Is my reason for doing a Fulbright ETA here good?
September 10, 2012 4:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm applying for a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship (not the research grant) and the country that interests me is one I've never been to or studied extensively. Is that a problem?

The country that appeals the most to me is not a country I've lived in, visited, or have really compelling reasons to go to except that it sounds interesting. This grant has no research component (because of visa restrictions), no language requirement, and is purely teaching. Provided I articulate it well, is my reason (I find the country interesting, have read a fair bit about it, etc) adequate?
posted by anonymous to Education (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would assume so. I was a Fulbright finalist for a country I had never previously studied or been to.
posted by queens86 at 4:31 PM on September 10, 2012

My understanding is that having lived in the country you're applying to is actually a disadvantage to being selected for a Fulbright, so not having visited there is probably fine. It seems they want to connect people with places that are new to them.
posted by zadermatermorts at 5:20 PM on September 10, 2012

I got a Fulbright grant to South Korea as an English Teaching Assistant, and I went in part because I barely knew anything about the country/culture beforehand. This was neither an advantage nor a disadvantage -- a significant portion of the people in my program had a similar lack of prior connection, while many others had strong connections (had studied the language and/or had been adopted from there). The Fulbright Korea program is known for emphasizing the cultural exchange aspect, and consequently there was no research component either. Your program may be similar (or it might not be - see if you can email other Fulbrighters from previous years).
posted by danceswithlight at 5:38 PM on September 10, 2012

It depends a lot on the country in question. For the country where I was an English Teaching Assistant (which had a language requirement, so it's not the one you're interested in), almost all of the other fellows had spent time there, or, if not, had studied it extensively. But if it's a country with no language requirement, I would think that would be much less necessary. Seconding that trying to get in touch with someone who was a Fulbrighter there in the past would be the best way to get good information on this.
posted by sparrow89 at 7:47 PM on September 10, 2012

The Fulbright grants (whether Research, Teaching or English TA) are partnerships between the US Fulbright program and the host country's Fulbright program, which sets its own requirements for what its looking for (new vs experienced, language req vs not, subject areas in the case of research and non-ETA teaching).

If your prospective host country doesn't have a language requirement for the English TA position and you have a legit interest, then I would feel free to apply. There are alumni ambassadors (including some ETAs), who are available for questions or you could try to get in touch with the current ETAs on the ground there.
posted by clerestory at 12:43 AM on September 11, 2012

Argh its/it's.
posted by clerestory at 12:44 AM on September 11, 2012

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