Skip to content
The 2024-2025 Virtual Educator application is open. Learn More and Apply!

Fellow FAQs

In addition to browsing the frequently asked questions answered in this section, applicants can contact with questions at any time.

Select a Category

No. Applicants to the Fellow Program must be U.S. citizens. English Language Programs is a U.S. Department of State funded cultural exchange program designed to improve English teaching capacity around the world and contribute to mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people abroad.

Yes. Applicants with dual citizenship can apply to the Fellow Program as long as the United States is one of their countries of citizenship

A conferred graduate level degree or higher is required to apply for the Fellow Program. To meet the minimum eligibility requirements, your qualifying graduate level degree would ideally be in TESOL or a field related to English language teaching. However, if your graduate level degree is in a field unrelated to TESOL, you are eligible to apply if you also have one of the following credentials:

  • A recognized TESOL certificate with at least 120 course hours plus a supervised and observed practicum (additional information regarding certificates can be found in the Eligibility section of the Fellow Application Process page). Or,
  • A current, valid, and full state teacher credential, certification, or license with a specialization or an endorsement in ESL or the equivalent.

No. Your qualifying degree must be conferred by the time you submit your application.

There is no age limit for applicants. While the average age of participants is 40 years old, the age range of Fellows in a given academic year can be anywhere from late 20s to 80s.

Note that while age will not preclude you from consideration for the Fellow Program, it may prevent you from being considered for certain projects due to work visa or other restrictions in the host country.

The program does not provide any foreign language training or financial subsidies to offset the cost of language training, but many Fellows find opportunities independently to learn the language of their host country, either formally (courses), or informally (exchanging lessons or tutoring, or joining conversation clubs with neighbors or colleagues). 

Language skills beyond English are not required to apply to the program. While speaking another language can be beneficial in certain regions, it does not increase your chances of placement in a certain country due to knowing the local language. You should list any languages spoken and level of proficiency, in your application.

Competitive Fellow applications provide evidence of qualities such as flexibility, cultural adaptability, resourcefulness, and the desire and ability to live and travel abroad. Serving as a Fellow involves demanding work, often in challenging and unpredictable situations. Fellows are successful when they can adjust to a different culture and level of material comfort, as well as ever-changing social and political climates. Additionally, project descriptions that are available during the selection process are subject to change and may differ from the needs of the host institution once the Fellow arrives.

If you owe any funds to English Language Programs related to your participation in the Fellow, Specialist, or Virtual Educator Programs, you may not participate in any of the three individual programs till those funds are repaid in full.

No.  English Language Fellows cannot participate in other Department of State programs at the same time.  View the complete list of Department of State exchange programs on the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Alphabetical List of Programs site.

The application opens each year in early fall. There is a priority deadline in early winter, however applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all projects are filled. The application closes for approximately one month during the summer for updates before reopening for the next academic cycle.

A detailed application timeline for the current academic year can be found here.

You are encouraged to apply by the priority deadline to have the best chance of being considered for all available projects. Applicants that apply after the priority deadline will only be considered for projects that remain available at the time they enter the applicant pool.

If you are an applicant that has not been selected to another English Language Programs project in the past, you can apply to more than one program at the same time, but you are encouraged to apply only to the program(s) for which you are qualified.

If you decide that applying to more than one program is appropriate, simply follow the links to each individual application in the English Language Programs Portal to complete the required information

Refer to the eligibility overview of the program in which you are interested in applying to determine your eligibility.

You can indicate regional and/or project preferences in the application; however, the program cannot guarantee a match to a project that fits those preferences. Projects are developed by U.S. Embassies to address local needs, and therefore, the location of, requirements and duties for projects will vary. Further, you will only be considered for a project match if there is a professional fit between your qualifications and the needs of the project. While regional preferences are taken into consideration, applicants who are willing to go anywhere in the world are much more likely to be matched to a project than those who have specific location preferences.

Yes. If you previously started an application or applied but were not selected, you can log in to your application on the English Language Programs Portal to review the information you previously entered and resubmit your application for the current cycle when you’re ready. You must submit a new application for each cycle in which you wish to be considered.

While most of the information that is previously submitted in a Fellow Program application will carry over to the application for the next academic year, you are strongly encouraged to review all sections of the application and make any necessary updates to your information before resubmitting. Updates are made to the application questions each year.

