Chinese Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTA) Program


The U.S.-China Fulbright Chinese Foreign Language Teaching Assistants Program (FLTA Program) provides candidates nominated by their post secondary College or University, including vocational and technical schools, or the selected public secondary schools approved by the Ministry of Education of China, with an opportunity to strengthen foreign language instruction at U.S. educational institutions. The program also gives young, international teachers of English a chance to refine their teaching skills, increase their English proficiency and extend their knowledge of the culture and customs of the United States while engaging in non-degree studies. FLTAs are placed primarily at universities and colleges in the United States for an academic year to teach their native language/culture for up to 20 hours per week while taking two courses per semester. The program is designed to have native language and cultural informants who are close in age to undergraduate students. Up to 30 awards are typically made in this category each year.

Ideal Candidates:

  • Are teachers of English nominated by their home institutions or the selected public secondary schools approved by the Ministry of Education of China;
  • Are proficient in standard Mandarin Chinese (Hanyu Putonghua);
  • Have a sincere interest in teaching their native language and culture to students in the United States, and have an in-depth knowledge of their culture and current events in their country;
  • Have the ability to engage students informally and motivate students in an emphatic manner;
  • Are able to work creatively and be self-reliant, while also being willing to work cooperatively as part of a team with faculty, staff and students;
  • Have good leadership, organizational and computer skills;
  • Demonstrate flexibility and a willingness to learn;
  • Are open to living in rural or urban areas and able to accept assignments across the United States in small towns, rural areas and/or in different climates; and/or
  • Are willing and able to work with American students who come from different backgrounds and ethnicities.

Upon their return to China, FLTA Program grantees contribute to improved understanding of the United States in China by sharing what they have learned through their FLTA experience with their colleagues and students at their home universities. Many FLTA alumni have developed new courses and instructional materials based on their experiences in the United States, and some have gone on to pursue Ph.D. studies in China or overseas. Many FLTA Program grantees also establish permanent links with American colleagues and friends during their grant year, through whom they continue to exchange ideas and information as they pursue their academic and/or professional careers.


  • Candidates must be Chinese citizens who are resident in China, in good health, and currently employed in a position related to English language teaching at a post-secondary College or University, including vocational and technical schools, or the selected public secondary schools approved by the Ministry of Education of China.
  • Candidates must have a BA degree or higher in a field related to English language learning or teaching.
  • Preference will be given to those candidates with a minimum of 2-3 years of teaching experience.
  • Preference will also be given to applicants who have not extensively studied or worked in the United States.

For more detailed information on eligibility requirements, please refer to the annual program recruitment announcement, which is posted on the China Scholarship Council Website each March or April.

Other Program Prerequisites:

  • The main goal of the FLTA Program is to increase mutual understanding between the United States and China. Candidates should show the potential to interact productively both with their students and the local community.
  • 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.
  • The candidate should demonstrate sharpened teaching skills, creativity and adaptability that will contribute to their successful teaching of the Chinese language in a foreign environment.
  • Applicants must have strong English language skills (especially spoken English) to allow for communication on a professional level in a university environment and engagement in social activities with Americans, both an integral part of the exchange experience.
  • Applicants must be able to leave their home institutions for a full ten-month period to participate in the program starting from August or September of the year following application. With the exception of emergency situations, program participants are not allowed to spend longer than the grant period identified on the DS2019 form.

Dependent Support:

Dependent support is not provided for this program.  If you have questions about this policy, please contact IIE Beijing.

Program Timelines:

  • March/April: New recruitment/application cycle opens – please check the China Scholarship Council website for the official announcement.
  • July 31st: Application deadline. Please refer to CSC’s official announcement for details.
  • August/Early September:Final deadline for official language score (TOEFL/IELTS) submission to IIE. Please refer to program announcement or contact IIE Beijing for details regarding submission requirements for language scores.
  • September: Shortlisted candidates invited to interview.
  • October: Nominations announced. IIE Beijing assists nominated candidates in compiling application materials for submission to U.S. host institutions.
  • November-May (year after application): IIE New York manages application process and placement of nominated candidates in U.S. host institutions. IIE Beijing provides assistance with follow-up in China.
  • June/July (year after application): Pre-Departure Orientation, candidates secure J-1 visas following confirmation of placement/receipt of visa paperwork and make travel arrangements with the assistance of IIE New York.
  • August-September (year after application): Grantees depart for the United States.

The program administrator reserves the right to adjust the timeline above per the needs of the program.

Program Administration:

As one of the main components of the U.S.-China Fulbright Program, this program is jointly overseen by the U.S. Embassy-Beijing and the Ministry of Education. The China Scholarship Council (CSC) coordinates the initial recruitment and application process for this program. IIE Beijing provides pre-application advising to individual candidates, as well as services related to selection interviews, placement, and pre-departure logistics. IIE New York manages placement, secures visa documentation, and provides in-country oversight after grantee arrival in the United States.