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Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program

Why choose Colombia as a country of destination for your Fulbright Award?

Why choose Colombia as a country of destination for your Fulbright Award?

In recent years, Colombia has made education a top priority in the country’s economic and social development and has invested more resources in this sector than in any other area. Colombia is a country that has made great efforts to offer inclusive and quality education for all by implementing policies that have increased the number of hours that children attend school, ensured access to education for children of younger ages, and strengthened the bridge into higher education settings.

The country has also focused on increasing access to higher education for vulnerable and marginalized populations and investing in improving teacher training and development. With a diverse and vibrant culture, grantees can immerse themselves in a nation known for its warm hospitality and resilience.

Welcome to Colombia! 🇨🇴

What a day as a Fulbrighter is like for an ETA in Colombia

Colbee Cunningham

Host institution: Universidad Santo Tomás – Seccional Bucaramanga

Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) 2023

Audrey Dubose

Host institution: Universidad de Boyacá – Sogamoso

Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) 2023

Learn about the experience of former U.S. Student Researchers in Colombia:

Noah Foster-Koth

English Teaching Assistant – 2021

Senior English Teaching Assistant – 2022

Host Institution: Universidad Antonio Nariño (Bogotá D.C., Colombia) & Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia (Duitama, Boyacá)

Home institution: Lewis & Clark College (Portland, Oregon)

“Your work as an English Teaching Assistant will likely be full of surprises. You may find yourself teaching in settings you would never have imagined. Depending on the needs of your host institution, you could wind up leading English lessons in business administration courses, science communication classes, or even paleontology seminars! The unpredictability of this work is part of what makes it so fun. The next ten months will go by fast, but the skills and connections you build here will be valuable long after your grant ends”.

Colbee Cunningham

English Teaching Assistant – 2023
Host institution: Universidad Santo Tomás, (Bucaramanga, Santander)
Home institution: Simpson College (Indianola, Iowa)

“My first two months in Colombia have been everything I had hoped for … And more! Not only do I feel like I’m making a difference in the lives of my students, but I feel like I am growing tremendously as a person. My decision to come to Colombia has hands down been the best decision I’ve ever made. I can confidently say that being a Fulbright ETA in Colombia has been one of the best experiences in my life! Thanks for everything! 🙂

Carolyn Friedman

English Teaching Assistant – 2023

Host institution: Universidad Antonio Nariño (Bogotá, Colombia)

Home institution: Columbia University (New York, New York)

“Mostly, I am proud of the community I have built and formed in Bogotá. I love living in this city for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I am astounded at all of the ways I can involve myself in the worlds that are most important to me. Here I am able to combine my love for theater with education in a way that I really have not been able to in the United States, and I am proud of the progress I have made as an educator and artist over the past few months here. I am so excited to see where the connections being built eventually take me”.

Justin Henry

English Teaching Assistant – 2023

Host institution: Institución Universitaria ITM (Medellín, Antioquia)

Home institution: Mercer University (Macon, Georgia)

“I think a significant achievement was realizing that through my activities and teaching, I am impacting my students in very beneficial ways. The fact that they want to visit my extracurricular activities and email me about other opportunities is very fulfilling”.

Additional resources, initiatives, and tools made available by the Fulbright Commission in Colombia for our ETAs

ORIENTATION HANDBOOK

This document is designed to provide you with some practical guidelines for your Fulbright experience, give you a general overview of the country, and share specific recommendations on handling unexpected situations during your grant period.

MIGRATION PROCEDURES DOCUMENT

Outlines immigration procedures, including V Visa details, dependent requirements, application instructions, Foreigner ID Card issuance, and additional recommendations about the migration procedures required for Fulbright U.S. grantees.

Assistance During Migration Procedures

The team at the Fulbright Colombia Commission provides ongoing support during immigration procedures, including liaising with relevant institutions to follow up on specific cases, solving questions that may arise during the Visa or Foreigner ID Card application process, and monitoring.

