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 began operating in Taiwan in 1957. In 1964, the letter was updated to specify the foundation’s goal “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 and 2010, the foundation was officially recognized 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. It was designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” Since its founding, the Fulbright Program has provided almost 300,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential—with the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and address 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 received the 2014 Prince Asturias Award for International Cooperation, which is widely considered to be “Spain’s Nobel Prize.”
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, including 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. Doing so allows grantees to add to their personal knowledge, gain access to local environments, and share their own unique perspectives.
There are various categories of Fulbright scholarships, including the English Teaching Assistantship program. Over 70 ETA programs exist worldwide, with 16 in Asia. They are recognized globally as one of the highest standards of international educational exchange. FSE’s Program in Taiwan is a global leader, invited by the U.S. 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 to Taiwan’s schools for immersive cross-cultural exchange. 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 actively engage outside the schools in public service programs and cultural exchange.
Fulbright’s rigorous screening and selecting process 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 competitive process looks at merit and leadership potential in applicants, seeking to identify open-minded and adaptable candidates.
美籍協同英語教學助理計畫 (ETA Program)