You can also use the same list of references for an application for a new cycle or provide a new list. The system will automatically ask references used for a previous cycle if they want to a) use the same answers with no changes, b) use their old answers and make edits, or c) give completely new answers.

When electronic transcripts are not available, you can scan a paper transcript and upload it to the application as a PDF.

Note that official transcripts are not required; alternatively, you can upload an electronic version of your unofficial transcript, as long as the degree conferred – or awarded – date is listed.

No. A conferred graduate level degree is required to apply, and therefore, only graduate level transcripts must be included with the application. If you have more than one graduate level degree, you should include the transcript(s) from the degree(s) most relevant to the Fellow Program. 

Unofficial transcripts are accepted, however, the degree conferred – or awarded – date must be listed.

If you have a Bachelor’s degree in TESOL or a related field, you can include those transcripts, as well.

Yes, for the program to verify a TESOL certificate, you must submit a scan of the certificate document, and a Web address (URL) where the certificate program’s curriculum and practicum components can be verified. Additional information regarding certificates can be found in the Eligibility section of the Fellow Application Process page.

If you are submitting a K-12 license/endorsement, you must ensure that documentation is uploaded for your most up-to-date credential.

As soon as you submit the application, an automated email, with a link and instructions on how to submit a short questionnaire, is sent to your references. References do not need to complete the questionnaire in one sitting and may return via the link as many times as needed prior to submitting the questionnaire.

You can return to your application at any time to verify that your references have responded or to send a reminder to your references. Your application is not considered complete and it will not be reviewed until the required references are submitted.

No. Your references must complete the questionnaire sent to them via email by the program. References cannot upload or copy and paste from a previously written letter.

When selecting your references, be sure they can respond to the questionnaire themselves. They should be able to speak to your ability to succeed in the program by providing examples of your work ethic, initiative, leadership skills, resourcefulness, flexibility, judgment, classroom management skills, and overall strengths and weaknesses. Reference responses are confidential. 

Contact your references in advance to ensure they are willing and available to provide a reference, and double-check that their email address is current.

While there is no official deadline for references, they should be submitted as soon as possible to ensure there are no delays in the application review. An application cannot be reviewed – and then considered for available projects – until all references are received. The later you enter the pool, the more likely it is that projects will have already been filled.

You can use the same list of references for an application for a new cycle, or provide a new list. The system will automatically ask references used for a previous cycle if they want to a) use the same answers with no changes, b) use their old answers and make edits, or c) give completely new answers.

Once an application is submitted to the program, and the required references are received, it is reviewed for completeness and eligibility, and to identify evidence of the experience and qualities the program looks for in Fellows. Qualified applicants will also be contacted for an interview. 

Applicants that meet the program’s requirements are placed into the applicant pool for consideration during the matching phase. Final selection decisions are then made by U.S. Embassies.

You will be notified by email when a determination is made regarding eligibility and whether you will be placed into the applicant pool for matching for the upcoming cycle. Once the review begins, you should allow up to three weeks for it to be conducted. You can also track the status of your application review online, by logging in to the English Language Programs Portal.

Details on each of the phases of the review and selection process (eligibility review, matching, and selection), and the timeline for receiving a response from the program, can be found in the Review, Matching, and Selection section on the Fellow Application Process page

No. Applications that are moved to the available applicant pool are considered eligible to be matched to a project, but being placed into the available applicant pool does not guarantee that an applicant will be matched to or selected for a project, as the number of applicants in the pool is always greater than the number of available projects.

Details on each of the phases of the review and selection process (eligibility review, matching, and selection), and the timeline for receiving a response from the program, can be found in the Review, Matching, and Selection section on the Fellow Application Process page

If you decide to withdraw your application for consideration for a specific project, or, if you are matched to a project but then not selected by the U.S. Embassy for that project, your application will be placed back into the applicant pool for the current cycle, but there is no guarantee of another match.

If you are not ultimately matched to or selected to a project in the current cycle, you will be notified by email and encouraged to review your materials and consider reapplying the next year. Applications are not automatically reconsidered for future cycles.

No. Fellowships cannot be deferred to future cycles. If your availability changes, you will need to withdraw your application from consideration. 

You can log in to your application on the English Language Programs Portal to review the information you previously entered and resubmit your application for another cycle, when you are ready. You must submit a new application for each cycle in which you wish to be considered.

