80 English Teaching Assistant Award NEW
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodJanuary Start
Grant Length11 Months
First and foremost, ETAs should understand that the nature of the ETA grant is a full-time teaching job and an ETA's first duty is to their school.
Time Commitment: ETAs should expect to spend up to 22 hours per week teaching classes. Other hours of the school day can be for class preparation and school-related activities. School hours can vary greatly depending on the school’s goals for the ETA, the number of students, and the school placement.
Co-Teaching/Independent Teaching: ETAs should be prepared to plan their own lessons and conduct class by themselves. Co-teaching and/or independent teaching activities will vary greatly depending on each school's situation and each ETA's background and qualifications. Some co-teaching situations may consist of co-teachers who only translate; others may consist of co-teachers who actively plan and lead classes together with the ETA.
Other Possible Teaching Responsibilities: Consulting with teachers on American cultural issues; assisting in the editing or writing of educational materials for English teaching; conducting language evaluations, English camps and English club classes
Number of Schools: ETAs may be assigned more than one school based on need, but cumulative teaching responsibilities shall not exceed 22 hours per week.
The grant runs from early January 2025 until mid-December 2025.
Note on authorized leave time: An accepted grantee's first responsibility is to the Korean host school. There will be a period in the summer when the ETA will have vacation time. Grantees will receive 12 total working days of vacation during the summer break. They will not be allowed to leave the grant early for grad school or other job opportunities.
*Candidates must be aware that, apart from during the summer break period, and dependent on Commission travel policy, they will not be permitted to travel outside the host country. Individuals should not apply for or accept this award unless they are able to commit to this academic schedule.
Grant renewals for up to two additional years are available and are awarded based upon satisfactory cultural adjustment, teaching performance, and school availability.
Upon receipt of the Fulbright award, all English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) will be expected to complete a 120-hour TESOL/TEFL course designated by the Korean Fulbright Commission (KAEC). ETAs will begin their grants in January 2025 with a six-week orientation program, which will consist of intensive Korean language study, training in EFL teaching techniques, and an overview of Korean culture and history.
Candidates should be well-rounded graduating seniors or recent graduates under 30 years of age. Candidates must have received an acceptable degree before the start of the grant year. Candidates who will be in the middle of a degree program while on the ETA grant will not be considered.
Candidates must be fluent English speakers and demonstrate the necessary initiative to teach conversational English to middle and high school students. Moreover, candidates must show evidence of the ability to adapt and thrive in a variety of intensive cultural environments and situations, such as those that may be encountered when living in a Korean homestay or a Korean “one-room” apartment alone in the local community, or when working within the Korean educational system.
Grantees who successfully complete their awards and renew for another year have the option to live independently in a Korean one-room apartment.
Individuals with previous teaching experience (particularly those with a background in education) are encouraged to apply. Although teaching experience is preferred, it is not required. Those without teaching experience should demonstrate leadership abilities and the ability to interact well with children and youth. They should also explain how their experience as an ETA applies to their future goals.
Accepted Degree Levels
Special Application Instructions
Depending on school availability, ETA grantees may be at a school different from their preferred demographic. ETA candidates should not apply if they are unable to work in a demographic different from their preference.
All ETA grantees MUST pay for and receive a clean apostilled FBI criminal background check before arrival. Criminal background checks are a requirement of employment in schools in Korea.
Foreign Language Proficiency
No Korean language skills are required. However, as the ETA Orientation includes an approximately 100-hour intensive Korean language component, elementary self-study is expected prior to arrival. While ETAs teach classes in English, a commitment to Korean language learning before and during the grant greatly enhances an ETA’s quality of life in Korea and elevates their ability to interact with local community members.
- Elementary School
- Secondary School
- Vocational/Technical School
- Other Educational/Community Institution
Students in Korea begin their formal English education during Elementary School grades 3-6. Secondary Schools in Korea include Middle Schools (Grades 7-9) and High Schools (Grades 10-12), which may also include specialized schools for various vocations. A small number of ETAs may also be placed outside of schools in local academic or educational centers.
Fulbright grantees' preferences for placement location, school type, and other details will be considered. However, individuals should not apply for or accept this award unless they are committed to teaching in a placement that may differ from their preferences. All final decisions regarding ETA placements are made at the discretion of the Commission.
