2018-2019 will be the first year in which the U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the Timorese government, will be sending Fulbright English Teaching Assistants to Timor-Leste. Timor-Leste became an independent nation in 2002, following over four hundred years of Portuguese colonization, twenty-four years of Indonesian occupation, and three years of United Nations transitional administration. The country faces the challenge of building a strong democracy and vibrant economy against a background of still-fragile institutions and limited human capital.
On May 20, 2017, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste celebrated its 15th anniversary of the Restoration of Independence. On the occasion, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson noted, “Fifteen years of independence is a remarkable milestone, reflecting the resolve and commitment of the Timorese people to build a new democracy based on respect for human rights and the rule of law. We are committed to deepening ties between the American and Timorese peoples in the years to come.”
The United States and Timor-Leste enjoy excellent bilateral relations based on shared interests and values, and the United States is committed to strengthening and deepening this partnership, including through educational exchanges.
Serving as a Fulbright ETA in Timor-Leste will be a challenging but unique opportunity to have a direct impact on Timorese students seeking to improve their English language skills and future academic and career prospects.
The 9-month grants will begin in January 2018 with a mandatory orientation in Dili, Timor-Leste.
Approximately 30 hours per week will be spent in the classroom assisting English teachers and leading English activities. An additional 5-10 hours will be devoted to participating in or leading school-related activities such as clubs or teams. Fulbright ETA co-teaching duties will finish at the end of September 2018, with the final month of the grant period spent carrying out English language activities at the U.S. Embassy’s American Space, ‘UmaAmerika,’ an American-style research and cultural center that provides information about American education, organizes cultural and information programs about the United States, and supports the study and teaching of English.