Sunday, May 25, 2014

Teaching Assistantships in Austria (January Deadline)

US Teaching Assistantships                      
                            Fulbright Austrian-American Educational Commission

Program Objective

The Austrian-American Educational Commission, funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture (Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur), offers a U.S. teaching assistantship for one academic year in secondary schools all around Austria. Selected participants will have a rewarding opportunity to not only gain teaching and classroom experience, but also serve as a linguistic and cultural ambassador for the United States.

Applicant Qualifications

Applicants must be U.S. Citizens, have completed (or in the process of completing during application period) a bachelor’s degree. Ideally applicants are interested in public education or public service. Those with documented interest in the German language as well as German and/or Austrian studies are particularly encouraged to apply. A working knowledge of German is required and necessary to facilitate on-site orientation and work.

Program Placement

The Austrian Ministry of Education, the Arts and Culture works in a partnership with provincial school boards to place approximately 130 U.S. teaching assistants at schools in all nine Austrian provinces. Applicants may request a city or region to which they wish to be assigned. However, the number of positions available in larger metropolitan areas, such as Vienna, Salzburg, Graz, and Innsbruck, is limited. Therefore, applicants also should be prepared to accept teaching positions in smaller, more rural communities. Flexibility of placement in prospects enhances applications.

Duration of Teaching Assistantship

Participants are employed from October 1 – May 31 of the academic school year. Selected teaching assistants are required to attend an orientation seminar before beginning their assignments. U.S. teaching assistants with a superior record of performance may apply to have their assistantships extended for a second year.

Work and Stipend of the Teaching Assistants

Participants typically have a 13 hour work week, divided between two schools, under the supervision of an assigned teaching superior to keep track of their overall performance and trouble shoot, if need be. The stipend is ca. € 1,367 per month for eight months, from which deductions are made for health and accident insurance (full coverage under the Austrian plans) and income tax. This results in a net income of approximately € 1,100 per month. No additional support for travel to Austria or for dependents is provided.

Application Process

Graduating seniors may apply, provided they have their degrees before assuming the positions. Complete applications are due January 15, 2014 for the following school year. For further information on the program, application materials, and advice on application procedures, consult the Commission’s website: 

Research Grants for Grad Research and Study in Austria -- with or without TA Position (October Deadline)

The Fulbright Commission in Austria offers up to 20 Fulbright student grants for recent U.S. undergraduates and graduate students for research and study in Austria.

Types of Research and Study Grants

-          2 grants to facilitate full-time research or study
-          4 Fulbright-Mach Awards for Doctoral Candidates, for full-time research
-          1 Fulbright-IFK Junior Fellow award (for PhD students in cultural studies)
-          1 award to study at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna
-          12 part-time study and research grants combined with English teaching assistantships (13 hours per week) at secondary schools in university cities

Students interested in the IFK and the Diplomatic Academy awards should apply through the regular competition for Austria and note their interest in the specific awards in their application. 

Language Proficiency
Intermediate to advanced proficiency in spoken and written German is essential for all fields, including music and fine arts. As a rule, university courses are taught in German, although individual courses in specific fields may be offered in English. University admission requires demonstrated proficiency in German. Language study is available at most institutions and, depending on the level of proficiency, required by some.

Duration of Study
9 months, beginning with a late-September orientation in Vienna.

Candidate Profile
Traditional candidates for the full-time research or study awards include graduate-level students and Ph.D. candidates; musicians enrolled in performance programs; selected students in the natural sciences and/or engineering, whose projects may require extensive lab time; or selected volunteer and service projects.
Bachelor's level candidates may apply for full-time research and study grants but should note that the competition for full-time research and study awards is substantial every year. Therefore, they are advised to apply for study grants combined with English teaching assistantships. It is important for applicants to note that recipients of grants combined with teaching assistantships can only pursue studies on a part-time basis due to the time teaching commitments demand. Individuals who have applied for, but are not selected for, full-time research grants, may, at the discretion of the Fulbright Commission in Austria, alternatively be considered for grants combined with a teaching assistantship.
**Medicine and Veterinary Medicine are not recommended fields of study for this program**

All grantees, including Ph.D. candidates, must be fully matriculated at accredited public universities in Austria to facilitate tuition remission, insurance, use of libraries and archives, etc. The AAEC facilitates university enrollment at the applicant's preferred university and provides for the waiver of tuition fees. Grants are not available for enrollment at private institutions of higher education or other programs of advanced study in Austria that do not waive tuition fees. Applicants should identify the individuals and institutions that will provide on-site support and guidance for projects and include letters of invitation, if possible. Invitations are absolutely necessary for full-time research and study awards, and should indicate how candidates will be anchored at the institutions. They are desired but not required for candidates of awards combined with an English language teaching assistantship.

Music and Fine Arts
Admission procedures at Austrian institutions of music and the arts vary on a case-by-case basis. Universities of music and the arts require auditions and/or entrance examinations, along with submission of a portfolio. Instruction frequently is still based on "master classes": professors who select and train students for an extended period. Therefore, applicants are required to have established contact with Austrian music and/or art professors before applying for a grant and must solicit invitations to study with them. Applicants should inquire about admission and audition requirements and dates well in advance. Candidates may be required to travel to Austria at their own expense to audition (as early as June), and the AAEC makes grants for musicians contingent upon university acceptance. The AAEC does not accept applications from music and art students who wish to study with private teachers or at private institutions or conservatories that do not waive tuition fees. Grants are awarded only after formal acceptance by a university of music or the arts.
Science and Technology
Before applying, candidates should correspond with preferred institutions about availability of equipment and facilities and solicit letters of invitation.

