Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program
The Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (FSE) administers the ETA Program. The Foundation was established through a Letter of Agreement in 1947 in Nanjing between the United States of America and the Republic of China, and resumed operations on Taiwan in 1957. In 1964 the Letter was updated and the purpose reconfirmed, “to promote further mutual understanding between the United States of America and the Republic of China by wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts.” In 1979 the title was changed to FSE. In 1979 and 2010, additional exchanges of Letters acknowledged the identity of FSE as a non-profit international legal entity under the mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The Ministry of Education and MOFA are strong supporters and partners of FSE. Among other responsibilities, the central role of FSE is to administer the Fulbright Program.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” With this goal as a starting point, the Fulbright Program has provided almost 300,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Supported by the U.S. Department of State and by more than 155 governments and entities around the world, the Fulbright Program was recently awarded the ‘Nobel Prize of international education’ by the Prince Asturias Foundation of Spain.
Over the past 50 years, Fulbright has financed over 1,600 Taiwan grantees to the U.S. and over 1,300 U.S. grantees to Taiwan. They include high officials, university presidents, professors, artists, researchers, teachers, and language assistants. It is not an open-ended program for personal experience; rather all grantees come with predesigned programs and responsibilities. This is the best way for them to add to the stock of knowledge, gain access to local environments, and share their perceptions of their homes.
There are various categories of scholarship. ETA is one, and there are 72 ETA programs worldwide with 16 in Asia (Korea, Thailand, Malaysia …). The ETA Programs are globally recognized as one of the highest standards of international educational exchange. FSE’s Program in Taiwan is a global leader, invited by the US Department of State as one of the limited participants in the first global ‘best practices’ ETA workshop. For American grantees, schools, Taiwanese kids, and long-term Taiwan/American relations, the Program is a resounding success.
FSE brings outstanding Fulbright ETA grantees, who all have at least a BA degree, to Taiwan’s schools to participate in the Program, to give and to receive in return. The Program fulfills the goals of increasing knowledge and enhancing cross-cultural exchange.
These Americans come to Taiwan for academic, cultural, educational, and exchange activities as exchange scholars. They are grounded in the local schools as educational participants and share in the educational mission. They promote American culture, facilitate English conversation, create an English learning environment, and engage in a wide range of academic exchanges activities. They also are actively engaged outside the schools in public service programs and cultural exchange. The above activities are central to their academic and exchange program in Taiwan
The screening and selecting process is rigorously academic. It is supervised by the U.S. Department of State, and conducted in multiple stages: university interview committees, the Institute of International Education in New York City’s screening panel, FSE’s selection panel, and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarships Board’s final grant approval. The selection is merit based, competitive, and rigorous.
English Teaching Assistants