Fulbright U.S. Student Program

English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Grants

Reference Instructions

The Fulbright Program requires the submission of an ETA Reference Form and not a letter of reference for ETA applicants. Please note that the Fulbright Program will not accept reference letters for ETA candidates.

To help prepare your responses to the reference form’s questions, you may view a Sample ETA Reference Form.

The Fulbright Program requires that references be submitted in the Embark Fulbright Online Application system.  References must be submitted through the Embark system because the screening committees will only have access to references submitted electronically.

If you are not familiar with the Fulbright U.S. Student Program please visit: www.us.fulbrightonline.org. The most useful sections for referees are Application Components and the Country Summaryfor the applicant’s proposed host country.

In completing the reference form, keep in mind that the applicant will be serving as a cultural ambassador representing the United States and that personal suitability, as well as academic excellence, is an important criterion to be considered.  The ETA applicant should provide you with the Fulbright Statement of Grant Purpose and the Personal Statement. 

 

Summary of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program

Fulbright ETA’s are not responsible for designing curricula or teaching full courses. Rather they serve, under supervision, at their assigned placements and will be expected to develop and carry out a variety of learning activities, make presentations on U.S. culture and society, and/or assist faculty in an English Language Department with their teaching responsibilities, as needed.

Facility with and knowledge of English usage, grammar, spelling, and writing is also important. You may be able to comment on the applicant’s abilities in those areas from tests or papers they have prepared for your course or from formal presentations, classroom discussion or individual interviews with the applicant.

In addition, some countries request that applicants describe an academic or other project or activity that they would pursue concurrent with the ETA assignment. This is a secondary component of the grant and may provide insight into the applicant's interest in the host country, academic or career interests, and/or suitability for the ETA program.

 

Factors for Consideration

In formulating responses for the ETA Reference Form, consider the following general characteristics of Fulbright U.S. Student ETA Programs. Generally, English Teaching Assistants:

  • Are placed in elementary or secondary schools or universities outside of capital cities, depending on the country. Please consult the individual Country Summary for a description of the ETA program there.
  • Are assigned various activities designed to improve the host country students' capabilities in spoken and written English as well as to enhance their knowledge of the United States.  Clear, precise diction and demonstrated grammar skills should be a factor in evaluation.
  • Are fully integrated into the host community, increasing their own language skills and knowledge of the host country.
  • May pursue individual study/research or engage in community activities, in addition to ETA responsibilities.

 

Steps to submit the ETA Reference Form

  • Once the applicant has registered you as a referee, an email will be sent to you from the Embark Online Recommendation system with the student’s name will be in the subject line. If you do not receive this email, please let the applicant know or email Tech Support directly, support@embark.com and tell them the name and email address of the applicant and your name and email address.
  • Login to the reference system using the User ID and Password sent to you in the Embark email.
  • You will see a page with the names of applicants who have listed you as a reference in the Fulbright Embark Online Application System.
  • Following the steps in the online system, enter your responses directly into the ETA Reference Form.
  • The final step is to submit the reference. Before you click Submit, be sure that this is the information that you wish to have reviewed by screening committees in the U.S. and abroad. Once you submit the reference, you will not have access to edit or change it.

Note: Only references submitted via the Embark Fulbright Online Application System will be reviewed.

The applicant will provide you with the date the reference is due.  For currently enrolled candidates or alumni applying through their alma mater, this date will be earlier than the national Fulbright application deadline. References submitted after the campus deadline may not be considered and could affect the candidate’s eligibility.

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.

Artist

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.

FPA

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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.