Host Institution FAQs

What are the primary goals for fellows on the FEP?

The FEP offers university instructors from Uzbekistan the opportunity to enhance their pedagogical skills and professional disciplinary expertise. While on the FEP, fellows engage in curriculum development, explore alternative teaching methodologies, expand their knowledge in their fields, and gather new teaching materials. Throughout their stay in the U.S., fellows observe courses, attend academic conferences, and work closely with faculty mentors from U.S. host institutions. Fellows may be invited to present a lecture or co-teach classes at their host institution. Through structured opportunities to engage with students and faculty, fellows will significantly enhance their understanding of the U.S. higher education system. 
While on the program, fellows are also asked to complete an Academic Inquiry Project. Intended to augment fellows’ overall learning on the program, the project offers an opportunity to explore topics related to U.S. higher education, such as assessment methods, faculty promotion, the credit system, anti-corruption safeguards, classroom materials and technology, and syllabi. Fellows select a topic they feel has particular relevance to their home institution and explore it through reading, research, and discussions with students, administrators, and faculty members. At the end of the semester, fellows present their observations both at their host institution and home institution. 

Who are the FEP fellows?

The FEP fellows are faculty members in Uzbekistan with at least 2 years of teaching experience in higher education who are interested in learning about new teaching methods and materials, and in making changes in their home classrooms and institutions. The FEP fellows represent diverse academic departments, universities, and regions in Uzbekistan. They also have diverse ages and levels of experience. FEP fellows all hold master’s degrees, and the majority have their PhD as well (it is not a requirement in Uzbekistan to hold a PhD to begin working as a university professor.)

Do host institutions need to provide visas sponsorship to the fellows?

No; American Councils provides visa sponsorship and DS-2019s for all FEP fellows.

Do fellows need to be enrolled in their host institution?

No, fellows do not need to be formally enrolled at their host institution and do not earn academic degrees through the FEP.

What is the expectation of the faculty mentor?

The faculty mentor is a U.S. faculty member in the same academic area as the FEP fellow, and serves as the primary contact for the Uzbek fellow at the university during their time on the program. The faculty mentor supports the fellow in their program goals by recommending courses that may be of interest to the fellow, recommending professional development opportunities, assisting the fellow in networking with other faculty, discussing topics within their shared academic area, or answering questions the fellow may have. While there is no formal "hourly" expectation of the faculty mentor, American Councils expects that the mentor and fellow maintain at least weekly contact and that the mentor is available to support the fellow as needed. From there, each individual relationship between fellow and mentor is dependent on the specific investment, personalities, and goals within each pair.

What is the expectation of the designated coordinator?

The designated coordinator assists the fellow with logistical matters and provides additional support as needed during their time at the institution. Topics they might assist with include housing questions, workspace, ID card, airport pickup, setting up presentations on campus, bank accounts, local transportation, or any challenges that they prefer not to direct to the faculty mentor. The designated coordinator is usually the individual that completes the FEP host institution application on behalf of the institution. This individual is often from the international programs office. In other cases, we have seen a faculty member (other than the faculty mentor) take the lead on supporting the fellow/s.

How long are the FEP fellows in the United States?

The duration of the FEP is one semester. Fellows arrive in the U.S. around the start date of the academic semester and depart following completion of the semester. American Councils facilitates all international travel.

What role does American Councils play during the program?

In addition to sponsoring participants’ J visas, American Councils plays a large supporting role for the fellows throughout their experience. This includes regular communication with each fellow to ensure that they are comfortable at their host institution and are finding ways to achieve their goals. American Councils provides support and recommendations to each fellow as they work on their Academic Inquiry Project. American Councils also allocates monthly stipends to each fellow to cover housing, living costs, books & materials, and professional development opportunities. Professional development expenses are covered on a reimbursement basis, and American Councils offers support to fellows in selecting and planning attendance to conferences and seminars.
In addition, American Councils maintains contact with the designated coordinator at each host institution throughout the program and serves as a resource to both universities and fellows.

What should the fee of $1,800/fellow be allocated towards?

American Councils provides each host institution with a modest fee of $1800/fellow to offset some of the costs of hosting. The institution may allocate those funds as they see fit.
These funds are not used for any direct expenses of the fellow such as housing, living expenses, or books/materials - all of these costs are paid through stipends provided by American Councils directly to the fellow.

Where do the FEP fellows live?

An ideal housing accommodation for an FEP fellow may be on-campus housing used for visiting faculty/scholars/graduate students or off-campus housing. Housing may be more along the lines of dorm-style housing or apartment-style housing; however, American Councils asks that fellows not be placed in undergraduate student housing. Lastly, American Councils expects that fellows do not share apartment style housing with the opposite gender. American Councils will review the housing options and costs during the placement process; if an institution is selected to host an FEP fellow, American Councils ask that the university help to facilitate housing for the fellow. The fellow will make housing payments directly once they arrive on campus, using the housing stipend provided by American Councils.

What are the requirements for fellows’ class observations?

All fellows must observe a full credit load of classes (typically at least 4). The majority of the classes must be in-person classes. Most or all of the classes should also be in the fellow’s academic area/placement department, although they may explore other topics if it aligns with their program goals. The faculty mentor does not necessarily have to be teaching one of the courses that the fellow chooses to observe.

Is there an English requirement for fellows?

There is no minimum TOEFL requirement for this program. The participants’ English language proficiency is assessed at the time of the interview in combination with their TOEFL scores. All finalists possess sufficient English to navigate and communicate in the U.S. higher education environment.

How many fellows are placed at each institution?

Placement of each fellow is determined based on the best match available among host institution applicants. Placements of 1-2 fellows per institution is the most common, although 3 may be approved in certain cases.

Do fellows select their host institution?

No, placement decisions are made by a placement committee at American Councils for International Education. The information provided by host institutions in their applications is used to determine matches, after which the potential candidates are presented to host institutions for confirmation and approval.

How does the placement process work?

The FEP Host Institution Application provides universities with the option to list faculty members who have already declared an interest in serving as a faculty mentor or to list the academic areas that they would be able to place a fellow in, though they have not yet determined specific faculty. This information is used to determine potential matches between FEP fellows and host institutions by a placement committee at American Councils. American Councils places each fellow at an institution able to provide placement in their academic department. When multiple institutions indicate an ability to provide a placement in a certain academic area, the placement committee determines the placement by evaluating which institution may be best able to support the fellow’s goals and interests. Often, follow-up discussions between American Councils and the host institution applicants are critical to making the final determinations on placement. Once all fellows are placed, the fellows are notified of their placements and introduced to their host institutions and mentors.