FAQ

Questions about Program Arrangements

Questions about Eligibility

Questions about Post-Participation Requirements


Questions about Program Arrangements

Q. What are the costs associated with participating in the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD? 

A. The Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD is fully-funded with the exception of some meals. Travel to/from the Joint Conference in the U.S., travel to/from Japan, lodging, insurance, official excursions, local transportation, and most meals are paid for by Fulbright Japan. Participants in the program will be responsible for certain additional costs, such as a few meals, pre-departure expenses (i.e. passports or travel supplies), any costs associated with being away from their jobs during the program, and any personal expenses, including optional travel within Japan on the “free day,” Monday, June 30. Participants are recommended to bring approximately $200 to Japan to cover meals not paid for by the program.

Q. Will the program cover substitutes and other costs related to my absence from school? 

A. No. Your travel to San Francisco and Japan, local transportation in Japan, lodging, and most meals are funded by Fulbright Japan. However, costs due to your absence from school, such as hiring a substitute teacher, are not funded by the program. Schools are encouraged to regard this professional development opportunity as a valuable investment and to explore avenues of cost-sharing to support participation.

Q. How will travel arrangements be handled?

A. Fulbright Japan and the Institute of International Education (IIE) will make all travel arrangements for program participants. Travel arrangements will be made from participants' home airports to/from the Joint Conference in the U.S. and to/from the program in Japan. Under no circumstances should travel arrangements be made independently by participants.

Q. May I bring my family or friends with me on the program?

A. No. Participants will be expected to follow a rigorous schedule and will not have time to spend with family members or friends.

Q. Are there any special health requirements for participation in the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD? 

A. There are no special health requirements to apply to the program. However, applicants should be aware that the program is intensive and physically rigorous, including long days with demanding schedules (applicants who are pregnant or have walking difficulties should give these factors careful consideration). You are responsible for carrying your belongings by yourself. If you are accepted as a participant, you will have to complete a medical self-evaluation form certifying sound physical and mental health according to commonly accepted standards.

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Questions about Eligibility

Q. Am I still a competitive applicant if I have experience in only one of the four vital areas of ESD focus determined by Fulbright Japan (food and sustainable nutrition; environment; energy and resources; and international understanding and cooperation)?

A. You are eligible to apply for the program as long as you have some experience in ESD. As one of the objectives of this program is to encourage curriculum development in ESD, the most competitive applicants will demonstrate serious interest in one or more of the specified areas of focus.

Q. I am not employed full-time. Am I still eligible for the program? 

A. No. Only full-time educators are eligible for the program.

Q. I applied to the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program but was not accepted. May I apply to the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD?

A. Yes. However, the JFMF Teacher Program focused on Japanese culture and education, while the ESD program introduces the element of education for sustainable development. Applicants to the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD should demonstrate experience with and serious interest in ESD, not just Japanese culture.

Q. How does the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD define an "administrator"?

A. For participation in this program, an "administrator" is defined as a person who deals with the academic side of school administration, including, but not limited to, a superintendent, principal, vice-principal, librarian, or curriculum coordinator at an elementary school, junior high school, high school, or school district. Auxiliary personnel such as school nurses, guidance counselors, school psychologists, social workers, and speech pathologists are not eligible. In addition, county employees or other individuals who do not work for a school or school district are not eligible for the program.

Q. I am a relatively new teacher. Although I am very eager to learn and teach about ESD and Japan, I do not have any awards to enter in my application yet. Should I apply?

A. Yes. Fulbright Japan highly values interest and enthusiasm and encourages applicants who will demonstrate a long-term commitment to the program's goals and objectives. However, applicants with only one or two years of experience should demonstrate their knowledge of American education and ESD as well as their long-term commitment to education.

Q. I am planning to retire and/or leave the field of education in the near future. Should I apply?

A. Since the program goals are accomplished through long-term implementation of ESD curricula, the screening panelists will give preference to qualified teachers and administrators who are committed to working in education for several years after having completed the program. 

Q. I am a kindergarten teacher. Am I eligible to apply?

A. Yes. However, you will not have the opportunity to visit kindergarten classrooms in Japan. The program will likely include visits to elementary, middle, and high schools, but not a kindergarten.

Q. I do not have any international experience. Should I apply?

A. Yes. While previous international experience is valuable preparation for navigating cross-cultural experiences in Japan, the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD strongly encourages teachers and administrators with little or no overseas experience to apply.

Q. I do not have previous experience relating to Japan or knowledge of the Japanese language. Should I still apply?

A. Applicants are not required or expected to have previous knowledge of Japanese or Japan, only a serious academic/professional interest in curriculum development, teaching methodologies, and/or projects and activities related to ESD, as well as interest in international exchange, including Japan-U.S. exchange, as a component of ESD activities. A simultaneous interpreter will accompany you during the program.

Q. I am a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund (JFMF) Teacher Program or Master Teacher Program alum. Am I eligible for the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD?

A. JFMF Teacher Program alumni are eligible for the program only if they can demonstrate compelling programmatic responsibilities and experience with ESD. Master Teacher Program alumni are not eligible for the program.

Q. May I apply if I have traveled to Japan before?

A. Yes. However, for applicants with previous experience in Japan, preference will be given to those with compelling programmatic responsibilities and experience with ESD.

Q. I am a Fulbright alum (Fulbright Teacher Exchange, Fulbright-Hays, or any other Fulbright program). Am I eligible for the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD?

A. Yes. Fulbright alumni are eligible for the program if they meet the other eligibility criteria.

Q. My colleague and I wish to apply together. Is this possible?

A. No. You are both free to apply, but you must complete separate applications.

Q. If I am accepted to this program, do I become a "Fulbrighter" or a Fulbright award recipient?

A. No. This program is administered by Fulbright Japan, but Fulbright award recipients are those who have applied and competed for specific Fulbright study or research award categories. You will be considered a participant in a Fulbright-administered program.

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Questions about Post-Participation Requirements

Q. What is required of participants upon completion of the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for ESD?

A. Participants will be required to submit an impact report to IIE four months after their participation in the program. This report must show the development and implementation of ESD curricula as a result of the program.

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