Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation English Teaching Assistantship

The Fulbright/ America for Bulgaria Foundation Program for US English Teaching Assistants (ETA) to Bulgaria offers graduate students in all fields the opportunity to teach English in Bulgarian public secondary schools for one academic year.


  • The Program

    The Program

    The Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation Program for US English Teaching Assistants (ETA) to Bulgaria offers graduate students in all fields the opportunity to teach English in Bulgarian public secondary schools for one year as teaching assistants. The program aims to improve the quality of English language instruction in Bulgarian schools and to expand the educational and cultural exchange between Bulgaria and the United States.

    The ETA Program started in 2006 with one ETA based in the capital, Sofia. In each of the following three years there were two Fulbright ETAs teaching in Sofia, Burgas and Plovdiv. Since 2010, responding to increasing interest from potential host-schools and thanks to the generous support from the America for Bulgaria Foundation, the ETA Program rapidly expanded and currently oversees 30 English Teaching Assistants placed in 24 cities across Bulgaria. The Fulbright| America for Bulgaria Foundation ETA program has had a tremendous role in the improvement of the English language instruction in all participating schools, as evidenced by the evaluations of thousands of students and feedback from ETA mentor teachers and school principals. The program also benefits local communities, where ETAs often initiate or are involved in various public service projects such as organizing fundraising activities for charitable causes, starting sports, arts or cookery clubs, helping with community or school project grant applications writing, giving consultations on college application and serving as judges or coaches for English language competitions. Perhaps the most notable initiative started by Fulbright| America for Bulgaria Foundation ETAs to date is the Bulgarian English Speech Tournament (BEST) Foundation. Finally, the program offers its participants the unique opportunity to acquire invaluable intercultural, professional and life experience and the chance to make genuine impact in their local community.

  • The Assignment

    The Assignment

    Fulbright/America for Bulgaria Foundation ETAs are placed at Bulgarian state-funded secondary language schools. The location of their assignment is determined by the Fulbright Commission based on schools’ needs and grantees’ background and experience.

    English Teaching Assistants are due in Bulgaria on time for their Orientation Training, starting on September 1st. The 10-day orientation offers professional training and Bulgarian language and culture classes. The school year in Bulgaria begins on September 15.

    Grantees’ assignments will not exceed 20 hours per week of teaching English, independently or with a Bulgarian co-teacher. Details of assignments will develop from direct communication between selected candidates and designated host institutions. Grantees are encouraged to combine teaching with extracurricular projects and/or educational advising. Fridays are usually free of teaching or administrative duties.

    Based on their performance and host-institution feedback, grantees may apply for a one year extension of their grant. Grant extension applications are reviewed by the Fulbright Commission Board and a limited number may be approved.

  • Eligibility Requirements

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application. Permanent residents are not eligible. Dual citizens (American and Bulgarian or other European citizenship) are accepted.
    • Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent before the start date of the grant.
    • Applicants may not hold a doctoral degree at the time of application.
    • Applicants must be articulate native English-speakers.
    • Applicants must be in good health.
    • Preference will be given to applicants with previous teaching experience, international travel/ living abroad experience and some level of proficiency in Bulgarian or in another Slavic language.
  • Grant Benefits

    Grant Benefits

    The breakdown of financial benefits is as follows:

    • Monthly stipend – $800 per month
    • Round-trip air travel allowance – $2,000
    • Relocation and incidentals allowance – $1,000
    • Allowance for independent local study of Bulgarian language – $500
    • Health benefits plan (for grantees only)
    • 24/7 support from Fulbright ASSIST

    The basic amount of the Fulbright| America for Bulgaria Foundation grant is not increased for accompanying dependents. Housing is provided to grantees by their respective host schools free of charge. Grantees are responsible for covering utility bills.

    The Bulgarian Fulbright Commission also offers training for grantees throughout the year:

    Fulbright ETAs undergo an intensive 10-day in-country orientation training in the beginning of September. The training includes Bulgarian language and culture classes; intensive teaching workshops; practical introduction to the Bulgarian educational system; meetings with U.S. Embassy representatives for consular and safety and security briefings, etc.

    In December the Fulbright Commission hosts a two-day midterm conference for all U.S. grantees to further support them in their role, monitor their progress, discuss challenges and address current issues.

    In June the Fulbright Commission hosts a three-day Wrap-Up Seminar for all U.S. grantees, offering them the opportunity to present their projects and achievements in front of Commission staff, program sponsors and partners, school principals and mentor teachers.

  • How to Apply

    How to Apply

    This program is administered by the Institute for International and Education (IIE) in New York, the United States. For detailed description, guidelines and submission of an application please visit us.fulbrightonline.org/applicants/getting-started. You may also contact Kristina Hestvik, Regional Portfolio Manager for Europe and Eurasia at IIE:

    Kristina Hestvik

    Regional Portfolio Manager for Europe and Eurasia

    Bulgarian public secondary schools are encouraged to contact the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission directly for more information on the institutional partnership requirements. Enquiries can be addressed at Iliana Dimitrova, ETA Program Officer, or Rada Kaneva, Program Officer, U.S. Grantees:

    Iliana Dimitrova

    Program Officer, ETA Program
    Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission

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