- Regional City
Applicants should not expect to be placed in or around major metropolitan areas; first-year ETA grantees will not be placed in Seoul and/or North Korean Defector (NKD) schools. ETAs should be open to teaching at any placement with the understanding that the Fulbright Korea program wishes to reach more underserved populations outside of metropolitan areas.
No research or independent study is required. ETA awards are not study/research awards, and teaching takes up most of the grantee's time. In applying, the Statement of Grant Purpose should focus on why the applicant wishes to teach English in Korea; how being an ETA is relevant to what they have done so far; what they would like to do in the future; and how the applicant will make their grant a memorable cultural experience. Applicants should understand that they will have little time for intensive internships or volunteer opportunities during the school year; in most cases, any long-standing interests in avenues not related to teaching will need to be partaken of during the summer break or after the grant year has ended.
Participating schools will make housing arrangements. KAEC will make every effort to ensure that host schools find appropriate housing for first-year grantees.
Difficulties in securing homestays in recent years have changed the homestay requirement for first-year ETA grantees. KAEC and the host school will do their best to house first-year ETAs in a homestay, but, it is not guaranteed that it will be provided.
MOST ETAs will live in a Korean homestay for a full year.
SOME ETAs will live in a Korean one-room apartment for a full year.
Applicants must be open to being placed in either housing situation. Individuals should not apply for or accept this award if they are not prepared for both the challenges that arise from an immersive experience in a Korean homestay and those that arise from living in a foreign country alone.
ETAs cannot be accompanied by dependents.
Visa Requirements/Dual Nationality
Health Disclosure & Eligibility
In compliance with the Korean Ministry of Education regulations regarding health and assignment in the school system, candidates must include any medical disclosures for the applicable medical conditions listed below in the medical examination forms provided by IIE and KAEC after being selected as Fulbright finalists. Strict adherence to these regulations is mandatory, and your grant is contingent on the ability to secure a school placement in South Korea. Any attempts to omit or falsify information are immediate grounds for grant withdrawal, suspension, termination, or revocation.
Individuals with the following conditions cannot be placed in Korean classrooms:
- Visual impairments (conditions that cannot be corrected by glasses/contact lenses)
- Hearing impairments above 40dB
In addition, selectees must also disclose the following conditions in their medical forms:
- Conditions worsened by stress such as: epilepsy, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.
- Severe food allergies including, but not limited to: nuts, shellfish, and beans
All teachers in Korea must undergo routine drug testing and medical health checks before and during employment. As such, ETAs must also pay for and receive a clean drug test and undergo a health check before they are allowed to come to Korea. They must submit all examination results, including tuberculosis testing results, with the Fulbright medical form. This medical documentation and all previously mentioned documentation are REQUIRED for all candidates who are awarded grants and must be covered at the grantee's expense.
A few grantees may be required by their local Board of Education or school to undergo a second health check in Korea to ensure that the ETA’s health is up to the local health employment standards. Regardless, all applicants who accept an ETA grant must undergo a health exam and drug test in the USA before departing for Korea.
ETAs may be required to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, or other vaccinations, as they are working directly with minors, a vulnerable population. Vaccination requirements are subject to change according to the requirements of the local governmental and educational offices.
Additional Note on Prescription Medication: Applicants with ongoing medical or health issues that need specific prescription medication should keep in mind that while Korea is an advanced country with world-renowned medical facilities, ETAs may be placed in rural settings where access to large medical centers or specific medications is not as prevalent. They should also note that in the case of chronic health conditions, they may need to visit the doctor's office independently.
Certain prescription drugs are considered controlled substances and are subject to the regulations established by the Korean Food and Drug Administration and the Korean Customs Service. While most medication in the USA can be found in Korea, some medication that is available in the USA is not approved in Korea. Applicants who anticipate needing to manage a condition with certain medications should consult their doctor and make informed decisions before applying for or accepting a grant.
Applicants who need prescription medication should also consult the US Embassy in Seoul’s American Citizen’s Services webpage regarding medical assistance AND the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (KFDA).
Fulbright Program Management Contact
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact
Additional Online Resources
U.S. Embassy and Consulate in South Korea: https://kr.usembassy.gov/
U.S. State Department Country Travel Information : https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/SouthKorea.html