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Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program 2025
Application deadline: March 15, 2024
19 MINUTE READ
February 2, 2024

The U.S. Department of State and IREX announce a program for outstanding international secondary-level schoolteachers to come to the U.S. for a six-week professional development opportunity. The Fulbright TEA Program seeks to:

  • Equip teachers with a deeper understanding of best practices in teaching methods, content-based instruction, project-based learning, lesson planning, and instructional technology.
  • Create among educators a more nuanced understanding of the U.S.
  • Develop productive and lasting relationships and mutual understanding between U.S. and international teachers and their students.
  • Contribute to improved teaching in participating countries and communities by preparing participants to serve as stronger teacher leaders who, upon returning home, will apply and share their experience and skills with their peer sand students.
  • Make U.S. students more aware of other countries around the world through interaction with international teachers.

2025 PROGRAM OVERVIEW FOR INTERNATIONAL TEACHERS

Program Overview

The Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (Fulbright TEA) is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Fulbright program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by former United States Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas. Since its inception in 1946, more than 400,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the Fulbright program. Eligible countries for the Fulbright TEA Program Media Literacy program are Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Bank/Gaza, Zambia.

Teachers are nominated to participate in the Fulbright TEA Program based on their educational experience, academic training, leadership and professional experience. Final selection of Fulbright TEA teachers is made by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB). The FFSB is an independent, presidentially appointed board that has oversight responsibility for all Fulbright academic exchange programs.

ELIGIBLE TEACHING DISCIPLINES ARE:
  • English or English as a Foreign Language (EFL)
  • Math
  • Science
  • Foreign Language
  • Social Studies (civics, history, geography, global studies, media studies, and law, etc.)
  • Journalism
  • Communications
  • Special Education in the disciplines listed above
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applicants must:

Be current secondary school-level*, full-time teachers of English, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), math, science, foreign language, social studies, journalism, or communications, including special education teachers in those subjects at an institution serving primarily a local population;

  • Have earned a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent;
  • Have completed at least three years of full-time teaching by the start of the program, with a preference for those who have completed at least five or more years of full-time teaching;
  • Be a current citizen and resident of a participating country at the time of application and of program participation;
  • Earn a minimum score of 450 on the paper based TOEFL or an equivalent English language examination**;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to continue teaching after completion of the program; and
  • Have submitted a complete application.

*Secondary-level teachers include both middle and high school teachers serving students between approximately 12 and 18 years of age. Teachers responsible for teaching additional grade levels must teach middle or high school students more than 50% of their work time in order to be eligible for the program. The most competitive applicants will have shown evidence of leadership in their schools or districts.

**A limited number of participants with TOEFL scores between 425 and 450 or equivalent may be accepted into a special cohort of the program with additional English language training provided.

Former participants of the Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Program, the International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP), the Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program, the Partners in Education (PiE) program, or Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers Program are not eligible to apply.

Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement (Fulbright TEA) Program Application

While alumni of some teacher exchange programs funded by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and other professional exchange programs in the United States are eligible to apply for Fulbright Teacher Exchange Programs, preference will be given to applicants who completed these programs at least three years before the start of the program for which they are applying and can demonstrate that the program has had significant impact on their professional practice. In those cases, Posts and Commissions are asked to provide a justification for any candidates with previous Fulbright teacher grants or previous professional experience in the United States. Preference will be given to qualified candidates who have not previously had a Fulbright and to those who have not had substantial recent experience in the United States (defined by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board as study, teaching, research or employment for a total period of nine months during the past five years).

If you have participated in other U.S. government-funded professional development exchange programs, please contact the Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy in your country to inquire about your eligibility.

A candidate who has resided in the United States for five or more consecutive years in the six-year period preceding the date of application is ineligible for a grant. A candidate who has lived in the United States for nine months or more during a calendar year is deemed to have resided abroad for that year.

Applicants with Advanced Degrees from the United States are eligible to apply for Fulbright Teacher Exchange programs. Preference will be given to those who completed their degree at least 8 years ago. Posts and Commissions are asked to provide justification as to why candidates with advanced degrees from the United States should be selected for Fulbright TEA.

Applicants with PhDs from their home countries are eligible to apply for Fulbright Teacher Exchange programs, but if you have a PhD in topics that are the focus of Fulbright TEA, this program is likely not suitable for you.

The Fulbright TEA Program is an upper-level university or graduate level academic program for practicing teachers. Educational administrators (such as representatives or officials of the Ministry of Education) and school administrators who do not teach at least fifty percent of their time, full-time teacher trainers, university faculty, private English Language tutors, and teachers from schools primarily serving expatriates are not eligible.

Staff or families of staff at a U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission are not eligible to apply.

Current IREX employees and consultants and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings) are not eligible to compete in any IREX-implemented grant programs, either as individuals or as the responsible party representing an institutional applicant.

The Fulbright TEA Program promotes diversity in the classroom and in learning. The Fulbright TEA Program supports inclusion and strongly encourages teachers with disabilities to apply.

ECA and IREX prohibit all forms of discrimination or harassment against applicants on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, religion or belief, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, pregnancy-related condition, marital or civil partnership status, military or veteran status, genetic information, victim of domestic violence or assault, personal appearance, family responsibilities, political affiliation, matriculation, or any other characteristic or status protected by law.

