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Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program
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January 8, 2024

Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (Fulbright TEA)

The Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) program is a six-week exchange program at a U.S. university for secondary school teachers who teach English, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), math, science, and social studies, including special education teachers of those subjects. 

The 2025 call for applications in Nicaragua is open.
Application deadline is Thursday, February 29, 2024 

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement (Fulbright TEA) Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. The Fulbright program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by former United States Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas. Fulbright grants are awarded to students, scholars, teachers and other professionals from the United States and to foreign nationals to study, teach, or conduct research. Since its inception in 1946, more than 400,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the Fulbright program. 

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

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. 

Note: 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 in the participating countries.  

Eligibility and Selection Criteria 

  • Be citizens of Nicaragua and teach in Nicaragua. 
  • Current secondary-level (middle and high school), full-time teachers of English, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), math, science, or social studies including special education teachers in those subjects at institutions serving primarily a local population. 
  • Teachers responsible for teaching additional grade levels must teach middle or high school students more than 50% of their work time to be eligible. 
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. 
  • Minimum of three years of experience of full-time teaching by the start of program, with a preference for those who have completed at least five years of full-time experience.
  • Demonstrated verbal and written English language proficiency.
  • Full-time teacher trainers are not eligible. 

Note: An independent review committee will be convened to select participants for the program through a merit-based competition. 

English

Participation in the Fulbright TEA program is primarily open to teachers who demonstrate English language proficiency by scoring at least 450 on the paper-based TOEFL or 45 on the internet-based TOEFL. The minimum required scores represent an intermediate level. Applicants do not need to have an existing TOEFL score to apply, but they should prepare to take the test if they get pre-selected. 

Travel 

IREX will make international travel arrangements and provide all teachers with an international airline ticket and a travel allowance to cover the cost of incidental expenses.

Travel Dates 

  • Late January 2025:  Spring Cohort 1 teachers begin their six-week program in the United States. 
  • Mid-March 2025: End of Spring Cohort. Departure from the United States. 
  • September 2025:  Fall Cohort 2 teachers begin their six-week program in the United States. 
  • Late October 2025: End of Fall Cohort. Departure from the United States. 

Program length: 6 weeks (January – Mid-March and September – Late October 2025)

Housing 

Participants will live in assigned housing on or near the host university campus.  Note: Dependents are not permitted to accompany participants in the program. 

Allowance 

Each Fulbright teacher will receive a maintenance allowance during the program to cover expenses such as supplies for classes, household items, personal items, and cultural and other activities. Included in this total is a daily stipend to purchase groceries, meals at local restaurants, or food from on-campus dining services. 

How to apply 

Please complete your online application at https://fulbright.irex.org/   

If you have any questions about the Fulbright TEA Program, please send an email to PASManagua@state.govMake sure to use subject line “FTEA 2025 Questions”.