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Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply.If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a U.S. college or university, you will apply through that institution, even if you are not currently a resident there. Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, will hold a bachelor’s degree by the award start date, and do not have a Ph.D. degree, then you are eligible to apply. Non-enrolled applicants should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 7 years or less) in which they are applying. Candidates with more experience should consider applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

The Getting Started page will provide information on eligibility and next steps.


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 7 years or less) in which they are applying. Artists with more experience should consider applying for the 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/Administrator

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

To support your students in applying for a U.S. Student Program award, please connect with the Fulbright Program Adviser at your institution.

Non U.S. Citizens

If you are a non-U.S. citizen interested in applying for a Fulbright Award to the United States, you will 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 or Fulbright Foreign Student Program.


30 Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation English Teaching Assistant Award

Accepted Degree Levels
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Grant Period
September Start
Grant Length
10 Months
Award Type
English Teaching Assistant
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 any field the opportunity to teach English in Bulgarian public high and middle 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 cooking clubs, 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 Length
10 Months
Grant Period
September Start

Grants begin on September 1, 2025 and end on July 1, 2026.

A week-long 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.

Prior to arrival in country, Fulbright Bulgaria staff and ETA alumni offer webinars and opportunities to discuss pre-departure concerns. The Commission also offers an online summer course in Bulgarian language and culture.

Grant Length: 10 months.

In-Country Orientation

A week-long in-country orientation in the beginning of September provides grantees with professional and cultural training as well as intensive basic Bulgarian language classes.

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. Previous experience in the region or country is not considered a disadvantage. 

The ideal applicant is committed to community engagement outside the classroom, willing to lead and take part in extra-curricular activities and clubs. Successful ETAs are self-starters who are proactive, resilient and seek flexible solutions to challenges. 

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, fluent English-speakers.


What is life like for Fulbrighters in the host country?

ETAs teach between 14 and 18 hours weekly, Monday to Thursday. Fridays are always free of any school duties, so ETAs can travel, bond with each other, and explore beautiful Bulgaria, the Balkans, and Europe. 

Classes in Bulgarian schools are often organized in two school shifts – morning (approx. 7:30 am to 2:00 pm) and afternoon (approx. 2:00pm to 7:00 pm), and ETAs may have classes in both, depending on the grades they teach. School-provided housing is usually a walking distance from school, especially in the smaller cities. Between classes ETAs are welcome to spend time in the teachers’ room socializing with colleagues from different departments or preparing their lessons. Technology such as projectors, interactive whiteboards, computer rooms or flatscreens are available in some classrooms but may need to be pre-booked by teachers. Not all schools are equipped with the same facilities and technology, so creativity and flexibility in lesson planning are encouraged. ETAs teach independently or with a co-teacher and may be expected to teach from a textbook or develop their own lesson content and classroom activities. 

ETAs are expected to also engage with their students and community outside of class. This can mean starting their own extracurricular activity, or leading an already existing club, usually once a week. Practices with the school’s BEST English speech and debate team can take a significant amount of time prior to the tournaments, which is something to be considered if the ETA is willing to serve as the team’s coach/assistant coach. ETAs often find ways to engage with their local communities by joining a local choir, dance group, hiking or running clubs, attending school concerts or cultural and sports events, often to support their students’ participation.

Quotes from AY 2023/2024 ETAs to Bulgaria:

“The year has gotten off to a great start! The students are great, the teachers have been very welcoming, and my mentor is amazing! I am confident that I will apply for a second year. I am loving it here & I do not want to leave! I spent the first month advertising a Book Club & got over 20 of my students to sign up (grades 8-12). Our first meeting was this Wednesday & we had an amazing turnout. It's great to see young people interested in reading! I chose the book Lord of the Flies because it's a good mixture of fiction, philosophy, & fantasy. It is also very accessible: a digital copy is available online in English, an audiotape is available on Youtube, and it is translated into Bulgarian.” Jonathan Phalen, Sofia.

"In terms of life in Montana, things have still been going fantastic. I am really enjoying further developing my relationship with the students. Coffee hours are still highly attended and the after-school programs I started with the assistance of the mini grant have blown me away. One of the programs we started is a chess club and the student who started it has added 10 students to the club. We plan to compete in some local chess tournaments around Montana. On the other hand, the intramural sports program has been a huge success. The student who started the intramural club has gotten over 30 students to join our first intramural soccer tournament. The tournament has seven teams participating and we even have student referees who officiate the matches! We had our first games this past Tuesday and it was so touching to see the excitement of the students. Not only were the students that were participating excited to play, but even a bunch of their peers showed up to watch the matches and cheer them on. Attached below is a video and an Instagram post highlighting the results of the soccer matches.” Eric Budd, Montana.

Here you can see some ETA-recorded videos about their work and life in Bulgaria:

Residency in host country permitted in year prior to grant
Dual citizens of this country are eligible
Degree Level of Applicant
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Special Application Instructions

While the core of our ETA program remains focused on high school teaching, the Commission continues to experiment with new models and partnerships with the goal of expanding the reach of the program. If you have experience and interest in working with elementary school students, teaching at the college/ university level, or teaching in underserved communities, please indicate this in your application in case such opportunities arise.

