Learn all you need to know about the USA Employment Teacher Exchange Program below.
Teaching in America provides an opportunity to become a cultural ambassador who influences younger generations and paves the way for a more connected world. For nearly two decades, USA Employment has placed teachers in classrooms across the country where they can sharrer their gifts and open up a world of new opportunities - both for themselves, and their students!
For many of our participants, the benefits of cultural exchange continue even when they return home. The relationships and opportunities extend long after the program ends. Memories with new friends, colleagues, and students will last a lifetime.
Recent events have highlighted the interconnectedness of our globalized world and the importance of cross-cultural education and diversity to solve complex problems in today’s rapidly changing environment. We are building a bridge, but our teachers are the foundation that holds it together.
We are passionate about education and invested in the success and positive experience of each of our teachers! Our top priority is to build bridges between cultures and empower teachers with new experiences that open doors for them in the future while enriching their lives in the present.
USA Employment is a Texas-based Cultural Exchange Program for international educators. In collaboration with the United States Department of State, USA Employment’s Cultural Exchange Program provides countless opportunities for international educators to live and work in the United States while sharing their own culture with communities abroad.
When choosing to teach with us, you will participate in cross-cultural learning activities in your host school and community. Our teacher exchange program enhances U.S. student knowledge about foreign cultures and customs and adds immense value to our partner schools. Teachers then return home to share their newfound understanding of U.S. culture, customs and teaching advancements with students in their own country.
Our team is multi-cultural and understands the challenges associated with moving countries and fitting into foreign contexts. We provide comprehensive care, guidance, and support for our teachers from the day they apply until the day they come home!
Teachers with international experience have a major advantage in today’s rapidly evolving global economy. By expanding your understanding of American culture, you will gain valuable skills and a fresh perspective that promotes diverse critical thinking and problem solving skills. You will help shape the next generation in the U.S. with cultural awareness and a global mindset. When you return home, you’ll be able to apply this perspective and experience to promote cultural exchange in your own community and workplace.
Applicants must be certified and employed as a teacher in his or her home country, or country of legal residence.
If an applicant is not currently employed as a teacher, they must have (within the past 12 months) completed an advanced degree beyond the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree (about 120 credits or 4 years of study) in either general education, or in the specific academic subject field in which they intend to teach. Applicants must have at least 2 years of full time experience teaching within the past 8 years.
Applicants must have at least two (2) years of full time, post-degree classroom teaching experience as a teacher in a primary or secondary school, within the past 8 years. Experience obtained prior to acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree will not be considered.
Applicants must agree to live and teach in the United States of America as a full time teacher of record in an accredited primary (including pre-kindergarten) or secondary school. Pre-kindergarten teachers may teach only language immersion.
Applicants must have a degree equivalent to a Bachelor's Degree in Education in the USA and a Bachelor’s Degree in the subject field in which they intend to teach.
Applicants must have proficient to native level English fluency - orally and in written language.
Applicants must meet the necessary qualifications for teaching in primary or secondary schools within their home country.
Applicants must satisfy all teaching eligibility standards, including any necessary certification and/or criminal background checks required in the U.S. state in which they intend to teach.
Applicants must be of good reputation and moral character. Your character references will assist us in determining this.
We pride ourselves on providing comprehensive support for our teachers from the day they apply to the day they come home. You’ll have guidance in every one of these seven steps during your application and placement process.
Your first step is to submit an application (free of charge) along with a video introduction. Our team at USAE will then review your application during our screening and selection process. We carefully consider all applications. Upon selection, all candidates will schedule a phone and/or virtual interview with our team. USAE will provide resume and interview preparation.
Once you have been accepted, we will ensure all your academic documents and qualifications are evaluated properly by an U.S.-based evaluator. At this stage, we will also provide you with resources concerning the American education system and interview process. These resources will equip you for success during the rest of your teacher exchange journey.
USAE will evaluate prospective schools according to how well suited they are for a teacher exchange program and what their staffing needs are. USA Employment will coordinate live phone and/or video interviews for qualified candidates with potential partner schools. We help to secure job offers and provide comprehensive information about these schools, their communities, the local cost of living, and available deductions in our program disclosure.
