FLTA candidates must be enthusiastic about teaching. They must have a sincere interest in teaching their native language and culture to American students. Through their application they should demonstrate knowledge of their culture and current events in their home country. They should have leadership skills, the ability to motivate students and the ability to relate to them in an emphatic manner. FLTAs should have a desire to meet people and become a part of the community by participating in community events and campus activities. They should be able to work creatively, be self-reliant but good team players who maintain excellent relationships with faculty, staff and students.
Major requirements are as follows:
- Candidates should possess the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree (U.S.) with a good academic record. Note: Candidates must be able to submit proof of B.A. completion by February 1st. Candidates unable to do so will be considered ineligible. Masters degrees are viewed as highly desirable by many institutions.
- The FLTA Program does not provide J-2 sponsorship for dependents.
- Fluency in English is mandatory. A score of no less than 550 (PBT) or 79 (IBT) on the TOEFL is required.
- Prior teaching experience is preferred.
- Applicants must clearly demonstrate maturity, dependability, integrity and professionalism.
- Ideally, FLTAs are outgoing and dynamic individuals with a great sense of humor.
As J-1 exchange participants, Teaching Assistants must complete at least two academic courses per semester and may engage in independent research related to their fields of study. These activities, combined with the teaching activities, meet J-1 visa requirements for full-time, non-degree students pursuing a prescribed course of study.
Many institutions request FLTAs who have an interest and ability to live in small towns or are adaptable to living in rural areas. They request that their FLTAs have excellent organizational and computer skills. They prefer people who have interests in sports, outdoor activities, music, dance, theatre, literature, poetry or cooking. Most of all, they look for candidates who demonstrate flexibility and a willingness to learn.
Each host institution tailors the assistantship to its language teaching needs.
Eligible Fields of Study
FLTAs are not required to have a teaching degree. However, they should possess a bachelor's or master's degree in one of the following subjects:
- Area Studies
- Computer Sciences/Technology
- Education, Rural
- Education, Teacher Training
- Educational Administration
- Educational Psychology
- Educational Technology
- Social Sciences
- Social Work