Easiest ETA Countries
1. Local Language Considerations
2. Educational Experience Considerations
3. Institutional Level Considerations
4. Competition Odds Considerations
Nothing beats Teaching-related Experience
to win an ETA.
Teaching Experience is a huge boost to your application.
Always put gaining more Teaching Experience first.
It is never too late to get more Teaching Experience:
ALTHOUGH the statistics below may not always be up to date, this guide is still useful in highlighting the factors that must be weighed for choosing a country where you'll have a decent chance of winning an ETA.
If your situation is less complicated (usually meaning you bring less to the table or are open to going to any or many countries) to get a rough idea to begin, you could use this blunt instrument to isolate countries most likely to smile on your application:
ETA Country Quick Pick
How to choose the easiest ETA country for you to win from about 69 countries currently offering English Teaching Assistantships listed at
is shown herein.
These lists are not necessarily fully up to date because new countries are sporadically added while others may be suspended or removed anytime.
Because these notes may not be 100% comprehensive or accurate – and the I.I.E. website contradicts itself in different places – ETA profiles must be confirmed under a country's detailed summary via
The percentages below are based on 6. Number of ETAs below.
Compare this with the I.I.E. website to determine accuracy.
These statistics are also in some instances less reliable because a country may increase or decrease the number of grants offered whereas the odds are based on the number of applicants when the number of grants offered up to two years prior might have been more or fewer.
When a country increases the number of grants offered, it is likely to attract more applicants yet these statistics are calculated on the number of applicants previously against the number of grants currently.
If you find a discrepancy with the Competition Statistics at
and want clarification, ask I.I.E.'s manager for that country via
Only the Teaching Fulbright allows you to win two Student Fulbrights.
You may apply for a Research Fulbright after having served as an ETA.
Details at 14. Reapplying for Fellowships via
Choosing Considerations in Order
1. Local Language
2. Educational Experience
3. Institutional Level
4. Competition Odds
Most countries have a preferred applicant profile based on qualifications, experience, career goals, etc. Given the high competitiveness, "Preferred" attributes should usually be equated with "Required" levels, although if you have lots else they want, then this preference of theirs could be overridden by that. If you do have an attribute they seek (e.g. local language or teaching experience) then tend towards leveraging that advantage by applying to a country that wants that/those attributes, especially if, for example, your local language skill level is high or you have plenty teaching experience for an undergraduate student. One question all judges ask is: Who will be the most help in the classroom?
Each country states its own specific attributes it most wants: The more you meet, the better your chances. The more emphatic they are about wanting a specific type that you don't match, the more to steer clear. But there is more to all this: The detailed comparative statistics below, while important, are not the whole analysis. Your story can be a potent factor in your favor. Not only is it your abilities that they look for, but why you chose their country. If you have a strong story for being attracted to a certain country, and wanting to go there to teach English, this can go a long way to help get you there although it cannot overcome a complete lack of everything they seek in an ETA. While these statistics can show which countries would be easiest for you to win, you want to avoid giving the impression that your choice was made purely on odds without a particular desire for their country.
Common sense and guesswork sometimes need to be employed: Take Sri Lanka, which has excellent odds but local language is recommended. How many applicants will however speak Sinhala? More may be expected to speak Tamil which is widely spoken in southern India where there are several study abroad programs operating with many U.S. students who have studied Tamil. Yet how many of the six Sri Lanka grants will go to Tamil-speakers when Tamil is not the dominant language of Sri Lanka and some Tamil areas may be off-limits due to the recent civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers? So given all these considerations, even if you do not speak Sinhala or Tamil but have everything else they want, your chances should be fairly good. Apply the same type of analysis to other countries.
Earning TESL Certification is a factor especially for assignments in some countries as you will know from having studied 6. Teaching at
and also the ETA preferences in the Summary of each country under consideration via
TESL certification is usually wanted by countries where you will be teaching English at universities.
To learn about the Courses on offer, read our guide to
Earning TESL Certification
A complete listing of all the data for the ETA countries can be found in this spreadsheet:
Download this spreadsheet to aid you in your choice of a host country.
You can sort the stats with the built-in functions of Excel. Highlight a column, click the "Sort & Filter" button, and if prompted, expand the selection.
It is suggested that you sort the sheet by percent chance.
Then you can play with the sorting given your requirements.
If you do not speak a foreign language, this is the first category to survey for your short-list.
If the language is Required, you must communicate in it at that level: Proficiency, Conversational, Basic.
You will be required to have a professor or other qualified person submit a Foreign Language Evaluation of your ability as part of your application, covering speaking, listening, reading and writing.
If it is Preferred then those who do speak it will probably win especially in a country with few grants.
Best to steer clear of Preferred local-language countries if you do not speak it and the odds are poor.
Any desired level less than Preferred (None Required, Helpful, even Recommended) is fair game, especially if you have lots else they want, which could compensate enough for your language shortage.
As with all Fulbrights for all countries, you must however take immediate steps to begin to learn at least the basics of the language.
If you do speak a Required language this does not give you an advantage because all applicants will meet this requirement: applies to French, Italian, Portuguese (Brazil only), Russian and Spanish. But it does give you an important "in" especially with languages less spoken by American students.
If you do speak a Preferred language, then you have an advantage because some applicants won't speak it.
