Are non-US citizens eligible to teach English in Austria at secondary schools as participants of the US Teaching Assistantship program?
No. US citizenship is one of the requirements for participating in the US Teaching Assistantship program.
If I have dual citizenship, am I eligible to participate in the US Teaching Assistantship program?
Yes, dual citizenship is acceptable if you are a dual US citizen.
Am I eligible for the US Teaching Assistantship program if I have not yet graduated?
You can apply as a graduating senior but must have your degree in hand before you assume your position and start teaching English in Austria. Fulbright Austria must receive your final transcript by August 20.
I already applied to be a US teaching assistant in Austria once but was rejected / put on the waitlist / 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 for the US Teaching Assistantship program administered by Fulbright Austria if I also apply to a Fulbright ETA program in a different country?
Yes, because—in contrast to Fulbright ETA programs—the Austrian US Teaching Assistantship program is not part of the Fulbright Program, but rather an Austrian government program administered by Fulbright Austria on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research (BMBWF).
Can the online application form for English teaching jobs in Austria be submitted more than once?
No, each applicant may only submit the online application once. If you experience technical problems, please contact the USTA program officer.
I have registered by creating a username and password but have not yet received an email with my login information. What should I do?
Check your spam filter and junk mail folder. If you have already registered once, please do not register a second time. Instead, contact the USTA program officer.
Can I make changes to my online application?
Yes, you may register and then log in to work on your online application. You can save any work in progress and continue at a later time. You can continue to work on or amend your online application until you have submitted it, at which point you will no longer be able to make changes. Please note that only complete applications can be submitted. Be sure to double-check your entries to ensure they are accurate.
Can I make changes to my online application after submitting it?
No, once your online application has been submitted, you will no longer be able to access it to make changes. Please note that you will only be able to submit complete applications.
How long should the application essay / personal statement for teaching assistant jobs in Austria be?
Your personal statement can be written in English or German and should not exceed 1,000 words. Please use the following formatting: Arial 10 point, standard one-inch margins, 1½ spacing.
I already applied last year to teach English in Austrian schools as part of the USTA program and am applying again this year. Is it possible to use the same letters of recommendation that I submitted last year, or should I procure new ones from new sources?
Please provide new letters of recommendation for this year’s application. The sources can be the same, but the letters must be current and uploaded using the online application system.
Do my letters of recommendation and transcripts need to be mailed to Fulbright Austria?
Please do not send any items to Fulbright Austria via post unless explicitly instructed to do so. All application materials should be uploaded using the online application system.
Do the letters of recommendation need to be in English, or can they also be in German if the person writing them is a native German speaker?
The letters of recommendation can be written in English or German.
Is there a specific evaluation form that I need to complete for a certificate or letter from a German department?
No, there is no specific form; a letter from a qualified individual/institution is sufficient. The letter needs to certify that your German proficiency is at a level comparable to the minimum requirements for “intermediate mid” or above based on ACTFL guidelines. Following the EU CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) standards, those applying to be an English teaching assistant in Austria should be at a B1 level or higher.
Please note that the letter must be on institutional letterhead and signed by the person issuing the proof of German proficiency.
To prove my language proficiency, should I have the German department administer the ACTFL OPI test or simply write a letter stating that I am at the “intermediate mid” level and meet the German-language requirements to teach English in Austria?
If your German department can confirm that you are at an “intermediate mid” level or higher based on ACTFL guidelines, then the OPI test is not necessary.
Is it an issue if my language proficiency letter AND a letter of recommendation come from the same professor?
It is not a problem for a language proficiency letter and a letter of recommendation to be written by the same person. Please note, however, that the language proficiency letter is one of the mandatory uploads you need to complete as part of the online application. Therefore, while the two letters can be written by one person, you still must upload each letter as a separate document.
The deadline to apply to work as an assistant English teacher in Austria is January 15. However, my final grades for the fall semester will not yet be available on my transcript. Will this be an issue?
No. Simply upload your most recent transcript before the January 15 deadline. If you are accepted into the program, you will be required to submit your final transcript to Fulbright Austria as soon as you have it.