Fulbright Mentorship Program

This program aims to support our new grantees in the process of adapting to life in Colombia, to mitigate cultural shock upon arrival in a new country. Through this initiative, the Commission assigns Colombian Fulbright alumni to voluntarily support and guide the inbound Cohort of U.S. grantees.

U.S. Grantees Network

More than 3,200 Colombian citizens have been awarded Fulbright grants to pursue graduate studies or conduct research or teaching activities in the U.S. Belonging to the Fulbright alumni network is one of the main benefits of the Fulbright award. Upon request, the Fulbright Commission team can facilitate connections, interactions, and collaborations among U.S. grantees and former Colombian grantees located in their city or placement region, or working in specific fields of interest.

Fulbright Alumni Events and Engagement

We promote a dynamic Fulbright community through various activities, including casual Happy Hours for alumni in various cities, academic lectures, sports events, and Fulbrighter Week. Our approach combines social, academic, and networking elements to provide grantees with a well-rounded and enriching experience, fostering both professional skills and lasting connections.

Orientation & Enrichment Seminar

Before arrival, the Fulbright Commission offers a series of informative webinars in which relevant information is shared regarding the grantees’ preparation, the visa application process, and grant document processing, among other key aspects for a successful grant start. The grant period begins with an Orientation Seminar organized by the Fulbright Colombia Commission in late July, developed under the hybrid modality. Attendance to the Orientation Seminar is mandatory for all ETA grantees.

 

Grantees will also participate in the Mid-Year Enrichment Seminar. This space is designed to enhance the pedagogical skills of Fulbright ETA grantees by providing them with advanced methodological strategies and access to innovative teaching approaches to enrich their ability to teach English effectively.

U.S. Embassy Speakers Program

The program features lectures on topics relevant to U.S. grantees and their projects in Colombia, led by speakers from the team at the U.S. Embassy in Colombia. These sessions enhance their knowledge and provide insightful experiences for a greater impact and fruitful collaborations. Some examples of topics having been covered as part of the U.S. Embassy Speakers Program are:

  • Partnering for Social Projects in Colombia
  • The U.S. Foreign Service for U.S. Grantees

U.S. Embassy Security Briefing for U.S. Grantees

The U.S. Embassy in Colombia offers a one-hour Security Briefing, led by a representative from the Regional Security Office (RSO), which provides general recommendations and security guidelines for Colombia.

VTRACK

Since 2023, the Fulbright Commission in Colombia implemented a digital platform designed to facilitate the tracking of U.S. and Colombian Fulbright grantees, reception of reports, documents, and updates, as well as to maintain up-to-date contact information.

Host institution catalog

The Host Institution Catalog serves as a comprehensive resource highlighting potential host institutions across the country that offer enriching language learning, cultural exchange experiences, and a unique environment for English Teaching Assistants to engage with students, faculty, and local communities to promote language proficiency and cross-cultural understanding.

Please note that the host institutions presented in this catalog are provided as examples and may vary from year to year. While the institutions highlighted here offer valuable opportunities for ETAs, the specific placements available may change based on factors such as institutional partnerships, program requirements, and community needs.

We encourage interested candidates to remain flexible and open to the possibility of new and diverse host institutions, as each placement offers its unique benefits and experiences.

ASPE

The ASPE (Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges) Health Benefits Plan is a self-funded, limited, health care benefit plan designed to pay emergent covered medical expenses for eligible Exchange Participants. Click here to learn more about this benefit for Fulbright grantees.

SOMOS UNX

One of our current key institutional priorities is promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our academic and cultural exchange programs portfolio. Some examples of DEI initiatives promoted by the Commission for U.S. grantees include the Somos Unx DEI workshops. This guide provides some recommendations on how to achieve assertive communication that takes a differential and intersectional approach. Language is important because it recognizes the cultural identity, ethnicity, sexual diversity, gender, and disability of people in our country and helps us change our reality