If you are selected for a fellowship by a U.S. Embassy, you will receive an acceptance email from the cooperating agency outlining next steps, including how and when to submit the required onboarding materials, when to contact your U.S. Embassy points of contact in your country of assignment, and when you can expect to receive your fellowship agreement.

Note: Fellowship offers are conditional until you are medically cleared by a U.S. Department of State approved medical reviewer. You must submit a completed health verification form (HVF) within 15 business days of receiving your acceptance email. Selected applicants who are not medically cleared will be notified, and the fellowship offer will be rescinded. To learn more about this process, visit the Fellow Health Verification Form Overview page.

Fellowships are contingent upon the selected Fellow’s ability to obtain a U.S. passport. Be aware that most countries require passport validity up to six months beyond the date of Fellow’s exit from the country of assignment.

Selected Fellows receive a fellowship agreement, not a contract, which will be sent to you in advance of your departure for your country of assignment, but only after you receive medical clearance and all other onboarding requirements are completed.

The cooperating agency will keep you updated on travel arrangements, the pre-departure orientation, and other program updates. You will also receive information about getting in touch with the U.S. Embassy in your country of assignment, to learn more about visa requirements, your project responsibilities, and to be put in touch with the host institution. You should also research information on your country of assignment to learn more about the language, culture, history, and politics.

You can request contact information for your counterparts at your host institution from your points of contact at the U.S. Embassy in your country of assignment, but only after you have a fully signed agreement.  

The program provides a mandatory pre-departure orientation for Fellows in advance of their fellowship start date. The pre-departure orientation may be in-person (in Washington, DC), virtual-only, or a mix of virtual and in-person events. You will receive complete details on the pre-departure orientation being held for your fellowship in your acceptance email and other correspondence from the cooperating agency.

The program provides accommodation during, and travel to and from, in-person pre-departure orientations, as well as allowances to help cover the costs of ground transportation, baggage fees, and some meals. 

No allowances are provided for or during virtual pre-departure orientations.

Your safety and security abroad start with planning and staying informed before you depart. The U.S. Department of State offers several resources to help you prepare:

The program will not provide you with a list of recommended or required vaccinations. It is your responsibility to discuss vaccinations related to your country of assignment with your healthcare provider, and determine any vaccinations or tests specifically required by your country of assignment

Visa requirements depend on your country of assignment. If a visa is required, you are responsible for making the visa arrangements prior to departure. U.S. Embassy staff in your country of assignment will be of assistance, but the responsibility to obtain required visa(s) – or to complete any other entry requirements – lies with you. The cooperating agency will not book your travel to your country of assignment until the required visa is in-hand.

No. Housing is handled differently for each fellowship, depending on the country, but it is always your host institution and/or the U.S. Embassy in your country of assignment that is responsible for securing your housing. If your permanent housing won’t be ready when you arrive, you will be given interim housing. You can get in touch with your U.S. Embassy points of contact about housing after you receive your acceptance email and they will answer any questions you may have.

Your points of contact at the U.S. Embassy in your country of assignment, who will be listed in your acceptance email, can help with any questions related to your fellowship project duties or your country of assignment, including visas, housing, and other in-country logistics. After you have a fully signed agreement, they will also provide you with contact information for your counterpart at your host institution

The cooperating agency will coordinate your travel to and from your country of assignment. Do not book travel on your own; you will NOT be reimbursed for these costs. 

In the majority of cases, the program will provide you with two one-way economy-class tickets – an outbound ticket to your country of assignment, and a return ticket from your country of assignment. These tickets will be issued as direct route, economy fares and in accordance with the Fly America Act. You will be sent an e-ticket after the cooperating agency processes your travel schedule.

Before the program will issue airline tickets to your country of assignment you must have:

  • completed all onboarding requirements, including the medical clearance process, and confirmed whether a visa is required for travel. If a visa is required for travel, you must have the visa in-hand before any tickets will be issued; 
  • a signed fellowship agreement; and,
  • submitted a notarized letter of permission for minor child(ren) to travel with you (if applicable).

In most cases, you must also have completed the required pre-departure orientation prior to tickets being issued.

No. The program will not incorporate requests for personal travel into outbound flight schedules, including traveling to your country of assignment before your agreement period starts.

The program addresses special travel needs and reasonable accommodation travel requests on a case by case basis. The cooperating agency will be in touch with you during the travel booking process to discuss any specific needs.

