Fulbright U.S. Student Program


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30 Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation English Teaching Assistant Awards

Accepted Degree Levels
Grant Period
10 Months
No Pre-Departure Orientation
Award Profile

The Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation Program for US English Teaching Assistants (ETA) to Bulgaria offers students holding at least a bachelor's degree in all fields the opportunity to teach English in Bulgarian public secondary schools for one year as teaching assistants. The program aims to improve the quality of English language instruction in Bulgarian schools and to expand the educational and cultural exchange between Bulgaria and the United States.

Thanks to the generous support from the America for Bulgaria Foundation, the ETA program in Bulgaria currently consists of 30 English Teaching Assistants placed in 25 cities across Bulgaria. The Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation ETA program has had a tremendous role in the improvement of the English language instruction in all participating schools, as evidenced by the evaluations of thousands of students and feedback from ETA mentor teachers and school principals. The program also benefits local communities, where ETAs often initiate or are involved in various public service projects such as organizing fundraising activities for charitable causes, starting sports, arts or cookery clubs, helping with community or school project grant applications writing, giving consultations on college application and serving as judges or coaches for English language competitions. Perhaps the most notable initiative started by Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation ETAs to date is the Bulgarian English Speech Tournament (BEST) Foundation. Finally, the program offers its participants the unique opportunity to acquire invaluable intercultural, professional and life experience and the chance to make genuine impact in their local community.

Grant Period

10 Months

Grants begin on September 1 and end on July 1.

A 10-day in-country orientation in the beginning of September provides grantees with professional and cultural training as well as intensive basic Bulgarian language classes. The school year officially opens on September 15.

Pre-Departure Orientation

No Pre-Departure Orientation

Candidate Profile

Applications from candidates holding Bachelor's or Master's degrees in any field will be accepted. Preference is given to students with some English language teaching experience and intercultural skills. Some level of proficiency in Bulgarian or in another Slavic language is considered an advantage.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application. Permanent residents are not eligible. Dual citizens (American and Bulgarian or other European citizenship) are accepted. Applicants must be articulate native English-speakers.

Applicants must be in good health. 

Accepted Degree Levels



Foreign Language Proficiency

Not Required

Bulgarian language proficiency is not required, but some level of proficiency in Bulgarian or in another Slavic language is considered an advantage. Some study of Bulgarian prior to arrival is encouraged in order to promote deeper engagement with the host community. Students will be provided with basic language instruction in Bulgarian as part of the in-country orientation. The Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission provides a one-time allowance of US$500 for Bulgarian-language training during the grant period.

Placement Type

Secondary School

Grantees will be placed in secondary schools, mostly schools with intensive English language instruction in cities and towns all over Bulgaria. Schools provide free housing for the ETAs. Assignments will depend on the respective schools' needs and will not exceed 20 hours per week of teaching English, independently or with a co-teacher. Class hours are scheduled Monday through Thursday, with Fridays left free of classroom responsibilities. Details of assignments will develop through communication between selected candidates and designated host institutions. Extracurricular activities such as working with the school's Speech and Debate team, leading clubs, community service, and volunteer projects are encouraged.

Based on performance, ETAs can apply for a second year; however, second-year awards are limited and not guaranteed.


Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application. Dual citizens (American and Bulgarian or other European citizenship) are accepted.

Special Application Instructions

In addition to the 30 Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation ETA grants, there may also be the possibility for corporate-sponsored ETA positions in vocational schools in smaller communities in Bulgaria. Please indicate in your application's "Abstract/Summary of Proposal" whether you would like to be considered for a corporate-sponsored ETA grant in the event that such awards become available. Candidates for such positions should have previous English-language teaching experience, as the assignment may include both teaching at a vocational school and teaching adult professionals. Candidates with experience in youth leadership, community building projects, technical skills and project management skills are encouraged to apply. Knowledge of basic Bulgarian or another Slavic language is not necessary but will be considered an advantage.   

ETA candidates to Bulgaria are not required to submit a research/side project with their application. Once in Bulgaria, ETAs are encouraged to support the activities of the BEST Foundation or to develop their own extracurricular projects involving the students and/ or the local community. The Commission supports small scale projects financially through competitions in the beginning of each school term.

Candidates should be aware that a short online interview may be requested by the Commission as part of the selection process.

Grant Benefits

Grant benefits include:

  • Monthly stipend – $800 per month
  • Round-trip air travel allowance – $2,000
  • Relocation and incidentals allowance – $1,000
  • Allowance for independent local study of Bulgarian language – $500
  • Health insurance (for grantees only)

The basic amount of the Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation grant is not increased for accompanying dependents. Housing is provided to grantees by their respective host schools free of charge. Grantees are responsible for covering utility bills.


Dependent support is not available

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website


Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact

Iliana Dimitrova

I am a....

Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply.  All applicants enrolled in U.S institutions must apply through their home campuses.  Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

If you are an undergraduate student you would be eligible to apply in your senior year.  If you are a graduate student you are eligible to apply to most countries as long as you will not have a PhD degree on the application deadline.

Non-U.S. Student

If you are a non-U.S. citizen looking to applying for a Fulbright grant to study in the United States you will apply to the Fulbright Program for Foreign Students in your home country.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, hold a bachelor’s degree, and do not have a PhD degree then you could be eligible for certain awards within the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.  Please review the program summary for the country where you would like to apply.


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program welcomes applications in the creative and performing arts.  Arts candidates for the U.S. Student Program should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 5 years or less) in which they are applying.  Artists with more experience should consider applying for Fulbright Scholar Program.

Creative & Performing Arts projects fall under the Study/Research grant category and are available in all countries where Study/Research grants are offered. 



U.S. Professor

If you are a U.S. citizen and a professor at a U.S. institution and are interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award you will need to apply through CIES.

Non U.S. Professor

If you are a non-U.S. citizen and a professor interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award to the United States you would need to apply through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your home country.  Find out more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program.