Each year, more than 140 college graduates from the United States teach in Austria under the auspices of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship program. The purpose of this program, which draws assistants not only from the English-speaking world but also from France, Italy, Russia, and Spain, is to bring talented and enthusiastic young people from abroad into the classrooms of secondary schools in communities large and small all over Austria. Ultimately, it is the job of these native speakers as teaching assistants to make learning a foreign language a lively cross-cultural encounter for their students.
In 1962, the Austrian-American Educational Commission (AAEC), which manages the Fulbright Program in Austria, also assumed responsibility for recruiting US citizens to participate in this program and administering their applications. Since then more than 2,900 college graduates from the United States have been placed in Austrian secondary schools as teaching assistants. Although the participants in this program make a substantial contribution to the fulfillment of the Fulbright Program’s mandate to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of Austria and the United States, participants in the US Teaching Assistantship Program are not grantees of the Fulbright Program.
Teaching assistants generally only work with students over the age of ten. They will be assigned to an AHS (Allgemeinbildende Höhere Schule - general higher secondary school) or BMHS (Berufsbildende Mittlere und Höhere Schule - higher secondary school with a vocational or technical specialization)
For more information, please consult this diagram of the Austrian school system on the website of the Austrian Academic Exchange Service (OeAD). Further information about the various school types can be found in the sidebar next to the diagram.