Fulbright Information for Writers of Recommendations: Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA)
The Fulbright Program offers graduating seniors, recent graduates, and graduate students one-year fellowships for study, research, or teaching assistantships abroad. Like the entire Fulbright program, its mission is “to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills.”
This information sheet is intended to make the process of submitting your recommendation as simple as possible and to help you make your recommendation as effective as possible. We know you work hard on behalf of our applicants, and we appreciate your efforts!
Fulbright uses a completely online system, and signed hard copies of recommendations are no longer required. Because Fulbright requires a campus review of all candidates, the internal deadline for submission of all materials is September 13.
The ETA program does not use regular letters of recommendation. Instead, recommenders are led through five short-answer questions about the student’s communication skills in English, ability to work in unstructured situations, cultural adaptability, and suitability as a teacher or mentor. There is also an open-ended question that allows you to comment on any other factors that you believe are relevant. It is important that you try to address the specifics of each question. In this case, content is far more important than style. Keep your answers concise, and don’t worry if they’re lacking in eloquence. You may log in to the recommendation site as often as you like before you submit the recommendation. You may save your answers and return to them to edit them as you wish. Your responses will not be shared with the Fulbright commission until you click the “Submit” button at the end of the form.
We have asked students to provide you with copies (or at least drafts) of their teaching proposals and personal statements. These can be enormously helpful to you as you prepare your recommendations. If you are not familiar with U.S. Student Fulbright Program in general or with the particular program the student is applying for, you may wish to visit the Fulbright website at https://us.fulbrightonline.org/ or our website at https://www.brynmawr.edu/fellowships/fulbright-grants.
Students must use this online system for gathering recommendations before the internal review. If a student asks you for a Fulbright recommendation in person, please provide your email address for her to register you online.
Once the student has registered you, you will receive an email message from the Embark application system with user id, password, and a link to the application website. Please save this email in a secure, easily found place, so that you may return to it as necessary. You will be asked to log in to confirm the following: Name, Organization, Email and Address. You will then find a list of applicants, both past and present, who have requested recommendations from you, based upon your email address. Current applicants will be accessible via a hyperlink.
Note: Messages from Embark are sometimes perceived as spam. If necessary, please check your quarantine folder or contact the Help Desk. Students can also activate the application system to resend the email.
After clicking on the student’s name, you will find two pages to be completed. The first page requires your biographical data, such as name, title and institutional information. This page also asks you to indicate in what context and for how long you have known the candidate. This answer must be limited to 10 lines, which may be previewed to be certain that your answer fits. The second page is where you will begin your recommendation.
You may save what you have entered and return to the recommendation site as often as you like before the deadline for submission. Nothing that you enter will be seen by the Fulbright Commission until you click the “Submit” button. However, no modifications will be possible after the recommendation has been submitted. If you have any concerns about the content of your letter, please contact me before you submit it.
Questions: Contact Ellie Stanford, Bryn Mawr Fellowships Adviser