16 English Teaching Assistant Award
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodSeptember Start
Grant Length10 Months
The Slovak Fulbright Commission offers 16 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Awards to Slovakia. The ETA Program gives U.S. college graduates at Bachelor's level or higher a unique opportunity to spend a whole school year at Slovak high school assisting with teaching the English language and immersing in a vibrant central European cultural environment. Thus, ETAs can acquire invaluable intercultural, professional, and life experience, and make a genuine impact in local communities in Slovakia.
The ETA's primary role is to assist with teaching the English language at Slovak high school for a maximum of 15 to 18 hours per week. Grantees will work with permanent teaching staff in providing guidance on vocabulary and conversation practice and improve students' English language abilities and knowledge of the U.S. culture. After mutual agreement with their host school and after they become fully accustomed to the classroom environment, ETAs can start to teach individually. ETAs are allowed to teach or co-teach English classes only, such as conversation classes, writing exercises, lectures on US literature, culture, holidays, history, geography, and/or after-school activities focused on practicing grammar and speaking skills. They are not allowed to teach any specialized subjects lectured in English, i.e. Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc.
In addition to serving as linguistic models in a classroom of English instruction, ETAs are also a valuable resource for first-hand information about American culture, traditions, and society, and are informal ambassadors of the U.S. In this capacity, ETAs contribute substantially to the promotion and fostering of mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and Slovakia.
Candidates for ETA Award to Slovakia can have background studies preferably in Teaching English as a second language, American Studies, American Literature, History, Arts, English, Political Science, International Relations, and International Education. However, applicants from all majors are encouraged to apply.
The school year officially starts on September 2, 2024, and ends on June 27, 2025.
The exact start date of the grant will be determined by agreement with the respective host school and in accordance with the school calendar. ETAs are expected to start to perform their teaching duties on the first day of the school year and end their duties on the last day of the school year.
The school year at Slovak high schools is divided into two terms. The first term runs from September to February, and the second term runs from February to June. During the year, there are several breaks – fall break (end of October/beginning of November), winter break (around Christmas time), spring break (February/March; exact dates vary depending on a region), Easter break (around Easter holidays) and summer break (July and August).
No Pre-Departure Orientation
Upon the arrival of ETAs in Slovakia in late August/September, the Commission organizes a mandatory 5-day orientation seminar in the capital of Bratislava to introduce them to the country, its specifics, and culture and provides grantees with training on methodology and strategies in teaching English at Slovak secondary schools, a crash course in the Slovak language, and some networking and social activities.
ETAs also participate in a 4-day mandatory mid-year conference hosted by the Commission in late January/early February where grantees share their experience and best practices and meet new grantees coming to Slovakia for the Spring semester. The venue of the conference is outside the capital of Bratislava and it might change every year (last year's conference took place in Trenčianske Teplice, a small spa town in Western Slovakia).
ETAs can be occasionally invited to attend events hosted by the Commission or the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava (receptions, meet-ups in American centers, seminars, workshops, conferences, or webinars) as well as other cultural events. The grantees will also have the opportunity to participate in various enrichment activities and seminars organized by other Fulbright Commissions in Europe, such as Media Literacy, EU-NATO seminar, Future of Democracy. Host schools are expected to release grantees from their duties for the events mentioned.
There is no pre-departure orientation for the ETAs held in the U.S. before their departure. However, the Slovak Fulbright Commission organizes an introductory Q&A webinar for ETAs before they arrive in Slovakia.
Qualified candidates at all graduate degree levels and all fields of study will be considered. Preference might be given to candidates who are interested in teaching TEFL/Applied Linguistics, American Studies, American Literature, Arts, Political Science, International Relations, and International Education, and to those candidates who plan to pursue a career in education. Graduates in STEM disciplines with teaching experience will be also considered.
Previous teaching experience or experience working with young students is welcomed but not required. Previous experience in the region or country is not considered a disadvantage.
Candidates should be open-minded, enthusiastic, highly motivated, dedicated, resilient, adaptable, and flexible individuals to successfully work with a team of teachers in different classroom settings. Candidates should enjoy working with young students and demonstrate initiative and eagerness to engage with the local community. Serving as an ETA in Slovakia for 10 months will give grantees a chance to develop English teaching and other professional skills while learning about Slovak culture, people, and history.
Candidates must be citizens or nationals of the United States of America at the time of application (permanent residence is not sufficient).
Dual citizens of the U.S. and Slovakia, or U.S. citizens currently residing in Slovakia are ineligible for consideration.
Candidates with dual U.S./other country citizenship may be accepted for a Fulbright grant to Slovakia but must always enter Slovakia on their U.S. passports and must have permanent residence in the U.S.
Accepted Degree Levels
Foreign Language Proficiency
Additional Information: Candidates must be native English speakers. Slovak language proficiency is not a requirement. Hence, some study of the Slovak language before arrival is encouraged to promote deeper engagement and the grantee's integration within the host community.
The in-country orientation held in late August/September will include a crash course in the Slovak language to equip grantees with basic Slovak phrases, greetings, and questions. Grantees can enroll in the Summer School of Slovak Language and Culture Studia Academica Slovaca, held in Bratislava during the summer. The Commission can partially cover the tuition fees for summer school. Grantees can also sign up for an e-learning portal offering courses in Slovak to help them acquire basic language skills before they arrive: https://www.e-slovak.sk/
- Secondary School
- Vocational/Technical School
Grantees are placed as assistant teachers in English classes at all types of Slovak secondary schools. Unlike in the U.S., there are several types of high schools in Slovakia: Gymnázium is a high school with advanced classes providing rather general education to prepare students for further studies at colleges and universities. Some gymnáziums offer 8-year programs that combine lower and upper secondary education and students start this program in the 6th grade after they finish the first stage of elementary school. The level of English of students studying at gymnáziums is generally very high, ranging from upper-intermediate to advanced.
