Instructions for English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Recommendation Writers

The Fulbright Application Deadline is October 9, 2018 at 5pm Eastern Time Eastern Time. All recommendation forms MUST be submitted through the Embark online system by this time and date. No exceptions.

Recommendation Instructions

If you are not familiar with the Fulbright U.S. Student Program please visit: The most useful sections for recommenders are Application Components and the Country Summary for the applicant’s proposed host country.

The Fulbright Program requires the submission of an ETA Recommendation Form and not a letter of recommendation for ETA applicants. Please note that the Fulbright Program will not accept recommendation letters for ETA candidates.

To help prepare your responses to the recommendation form’s questions, you may view a Sample ETA Recommendation Form.

The Fulbright Program requires that recommendations be submitted in the Embark Fulbright Online Application system. Recommendations must be submitted through the Embark system because the screening committees will only have access to recommendations submitted electronically.

In completing the recommendation form, keep in mind that the applicant will be serving as a cultural ambassador representing the United States and that personal suitability, as well as academic excellence, is an important criterion to be considered.  The ETA applicant should provide you with the Fulbright Statement of Grant Purpose and the Personal Statement. 


Summary of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program

Fulbright ETA’s are not responsible for designing curricula or teaching full courses. Rather they serve, under supervision, at their assigned placements and will be expected to develop and carry out a variety of learning activities, make presentations on U.S. culture and society, and/or assist faculty in an English Language Department with their teaching responsibilities, as needed.

Facility with and knowledge of English usage, grammar, spelling, and writing is also important. You may be able to comment on the applicant’s abilities in those areas from tests or papers they have prepared for your course or from formal presentations, classroom discussion or individual interviews with the applicant.

In addition, some countries request that applicants describe an academic or other project or activity that they would pursue concurrent with the ETA assignment. This is a secondary component of the grant and may provide insight into the applicant's interest in the host country, academic or career interests, and/or suitability for the ETA program.


Factors for Consideration

In formulating responses for the ETA Recommendation Form, consider the following general characteristics of Fulbright U.S. Student ETA Programs. Generally, English Teaching Assistants:

  • Are placed in elementary or secondary schools or universities outside of capital cities, depending on the country. Please consult the individual Country Summary for a description of the ETA program there.
  • Are assigned various activities designed to improve the host country students' capabilities in spoken and written English as well as to enhance their knowledge of the United States. Clear, precise diction and demonstrated grammar skills should be a factor in evaluation.
  • Are fully integrated into the host community, increasing their own language skills and knowledge of the host country.
  • May pursue individual study/research or engage in community activities, in addition to ETA responsibilities.


Steps to submit the ETA Recommendation Form

  • Once the applicant has registered you as a recommender, an email will be sent to you from the Embark Online Recommendation system with the student’s name will be in the subject line. If you do not receive this email, please let the applicant know or email Tech Support directly, and tell them the name and email address of the applicant and your name and email address.
  • Login to the recommendation system using the link sent to you in the Embark email.
  • You will see a page with the names of applicants who have listed you as a recommender in the Fulbright Embark Online Application System.
  • Following the steps in the online system, enter your responses directly into the ETA Recommendation Form.
  • The final step is to submit the recommendation. Before you click Submit, be sure that this is the information that you wish to have reviewed by screening committees in the U.S. and abroad. Once you submit the recommendation, you will not have access to edit or change it.
  • A confirmation email will be sent to the recommender and applicant once the recommendation form has been submitted. 

Note: Only recommendations submitted via the Embark Fulbright Online Application System will be reviewed.

The applicant will provide you with the date the recommendation is due.  For currently enrolled candidates or alumni applying through their alma mater, this date will be earlier than the national Fulbright application deadline. Recommendation submitted after the campus deadline may not be considered and could affect the candidate’s eligibility.