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-technical high 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. These positions differ from the standard ETA assignment in a number of ways: the students generally have a lower level of English mastery and may come from disadvantaged backgrounds, thus teachers may need to invest additional effort in lesson-planning and community engagement. Candidates for such positions should have previous English-language teaching experience, especially with lower-level learners, as the assignment may include both teaching at a vocational high 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 supplementary research proposal 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.

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. Grantees will be provided with basic language instruction in Bulgarian as part of an online summer course and during the in-country orientation. The Commission also provides support for continuing Bulgarian-language training during the grant period.

Placement Type
  • Middle School
  • Secondary School

Grantees will primarily be placed in high schools (grades 8-12), mostly schools with intensive English language instruction in cities and towns all over Bulgaria. In limited cases, ETAs might teach middle school students. Schools provide free housing for the ETAs. Assignments will depend on the respective schools' needs and will consist of 14-18 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 English 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 renewal awards are limited and not guaranteed.

Placement Locations
  • Regional City

ETAs in Bulgaria are primarily placed in mid-sized regional towns, with a few exceptions in larger or smaller communities. 

Supplementary Project

ETAs are expected to engage with their schools and communities outside of the classroom through clubs and community service activities. Successful examples include sports clubs, coffee and conversation clubs, arts and crafts clubs, music, dance and theater clubs, book clubs, English speech and debate, volunteering and community service, etc. The Commission offers mini-grants twice a year to support such activities. 

Award Benefits
  • A stipend broadly based on the cost of living in the host country. These funds may be used by the grantee to support housing, meals, and incidental costs during the grant period.
  • International travel benefits
  • Accident & sickness health benefits
  • 24/7 mental health support line for urgent and non-urgent situations
  • 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government
  • English language teaching preparatory course
Stipend Amount

This is an estimated amount and is subject to change. The financial terms of the grant will be confirmed in the grant document issued after selection.

1000 monthly stipend amount in
$ [US Dollar]
One-Time Allowances

This is an estimated amount and is subject to change. The financial terms of the grant will be confirmed in the grant document issued after selection.

  • Language training allowance
Additional Grant Benefits
  • Diplomatic pouch
  • Housing placement
  • Mid-year seminar

Free housing is provided by the host schools. 

Estimated Cost of Living

Consider using cost of living comparison websites to gain a better understanding of the potential costs in your host country.

Since ETAs receive free housing, the stipend is sufficient to cover utilities, living expenses and some recreational travel. While utility costs vary from place to place and from season to season, on average ETAs pay between $100 and $300 in total per month for water, electricity, heating, phone and internet. Food prices are generally very reasonable. Please see this link for current prices:

Dependent financial support is NOT available

Dependents are allowed to accompany grantees, but the Commission does not provide additional financial support. The grantee is responsible for all dependent travel and living expenses. If school provided housing cannot accommodate dependents, grantees can choose to move to different housing at their expense. 

Housing Arrangements

ETAs are provided with private apartments free-of-charge by their host schools, but they are responsible for covering utility costs. All apartments are furnished with the basics (bed, wardrobe, table and chairs, sofa, etc.) and equipped with working household items and appliances, such as a stove, a washing machine, a refrigerator, a vacuum cleaner, heating units. Pets are not allowed in school-sponsored housing.

Fulbright Program Management Contact
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website
Grant Benefits

Grant benefits include:

  • Monthly stipend – $1,000 per month
  • Round-trip air travel allowance – $2,000
  • Relocation and incidentals allowance – $1,000
  • Bulgarian language learning stipend - $500
  • Health benefit plan (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.

Bulgaria Country Overview

A mountainous country of seven million people located in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria boasts a rich archaeological heritage and vibrant artistic culture, including its unique folk music and dance traditions as well as contemporary literary and performance practices. Thanks to its striking natural landscape, rich agricultural roots, and four-season climate, Bulgaria is an increasingly popular destination for outdoor and culinary tourism. Bulgaria also has a strong ICT and start-up sector, based primarily in Sofia, and some Bulgarian companies have started receiving international recognition for their innovations.

Bulgaria has a relatively homogenous majority population of Slavic-speakers who traditionally identify as Orthodox Christian; however, the country is also home to Turkish and Roma communities and has a sizeable Muslim minority (more than 10%). While Bulgarians are known for their warm hospitality, some communities may hold conservative views and may not have extensive experience interacting with foreigners. Younger Bulgarians often have solid levels of English-language competence thanks to access to digital and online resources, while older generations, who had limited access to English instruction under communism, may have studied Russian, German or French instead.

Since the fall of communism in 1989, Bulgaria has been a parliamentary democracy, joining the EU in 2007. Although Bulgaria has the lowest standard of living in the EU and struggles with challenges such as emigration/brain-drain and rule-of-law issues, the country has nevertheless generally been politically and economically stable. All applicants are urged to consult the most recent State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices, which offers the most exhaustive and up-to-date description of political, social and cultural trends in Bulgaria.


Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact
Iliana Dimitrova:
Additional Online Resources