Where can I teach?

FILMMAKERS WITHOUT BORDERS places participants in Bangladesh, BhutanCambodiaHonduras, India, Morocco, Navajo NationNepal, PeruTanzania, and Thailand

How long can I teach?

All FWB participants live and teach overseas for between 10 months – 1 year. 

Are shorter assignments available?

Unfortunately, short term placements are not available at this time. 

What will I teach?

FWB will provide you with 1 year of curriculum developed by our team. This curriculum is designed to provide a culturally-specific framework and basic structure for participants’ week-to-week classroom instruction. There is also a great deal of flexibility for participants to add their own lesson plans, project ideas, and flourishes within the curriculum’s modular system. Take a look at our vimeo channel for examples of FWB’s work.

How many hours/days will I teach?

Participants teach 5-6 hours/day, 4-5 days/week. 

Where will I live?

FWB and its partners provide participants with local housing in the form of studio apartments, shared accommodation, or home-stays. All housing has running water and electricity but are often very basic and situated within the local community. Participants will have their own private bedroom. 

Do I have to pay anything to participate?

Nope. You will need to submit a $1000 deposit (that will be returned to you after successful completion of the program) but apart from that, FWB covers all of the costs.  

Do I need to be a US citizen?

No, you do not need to be a US citizen to be an FWB educator. However, be aware that visa regulations vary by country and FWB cannot guarantee that you will be granted a visa to your program country. As the majority of our volunteers are US citizens, we send out visa application instructions pertaining to US citizens (visa requirements are usually similar for citizens of Canada, the UK, and Australia). Applicants who are citizens of other countries should contact the consulate of their program country for visa information. FWB can provide a letter of verification for confirmed volunteers to present to those consulates, but volunteers who are not US citizens will be responsible for researching requirements and possibly obtaining visas on their own. Additionally, non-US citizens will be required to provide documents relating to relevant background checks and may also be required to pay additional fees related to travel/evacuation insurance.

Can my family or partner come too?

The FWB Fellowship is intended for only 1 person and in many cases FWB housing is in a shared facility that wouldn’t be conducive to more than one tenant/room. Additionally, from a cultural perspective co-habitation (of unmarried couples) is not always as accepted as it may be in your home country. In the event that the participant is willing to forego the provided FWB housing and pay for all the additional housing/travel/insurance/food costs of a family member or partner, exceptions may be discussed on a case by case basis. 

When would I go?

Each program is different and often aligned with the academic calendar in the respective country.  Most programs begin in September/October while a few begin in February or May of each year.

Who will I teach?

FWB has partnered with local schools and community organizations. Participants will teach local students served by such organizations as the Bhutan FoundationChildren for Change: CambodiaVolunteers Initiative Nepal, the FutureSense Foundation, & more. Class sizes range from 10-15 students of various ages. 

What qualifications do I need to have?

All FWB Fellows are required to have a Bachelors degree and at least 2 years of filmmaking/teaching experience.  Applicants should be able to demonstrate a commitment to cultural sustainability, youth media, and education.  

Do I need to know the local language?

Nope, all classes are either taught in English or in collaboration with an in-class local translator. FWB has partnered with organizations that either already offer English language instruction or are aspiring to do so.  The FWB curriculum is designed to utilize the filmmaking process to also facilitate English language acquisition.   

What about cameras and equipment?

FWB will provide all of its participants with a robust equipment package to use in their overseas classrooms.  Each equipment package will include a Canon DSLR, 10+ Kodak Playsport Pocket Cameras, external hard drives, mics, etc.    

Can I make my own film while I'm overseas?

Absolutely, in fact we encourage it.  We recognize that our educators are also creative visual storytellers and we want to help you develop your own independent projects throughout the 1 year placement.  

Will I be paid?

No, but all of your expenses (airfare, housing, transportation, food, etc.) will be provided. 

What about filing taxes?

We at FWB are not tax advisors.  While we try to be as helpful as we can, it is important to check with the IRS or certified tax advisors to determine if you are required to pay taxes.  We have also gathered this information to get you started. Some volunteers, particularly in year-long programs departing in December and January, will make less than the minimum earnings threshold for filing taxes.  However, most volunteers departing at other times will have income from other employers during the calendar year, pushing their total income over the filing minimum.


Since FWB is/was not technically your employer, most volunteers will not receive a W-2 or other earnings statement from FWB, nor are you likely to have pay stubs from your host school (although if you do, keep them for your records).  Volunteers in some programs may receive a 1099-MISC.  However, if you do not, it is still your responsibility to declare your earnings as accurately as possible. It may be a good idea to include a letter with your tax return explaining your situation: that you were a full-time volunteer overseas and earning a basic living stipend of x amount per month, totaling y amount over the whole tax year.

Priority vs. Final application deadlines?

Each FWB program has two application deadlines: Priority and Final. Those applications received by the Priority Deadline will receive priority consideration and interviews will begin shortly after submission. Applications received by the Final Deadline will be considered but will be considered after all Priority Deadline applications have been reviewed. FWB may fill the designated positions with candidates who meet the Priority Deadline before the Final Deadline submission period is closed. All interested applicants should apply as early as possible. 


How many students should be in each class?

Ideally, between 10-15 students 

How long is each class session?

Ideally, 1.5 hours – 2.0 hours. 

Who created the curriculum?

The FWB Education Team (certified NYC DOE educators). The curriculum is also aligned with US Common Core curriculum standardsBlueprint for the Moving Image art education standards, and ISTE technology standards.  

What will the students create?

Various short 3-8 minute films including short documentaries, fiction/narrative, interactive films, and experimental films.  Take a look at our vimeo page for examples of our work.

Can the filmmaker help us make promo videos for our website?

Sure, we have a post production team in NYC that can create videos featuring your organization’s work. But we also emphasize the student-driven nature of such videos and prefer to have students shoot/conduct interviews/etc with filmmaker guidance. Overall, we’d be happy to provide 2-3 short videos highlighting different work your organization is doing.

How will students share their work?

FWB will help students to put on a student-driven film festival for the local community (in-country). Student work will also be screened in NYC and shared/posted online.

What age should the students be?

Ideally, between 11 years old and 18 years old. We have had great success working with middle school aged students across NYC and elsewhere. It’s worth noting that our focus is on youth and we do not focus on teaching adults. 

Do students need to speak English fluently?

No. In our experience the filmmaking process is highly visual and transcends language in many ways. However, some basic English language abilities is always helpful. In non-English classrooms, a translator should be provided.

Can my staff receive training in the filmmaking process?

Sure, but this will be on a case by case basis and is not part of FWB’s core mission. But we’d be happy to conduct monthly staff workshops etc.  

What about cameras and equipment?

FWB will provide all of its participants with a robust equipment package to use in their overseas classrooms.  Each equipment package will include a Canon DSLR, 10+ Kodak Playsport Pocket Cameras, external hard drives, mics, etc.    

Where can classes take place?

Classes can take place in local schools, community organizations, or at offices. 

What does the application process entail for the filmmaker?

The applicant submits a 5 minute video essay, 2 reference letters, 2 short answer essays, resume, academic transcripts, and submits to a background check. All of these items will be shared with partner org staff. FWB staff conduct two 1 hour-long interviews and then partner orgs would conduct their own interview with the applicant via Skype. 

What are FWB's housing requirements for the volunteer?

Volunteer housing may take many forms. In most cases, it is in the form of a shared apartment within walking distance of the school/community organization. In other cases, it is a homestay with a local family. In all cases, the housing must be a safe, secure, and mature environment and the volunteer must have a private bedroom, electricity, and running water.