Application Process

An annual grant competition is managed by the Institute of International Education (with an application deadline in October) which prescreens applications. The link to the online application is above. The files of semi-finalists are forwarded to the Austrian-American Educational Commission in Vienna, and a binational committee selects finalists, who are notified about the status of their applications in March/April.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Austrian Jakob Illek Joins German Studies Program as Fulbright Teaching Assistant

Jakob writes:  I honestly can’t think of any greater opportunity to have than becoming a Teaching
Assistant at a college in the United States. The thought of actually spending a whole year abroad and getting to meet new people, completely immersing myself into a new culture and simply having the time of my life makes me feel contented.  There are several reasons as to why I would love to get an opportunity like this. One of the most obvious ones is that I just love being among people from other countries. I am a very outgoing person and I enjoy talking to people from other countries, cultures, ethnicities or religions. The main reason for these characteristics of mine is the Scout Movement. I joined the Scouts when I was seven years old and nothing in my life has taught me as many values and influenced me as much as the Scouts have. I’m really fortunate that I had the possibility to go to a World Scout Jamboree in 2007 in Chelmsford, England as a participant and in 2011 in Kristianstad, Sweden as a member of the International Service Team.

Jamborees are huge gatherings of up to 40 000 Scouts from all over the world. I had the pleasure to meet people from every corner of the world and I am very happy that I can call every single person I met there a friend. These experiences also boosted my interest in the English language a lot and in 2012 I applied and got accepted as one of 10 students for a course offered by my University called “English at primary schools on their way to a bilingual class”. This course has taught me many important and interesting methods on how to teach a foreign language to children. I think this can also be applied to older students. As far as teaching goes I generally have an advantage since I have been teaching in classrooms once a week for the last two years now as part of my practical studies at the University for Teacher Education. The feedback I've received so far has always been very positive and teaching consultants keep on telling me, how authentic I am in front of class and that teaching comes naturally to me. Being an aspiring primary school teacher demands a lot of creativity, patience and imagination. These traits also definitely come in handy when teaching college students a foreign language.

                                                           Welcome, Jakob!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Alex Van Loh Awarded Teaching Fulbright in Germany

Ich schätze mich glücklich und ich bin sehr begeistert! Ich habe heute gehört, dass ich in Thüringen sein werde. Ich weiß noch nicht welche Stadt.  After having studied abroad in Austria, I wanted to expand my knowledge of Germanic culture by experiencing life in Germany. Living, teaching, and learning in Germany will broaden my cultural consciousness and give me more tools for communicating in the future. Studying a foreign language is a type of academic work distinct from all others. It is stimulating to uncover a subject that is so clearly and directly applicable to life. It overcomes communication barriers, allows for new forms of self- expression, and makes one more aware of the subtleties of one’s own language. To be able to cultivate these ideas in students across the world is an extraordinary opportunity that I feel very fortunate to have been given.

Dan Schmit Awarded Research and Teaching Fulbright Fellowship in Linz, Austria

Senior Dan Schmit was notified this past week that he had received a 9 month Fulbright Scholarship to Austria for the 2014-2015 academic year.  He will be studying Mechatronics at the Johannes Kepler Universität in Linz. In addition to his studies, He will be working part time as an English Teaching Assistant. Dan says, "I am looking forward to the opportunity to study, teach, and experience life in Linz."   Congratulations Dan!  We are proud of you.     

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Joe Berns Recieves Fulbright Award to Teach in Baden-Württemburg in Germany

Joe writes:  I have been placed as an English Teaching Assistant in a school within the German state of Baden-Württemberg, which borders on both Switzerland and France.  In addition to gaining classroom experience, I will work to bring my German language skills from "literate" to "fluent." As a musician, I would like to make music a primary focus of my time there. I plan to play with a community orchestra, take lessons, and collect and transcribe as much local folk music as I can. I have also previously made contact with distant relatives from the area, and plan I to return to my great-grandfather’s hometown for another visit.  Also, thanks for all your help and support on this! 
                                                                                                                     Liebe Grüße,  -Joe

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Joe Miller Receives a Teaching Assistantship in Baden near Vienna

I have been placed at Bundeshandelsakademie und Bundeshandelsschule BHAK BHAS, which is in Baden bei Wien, a 20-minute train ride south of Vienna. I am very excited to start my post-college career in such a wonderfully new environment. I hope to improve my German as well as learn the lovely Austrian dialect, and maybe come out of the whole experience fluent in the language. Apart from the immediate experiences, this opportunity will make way for my future. I hope to become a German professor, much like the ones who have influenced me during my educational career. This teaching assistantship will give me a look in to what my life might look like in the future, if I continue my journey down the path of academia. Hopefully all of these experiences will influence me to find out my true character and what I want to pursue in my future.

This teaching assistantship program is co-sponsored by the Austrian Educational Commission and the Fulbright Commission of Austria.