Are non-US citizens eligible for the US Teaching Assistantship program at Austrian secondary schools?
No. US citizenship is one of the requirements for the participation in the US Teaching Assistantship program.
If I have dual citizenship, am I eligible for the US Teaching Assistantship program?
Yes, dual citizenship is acceptable, provided that you are a US citizen.
Am I eligible for the US Teaching Assistantship program if I have not yet graduated?
You can apply as a graduating senior, provided that you have your degree before assuming the position. The final date by which you must present the AAEC with an official final transcript or diploma is August 20.
I already applied for a US Teaching Assistantship once, but was rejected / put on the alternate list / withdrew from the program. Am I still eligible to participate in the program?
Yes, applicants who have already applied, but did not participate in the program are still eligible.
Can I apply to the US Teaching Assistantship program in Austria if I also apply to a Fulbright ETA program in a different country?
Yes, because the Austrian US Teaching Assistantship program is not a Fulbright grant program.
Can the online application form be submitted more than once?
No. Each applicant may only submit the online application once. If you experience technical problems, please contact Mag. Belona Berchtaler at Fulbright Austria (Austrian-American Educational Commission): BBerchtaler@fulbright.at
I have registered by providing a username and a password, but I have not received an e-mail with my log-in information. What can I do?
Check your spam filter and junk mail folder. If you have already registered once, do not register a second time. Instead, contact Mag. Belona Berchtaler at Fulbright Austria (Austrian-American Educational Commission): BBerchtaler@fulbright.at
Can I make changes in my online application?
Yes. You may register and log-in to work on your online application. It is possible to save the work in progress and return to the application at a later date. If the online application has not been submitted you may still make changes. Once you have submitted your application, you cannot make any more changes. Please note that only complete applications can be submitted. Double check the entries you have made for accuracy!
Can I make changes in my online application after submitting it?
No. Once your online application has been submitted, you cannot access it again to make changes. Please note that it is only possible to submit complete applications.
How long should the application essay be?
Your personal statement may be written in English or German and should not exceed 1,000 words. Please use the following format: Arial 10-point, standard 1-inch margins, 1 1/2 spaces.
How do I create a PDF document?
Every Word document can be saved as a PDF. Click on the Office or File button and select the option "Save as" and click on PDF. Alternatively, there is also a PDF button in the top navigation of every Word document.
I already applied for the Teaching Assistantship program last year and am applying again this year. Is it possible to use the letters of recommendation that were submitted last year, or should I have new ones from new sources written?
Please provide new letters of recommendation for this year's application. The sources can be the same, but the letters must be up-to-date and uploaded in the online application system.
Do my letters of recommendation and transcripts have to be mailed to the Fulbright Commission?
Please do not send any items to the Fulbright Commission via post unless you are instructed to do so. All application materials must be uploaded in the online application system.
Do the letters of recommendation have to be in English, or can they be in German as well, if the person writing it is a native German speaker?
The recommendation letters can be written in English or German.
Certificate or letter by a German department - Is there a specific language evaluation form that should be filled out?
There is no specific form. A letter from a qualified individual/institution is sufficient. The letter needs to certify that your proficiency in German is at a level comparable to the minimum requirement of intermediate-mid (or above) according to the ACTFL guidelines. Following the EU GERS (Gemeinsamer Europäischer Referenzrahmen für Sprachen) standards, candidates should be at B1 level or above. Please note that the letter must be on institutional letterhead and be signed by the person issuing the proof of German proficiency.
To prove your language proficiency, should I have the German department administer the OPI test, or just write a letter stating that I am at the intermediate-mid level as required?
If your German department can confirm that you are at an intermediate-mid level or above according to ACTFL, the OIP test is not required.
Is it an issue if I have a language proficiency letter AND a letter of recommendation from the same professor?
It does not pose a problem if a language proficiency letter and a letter of recommendation are written by the same person. Please note that the language proficiency letter is one of the mandatory uploads that applicants have to complete as part of the online application. Therefore, the letter of German language proficiency may come from the same person that also issued a letter of recommendation but must be a separate document and must be uploaded by the applicant. The letter must be on institutional letterhead and be signed by the person issuing the proof of German proficiency.
The application deadline for the USTA program is January 15. However, my final grades for the Fall semester and degree will NOT be available yet on the transcript. Will this be a problem?
No. You can upload the most recent transcript you have as of Jan 15. As soon as you have your final transcript and degree, you will be required to upload it in the online application if you are accepted in the program. As applicants are generally graduating seniors, this does not pose an issue.
General Questions about the Program
Do US citizens need a visa to live and work in Austria?
US citizens can stay in Austria for 90 days without a visa. However, when assuming their positions on October 1, US teaching assistants must have a valid residency permit (Aufenthaltsbewilligung für Sonderfälle unselbstständiger Erwerbstätigkeit), which they must already apply for in May/June at a consulate in the U.S. Without this permit they are not allowed to work in Austria.
As a US Teaching Assistant, am I a Fulbrighter?
No, because the US Teaching Assistantship program is not a Fulbright grant program. Fulbright Austria administers the program for the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education (BMB). As a US Teaching Assistant you are a salaried employee of the respective local school board.
Can teaching assistants start their assignment after October 1 or end sooner than May 31?
It is not possible to participate in the program for a shorter period of time than 8 months. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Education (BMB) only provides this opportunity for the entire assignment period from Oct. 1st until May 31st.
Can I take part in the program for more than one academic year?
Yes. Provided that their performance merits an extension for a second year, teaching assistants may apply to have their teaching assistantships extended for a second year, either at their current locations or at another location in Austria. Extensions for a second year will only be granted if a teaching assistant has a documented record of superior performance.
Can I take part in the program for more than two academic years?
No. Participation in the US Teaching Assistantship program is strictly limited to a maximum of two academic years.
As a US Teaching Assistant, would I be able to take on another job?
No. Your residency permit will be issued exclusively for the US Teaching Assistantship. Any additional employment and/or salary will have legal consequences (worst case: expulsion from Austria).
Are US Teaching Assistants insured?
Yes, USTAs are registered with the Austrian insurance company BVA (www.bva.at) during their assistantship.
Does the program provide housing? If not, does Fulbright provide assistance in securing housing?
Fulbright Austria (Austrian-American Educational Commission) provides contacts and information to candidates for US teaching assistantships on seeking and arranging housing, but it is the teaching assistant's own responsibility to find and secure housing.
How do US Teaching Assistants get prepared for their assignments?
The Austrian Federal Ministry of Education (BMB) organizes 5-day orientation seminars in late September, which provide Anglophone Teaching Assistants with information about logistical and practical issues as well as teaching techniques.
What is the best way for US Teaching Assistants to get information about the schools and the areas where they have been placed?
You will have a contact teacher at each school to which you are assigned. You will receive this teacher's contact information, as well as a list of current USTAs in Austria. In addition to that it is always recommended to gather more information on the website of the school(s) you are assigned to.
Duties and Responsibilities
As a US Teaching Assistant, do I have to test and grade students?
No. You can assist the teacher, but testing and grading is not part of your responsibilities as a USTA.
As a USTA, how many hours do I have to work each week?
You have to work 13 hours per week in the classroom, and you will need additional time to prepare your lessons.
How should I prepare for my job as a USTA?
Contact your school as soon as possible and find out what they expect you to prepare and if they would like you to bring any materials from the US for your classes. Familiarize yourself with your school's focus (e.g business, technology, agriculture, etc).