Fulbright U.S. Student English Teaching Assistantship

Placement Types

Placements are available in approximately 83 host countries in multiple world regions: East Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, South and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Western Hemisphere (i.e., South and Central America). 

The age and academic level of the students varies by country, ranging from kindergarten to university level. Applicants for ETA Programs can apply to only one country. Consult the table on the English Teaching Assistant Program description for details on specific country requirements and numbers of awards.

Fields of Study

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program places no limitations on your major or field of study. However, some countries give preference to majors in the Humanities, Education, or related fields, or to those who have completed TESL or TEFL certifications.

You must possess the interpersonal skills, ambassadorial mindset, and teaching, tutoring, or mentoring competencies to be a strong classroom teacher. English Teaching Assistantships require three ETA employment reference forms from individuals who can confirm your abilities to teach, tutor, and/or mentor youth in the English language.


To apply for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program through the SOP advising process, applicants must:

  • Be undergraduate juniors (graduating next academic year), graduating seniors (graduating this academic year), or recent alumni within 12 months of graduation.
  • Be citizens or nationals of the United States of America at the time of application. Permanent residents are not eligible.  
  • Complete your undergraduate degree before travel (often, but not always, by the end of Summer Session I). Consult the host country summary for the program start date.
  • Meet the language requirements of the award to which you are applying, demonstrated by submitting a Foreign Language Evaluation. Consult the host country summary for the language proficiency requirements.
  • Demonstrate sufficient competency to complete your project and adjust to life in the host country.

For most programs, applicants who have had extensive, recent previous foreign experience in the host country are at a competitive disadvantage but are still eligible to apply. In some cases it may not be feasible for a dual national to participate in a Fulbright program in the country of his or her other nationality due to host country law or policy. However, enrollment in a formal study abroad program as an undergraduate will not be considered a disadvantage. Please see Eligibility, including the Ineligibility section, for details.

Those who have lived or worked abroad (i.e., outside of formal study abroad programs) are encouraged to apply to a host country where they have not yet lived. Since Fulbright is an international exchange program, you are encouraged to apply to a country where you would not yet be considered “a cultural insider.” 

The scholarship does not stipulate a minimum GPA. However, to be competitive, SOP advisors recommend that English Teaching Assistant applicants achieve at least a 3.5 GPA and demonstrate a strong record of experience related to the selected grant type and proposed project. Relevant qualifications may include 1 or more years of leadership, teaching, tutoring or mentoring roles in academic, extracurricular, or service organizations; education-related research experience or publications; and/or education-related work experience/internships.

Scholarship Benefits

Total value of the award varies by country. Grant benefits for all Fulbright U.S. Student grants include:

  • round-trip transportation to the host country
  • funding to cover room, board, and incidental costs, based on the cost of living in the host country
  • Accident & Sickness Health Benefits
  • 24/7 support line for urgent and non-urgent situations
  • 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government

In some countries, grants may also include:

  • book and research allowances*
  • mid-term enrichment activities
  • full or partial tuition
  • language study programs
  • pre-departure and in-country orientations

Specific information concerning finances for each country is described in the host country summary and/or posted on the local Fulbright Commission website.

Recent Recipients, Finalists, & Semi-Finalists

As of 2020, UCI has had 68 undergraduate and recent alumni Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant recipients. Read about recent recipients and semi-finalists on our Recipients page.

  • In 2022, Audrey Garcia, Elizabeth Montoya, Irene Morales, and Uyen Mai were Englisht Teaching Assistantship Recipients. Daniel Rojas, Joshua Swank, and Catthi Ly were named Semi-Finalists. Janice Zhong and Vian Nguyen were named Alternates.
  • In 2021, Katia Necoechea Madriz and Victoria Thiem were named Finalists. Irene Morales, Ravi Sandhu, Emily Ha, and Rosemary Velasquez were named Semi-Finalists.
  • In 2020, Shih Yuan “Mita” Huang (History, Education Sciences) was named a Finalist (grant offered but declined due to Covid-19) for the English Teaching Assistantship to Mongolia.
  • In 2019, Madeleine Hart (Psychology) became an English Teaching Assistant in Germany, and Joyce Nguy (Political Science, Education Sciences) became an English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan.
  • In 2018, Leanne Lupone (Chemistry with CalTeach credential) became an English Teaching Assistant in Uruguay, and Priya Sri-Tharan was named a Semi-Finalist for the English Teaching Assistantship in Sri Lanka.
  • In 2017, Daniela Estrada (Political Science) became an English Teaching Assistant in Colombia, Amy He (Education Sciences, Sociology) became an English Teaching Assistant in Taiwan, and Tala Pirouzian (English) was named a Semi-Finalist for Turkey (Turkey grants were again cancelled due to political unrest).
  • In 2016, Tala Pirouzian (English) was named an English Teaching Assistant Finalist for Turkey (Turkey grants were cancelled due to political unrest).


Fulbrights are prestigious, career-enhancing awards. They also confer special status on winners during their year of foreign study, as outstanding, officially recognized representatives of their country. Famous Fulbright recipients include Thomas Pickering, John Lithgow, and Renee Fleming. At least 47 UCI faculty have also received Fulbright grants.


Approximately 1,250 English Teaching Assistants are placed annually. Competitiveness varies significantly from host country to host country. Your odds of placement as an English Teaching Assistant can be improved by applying to countries with comparatively low ratios of applicants to slots.

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