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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. 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 are eligible to apply in the fall of your senior year.  If you are a graduate student, you are eligible as long as you will not have a PhD degree by the application deadline.

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 are eligible to apply. Non-enrolled applicants are encouraged to contact the Fulbright Program Adviser at their most recent alma mater to inquire if the institution can support alumni/ae through the application process. If not, non-enrolled applicants are welcome to apply at “at-large” candidates.

Non-enrolled applicant 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.

Please visit the Getting Started page for next steps.

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 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. 

FPA

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U.S. Faculty/Staff/Professionals

If you are a U.S. citizen and faculty or staff at a U.S. institution, or professional interested in applying, please visit the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Non U.S. Citizens

If you are a non-U.S. citizen interested in applying for a Fulbright Award to come 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 or Student Program.

South Korea

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20 English Teaching Assistant Award - Elementary

Accepted Degree Levels
Bachelor's
Master's
Grant Period
12 Months
PDO
No Pre-Departure Orientation
Grant Period

12 Months

The grant runs from early January 2022 until mid-December 2022.

Upon receipt of the Fulbright award, all English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) will be expected to complete a 120-hour TESOL course designated by the Korean Fulbright Commission (KAEC). ETAs will begin their grants in July 2021 with a six-week orientation program, which will consist of intensive Korean language study, training in ESL teaching techniques, and an overview of Korean culture and history. Renewals for up to two additional years are available and are awarded based upon satisfactory cultural adjustment and teaching performance.

Note on authorized leave time: An accepted grantee's first responsibility is to the Korean host school. There will be a period in the winter when the ETA will have vacation time. Grantees will receive 18 total working days of vacation during the winter and spring breaks.    

*Candidates must be aware that aside from the winter and spring breaks, they will not be permitted to travel outside the host country for interviews or vacations. Individuals should not apply for or accept this award unless they are able to commit to this academic schedule.

Pre-Departure Orientation

No Pre-Departure Orientation

Candidate Profile

Applicants should be well-rounded graduating seniors or recent graduates under 30 years of age. Applicants must have received an acceptable degree before the start of the grant year. Applicants 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 elementary school students. Moreover, candidates must give evidence of the ability to adapt and thrive in a variety of intensive cultural environments, such as living in a Korean homestay or a Korean “one-room” apartment alone in the local community and working within the Korean educational system.

Awardees who successfully complete their awards and renew for the second year have the option to live independently in a Korean one-room apartment.

Education majors (particularly those with a background in early childhood education) are encouraged to apply, but applicants from all majors will be considered. Non-education major ETAs should clearly demonstrate teaching abilities and the ability to interact well with children. They should also explain how their experience as an ETA applies to their future goals. ETAs cannot be accompanied by dependents.

Accepted Degree Levels

Bachelor's

Master's

Foreign Language Proficiency

Recommended - Novice

Additional Information: No Korean language skills are required. However, the summer ETA Orientation will include an approximately 100-hour intensive Korean language component, so some elementary self-study is expected prior to arrival. Not doing so will result in additional stress on the grantee during the orientation period. While classes are conducted in English, commitment to Korean language learning before and during the grant will greatly enhance an ETA’s quality of life in Korea. Applicants should demonstrate a clear interest in Korea and learning Korean. 

Placement Type

Elementary School

ETAs will primarily teach grades 3-6.

Fulbright grantees' preferences for placement location, school type, and other details will be considered. However, all final decisions regarding ETA placements are made at the discretion of the Commission.

Applicants should not expect to be placed in or around major metropolitan areas; first-year ETA grantees will not be placed in Seoul. 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.

Ineligibility

  • Candidates with dual U.S.-Republic of Korea citizenship will not be considered.
  • Candidates currently residing in Korea (or those who will be living there during the 2020-2021 academic year) will not be considered.

Special Application Instructions

In your Fulbright online application, for Award Name, please select the specific award you are applying for from the drop-down menu. Depending on school availability, ETA awardees may be at a school different from their preferred demographic. ETA applicants should not apply if they are unable to work in a demographic different from their preference. 

All ETAs MUST pay for and receive an apostilled FBI criminal background check before arrival. Criminal background checks are a requirement of employment in schools in Korea.

Nature of Assignment

First and foremost, ETAs should understand that the nature of the grant is a full-time teaching job and their duty is first 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 placement.

Co-Teaching/Independent Teaching: Individuals applying to work in a secondary school should be prepared to plan their own lessons and conduct class by themselves. Co-teaching and/or independent teaching situations will vary greatly from school to school. Some co-teaching situations will consist of co-teachers who only translate, others may consist of co-teachers who actively plan and lead the class together with the ETA. Co-teaching/Independent Teaching situations depend on the school's situation and the ETA's background and qualifications.

