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does accepting a fulbright ETA help my chances at Ph.D programs in english?


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In late April 2014 I accepted a Fulbright ETA offer. But because of a set of unforeseeable family circumstances, it would be better for my family overall if I stayed home next year and applied for jobs in the region. I'm considering rescinding my acceptance. However, I am applying for a Ph.D in English in the fall, and I have heard a lot from various students and professors about the ways that the Fulbright ETA can enhance my application to top schools (in terms of gaining teaching experience, demonstrating to grad schools that I can sustain longer-term commitments). I've also read comments on gradcafe indicating that the teaching grant is not as prestigious as the research grant. 


I would like to know if anyone has any insight on how much a Fulbright ETA can help in terms of getting into Ph.D programs in English. For more information, I don't plan to read in the language of the country I got a Fulbright in, but I will specialize in women, gender, and sexuality studies, and I'm interested in being exposed to the ways that these are configured and negotiated in that particular country. 

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The teaching grant is definitely not as prestigious as the research grant if you're applying to PhD programs. That said, it can be an excellent way to gain teaching experience, to learn about another country and its literature, etc. Even though your specialization is in women, gender, and sexuality studies, you may find that your time abroad changes your specific focus and/or gets you thinking about these topics in new/interesting ways. I wouldn't back out personally, though it's a very individual decision.

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