It is strongly recommended that you do not bring any pets to your country of assignment. There are many barriers to traveling internationally with an animal. There may be restrictions about pets  entering your country of assignment, such as quarantine or an outright ban. It is also very difficult to arrange both transportation and accommodations for animals. 

If you decide to take your pet with you, the program will not help you with transportation, such as scheduling specific times or routes that would help accommodate the pet’s travel. Your travel itinerary cannot be changed to coordinate with your pet’s. If the schedule that the program coordinates for you is not acceptable due to your pet’s travel, you will be responsible for planning, organizing, and paying for your own ticket, as well as that of your pet, to and/or from your assignment. In such cases, you will forfeit your ticket to and/or from your fellowship.

You can coordinate this travel yourself, or inform the cooperating agency before your travel is booked that you would like to travel on the same flights with your dependents. Anyone traveling with you whose travel is arranged by the program must abide by the Fly America Act, and this may mean more expensive travel than on other airlines.

You are responsible for paying all expenses for any dependent travel.

The program can coordinate your travel with a minor child; however, you are responsible for paying all expenses related to their travel. In addition, if you are traveling alone with your minor child, you may require legal documentation from the child’s other parent/guardian, if applicable, giving permission for the travel to occur. This is your responsibility to arrange. If applicable, you must provide a copy of any notarized letter of permission for minor child(ren) to travel with you to the program.

Your return travel is booked no earlier than one to two months in advance of the end of your fellowship agreement period, due to the variable nature of living and working abroad. You must leave your country of assignment within 30 days of the end date of your fellowship agreement period or you will forfeit your return ticket.

Yes, dependents may join you for all or part your fellowship, unless you are otherwise notified by the program.

The program awards one-person fellowships and does not cover any expenses for accompanying dependents, including, but not limited to, travel, insurance, visa, medical expenses, housing, food, local transportation, and schooling. Additionally, the program does not offer any logistical support, schooling, or employment opportunities for accompanying dependents. All expenses and logistics for your dependents are your sole responsibility.

A monthly allowance of $500 is provided for qualifying dependents to offset the cost of travel to and living with you in-country. If applicable, this allowance will be included on page one of your fellowship agreement. A qualifying dependent is defined as a spouse, partner, or relative (child, parent, or sibling) who spends at least five, and up to ten, continuous months of your fellowship agreement period in your country of assignment. 

The dependent’s allowance is calculated at $500/month (for a minimum of five continuous months) for each month spent with you in your country of assignment. The allowance of $500/month is the same whether you have one or more qualifying dependents.

The program is only required to identify housing suitable for one person, but your host institution, and/or the U.S. Embassy may choose to help you locate housing to accommodate accompanying dependents. If larger housing cannot be located within the allocated living allowance outlined in your fellowship agreement, you must use your own funds to offset the cost of housing that will accommodate more persons than yourself

The program has no citizenship requirements for accompanying  dependents. However, it is your responsibility to ensure any dependents have the correct visa and proper documentation to enter and exit your country of assignment. You must also make the U.S. Embassy in your country of assignment aware of your dependents’ citizenship. In the event of an evacuation, the U.S. Department of State can only help with the evacuation of U.S. citizens. Any non-U.S. citizen accompanying persons must keep their passports, U.S. visas, or U.S. residency status current (if applicable). U.S. Embassies are not authorized to issue U.S. visitor visas to non U.S. citizen spouses, domestic partners or relatives who accompany Specialists, even in the event of an emergency, or if you are evacuated.

Fellows receive a generous financial benefits package that includes a stipend, living allowance, a dependent’s allowance, if applicable, and a relocation allowance. International travel to and from your country of assignment is also arranged and purchased directly by the program.

Fellows also receive a supplementary health benefit plan, the Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE). 

A complete overview of payments, benefits and allowances can be found in the Benefits section of the Fellow Program Overview page.

The program also provides numerous professional benefits. All Fellows are provided a pre-departure orientation and are invited to take the U.S. Department of State Training of Trainers Course. Through their projects, Fellows often have opportunities to expand their professional skills, for example by designing and teaching an advanced methodology course or giving plenary presentations at national conferences. 

As a member of the English Language Programs community, Fellows have access to a network of highly-experienced TESOL professionals among the program’s participant and alumni community Fellows are members of the English Language Programs online Community of Practice, with access to resources, discussions, job listings, and online webinar events, including the annual Specialist Master Class. Program alumni can also apply for Conference Registration Grants.

