4 English Teaching Assistant Award
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodSeptember Start
Grant Length10 Months
As unofficial cultural ambassadors, Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs) live and teach English mainly in cities throughout the Kyrgyz Republic. Through their exchange, these Americans form powerful and enduring people-to-people ties with Kyrgyzstani students, colleagues, and community members.
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE FOR FULBRIGHTERS IN YOUR COUNTRY?
Natural, cultural, and culinary wonders await you in the Kyrgyz Republic!
The Kyrgyz Republic, sometimes called the "Switzerland of Asia," boasts unparalleled natural beauty, fresh produce and dairy, and a warm and welcoming culture. With highly-motivated students and enthusiastic faculty, it is an ideal country to spend a year teaching and researching. The country hosts relatively few Americans, making our Fulbrighters instant family among their colleagues and students. Our U.S. participants regularly give lectures and trainings across the country at the American Spaces and other universities and collaborate with their Kyrgyzstani counterparts. They also receive invitations from students and faculty to attend local holiday celebrations and weddings - unforgettable experiences with festive food and dancing.
Kyrgyzstani citizens have worked to build an open and democratic society in the heart of Central Asia. Slightly smaller than South Dakota, the Kyrgyz Republic borders China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The country known for its unique felt crafts, traditional oral legends, its postcard perfect mountains, the world’s largest natural-growth walnut forest, and endangered species, including the snow leopard and Marco Polo sheep.
In their free-time, our Fulbrighters take advantage of accessible hiking, mountain biking, mountain climbing, skiing, horseback riding, ice skating, camping, bird-watching, and swimming on the pristine Lake Issyk-Kul. Fulbrighters also enjoy attending nomadic sports matches, concerts featuring traditional Kyrgyz instruments, recitations of the epic "Manas" poem, traditional Turkish and Russian spas, and cooking and felting classes. Many take Kyrgyz or Russian lessons as well! From fresh baked naan bread and pastries at the bazaar, to excellent and inexpensive international and national restaurants (Kyrgyz, Georgian, Italian, American, Japanese, Korean, Turkish etc.), the country's culinary offerings cater to every palate. You won't go hungry! Fulbrighters generally rent apartments (both new builds and Soviet-era units) within walking, bus, or biking distance of their host institutions. And, on winter break, our participants have traveled to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to see historic silk road sites.
The U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic's Public Diplomacy Section supports participants on every step of their Fulbright journey - from detailed pre-departure and in-country orientations, to coordination with host institution counterparts on housing, teaching, and visa issues. We are committed to helping you take full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
September through June. ETAs will arrive in early September to participate in an orientation in Bishkek, prior to teaching. Additional Russian/Kyrgyz language classes are available throughout the grant period. ETAs will begin teaching in their respective universities from September through May in accordance with the Kyrgyz Republic's academic year.
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 teach English at the secondary level. Successful candidates must be articulate, fluent English speakers and 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
Basic knowledge of Kyrgyz or Russian is recommended, but not required. Grantees are provided with a stipend to study a local language while in-country as part of their grant benefit.
- Vocational/Technical School
- University/Post-Secondary Institution
- Capital City
- Regional City
Previous placements have included Bishkek, Osh, and Tokmok. All affiliation arrangements will be made by the Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Embassy.
Housing arrangements will be made with the assistance of the host university, with involvement from the Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic if necessary. Upon arrival, ETAs will stay in a hotel for 3-4 days before moving into an apartment.
Nature of Assignment
Placements: Previous placements have included Bishkek, Osh, and Tokmok. All affiliation arrangements will be made by the Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Embassy.
Host Placement Responsibilities and Expectations: ETAs will complete 20 hours per week of in-classroom teaching, including all class preparation time and additional school-related activities at their host institution. ETAs will generally assist in teaching conversational English with a Kyrgyzstani co-teacher to university students and professionals at the host institutions.
Additional Responsibilities: Under the guidance of PDS, ETAs will also have the opportunity to participate in community outreach and cultural activities, such as directing reading and conversation groups at an American Space, working with English Access Microscholarship Students, and assisting PDS with a variety of cultural and educational activities. ETAs are encouraged to propose creative ideas for programming to engage students and other audiences, which should account for at least five hours of additional teaching or cultural outreach per week.
Alumni and participants of other U.S. Government-sponsored programs, such as the English Language Fellows program, will act as local mentors, as available. Additional resources for ETAs include strong English-teaching associations in country.
The Embassy’s Public Affairs Section views English Language as a key tool to counter disinformation and provide access to information. ETAs are involved in a wide scope of English teaching activities that reach beyond the classroom and illustrate engaging ways that teachers and students can learn English. ETAs are involved in the annual I Love English Video Contest as judges and mentors; the annual countrywide American Song Contest for university and secondary students as judges; and also lend imagination and creativity to cultural events around the country that want to highlight American culture, holidays, and historical figures. ETAs with specific interest in STEM may find themselves involved in mentoring TechGirls, young students interested in STEM or even the burgeoning Satellite Girls program in Kyrgyzstan which aims to build the Kyrgyz Republic's first CubeSat to be launched into space.
ETAs may also elect to register for a course at the “Lingua” school, a teacher-training center in Bishkek, to improve their teaching skills.