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3 English Teaching Assistant Awards

Accepted Degree Levels
Grant Period
10 Months
Award Profile

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grants provide participants with the opportunity to assist in the teaching of English in American Spaces Tajikistan and immerse in the local culture. American Spaces are located throughout Tajikistan and serve as dedicated information centers that help introduce visitors to America's story. The American Spaces also serve as a platform for public diplomacy and English language programs, helping to build cultural bridges. The Tajikistan English Teaching Assistant Program seeks applicants who are able to be flexible while functioning in an under-resourced environment and who are eager to immerse in the local culture.

Grant Period

10 Months

Post-Arrival Orientation

Upon arrival in the country in late August, ETAs are placed with host families in Dushanbe in order to facilitate the process of settling in. They spend approximately one week in Dushanbe, during which they follow an orientation program set up by Embassy Dushanbe’s Public Affairs Section (PAS). ETAs obtain cell phones, learn about options for internet service plans, begin studying the language and generally acclimate themselves to the way of life in Tajikistan.  PAS registers the grantees with local authorities and often needs to begin work on extending the validity of their visas.

The Cultural Affairs Officer briefs the grantees regarding their work at their sites as well as their interaction with the Embassy. The grantees also receive briefings from the Medical Unit, the Consular Section and two briefings from the Regional Security Office (RSO).

The Medical Unit addresses issues of health and sanitation. This briefing describes some of the more common ailments that affect newcomers to Tajikistan, as well as best practices and resources available to them to safeguard their health. The grantees learn about food storage and preparation, how to shop wisely, issues of general sanitation and what to do if they become ill. Grantees are welcome to telephone the Medical unit for consultation while they are at their posts, should need arise.

The Consular Section gives a presentation on consular services available to all American citizens in Tajikistan. The Public Affairs Section requires grantees to join the warden system, by which Embassy Dushanbe can quickly and efficiently advise American citizens in the event of an emergency such as a seismic event, weather or other situation of which the Embassy believes American citizens should be aware. The warden system can be a faster and more efficient means of transmitting information than individual phone calls or e-mails. Further information is available at https://step.state.gov/step/

The first briefing from the RSO addresses issues of personal and physical safety. They discuss concerns about crime, hazardous driving conditions, inclement weather, and other circumstances that could potentially place a grantee in a risky situation. While the risk of violent crime in Tajikistan is low relative to many places, RSO nevertheless covers personal security measures grantees can take to improve their own personal safety. These include observing cultural and societal norms and expectations, maintaining positive relations within their host community, traveling during the day rather than at night, and advising Embassy of anticipated travel plans outside their host town. The RSO will also brief the grantee on emergency preparedness concerning weather events, natural disasters or political unrest.

The second briefing from the RSO (in conjunction with PAS) specifically covers the process of finding housing. With assistance from Embassy staff, grantees choose their own housing. In this briefing, a representative from the RSO advises grantees on criteria by which they may evaluate residences, specifically with regards to security, structural integrity, dependability of electricity and plumbing, properly sealing and locking doors and windows, etc. As soon as the grantee has chosen a residence, PAS assists in making the appropriate registration with local authorities. 

Arrival at Sites

After their orientation in Dushanbe, grantees are personally escorted to their sites.  An Embassy vehicle drives the grantees with all of their belongings, and a staff-member from PAS accompanies them. Upon arrival in their towns, the grantees are personally introduced to their counterparts, including the coordinator of the American Space and other local contacts. The grantees visit the American Space and its facilities, tour the town, and see several shopping and dining options. 

Grantees will stay at their respective sites through June 2020.

Pre-Departure Orientation


Grantees will be required to participate in a U.S.-based Pre-Departure Orientation in Washington DC in June 2019 as a condition of their grant.

Candidate Profile

Applications are welcome from articulate and flexible graduating seniors, recent graduates, or Master’s students who demonstrate a high level of maturity and the initiative to assistant-teach English at the secondary level. Candidates must be native English-speakers without dependents. Candidates with degrees in English, Education, or TEFL/applied linguistics are preferred, but candidates from all majors are welcome to apply. Some previous teaching/tutoring experience is preferred. 

Accepted Degree Levels



Foreign Language Proficiency

Recommended - Novice

At least a basic knowledge of spoken Tajik or Russian would be an advantage both in the classrom and in social circles, but is not required. Regardless of the grantees' language ability, the U.S. Embassy can provide initial language instruction during the week-long post-arrival orientation and highly recommends that grantees continue language study throughout their grant periods.

Placement Type

Other Educational Institution

U.S. Embassy does not place ETAs in Dushanbe with its abundance of resources and programming. ETAs will be placed in rural regions of Tajikistan that lack English language programming, with one of the following American Spaces from mid-September through June in accordance with Tajikistan’s academic year:

Candidates should take into account the nature of their potential placement -- rural regions several hours away from the capital city, with relative shortage of proper infrastructure, significantly more culturally concervative than Dushanbe, with cultural norms different from Western standards, and often lacking any representatives of Western cultures.

Special Application Instructions

As part of the selection process, the Fulbright Commission will invite a limited number of semi-finalists to participate in interviews via Skype. An invintation to an interview is a further step in the selection process and not a guarantee that the semi-finalist will be selected for the grant in Tajikistan.

Nature of Assignment

ETAs are placed at American Spaces, which are located throughout Tajikistan. ETAs serve as native speaker resources to often remote areas of Tajikistan and may work with underserved communities. All affiliation arrangements will be made by the Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan. ETAs will complete 20 hours per week of in-classroom assistant-teaching, including all class preparation time and additional school-related activities, at the American Space. ETAs will generally assist in teaching conversational English and some composition to school and university students and professionals at the American Spaces. Additional 5 hours per week ETAs will work extensively with Tajikistan’s English Access Microscholarship implementing partners. ETAs' workload will not exceed 25 hours per week.

Other Opportunities

Under the guidance of the Public Affairs Office, ETAs will also have the opportunity to participate in community outreach and cultural activities, such as directing reading and conversation groups at the secondary level, planning holiday events at the American Spaces, and assisting PAS with a variety of cultural and educational visitors. 


Public Affairs Section arranges for the grantees to look at several residential options upon arrival at the site. In most cases, the grantees will have chosen a residence within a day or two out of the housing options that were already used by previous grantees. The options usually consist of one or two bedroom apartments. The PAS staff member is available to assist grantees in negotiating with landlords, completing leases, and other issues that arise in the process of securing a place to live. Living conditions outside of urban areas tend to be harsh and without modern plumbing or electricity. Housing availability may be limited and may vary from site to site. Most placements lack conveniences such as air conditioning and good Internet connectivity.

Special Circumstances

Applicants must be prepared to deal with minor daily challenges such as occasional power outages, linguistic and cultural differences, uneventfulness of daily routines, lack of proper health care. Local attitudes toward gender and religion can be surprising and unsettling, and candidates should be prepared to negotiate these cultural differencies in their communities with maturity and diplomacy. Candidates are reminded to observe all security, safety, and health practices appropriate for a developing country.


Dependent support is not available

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website


Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact

Sitora Kasimova