General questions about the program
Do US citizens need a visa to live and teach English in Austria?
US citizens can stay in Austria as tourists for 90 days without a visa. However, when starting their jobs on October 1, US English teaching assistants in Austria need to be in possession of a valid residency permit (Aufenthaltsbewilligung für Sonderfälle unselbstständiger Erwerbstätigkeit), which they must apply for at an Austrian consulate in the US (or in their current legal country of residence). Participation in the USTA program is only permitted with said permit*.
*Please note that US citizens with dual citizenship in an EU country, i.e. who already have the right to live and work in Europe, are exempt from the permit requirement.
As a US teaching assistant in Austria, am I a Fulbrighter?
You are a member of the Fulbright Austria community, but you are not a Fulbrighter because—in contrast to the ETA programs within the Fulbright Program—the USTA program is not a Fulbright grant program, but rather an Austrian government program funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research (BMBWF). Fulbright Austria has administered US participants in this program on behalf of the ministry since 1962. Therefore, as a program participant teaching English in Austria, you are a salaried employee of the respective provincial school board, not a recipient of a Fulbright grant.
Can teaching assistants begin their assignment after October 1 or end sooner than May 31?
No, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research (BMBWF) stipulates that program participants must be available for the entirety of the assignment, from October 1 to May 31.
Can I take part in the program and teach English in Austria for more than one academic year?
Yes. If your performance merits an extension, you may apply for a second year. You can request either to stay in your current school(s) or to be placed in schools in another part of Austria. If, for example, you were assigned to teach English in Salzburg in your first year, you can remain in Salzburg or ask to teach English in Graz, Innsbruck, Vienna, etc., in your second year. Please note, however, that extensions are only granted to teaching assistants with a documented record of superior performance.
Can I participate in the program for more than two academic years?
No. Participation in the US teaching assistant program in Austria is limited to a maximum of two academic years.
As a US teaching assistant in Austria, would I be able to take on another job?
No. Your residency permit* will be issued exclusively for the US teaching assistantship program and precludes you from being otherwise employed. Any additional employment will have legal consequences, the worst-case scenario being expulsion from Austria and the EU / Schengen Area.
*The residency permit—and the corresponding restricted access to the Austrian/EU labor market—only applies to US citizens; those who hold dual citizenship in an EU country, i.e. who have the right to freely live and work in the EU, are not subject to the same restrictions.
Are US teaching assistants insured?
Yes, USTAs are registered with the Austrian insurance company BVA during their assistantship.
Is housing included in the program? If not, does Fulbright Austria provide assistance in securing housing?
No, housing is not included in the program. Fulbright Austria provides useful information about how to secure housing, but each teaching assistant is responsible for finding their own accommodations.
How do US teaching assistants in Austria prepare for their assignments?
The Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research (BMBWF) organizes a five-day orientation seminar in late September that provides English-speaking teaching assistants with information about logistical and practical issues and teaching techniques. Fulbright Austria also issues two different handbooks to help teaching assistants prepare in the months prior to their arrival in Austria.
What is the best way for US teaching assistants to get information about the schools and areas where they have been placed?
You will have a contact teacher at each school to which you are assigned and will be provided with their contact information. You will also have access to a list of USTAs currently in Austria, who are a good source of information specific to your school(s) and area, and in many cases the schools have their own websites with relevant information.
Duties and responsibilities
As a US English teaching assistant in Austria, do I have to test and grade students?
No. You can assist the teacher in these tasks, but testing and grading are not part of your responsibilities as a USTA.
How many hours do English teaching assistant jobs in Austria entail?
You are required to work 13 hours per week in the classroom, and you will also need additional time outside of the classroom to prepare your lessons.
How should I prepare for my job as a USTA?
Contact your school(s) as soon as possible to find out what they expect you to prepare and whether they would like you to bring any materials with you from the US for your classes. Also be sure to familiarize yourself with the focus of your particular school(s) (e.g. business, technology, agriculture, etc.).