U.S. Department of State’s English Language Programs

Deadline: As soon as possible




  • Worldwide


Through the U.S. Department of State’s English Language Programs, the world is your classroom. Since 1969, the English Language Programs have sent thousands of highly qualified and experienced U.S. educators in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) abroad to assist U.S. embassies in delivering and maintaining quality English language programs.


The English Language Programs is the premier opportunity for TESOL professionals to impact the way English is taught abroad. By completing projects designed by U.S. Embassies in more than 80 countries, English Language Fellows and Specialists work closely with local teachers, students, and education professionals to improve English language teaching capacity overseas. Program participants serve as representatives and cultural ambassadors of the United States and, through a unique cultural exchange, they support the U.S. Department of State’s public diplomacy mission abroad.

These programs are competitive and challenging, and the professionals selected to participate represent the best of the U.S. TESOL community. Program participants have the opportunity to gain deeper experience in areas such as teacher training and curriculum development, create innovative cultural programming, and hone other skills that can greatly enhance their TESOL careers.

The English Language Programs are funded by the U.S. Department of State through the Office of English Language Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The programs are administered by the Center for Intercultural Education and Development at Georgetown University.

The Fellow Program

The English Language Fellow Program sends experienced U.S. TESOL professionals to teach English and train teachers at academic institutions around the world.

  • Assignments last 10 months, usually September to June
  • Fellows receive a comprehensive benefits package with a generous stipend
  • Approximately 150 Fellows complete projects overseas every year 

Opportunity is About


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate

The English Language Fellow Program is recruiting trained and experienced U.S. TESOL professionals for 10-month EFL teaching fellowships abroad. Anyone who meets the minimum eligibility requirements listed below is welcome and encouraged to apply.

If you are a former Fellow, click here for the Return-to-Program Policy.

Minimum requirements

To apply to the program, applicants must demonstrate they have:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • A graduate level degree in TESOL, applied linguistics, or a field related to English language teaching
    • Applicants with a graduate level degree in a field unrelated to TESOL are eligible to apply if they have one of the following additional credentials:
      • — a recognized TESOL certificate with at least 120 course hours plus a supervised and observed practicum (for more information about this requirement, click here)
      • — a current, valid, and full state teacher credential, certification, or license with a specialization or an endorsement in ESL or the equivalent.
    • The qualifying degree must be conferred by the end of the spring 2020 semester to be eligible for projects starting August/September 2020 and by the end of the summer 2020 semester for projects starting January/February 2021.
    • If a non-U.S. institution awarded a qualifying degree, it must be evaluated by an educational credential evaluation service. Visit the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services for a list of evaluation companies. Most of these companies provide a variety of evaluation types, but a General evaluation will be sufficient for our application requirements. Once you obtain a General evaluation from one of the recommended evaluation companies, you should upload a copy of it directly into your application.
  • A minimum of two years’ classroom TESOL (ESL and/or EFL) teaching experience*

*Definition of full-time academic year:

  • University and community college setting: one academic year consists of two semesters or three terms at 12 to 15 instructional hours/week
  • Adult education: one academic year consists of the equivalent of two semesters or three terms at 12 to 15 instructional hours/week
  • K-12 public/private school setting: one academic year consists of two semesters or three terms at 15 to 25 instructional hours/week

Preferred Skills and Experience

In addition to satisfying program eligibility requirements, applicants should demonstrate the following experience and qualities for project consideration:

  • Personal qualities of flexibility, cultural adaptability, resourcefulness, desire and ability to live and work abroad, and motivation to be a Fellow

Candidates considered most competitive, particularly for more specialized projects, will also demonstrate some or all of the following qualities and skills:

  • Teacher training, instructional technology, online teaching, materials development, EAP, especially academic writing and research, ESP teaching, and/or STEM for K-12 and university 
  • Experience living and teaching EFL abroad
  • A commitment to the field of English language teaching through membership in an English language teaching professional association, experience presenting at English language teaching conferences, and publishing materials in the field of TESOL
  • Leadership skills, excellent work ethic, and the ability to take initiative, work well with others, problem solve, and show good judgment

Special Requirements

Some projects may have additional requirements and restrictions related to a candidate’s education or employment history, medical conditions, dependents, language skills, or other areas. These factors will not preclude a candidate from consideration for the fellowship program; however, they may prevent candidates from consideration for certain projects. Candidates will have a chance to voluntarily share information about specific regional preferences, as well as plans to travel with accompanying persons. We will only use information related to personal considerations to help facilitate a successful project match. 


Deadline: As soon as possible

Cost/funding for participants

Professional Benefits

  • Prestigious placements: Engage in valuable work at universities, education ministries, non-governmental organizations, and other academic institutions by completing challenging and competitive projects designed by U.S. Embassies.
  • Professional growth: Participate in unique professional experiences that will deepen your cultural awareness and help you develop new skills that will enhance your career.
  • Cultural exchange: Serve as a cultural ambassador sharing American values and customs, while participating in and discovering the culture and customs of your host country.
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