PAA is provided to facilitate and enhance fellowship activities in your country of assignment such as facilitating local conferences, workshops, seminars, lectures, etc.; traveling to attend or conduct academic programs; sponsoring local EFL teachers to attend or conduct academic programs; and purchasing materials. It also covers costs associated with post-arrival orientations, and the mandatory mid-fellowship professional development events.

PAA is a reimbursable allowance, which means the funds are not provided to Fellows in advance. Fellows submit expense reports to the cooperating agency to receive reimbursement for approved PAA expenses. 

There are very specific policies related to what types of PAA expenses Fellows can incur and how to submit expense reports for reimbursement, which are provided during the pre-departure orientation and made available throughout the fellowship for reference.

Payment schedules can vary, but first payments are made within 30 days of the start of the agreement period.

Yes. All payments from the program that are processed by the cooperating agency will be deposited electronically into a single, United States bank account. You are responsible for making arrangements for accessing your funds while in your country of assignment. The program cannot pay you via wire transfer or check, divide your payments into more than one account, or make payments to foreign bank accounts

Yes. For taxation purposes, Fellows are considered a supplier or independent contractor. As a Fellow, you will not be employed by the U.S. government or the cooperating agency. As such, you are providing a fee-for-service while on assignment. 

As these fees are taxable, certain payments received from the program through the cooperating agency will be reported both to you and to the IRS on Form 1099-NEC. These fees are called “non-employee compensation” and they are considered taxable income. Taxable income and benefits received from the program through the cooperating agency include:

  • Stipend;
  • Relocation allowance; and
  • Dependent’s allowance (if applicable).

You should consult your tax advisor or the IRS for guidance, as the program cannot provide any tax guidance. Filing and paying your taxes are solely your responsibility.

The program does not provide comprehensive health insurance coverage during your fellowship; however, the program enrolls Fellows in a supplementary health benefit plan, the Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE), for the duration of the fellowship, as well as international travel dates. ASPE only provides coverage while a Fellow is in the country of assignment.

ASPE does not provide comprehensive health insurance coverage and it does not cover personal travel outside of your country of assignment. You can review information about ASPE coverage in the ASPE Guide.

ASPE is intended only to serve as supplemental coverage. It is strongly recommended, but not required, that you purchase comprehensive health insurance with international coverage during your fellowship.

No. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program originates at the Department of Education and it stipulates that it covers employment only; because Fellows are not employees, they cannot be considered for the program. 

Note: Peace Corps and AmeriCorps were written into the regulation as specific exceptions; the Department of Education noted it would not reopen the regulation or consider new groups as exceptions to the employment requirement. If the regulation changes, the program will notify all participants.

You are not employed by the U.S. government, the cooperating agency, or any agency or government of the country of assignment. You are instead considered a grantee and, for tax purposes, a supplier or independent contractor. You are bound by the terms and conditions of your fellowship agreement and cannot expect any additional compensation or benefits, except what is detailed and explained within your agreement.

Fellowships are 10 months in length, and require the Fellow’s full-time commitment.

As English language teachers, most Fellows teach undergraduate and graduate students, as well as pre-service or in-service professionals. A typical work week for a Fellow includes up to 20 classroom contact hours and 10 hours of class preparation and planning, plus time for additional activities. As a guest faculty member, Fellows also fulfill all professional obligations of their host institution, which may include conducting workshops, attending staff meetings, thesis advising, maintaining office hours for consultation, and peer evaluation.

In addition to teaching regularly scheduled courses, Fellows may take on other secondary activities as determined by the U.S. Embassy in the country of assignment. These activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Instruction in ESP or EAP areas;
  • Extracurricular activities for English clubs, American Corners, etc.;
  • Curriculum and materials development;
  • Testing and evaluation;
  • Textbook analysis;
  • Needs assessments;
  • Teacher training (pre-service and in-service);
  • Summer camps;
  • Outreach activities for educational institutions and professionals in the local community; and,
  • English Access Scholarship Program activities (in countries where this program is present).

Fellows may also be asked to collaborate with other Fellows or U.S. Government grantees (Fulbright English Teaching Assistants, Peace Corps volunteers, etc.) to coordinate activities and programs.

Fellowship duties vary from project to project and may include some but not all of the activities described above. All fellowship duties will not exceed 40 hours per week and must not include administrative work for the host institution.