Other types of schools include technical and vocational schools specializing in business, nursing, preschool education, agriculture, or fine arts and design. Students at these schools usually have their English skills at the level of beginner or elementary users, but business schools can also have students at the intermediate level. Schools specializing in nursing and preschool education have a majority of students of the female gender. Students studying at high schools specializing in technical fields, such as electrical engineering, civil engineering, and information and communications technologies are predominantly of the male gender. Special types of secondary schools are bilingual English-Slovak high schools where students' level of English is almost on proficiency level. Students finish high schools with a school-leaving exam called maturita. The exam consists of two parts – written and oral exam. After obtaining the maturita certificate, students can apply for university studies in Slovakia or abroad.
Placements of ETAs are determined by the Commission in cooperation with the Ministry of Education based on the project priorities, qualifications, and experience of ETAs and the needs of host schools to find the right match between the ETA and the host school. Preference is given to public schools and schools in smaller cities that have limited opportunities to communicate in English with native speakers. Details about placements and host schools are communicated to the grantees in mid-April. Through direct communication with the host schools, the grantees are to develop and agree on the specifics of their teaching duties (such as the number of classes, number of students in each class, student's level of English, teaching materials and textbooks, syllabi, and topics to be covered by an ETA), and other details associated with their stay, such as accommodation, local transportation, local cultural and social events, church services, etc. Each host school can tailor ETA's teaching duties to its language teaching needs and will assign ETA a mentor teacher. ETAs are also encouraged to discuss potential extracurricular activities such as leading clubs, community service, or volunteer projects.
Positions require teaching or co-teaching for 15 to 18 hours per week. The classes are 45-minute periods of length with 10 minutes breaks. English classes usually consist of smaller groups of 12 – 15 both female and male students. The age group of students is usually 15 to 19 years old, or 13 to 19 at high schools offering 8-year programs. Grantees will be generally placed in small to medium-sized cities in all regions of Slovakia and outside the capital of Bratislava.
- Capital City
- Regional City
Slovakia is situated in the heart of Central Europe. It is a small country divided into eight regions with rich history, traditions, beautiful scenery, and high-quality culture.
ETAs are placed all around the country, following the rule that there is at least one ETA in each region. Grantees are usually placed outside of Bratislava and in medium-sized and smaller cities. They are assigned placements to secondary schools based on information in their application, such as major and/or minor field of study, sports activities, interest in volunteer activities, and tutoring experience.
Grantees cannot directly request or influence their placement; the Commission makes the final decision on the appropriate placement for every grantee.
Slovakia, the country between the Danube river and the Tatra mountains, is one of the youngest states in Europe but its culture and traditions have a long-established history. Known for its national parks, scenic hiking trails, hundreds of caves, rich folk culture, thermal and mineral waters springs, and modern entertainment in bigger cities, Slovakia has a lot to offer to outdoor addicts, and history enthusiasts, as well as food lovers. Slovakia’s location in Central Europe makes the country a perfect base from which to explore the region and the whole Europe. For more details about the country, the school system, and other useful information, please visit the section About Slovakia on the Commission's website.
Grantees are encouraged to engage in community-building activities and participate in volunteer projects, extracurricular activities, and clubs (such as sports clubs, musical clubs, theater clubs, reading clubs, etc.) to further engage with their school and local communities. Grantees will also be offered the opportunity to participate in the Commission's outreach efforts promoting U.S. higher education through EducationUSA services or invited to give talks related to American studies for the public.
Grantees are responsible for arranging their housing by themselves. However, the host schools assist them to find suitable accommodation and provide advice and support when settling in. Taking into consideration their needs, living standards, and finances, grantees can decide to live in school dormitories (if the host school provides this option) or rent an apartment. The monthly rent differs, depending on the type of accommodation and placement. School dormitories are the most affordable type of accommodation, sometimes provided free of charge for ETAs. Rent in bigger cities is higher than in smaller towns. Private apartments in Slovakia are usually furnished with basic equipment (bed, wardrobe, table, chairs, stove, refrigerator). The Commission provides grantees with a monthly stipend sufficient to cover housing, as well as food, and daily needs.
Direct financial support for dependents is not available.
The Commission will assist dependents to obtain a national visa to join grantees during their grant. This visa is exempt from all visa fees. Dependents are also invited to participate in some of the grant-related activities for the ETAs, such as the in-country orientation, mid-year conference, and other cultural events organized by the Commission.
Before traveling to Slovakia, Fulbright U.S. grantees must apply for a national visa at the Slovak Embassy in Washington, D.C., or at the Slovak Consulate in New York City. This visa is exempt from all visa fees. The Commission will instruct grantees on how to apply for a national visa in a timely manner.
The standard grant benefits planned for the academic year 2024 – 2025 include the following (please note these may be subject to change):
Monthly stipend – $1,300 per month
- Professional allowance (intended to cover expenses to obtain visas) – $300 to 500 depending on the permanent residency
- Round-trip air travel allowance – $1,500
The stipend is disbursed in USD as specified in the Terms and Conditions of the Award. The EUR amounts are subject to slight changes due to currency fluctuations and exchange rates. Information on the cost of living in Slovakia can be found here.
Fulbright Program Management Contact
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact
Additional Online Resources
About Slovakia (country overview and school system): https://www.fulbright.sk/en/about-slovakia
Fulbright Slovakia Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FulbrightSlovakia
Fulbright Slovakia Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/FulbrightSlovakia
Fulbright Slovakia YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4UQsVS87VQK97EM_JgEWtA/featured
Fulbright Slovakia LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fulbright-slovakia