Some ETA applicants have a very clear idea of where they wish to apply, others are open to a broad range of options. Here are some points to consider as you make your decision.
- Make sure you understand the nature of the teaching assignment. Through their country profiles on the Fulbright website, most countries will indicate the educational level (elementary, middle school, high school or university), overall size of the program, and whether ETAs are encouraged to engage in a research or study activity beyond their teaching assistant role.
- Make sure you meet the country’s criteria. Some will have clear requirements and/or expressed preferences in terms of language proficiency, TEFL training, or specific fields of study.
- Look at the size of the program as well as the number of applicants in previous years. This can give you some indication of how selective the process may be.
- It is helpful, though in some cases not essential, to have prior knowledge of or experience with the country to which you are applying. This can be through personal visits, academic study, etc. At minimum you should build a nuanced understanding of the country to which you apply early in the application process.
- Understand your country’s academic year, particularly if you intend to use an ETA as a “gap year” before enrolling in a graduate or professional program. ETAs in countries in the Southern Hemisphere (Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, to name a few) will follow an academic calendar that runs from February through December, rather than September through June.