In an effort to encourage foreign language skills and global understanding, the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program offers teachers and administrators the opportunity to study and work abroad. The projects are designed to improve intercultural relations with the American educators and the world outside of Western Europe.
The projects are designed for those who do not have much experience in the host nation. The location and the topics covered vary from year to year, but they are all designed to offer an introduction and overview to the new country to help promote curriculum enrichment. The programs typically last for four to six weeks during the summer.
To participate in the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program, applicants must be either a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. They must also hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. The applicants must also hold a great deal of professional experience, fulfilling the numerous requirements, including:
The applicants are also expected to be in good physical and psychological health to be able to participate fully in the seminar. This will require obtaining a statement from a physician testifying to the health of the individual.
It is also worth noting that those who have previously participated in Fulbright programs only become eligible for new short- term programs after two years. Therefore, applicants who have participated in the past should check with the managing office to ensure that they are able to participate.
The program is designed to benefit teachers and administrators who instruct in the areas of social sciences, languages or humanities. This includes elementary and middle school teachers, as well as those who may not teach in a classroom but design the curriculum related to the aforementioned fields of study. The program also seeks participation from librarians, museum educators or specialists in media or resources that have a vested interest and work within a curriculum related to the areas of humanities, languages or social sciences. Finally, educators who are employed at colleges or universities, both public and private, who specialize in one of the previously mentioned fields of study, are also invited to participate.
Educators who have dedicated themselves to teaching students who are at a disadvantage receive special consideration from the organizers of the program. The Fulbright commission seeks applications from teachers who work with those at risk for educational failure. These students are defined as having the following criteria.
The program will also give special consideration to those who teach in high poverty schools. These schools are defined as institutions where:
The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program offers teachers and educators some amazing opportunities to experience cultures and languages outside of the United States. By taking the candidates to nations outside of Western Europe, the world view of those instructing American students is greatly widened, making them better teachers and better able to help their students. Teachers return to their classrooms in the United States with experiences, artifacts and stories to help make the world come alive for their students.