If the language is not taught in the US and is obscure, chances are enhanced, expected level will be lower.
Educational experience here covers two factors: Your educational level and extent of teaching experience.
Most countries welcome graduating seniors: Generally avoid those that "Prefer" graduate students, although if you have lots else they want, then this preference of theirs could be overridden by that.
The amount and type of teaching experience they prefer is key, so match yours with theirs strongly.
If some previous teaching/tutoring experience is Preferred, then you'd likely need this to win. See below.
If it is Preferred then you would really need Teaching experience versus only Tutoring experience.
Consider your experience Teaching if it has been with three or more students at a time in an institution.
Consider it Tutoring if it has been with fewer than three students or in a private setting, but you might have experience overseeing a group of young people in another setting, which could make up for this.
Not all countries are listed, only those at both extremes where little or much experience is required.
The countries not mentioned below, those in between, are suitable if you meet their expectations.
There are two factors to consider here: the amount and type of your teaching/tutoring experience AND where the country places ETAs, the former consideration affecting the latter when choosing countries.
Countries with placements only in universities (including teacher-training colleges, post-secondary schools and professional institutes) will likely pick those with the most higher-level teaching experience.
If your teaching experience is minimal, avoid university-only countries: go for middle and high schools.
The country may however have a rare requirement (e.g. obscure language) so if you have that, and another attribute they seek, this could put you in the running if the teaching experience is only preferred.
For some countries, teaching will be in universities and schools, maybe one or the other: they don't say.
Chances are improved for these dual countries because those with less experience may be put in schools.
If you have plenty teaching experience then applying to a country to teach at the University level is fine.
Elementary schools are usually reserved for Education majors and those with such classroom experience.
Further elementary school statistic considerations are covered under 4. Competition Odds below.
Countries with the highest percentage chance of winning are obviously better – provided your profile, as delineated above under Considerations 1 to 3, matches theirs in the country summary.
Generally though for countries offering few grants, it would be relatively easy to be eliminated if one was not bringing much to the table in terms of desired attributes for that country.
It is for this reason that the summary for every country you short-list must be studied carefully because there are all sorts of reasons why their detail could be more encouraging or discouraging to you.
Take Azerbaijan, for example: while the obscure Azerbaijani language can hardly be expected, they would like it if you spoke Russian, which many U.S. students do.
Because they offer only two grants, and don't ask for a lot of attributes, just about any Russian-speaking applicant would be at a tremendous advantage.
Therefore always also factor in your assessment the total number of grants offered especially when you may be weak in some attribute they desire.
Because the average overall national odds for all Fulbright grants is about 20% and only those with above average odds are listed under 4.1, this means that if you have all or sometimes just some of the attributes under Items 1 to 3 above, then you are qualified to apply to those countries.
Statistics Skewed for Countries Offering Elementary School Placements
All countries offering Elementary School placements also offer higher-level school placements but the statistics do not show how many applicants there were for each.
Some adjustment should be made in the odds to give a truer reflection of the chances for that country.
From the two countries that do show how many grants are for each school level, we see that the average number of grants for Secondary schools is 68% and for Elementary 32%.
The opposite holds for chances: If you are qualified to teach in Elementary, your % odds are far better.
3 ETA grants to Italy with 74 applicants = 4% chance
The year there were 74 applicants, 7 grants were offered = 9% odds.
They don't say how many placements in Elementary versus other school levels.
Since graduating seniors are not preferred, Italy should be considered only by alumnae – who are also just about fluent in Italian and have significant teaching experience, preferably Elementary.
90 ETA grants to Korea with 207 applicants = 43% chance
70 in Secondary schools
20 in Elementary schools
Employing the reasoning used for Taiwan below and assuming 16% of applicants were for Elementary =
33 applicants for 20 Elementary jobs = 61% chance
174 applicants for 70 Secondary jobs = 40% chance (not far off from 43%).
The year there were 207 applicants, only 80 grants were offered = 39% odds.
The following year, there were 154 applicants and 90 grants = 58% chance.
The average of these two years is 49%, not too far off from the 43% used for these calculations.
This shows how the number of grants offered can change from year to year, as do the number of applicants because all applicants are weighing the same set of statistics although some less expertly.
68 ETA grants to Spain with 291 applicants = 15%
The year there were 291 applicants, 55 grants were offered = 19% odds.
But Fulbright shows odds only for Madrid of 43 grants and 291 applicants = 15% odds.
43 grants to Madrid: 25 Secondary, 18 Elementary
15 grants to Cantabria: all Secondary
10 grants to Valencia: all Elementary
68 grants total to Spain: 40 Secondary (59% of grants) and 28 Elementary (41% of grants).
Assuming 16% of applicants were for Elementary (as per Taiwan below) there were
47 applicants for 28 Elementary = 60% chance
244 applicants for 40 Secondary = 16% chance.
28 ETA grants to Taiwan with 200 applicants = 14% chance
They don't say how many placements in Elementary versus Junior High schools.
If placement is assumed at 68% Secondary and 32% Elementary then there are 19 grants for Secondary and 9 grants for Elementary, which feels about right since there will be far fewer Elementary applicants.
It is unlikely that 32% of applicants (69) will be qualified for Elementary, more likely half that at 16% =
32 applicants for 9 Elementary placements = 28% chance.
168 applicants for 19 Secondary assignments = 11% odds.