Tag Archives: Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship

Taking that First Step: Submitting your Fulbright Application

By Todd McKay, Bangladesh, 2011-2012, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Bangladesh

Todd McKay

Todd McKay, 2011-2012, Fulbright ETA to Bangladesh, reviews participants’ work at an English speaking and pronunciation workshop in Motijheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh

“Half the battle is applying,” a former linguistics professor of mine once told me. This is the kernel of wisdom—the all-too-true aphorism—that carried me through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program application process.  Since that first sit-down with Fulbright’s online application, I have learned a lot and have had ample time to reflect on the application process and on my time in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

I was in the second semester of my MA program in applied linguistics at the University of Utah when thoughts of a Fulbright future first popped into my head. One of the courses in my program was a curriculum design and development course, which included both curricula for foreign language teaching and a professional development component.

“We get so caught up in our academic lives,” my professor said, “that we often forget to work on our professional lives.” She challenged each of us to come up with a practical goal that could be completed by semester’s end.

I decided I wanted to apply for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) grant, but I didn’t think I was qualified. Truth be told, I was downright afraid of applying for a Fulbright grant. I was an okay, but by no means brilliant student. I grew up in a small town 40 miles north of Salt Lake City, Utah, my undergraduate GPA didn’t begin with a 4, and I was not a polyglot studying linguistics under Noam Chomsky.

Fulbright Alumni: Four Years Later

By Erin Osterhaus and Austin Volz, 2009-2010, Fulbright English Teaching Assistants to Germany

Austin Volz, 2009-2010, ETA to Germany

Austin Volz, 2009-2010, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Germany, prepares Thanksgiving dinner at his school in Dresden, Germany

Four years ago, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. I received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) to the town of Laufen, Germany—a tiny “city” on the border of Austria. During my 10 months as an ETA, I learned a new language, a new culture, and a lot about myself. But perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of the experience was the opportunity I had to meet other amazing ETAs. Among them, I can name Oxford, Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown graduates. Some are in the United States doing important things for the government, some are pursuing graduate education, while others are working abroad—in Sri Lanka, China, Germany—you name it.

As we approach the four year mark of when we began our Fulbright journey together, I thought it’d be great to catch up with a few of my fellow Fulbrighters to see where they are today, and how their Fulbright has affected their personal and professional trajectories.

Fulbright Applications Are Due on October 15! Here’s What You Should Do Before You Hit ‘Submit.’

The deadline for the 2014-15 Fulbright U.S. Student Program competition is Tuesday, October 15, 2013 (5:00 p.m., Eastern Time)!

If you’re in the final stretches of completing your online application, make sure you’ve fully reviewed the application checklists since components vary somewhat depending upon the type of Fulbright U.S. Student grant you’re applying for.

Have last minute questions that need answering? Feel free to contact Fulbright U.S. Student Program staff or Embark Support.

What happens next? Click here to read about the selection process.

Good luck!

My Beautifully-Bumpy Argentine Adventure

By Fareed Mostoufi, 2009-2010, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Argentina


Fareed Mostoufi, 2009-2010, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Argentina (in yellow t-shirt), teaching at the Instituto de Enseñanza Superior Lola Mora in Tucumán

I had just returned home from six weeks of studying in Madrid, Spain, when my sister called to tell me about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Traveling to Madrid had been my dream since I applied to college, and I had come back startled by the vastness of the world and the richness of other cultures. She told me that the Fulbright U.S. Student Program was an opportunity to spend approximately a year abroad potentially conducting independent research, or assistant English teaching while developing personally and professionally. While still on the phone with my sister, I looked up the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website and decided instantly to apply…three weeks later.

Yes, I started the application process late. Hungry for resources on how to put an application together, I found out about and attended local information sessions, met with my university’s Fulbright Program Adviser, and searched the all-knowing Internet. I learned that I had to apply selectively to one country. I also learned that for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program (ETA), I had to explicitly outline my teaching style and plans for extracurricular community work in my application. I also learned that professors had to be reminded gently, but regularly, to turn letters of reference in on time!

Navigating Conversations: One Fulbrighter’s Take on What it Means to Be a Cultural Ambassador

By Shadea Mitchell, 2010-2011, Jordan


Shadea Mitchell, 2010-2011, Jordan (left), with English teacher Mrs. Ghada at the Al-Ittihad School for Girls in Amman

My time as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Jordan was spent primarily in the middle school classrooms of the Al-Ittihad School for Girls, encouraging students to utilize their English conversation skills while also serving as a resource to other English language instructors.

Midway through my Fulbright year, I convinced my supervisor, the school’s seventh grade English instructor, to allow me to lead weekly conversation sessions. Since many students were already well-spoken and comfortable making small talk in English, I wanted to contribute to the English classes in a meaningful way and thought this would be especially beneficial to the older girls. I wanted to encourage them to discuss more interesting topics than those covered in their textbooks but I didn’t intend to discuss anything controversial. Nevertheless, there were a few times when their curiosity led to some intense but rewarding discussions.