APPLICATIONS NOT MEETING THE ABOVE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS WILL NOT BE FORWARDED TO THE SELECTION COMMITTEE.

IREX reserves the right to verify all the information included in the application. In the event that there is a discrepancy or information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible.

Program Components

Teachers who are selected to participate in the Fulbright TEA Program will:

  1. Take part in tailored graduate-level seminars at a U.S. host university.
  2. Observe classes, co-teach, and share their expertise with U.S. colleagues in U.S. secondary schools.
  3. Engage in an online professional learning community with other participants to share best practices and other elements of host and home country educational systems; and
  4. Take part in other educational and cultural activities while on program in the United States.
  5. Upon returning home, teachers will share the knowledge and experience gained on the program with teachers and students in their home schools and communities.

University Coursework:

Weekly Seminars: Teachers will participate in weekly seminars at their host university featuring presentations and discussions led by university staff, faculty members, and invited educational experts. The Fulbright TEA Program provides academic seminars focusing on new teaching methodologies, student-centered learning, content-based instruction, lesson planning, and instructional technology training for teachers.

U.S. School Placements: The program will also include a practicum of at least 40 hours with a U.S. partner teacher in a secondary school near the host university to actively engage participants in the U.S. classroom environment. Cultural enrichment, mentoring, and support will be provided to participants throughout the program.

Online Professional Learning Community: Each Fulbright teacher will participate in a virtual community with other international educators to collaborate and share best practices about education and leadership in the participating countries.

 PROVISIONS OF THE FELLOWSHIP

  • J-1 visa support;
  • A pre-departure orientation held in participant’s home country;
  • Round-trip airfare to and within the U.S.;
  • Academic program fees;

Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement (Fulbright TEA) Program Application

  • Housing and meals;
  • Accident and sickness health care coverage;
  • Transportation to the practicum school (as needed);
  • A daily allowance for incidentals during the university academic program;
  • A baggage allowance;
  • A workshop in Washington, D.C.; and
  • The opportunity for alumni in good standing to apply for alumni small grants

SELECTION PROCESS AND CRITERIA

Fulbright TEA participants will be selected through a merit-based open competition based on eligibility and the criteria below. Top candidates will be interviewed by an interview panel and must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or equivalent English test or provide valid results from within the past year (test date no earlier than May 2023).

Selection Criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to teaching in the field of secondary education;
  • Demonstrated leadership potential;
  • Professional and educational experience and achievements;
  • Potential for developing long-term linkages between U.S. and home country educational institutions and schools;
  • Preparedness (including maturity, flexibility, and ability to function independently) for an intensive U.S.-based training program with very limited free time for personal travel or sightseeing;
  • Willingness and capacity to work and live collaboratively with international peers to foster a positive learning community for professional development;
  • Articulated ideas for applying program experience to improving secondary education in the home country or territory;
  • Ability to express ideas clearly and effectively;
  • Oral and written English language skills sufficient to manage coursework, participate in specialized seminars, and deliver presentations in U.S. schools (a minimum paper-based or equivalent TOEFL score of 450 is required for Fulbright TEA participation);
  • Applicants who have had few or no opportunities to travel to the U.S. will be given priority;
  • Preference will be given to applicants who are members of or who work with students from underserved communities or traditionally underrepresented groups including but not limited to women, racial, ethnic and religious minorities, people with disabilities, the LGBTQIA+ community, and people from diverse geographic areas of the country;
  • Preference will also be given to applicants who have not previously received a Fulbright grant.

GENERAL APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS & SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Please answer all questions on the application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • Please type or print clearly in black ink.
  • If a question does not apply to you, enter N/A (not applicable).
  • Include your full, legal name as spelled on your passport (if available) or other photo identification.
  • Include complete contact information (including zip/postal codes for all addresses and city codes for all phone and fax numbers if available).
  • Write your full name, city, and country in the top right corner of each page.
  • Sign by hand the Privacy Policy Statement on the last page in ink.

INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT AND REFERENCE FORM (ISRF) AND LEAVE APPROVAL FORM (LAF)

All applications must include the Institutional Support and Reference Form, which must be completed by your supervisor at the school where you are employed. The Leave Approval Form must be signed by the director of the school where you are employed. Both forms must be signed in ink. An English translation must be provided if the form and reference letter are not written in English.

A completed application includes all elements listed below. You may submit your application to the U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission in your country electronically or in paper form in the following order:

  1. Application,
  2. Hand-signed Privacy Policy Statement,
  3. Institutional Support and Reference Form completed by your supervisor,

Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement (Fulbright TEA) Program Application

  1. Leave Approval Form completed by your school director, and
  2. A copy of the photo and information pages of your passport (or photo identification).

How to Apply

Application deadline: March 15, 2024

Program Application

In line with an expansive recruitment approach for the program, both online and paper applications are available for candidates. We ask each U.S. Embassy and Fulbright Commission to determine what application format you will accept.

Online Application

Candidates using the online application can access the application at: https://fulbright.irex.org/. The application link is also available on the program webpage: https://www.fulbrightteacherexchanges.org/ (Guide for the applicants).

For more information visit the program website at Program webpage: https://www.fulbrightteacherexchanges.org/programs/tea/ , or contact the U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy Section at BelgradeFulbrightTea@state.gov