Eligible applicants will receive an actual project description of the fellowship assignment they are being considered for during the matching process.

During a fellowship, you are not permitted to undertake any additional work not included in your duties. Exceptions can be made for work requested by another U.S. government agency, or the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You can receive payment or reimbursement for meals, lodging, and travel costs related to this work but are not permitted to accept any honorarium, stipend, or salary payments. 

In some cases, you may be permitted to undertake virtual work outside your country of assignment, but only with advance approval and as long as it does not interfere with your fellowship duties.

If there are times when all academic activities at your host institution are on break and you have no other duties scheduled during that time, you may be able to take leave. Before you do this, you must have the written approval of your host institution and the U.S. Embassy in your country of assignment. This approval is required whether you plan to spend your leave time in your country of assignment or traveling in another country.

Your U.S. Embassy may assign you other duties during an academic break, which may include activities such as teacher training; curriculum, syllabi, or materials development; peer counseling; testing, evaluation, or assessment development; needs analysis; and project advising/coordinating. There are no hard and fast rules for the kinds of duties you may be assigned, though they will generally be related to English language learning or public diplomacy. You are asked to actively cooperate with your U.S. Embassy when asked to take on related duties during an academic break.

Yes, Fellows must submit three program reports (preliminary, mid-year, and final) to track the progress of your fellowship duties and expense reports to receive reimbursement for approved reimbursable expenses.

The COP is an invitation-only virtual space for all participants and alumni of the English Language Programs to:

  • submit Highlights to share details about unique events or projects you are working on;
  • share resources, ideas, best practices, photos, events, and experiences from around the world;
  • find teaching and teacher training tools;
  • connect with other program participants;
  • participate in professional development opportunities provided by the program;
  • stay up-to-date on the latest events and resources available on the English Language Programs and American English websites;
  • post job announcements and search for job opportunities; and,
  • stay connected and contribute to the program as alumni.

No, but understand that U.S. freedom of speech guarantees may not be applicable in your country of assignment. Privacy settings, even if you enable them, may not work and your posts may be viewable by the authorities or even citizens of your country of assignment. Be aware of this when you are posting comments on blogs, websites, or other social media platforms. Be aware of any local sensitivities while in your country of assignment, and consider the reaction of local colleagues and authorities who may read your posts. Offensive posts could create tension and ultimately result in the cancelation of your project, and therefore your fellowship, as well.

As these will be your personal views and not those of the U.S. Department of State during the time of your fellowship, you are asked to post the following disclaimer on your personal blog or website for added clarity: “This website is not an official U.S. Department of State website. The views and information presented are the English Language Fellow’s own and do not represent the English Language Fellow Program or the U.S. Department of State.”

It is possible to renew a fellowship, but it does not happen automatically. All requests for renewals are made by the U.S. Embassy in your country of assignment and will be evaluated against any new requests for programs or sites, which are based on the priorities and needs of the U.S. Department of State, each cycle.

Yes. A fellowship is contingent upon your ability to obtain a passport and any necessary visa(s) that your country of assignment requires, appropriate conditions that exist prior to and during your fellowship in your country of assignment, and your ability to complete the duties and responsibilities associated with your project.

The U.S. Embassy in your country(ies) of assignment can also direct the cooperating agency to terminate your fellowship at any time during your fellowship agreement period or prior to your departure. Other reasons for termination could include, but are not limited to, engaging in offensive, inappropriate, unethical, or illegal acts; violating program, agreement, or host institution policies; failure to communicate with the U.S. Embassy or the cooperating agency; failure to follow instructions or guidance from the U.S. Embassy; or if you are unable to perform your duties for any reason (medical, political, natural disasters, etc.) or you abandon your duties.

You will receive an official termination letter via email from the program. This letter provides the full terms of your termination, the date on which your fellowship agreement was terminated, and it will outline details on payments you have received, specifying what funds you can keep, and what funds, if any, you are required to return to the program.

You can remain in your country of assignment after your fellowship if you meet all of the visa requirements of your country of assignment, which is your responsibility to ensure. You must also abide by any limitations imposed by your country of assignment. You should also change your status with STEP and the U.S. Embassy’s American Citizen Services, as you are no longer a Fellow after your fellowship has ended (or has been terminated). Be aware that if you choose to remain in either your country of assignment or another country for more than 30 days after the end date of your fellowship agreement period, you forfeit your return travel provided by the program and you are responsible for the logistics and payment of your return travel.

