6 English Teaching Assistant Award
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodAugust Start
Grant Length10 Months
The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) grants provide participants with the opportunity to assist in the teaching of English and American culture in Tajikistan's American Spaces, as well as immerse in the local culture. Eight 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 can be flexible while functioning in an under-resourced environment and who are eager to immerse in the local culture.
Upon arrival in the country in late August, ETAs are placed with host families in Dushanbe to facilitate the process of settling in. They spend approximately two weeks in Dushanbe, during which time they follow an orientation program set up by Embassy Dushanbe’s Public Affairs Section (PAS). ETAs will 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 starts working on extending the validity of their visas, if necessary.
The Cultural Affairs Officer briefs the grantees regarding their work at the various American Space sites as well as their interaction with the Embassy. The grantees also receive briefings from the Medical Unit, the Consular Section, and 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. The Medical Unit can provide information on reliable and/or English-speaking clinics and medical providers.
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 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. Also, 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 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 2024.
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 and other courses at the secondary level. Candidates must be fluent 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
Special Application Instructions
As part of the selection process, Post will invite a limited number of semi-finalists to participate in virtual interviews. An invitation 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.
Foreign Language Proficiency
At least a basic knowledge of spoken Tajik or Russian would be an advantage both in the classroom 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 post-arrival orientation and grantees are provided with a stipend to study a local language while in-country as part of their grant benefit.
- Other Educational/Community Institution
U.S. Embassy places ETAs in American Spaces in both the capital city of Dushanbe as well as more rural regions that typically lack English language programming. ETAs will be placed in 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 conservative than Dushanbe, with cultural norms different from Western standards, and often lacking any representatives of Western cultures.
- Capital City
U.S. Embassy places ETAs in American Spaces in both the capital city of Dushanbe as well as more rural regions that typically lack English language programming. Refer to Placement Type section for the list of placement cities.
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.
Nature of Assignment
ETAs are placed at American Spaces, which are located throughout Tajikistan. The ETAs will often serve as native speaker resources to 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. The ETAs will complete 20 hours per week of in-classroom 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. Courses may include teaching conversational English, grammar, and composition to school and university students as well as professionals. The ETAs will also lead clubs on activities representing American Culture as determined by their individual interests and American Space programming needs. In recent years, these clubs have included robotics, STEM clubs, sport clubs, art and music clubs, Girl's Club, and others. For an additional five hours per week ETAs will work extensively with Tajikistan’s English Access Microscholarship implementing partners or other similar projects. The ETAs' workload will not exceed 25 hours per week.