The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program is designed to give U.S. citizens opportunities for personal development through educational and cultural exchange and aims at strengthening English language instruction and knowledge of the United States in Portugal through the presence of highly motivated, articulate, fluent English speakers.

Over the last decades, Portugal has seen remarkable progress in learning, science and innovation, reflected in the quality of education offered at Portuguese universities. Internationalization and academic mobility are one of the priorities for Portuguese higher education institutions, which are increasingly attractive to a growing number of international students, scholars and researchers.

To learn more about Portuguese Higher Education Institutions and Research Centers, visit Study & Research in Portugal.

The Commission for Educational Exchange between the United States of America and Portugal – Fulbright Commission Portugal strives to be a collaborative and innovative organization and is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.

We seek to ensure that all our grants, programs and activities reflect the diversity of U.S. and Portuguese societies and are open to people regardless of their ethnicity, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

We work every day to build a culture of inclusiveness, respect for diversity, and understanding of the many differences that enrich the Fulbright Program.


CategoryU.S. Student Program.

Type: English Teaching Assistantship

Grant Duration: 9 months.

Grant Period: October 1 to June 30.

Grant starting date is October 1 but grantees are expected to travel to Portugal to attend a mandatory on-site orientation in Lisbon, in late September. The Fulbright Commission will cover accommodation in Lisbon for grantees placed outside of Lisbon.

A grantee can extend their stay in Portugal after the grant is complete but must secure a visa and insurance for any additional period of time. Fulbright sponsorship is for 9 months only, no funds or other grant benefits can be extended or transferred to the following academic year.

Grant Activity and Placement

English Teaching Assistants are placed by the Fulbright Commission at Higher Education Institutions, throughout Portugal, which apply to host Fulbright ETAs on a separate competition.

Grant activity is diverse and may include:

  • assisting faculty in planning, preparing and teaching English language classes and tutorials;
  • planning and presenting on topics included in study programs;
  • giving talks and seminars, both in the academic and host communities, on U.S. culture and other topics of current interest;
  • proofreading and editing English versions of official documents and media content;
  • providing informal educational advising to local students interested in studying in the United States;

The host institution will assign a Mentor to the ETA, who will supervise and serve as primary point of contact for the grantee at the institution.

ETAs are encouraged to contact their Mentors, as soon as they’re selected, for further details on their teaching assignment and logistical arrangements (such as housing and meals, when applicable), and other relevant information about the host institution and geographical location.

Placement Locations
  • Capital City
  • Regional City

Although placement is at the Higher Education level, host institutions can be diverse: public or private, large universities or small polytechnic institutes, in large cities or in smaller regional communities, or in the islands, with diverse student populations, both Portuguese and international.

Geographic diversity is a deciding factor in the selection of host institutions so ETAs should not expect to be placed in a host institution in Lisbon.


The Fulbright Commission in Portugal hosts a virtual pre-departure orientation meeting in late May/early June and a mandatory in-country orientation meeting, to be held during two days, in late September, in Lisbon.

During the orientation, the Commission offers accommodation for grantees placed outside of the Lisbon metropolitan area.



Candidate Profile

Applications are welcome from well-qualified and motivated candidates, at all degree levels, who have completed a Bachelor’s degree before the start of the grant.

While the assistantship is open to all fields of study, preference will be given to candidates with an educational background in the Humanities and demonstrated interest in international education. Previous teaching or tutoring experience is recommended, but not mandatory.

The Commission seeks mature, responsible, independent, open-minded and confident individuals who are capable of working independently, in a wide variety of institutional settings all over Portugal.

Candidates must have the ability to adjust to academic, cultural and social settings different from those of their home country, navigate cultural differences and respond to challenges that may arise on a daily basis.

Candidates residing in Portugal at the time of the application, or any time thereafter, are not eligible for a Fulbright grant to Portugal.

Candidates enrolled in a graduate studies program in Portugal at the time of the application or in the subsequent academic year, or candidates who hold a valid visa during that period, are not eligible. Candidates attending study abroad programs in Portugal at the time of the application are eligible to apply, as it is not considered residency.

Dual U.S.-Portuguese citizens are eligible to apply but will only be considered if they don’t have extensive experience in Portugal (have lived in Portugal for a period of one year or more).

Portuguese Language Proficiency

Required – Intermediate (1-2 years college study or equivalent)

Intermediate Portuguese language proficiency is necessary by the beginning date of the grant.

Knowledge of Portuguese language and culture is particularly relevant to promote a deeper engagement outside the classroom, not only with the institution’s faculty, staff and students, but also with the local community.

Candidates should include the Language Self-Evaluation and Foreign Language Evaluation forms with their online applications.

Special Application Instructions

The Fulbright Commission in Portugal seeks accomplished candidates who have the maturity, self-reliance and flexibility to adapt to their local and academic communities.

Candidates should be able to clearly state the reasons for pursuing an English Teaching Assistantship project in Portugal and should have a demonstrated interest in the country and its culture and in engaging with the wider community while in Portugal.

As part of the selection process, some candidates will be invited for an interview with the Portuguese selection committee, via zoom videocall, during the month of February.



Benefits during the entire period of the grant include:

Base Stipend: Full maintenance allowance is of €13,950, cost-shared by the Fulbright Commission and the Host Institution:

  • The Fulbright Commission offers an allowance of €7,200 (divided into 9 monthly installments of €800).
  • The Host Institution covers the remaining €6,750, either in-kind by providing meals and accommodation to the grantee, for the entire period of stay, or by paying directly to the Fulbright Commission, that will add this amount to the grant stipend.

Information about the cost-share commitment between the Fulbright Commission and the host institution is detailed in the Fulbright Award documents (to be sent to the grantee upon selection).

Travel Allowance: €900 (one-time payment, intended as a contribution to international travel between the U.S.A. and Portugal).

Health Care Benefit Plan: Accidents and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE).

Dependents: Dependent support is not available.

Tuition: Tuition fees are not covered by the grant benefits.

Housing Arrangements

The host institution may offer housing, as part of their cost-share commitment, either as a room at their residences or an apartment.

If the host is unable to provide housing, grant stipend is higher to support the increased cost. In this case, grantees are responsible for finding their own housing but are encouraged to contact their mentors and/or the institution’s international relations/mobility office for assistance in finding housing.

The Fulbright Commission provides a list of resources and websites for house searching in Portugal. The Commission can also provide informal advice concerning housing in Lisbon (average prices per location, safe neighborhoods).

Cost of Living, especially which relates to housing, is considered lower in the Azores, when compared to larger metropolitan areas such as Lisbon and Porto.

Grantees are responsible for finding their own housing but are encouraged to contact their supervisors and/or the institution’s international relations/mobility office for assistance in finding housing.

Dependent financial support is NOT available

Fulbright U.S. grantees must apply for a Temporary Stay Visa at the Portuguese Embassy in Washington, D.C., or at one of the Consulates in the United States, before travelling to Portugal.

For additional information about National Visas or the Portuguese Republic Consular Network in the U.S.A, visit the Diplomatic Portal.



Number of Grants: Up to Six Grants, depending on availability of funds.

Applications: Applications must be submitted through the Fulbright U.S. Students Program website: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/countries/europe-and-eurasia/portugal/1736

For more information about grants for U.S. Students in Portugal, contact Dora Reis Arenga, US Program Manager at the Fulbright Commission Portugal, darenga@fulbright.pt.


Additional Online Resources

Study & Research in Portugal

Portuguese Higher Education System

EU Country Profile: Portugal

Visit Portugal