
Candidate: Fulbright ETAs must be American citizens who are native speakers of English with a university degree. Typical candidates for the Fulbright ETA program are recent college graduates with B.A. degree. However, a graduate degree or work experience will be a plus. While background in English teaching or teaching in general will be preferred, candidates from all majors are eligible to apply.
Host Institution: The host institutions will meet the following requirements in order to host a Fulbright ETA:
- Be an accredited Mongolian university or educational institution;
- Provide a project proposal in English giving background information about the university, short (two paragraph) description of the English teaching program at the school, motivation and need for hosting an ETA, and what teaching duties are expected of the ETA. The application form for the program proposal will be available for download when the program is announced;
- Offer Mongolian language and culture lessons to the ETA;
- Provide suitable housing for the ETA for the entire academic year. The housing should be clean and safe. It should contain a kitchen area, private bathroom and laundry facility. If suitable housing is unavailable, institutions must provide an adequate housing allowance to rent a comparable apartment near the school or in the downtown area ;
- Obtain an incoming ETA’s HG visa (work visa) by Mid-July;
- Obtain teaching/work permit within one week of arrival (first week of August) and coordinate arrival and long-term residential registrations with the Foreign Citizens Registration Bureau within one week of arrival (the first week of August);
- Assign relevant faculty to participate in August ETA orientation activities organized by the embassy;
- Provide a letter of support from the university/school director which identifies a co-teacher and a responsible mentor to the ETA;
- Provide office space for the ETA with a desk, computer with internet access in the host department’s office;
- Provide the ETA a clear and finalized teaching schedule no later than the second week of each semester;
- Allow the ETA to teach to more advanced (second year or above) English level students.
- Universities and colleges outside Ulaanbaatar are encouraged to apply.
Embassy: The U.S. Embassy in Mongolia is responsible for selecting suitable host institutions and making placements for each incoming Fulbright ETA. Embassy will work directly with the host institutions to confirm details pertaining to the ETA assignment. Each assignment may vary depending on the host institution needs, and the academic profile of the selected candidate.
U.S. Based Selection: At this stage the applications are reviewed by the Fulbright Office at ECA in collaboration with the Institute of International Education (IIE), the contracting organization for program implementation. Applications recommended for further competition are then sent to the U.S. Embassy of the intended country for review.
Host Country U.S. Embassy Review: The Embassy’s Public Affairs Office reviews all ECA-recommended applications and selects finalists. When selecting finalists, the embassy considers the overall strength of the applicants including the following characteristics:
- Interest in the host country – Mongolia;
- Leadership skills and experience;
- Broad academic background including coursework in Liberal Arts areas, particularly if the applicant is in a science or technical field;
- High level of academic achievement;
- Work experience, with particular emphasis on any teaching experience;
- Genuine and sustained record of community service and/or extracurricular activities;
- Other factors indicating creativity and flexibility in adapting to new environments such as previous travel or living experience overseas;
- Knowledge of Mongolian language and previous experience in Mongolia will be a plus;
- Language: Successful candidates must be native-speakers of English.
Note: It is the policy of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board that reasons for non-recommendation of candidates not be given.
Prospective Specialists and host institutions participate in a competitive selection and matching process.
Apr-Oct: Online application opens
Nov-Dec: National screening
Mar-May: Final selection notifications
Jun: Pre-departure orientation
Jul-Aug: Departure to Mongolia
To learn more, visit https://us.fulbrightonline.org/about/competition-timeline.