Opportunity for U.S. teachers: Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (Fulbright TGC)

Opportunity for U.S. teachers: Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (Fulbright TGC)

A US teacher in a classroom abroad


The Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (Fulbright TGC) is a year-long professional development opportunity for elementary, middle, and high school teachers to develop skills for preparing students for a competitive global economy. Fulbright TGC equips teachers to bring an international perspective to their schools through targeted training, experience abroad, and global collaboration.

Fulbright TGC is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.

Eligibility Requirements

Teachers for Global Classrooms was one of the best professional opportunities I have had in my life.... I gained new skills, experiences, and perspectives that opened my eyes and will help me bring global education to my school.

Mario Perez, TGC alumnus

Eligible applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a full-time K–12 teaching position in the U.S., a U.S. territory or school associated with Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), including classroom teachers, guidance counselors, curriculum coordinators, special education coordinators, media specialists, librarians, and gifted and talented coordinators and others who spend at least half of their time interacting with students
  • Have five years of full-time K-12 teaching experience in the U.S., a U.S. territory or school associated with Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)
  • Be a U.S. citizen, and reside in a U.S. state, territory or campus associated with Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent education and experience
  • Demonstrate a commitment to continue teaching or working in their field after completion of the program

Frequently asked questions

Application, eligibility, and selection

What does the application consist of?

  • ­The application consists of an online form and includes questions about your school, your professional qualifications, and your goals for participating in Fulbright TGC, global education, and leadership.
  • The application requires a reference from an administrator supporting your participation in the program.

Is the program only for Social Studies teachers?

  • Learning about global education and how to infuse global issues and perspectives into the curriculum and school culture is important to all teachers, regardless of discipline. Teachers from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. There is a wide range of current participants, including STEM, English, ELL, social studies, art, business, and special education teachers.

Are guidance counselors, media specialists, technology coaches, or other types of educators eligible to apply?

  • Yes. As long as you are employed full-time as an educator at a U.S. public, private, or charter school, or within the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) at the elementary, middle or high school level (K-12), you are eligible to apply. Your workload may be a combination of roles (teaching and administrative) as long as at least fifty percent of your time is spent in direct instruction with students.

Who can submit a reference on my behalf?

  • Your school’s principal or headmaster can submit your reference. Alternatively, a district-level administrator may also serve as your reference.
  • The reference form is part of the online application and must be completed before you may submit your application.
  • The administrator you identify should receive an email with the link to complete the confidential reference. They should contact IREX at fulbrighttgc@irex.org if they do not receive this link.
  • Applicants will receive a notification email once the reference form is completed.

Do I need to submit a second reference?

  • Yes, you must include a professional reference (letter of recommendation), recommender of your choice, in the supplemental documents section.

How are applicants selected for Fulbright TGC?

  • Applications are reviewed by an external committee of experts and all final decisions are approved by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
  • Applications are judged on overall quality, the benefit the program would have for both the applicant and the applicant’s school, and clear demonstration of teacher leadership.
  • Other criteria include:
    • Demonstrated commitment to elementary or secondary education in the United States;
    • Demonstrated leadership potential;
    • Professional and educational experience and achievements;
    • Demonstrated interest in developing long-term linkages between U.S. and international institutions and schools;
    • Articulated ideas for applying program experience to improving education in your home school and community upon completion of the program;
    • Ability to express ideas clearly and effectively.

Are all applicants notified whether they have been accepted or not? When are notifications sent?

  • Selection decisions will be communicated to all applicants via email, regardless of selection result (accepted or not), once the selection process has been completed – approximately in late June or early July.

I am a legal resident in the United States, but do not yet have my citizenship. Am I eligible?

  • Currently, eligible applicants include U.S. citizens who live in the United States, a U.S. territory, or who work within the Department of Defense Education Activity.

Do I have to speak a foreign language?

  • There is no language requirement for participation in Fulbright TGC.

I have participated in other Fulbright programs. Am I eligible to apply?

  • Alumni of the Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) programs are ineligible to apply. Preference will be given to applicants who have not participated in the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching (DA), the Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange or another Fulbright program.

Can I apply to both Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms and Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Semester Research Program for U.S. Teachers or Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program for U.S. Teachers?

  • Yes, if you meet the requirements for the respective program(s) for which you are applying.

Do I have to have travel experience?

  • No. Previous international travel experience is not required. Preference will be given to applicants who have had few or no opportunities to travel internationally.

Do I have to teach in a public school?

  • No. As long as your school is accredited in the United States or a U.S. territory, applicants in public, private, charter and DoDEA schools are eligible to apply.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who are members of or who work with students from under-resourced communities or traditionally underrepresented groups including but not limited to women, racial, ethnic and religious minorities, people with disabilities, and the LGBTI community.

About the Program

Will I need to take considerable time off from the classroom?

  • No. Participants in Fulbright TGC will complete most of the program while remaining in their classroom. The Online Global Education Course is a combination of synchronous and asynchronous readings, webinars, and discussion groups during the fall semester. The Global Education Symposium typically only requires participants to take one to two days during the school week to travel to Washington, DC, in February.
  • The International Field Experiences take place in the spring and summer, and typically last two to three weeks. If you are unable to travel for this length of time during the school year, you may request a summer placement.

How much is the workload for the online course?

  • ­The online course is rigorous—it runs for 10 weeks and is considered a graduate-level course, with multiple assignments due each week.
  • IREX works to support teachers in whatever way possible in order for them to have a successful online course experience.
  • Fellows should anticipate spending 7-9 hours per week on the online course.

What if I can only travel in Summer 2020, not Spring 2020?

  • IREX prioritizes teacher travel needs for the International Field Experience. Applicants who absolutely need to travel during the summer rather than the spring can indicate this preference in their application.

What countries do you travel to?

  • Countries are chosen by the State Department.
  • Prior host countries have included Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Georgia, Russian Federation, Senegal, and Ukraine. Many of these countries will likely continue to serve as host countries in 2020.

What is the International Field Experience like?

  • The International Field Experience is a two to three-week intensive introduction to the host country’s history, education system, and culture. Participants begin with group instruction on these topics, school visits, meetings with education leaders, and cultural excursions and workshops.  
  • Participants then travel in pairs or trios to host communities around the country, where they have the opportunity to observe classrooms, interact with administrators, and teach or co-teach their own lessons with international teacher leaders who have spent a considerable amount of time on a program in the United States, and thus are familiar with our education system.
  • The travel experience concludes with a debriefing session where teachers reconvene and reflect on their experiences in-country before returning to the United States.

What if I have a medical emergency while participating in the International Field Experience?

  • The U.S. Department of State provides a health benefit plan for participants of Fulbright TGC. This plan will supplement your own health insurance and would cover a sudden sickness or an emergency while you are on the program. Detailed information will be provided as part of the program orientation.

I do not have a U.S. passport, or my passport is expired. Do I need to get or renew my passport before the application deadline?

  • No, a passport is not required to apply for the program. All finalists are required to have a passport by December 2019 in order to participate in the International Field Experience component of the program.  Your passport must include at least two blank pages and be valid through February 2021. Some Fulbright TGC travel countries may require a visa for entry. The Fulbright TGC Program will provide support to identify the visa requirements of each host country and support participants to secure a visa in advance of travel.
  • Please note that the program will cover the cost of visa fees, but not passport application fees or costs associated with expediting a passport.

What costs are associated with the program?

  • Finalists receive funding that covers participation in the semester-long online professional development course in global education and airfare, lodging, meals and incidentals for the Global Education Symposium in Washington, D.C. and the International Field Experience.


Contact: fulbrighttgc@irex.org