Applying for a Fulbright

ETAs assist English teachers in the classroom and hold several activities, such as conversation clubs for both students and faculty, to enrich English language learning at schools around the world. We’re expected to dedicate 30 hours per week to our ETA duties, including lesson planning. Also, ETAs must spend 20 hours a week working on a community engagement project. Past projects have ranged from workshops on magic for marginalized youth to volunteer work with community organizations.

Below, I’ve described my Fulbright application process to help out any of you future applicants. The application process could always change in the future, so stay up to date by thoroughly reading the application section on the Fulbright website.

April 2015: I decided to check what Fulbright was all about and had a meeting with my FPA (Fulbright Program Advisor) at the New School. Soon after, I decided I’d apply  to the Fulbright ETA program in Colombia! I was just getting ready to leave to Colombia on a development project through my graduate program and I thought doing a Fulbright would be a good way to continue my research and work in Colombia (up until that point, I had been researching and writing about Colombia in my graduate studies for months).

May/June/July 2015: I started to seriously write drafts of my essays (personal statement and grant proposal) in May. When I was in Colombia in June and July, I sent drafts of my essays to my FPA a few times to keep working on them.

August 2015: I put some final touches on my essays, got the 3 recommendations I needed, made sure I got copies of my transcripts and finished up my application. This was a busy month because I was preparing to go into my last semester of my graduate studies. So it pays to start the application process early!!

September 2015: Applying through your university will mean that you will submit your app at an early deadline and have a campus committee interview with your FPA and faculty members  who are experts in the country and work you are proposing to do (nerve wrecking but super helpful because they help you revise your essays).

October 2015: The national deadline was in this month, but since my app was submitted in September, I just had to wait.

January 2016: I found out I was a semi-finalist! Fulbright Colombia then scheduled a Skype interview with me for February.

February 2016: My interview was with a Fulbright Colombia staff member and a Ministry of Education employee. The interview lasted 15 minutes tops!

March 2016: I found out I was a finalist. All I had to do was submit a few forms and I was officially a Fulbright grantee!

April 2016: I learned that I would be an ETA at the Universidad Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca in Bogota.

Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions through the contact form on this blog!