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The U.S. Department of State English Language Fellow Program is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2019. For fifty years, the Fellow Program has promoted mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through English language programming and cultural exchange. Please join us in celebrating this important milestone in our program’s history.


The English Language Fellow Program began in 1969 with a small number of teachers in Latin America. In the 1970s, a participant was sent to Africa for the first time. The program quickly expanded to a worldwide exchange by the 1980s, with a large number of educators sent to the Soviet Union in the 1990s. This program has sent thousands of educators to over 80 countries worldwide.

This year, the English Language Fellow Program is the largest it’s ever been, sending 173 experienced U.S. TESOL professionals on 10-month paid teaching assignments at universities and other academic institutions around the world.

Throughout 2019, we will be hosting events and providing exciting opportunities to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. Check back here throughout the year for information about upcoming events.

Over the years we have lost contact with many of our former participants. We want to be sure we have up-to-date contact information for all our former participants. Please take a moment to provide us with your contact information, so we can keep you in the loop on the upcoming festivities.

As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, the English Language Fellow Program wants to send Fellow alumni back to their host countries! Fellow alumni will have the opportunity to apply to return to their countries-of-assignment, with a select number of Fellow alumni applicants chosen to participate. The details of the contest will be announced on this page later this fall. Stay tuned!