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 winter 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.

Independent Study/Research

No research or independent study is required for the ETA grant. 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 has some relevance to what they have done so far, what they would like to do in the future, and how to make it a memorable cultural experience. Applicants should understand that they will have little time to intern or volunteer during the school year and any long-standing interests in avenues not related to teaching will need to be partaken of during the winter break period in most cases.

TESOL/TEFL Certification

For the 2021-2022 Grant Cycle, KAEC will pay for TEFL certification.

All grantees will take an online 120-hour TESOL/TEFL course prior to arriving in Korea in early July in order to meet the Korean government’s requirement. Those already holding certificates/degrees are encouraged to apply and are not required to take the mandated certification course. The Fulbright Commission in Korea will provide TEFL certification and coordinate the TESOL course logistics after grant acceptance.

Housing

Participating schools will make housing arrangements. KAEC will make every effort to ensure that host schools find appropriate housing for first-year grantees.

Changes to the Mandatory Homestay Program: 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 you in a homestay, it is not guaranteed that it will be provided.

MOST ETAs will live in a Korean homestay for a full year.

However, 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 of an immersive experience in a Korean homestay and those that arise from living in a foreign country alone.

Visa Requirements/Dual Citizenship

Visa Requirements

All Fulbright U.S. Student Program grantees going to Korea MUST obtain an A-3 visa and enter the country on a U.S. passport. No other visa status will be accepted.

Dual Citizenship Advisory for Americans of Korean Descent

Candidates holding dual citizenship with Korea will NOT be permitted to undertake Fulbright Student grants to Korea.

Individuals who are of Korean descent (Korean-Americans, including Korean adoptees) may have dual U.S.-ROK citizenship unbeknownst to them or their families.

In April 2010, the Republic of Korea passed legislation that allows for dual citizenship, with differing rules for men and women. If you are Korean-American, you may have dual U.S.-ROK citizenship unbeknownst to you or your family. In order to confirm your dual citizenship status, you MUST contact the nearest Korean Embassy or Korean Consulate prior to submitting a Fulbright application.

A Korean-American applicant in the following circumstances is considered by the Republic of Korea to be a Korean citizen: 

  • A Korean-American individual whose father or mother was still a Korean citizen at the time of the individual's birth
  • A Korean-American individual whose father was a Korean national and was deceased at the time of the individual's birth     

Applicants who fall under either of the categories listed above MUST contact the nearest Korean Embassy or Consulate immediately and take due procedures to renounce their Korean citizenship. They should keep in mind that depending on the consulate, these procedures can take as long as six months to a year and as such should begin the process as soon as possible.

For individuals who received American citizenship through adoption (i.e., Korean adoptees), their Korean citizenship should have been automatically renounced six months after acquiring American citizenship. However, it has come to KAEC’s attention that Korean citizenship renunciation has not always been processed or finalized properly for adoptees. As such, those adopted from Korea also MUST contact the nearest Korean Embassy or Korean Consulate prior to submitting a Fulbright application to confirm their citizenship status.

It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to determine whether they have dual citizenship and how it impacts their eligibility for a Fulbright grant. If any individual is found to have dual citizenship at the time of or after grant acceptance, their award will be revoked.

In order to avoid cancellation of a Fulbright grant after an application has been submitted, reviewed, and potentially approved, KAEC requires that all Korean-American applicants provide written proof that they do not have Korean citizenship before they accept their grant award. This can be accomplished in only two ways, which are as follows:

  1. Submit written proof from the ROK Ministry of Justice declaring that the Korean-American applicant does not have Korean citizenship.
  2. Submit a formal document from the ROK Ministry of Justice declaring that the Korean-American applicant has successfully renounced their Korean citizenship.

Health Disclosure and Eligibility

In compliance with Korean Ministry of Education guidelines and regulations regarding health and employment in schools, all candidates must indicate in their applications if they have any medical conditions that could impair their abilities to teach English. Strict adherence to these regulations is MANDATORY. Any attempts to omit or falsify information are immediate grounds for revoking/terminating the grant. Fulbright applicants must include Medical Disclosures for applicable medical conditions at the end of the Statement of Grant Purpose.

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 to the aforementioned conditions, other conditions that must be disclosed include, but are not limited to:

  • 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 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, on the Fulbright medical form. This testing is REQUIRED for all candidates who are awarded grants.

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.

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.

Certain prescription drugs are considered controlled substances and 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 Service webpage regarding medical assistance AND the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (KFDA).

Dependents

Dependent support is not available.

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website

http://www.fulbright.or.kr

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact

Isabel Moua