Once your fellowship agreement period has ended, you will no longer receive any benefits or allowances from the program, including ASPE coverage. You are only covered by ASPE during the fellowship agreement period, and on the day of travel immediately before your start date and on the day of travel immediately following the final day of your fellowship.

Before you leave for your country of assignment, you will be asked to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a service of the Bureau of Consular Affairs. By enrolling in the program, you will receive important safety information about your country of assignment and allow the U.S. Embassy to contact you in emergency situations. 

The program will provide you with an overview of who to contact in different emergency situations (i.e. travel, personal, medical), as well as an emergency contact card template. You will be encouraged to program those numbers into the phone you will use during your fellowship, and print a copy to keep this important contact information on you at all times.

When you arrive in-country, you will also have a security briefing with the Regional Security Officer (RSO) at the U.S. Embassy as a part of your post-arrival orientation. You should develop an emergency and communication plan with your contacts at the U.S. Embassy and with your host institution(s) during your post-arrival orientation, and discuss how you will receive additional safety and security information throughout your fellowship.

You must promptly notify your host institution, the U.S. Embassy in your country of assignment, and the cooperating agency if you have to leave suddenly because of a personal emergency. Try to notify them how long you expect to be out of your country of assignment. Except for such an emergency, you cannot leave your country of assignment without prior written approval from your host institution and the U.S. Embassy.

When an evacuation is ordered, the cooperating agency and the U.S. Embassy in your country of assignment will work with you to ensure your timely departure. There are different kinds of evacuations, depending on the circumstances, which are addressed on a case-by-case basis. 

You may be evacuated to a different city in your country of assignment. You may even be asked to finish your fellowship in this new city or another location that is safe. You may need to be evacuated to another country entirely, or back to your home base. You might stay there until the evacuation order is lifted, until you are reassigned to another country, or until your fellowship agreement is terminated.

In most cases, the program will provide you with an economy-class ticket, on the most direct route available out of your host city or your country of assignment. Additional benefits and allowances provided to Fellows during evacuation scenarios are handled on a case-by-case basis.

You must inform the U.S. Embassy in your country of assignment if you seek emergency medical attention for any reason. In the past, some Fellows have experienced unexpected medical conditions (serious illness or injury) requiring medical evacuation to another country for proper treatment. Unless you have your own personal coverage, before you make any medical evacuation plan, or one is made for you, you MUST obtain pre-approval for it to be covered by ASPE. More information on medical evacuations can be found in the ASPE Guide.

No. As an exchange program, the English Language Fellow Program is committed to filling all open projects with new candidates. 

Alumni are valued members of the English Language Programs community. They continue to have access to the online Community of Practice, including a Jobs section, information about Alumni Conference Grants, invitations to Online Community Events, and access to the annual Specialist Master Class, a professional development opportunity offered exclusively to program participants and alumni.

No.  The mission of English Language Programs is to offer cultural exchange opportunities to as many educators as possible, and to welcome as many new participants to the program as possible every year.

For policy guidance, current Fellows should review the Terms and Conditions of their fellowship agreement and the applicable handbook for their program, located on the English Language Programs Policy Handbooks page.

Life in the Life Video - Fellows in Jordan

A Day in the Life of a Fellow

Watch the Playlist

Before you apply

Fellow giving an interview to a reporter

Fellow Program

Return to the Fellow Program page for details about program benefits and previews of stories about Fellows.
Review Program Overview
Fellow sitting at a festive table topped with local cuisine. The Fellow is sitting between 4 others, 1 of whom is holding a stringed instrument.

Application Process

Review program eligibility and the steps involved in applying on the Application Process page.
Review Application Process
Fellow smiling next to a poster display of her printed article

News & Events

Browse News and Events for updates about participants in the news and events for applicants and alumni.
Read More News & Events
Fellow in Palestine Territory enjoys end of project celebration with teachers

Ready to Apply?

When you first access the English Language Programs Portal, you will need to create an account. Once you've done that, the system will guide you through the process. If you have questions, please contact us at

Apply Now

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

This is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by Georgetown University, Center for Intercultural Education and Development.

All decisions related to participant terms (including candidate review, selection, funding, suspension, revocation, and termination) and all criteria related thereto are made and established by the U.S. Department of State.