USA Employment will be your sponsor for the duration of your teacher exchange program. Once you have secured and accepted a job offer, we will issue you a DS 2019 form. USAE will guide you through the visa application and embassy interviews, and help you complete all documents necessary to get your J-1 visa.
During this stage, we will help prepare you for your transition to the USA. In our comprehensive pre-departure orientation, we’ll review how to comply with U.S. teaching standards and how to address your own personal needs when living overseas. You will also receive a handbook to walk you through the process and help you experience a smooth transition to the U.S.
Once you’ve completed all the above steps, you will arrive in the USA with your J-1 Visa, ready for a new, life-changing experience. USAE does offer comprehensive relocation assistance to all teachers. There is an associated fee for this service to cover expenses.
Our goal is to ensure that all teachers are settled quickly and comfortably in their new environments. We provide meaningful, focused orientation sessions to help make the transition as smooth and prompt as possible for teachers and schools alike. The USAE team will receive all teachers at the port of entry and provide them with applicable relocation services along with the aforementioned post-arrival orientation sessions.
Now that you’ve been oriented and prepared, you are ready to join your assigned school! USAE will remain your sponsor throughout the duration of your visitor exchange program. Our team monitors all teachers during their tenure overseas, observing their professional progress and cultural experiences, while providing support and guidance along the way. We will be by your side until you come back home, and help facilitate your return process once your exchange program has finished.
Costs are subject to change with inflation and increasing cost of goods/services globally. All prices are the most recent estimate available, any changes will be communicated during the application process.
Application Acceptance Fee: $500
USAE Placement Program Fee: $3000
J1 EV Program Sponsorship Fee: $1500 / Year
Relocation Fee: $750
Foreign Credential Evaluation fee: $250-$350**
Fingerprinting Fee: $70-$160***
SEVIS Fee: $220
Embassy Visa Fee: $160
Certification Expense: $70-$250****
*The program fee differs according to the duration of the program.
* Credential evaluation fees differ depending on the number of degrees evaluated.
*Fingerprinting fees differ based on location.
*Certification expenses differ based on state and applicable testing.
Travel expenses to and from the U.S. are paid by teachers. This includes airfare, public transportation, parking, and any other transportation expenses involved in getting to your host community.
Insurance for J-1. Medical insurance premiums of $60/month must be paid for the first 6 months of your term.
Insurance for J-2. Compliance insurance fee of $60-$175 per person. This fee varies according to the age of the insured.
Transportation expenses. These expenses will vary based on available public transportation, carpool options, gas prices, and access to personal vehicles
The cost of living varies widely across the United States. You should take into consideration your placement area when calculating this number.
Monthly Rent: $1000-$1,500 (depending on the area)
Utilities & Communication: $100-$500
Transportation: $100-$450 (depending on available transportation options)
Miscellaneous Expenses: $50-250 (clothes, furnishings, toiletries, etc.)
Healthcare: $60 - $150
I am writing this letter to express my gratitude towards USA EMPLOYMENT LLC for providing the opportunity to work here in the USA as a Cultural Exchange Program Teacher. It’s been almost a year
when we came here and joined the school.
I remember the day when we arrived here in Tucson, USAE arranged our visits to bank, helped us to get our State IDs , arranged transportation to purchase our groceries and other necessities and showed great concern for the arrangement of our residences. Your effort in this regard is truly appreciated.
I joined Lawrence Elementary School as a 5th Grade teacher. It’s my pleasure that besides the enhancement in my teaching career, I’ve got the chance to explore new culture and environment and to enrich my learning by attending so many Professional Development Courses.
I am very much satisfied by working here and with USAE. We have gained a great experience and fame after coming here and the whole credit lies to USAE. I once again would like to thank and appreciate USAE for all that you have done for us.
USAE has offered me the opportunity to live and work in the USA with my family. They are a very honest, professional, friendly, and approachable Institution. They offered opportunities to teachers more readily than other agencies and this opportunity allows us to experience life as a teacher geographically and culturally.
I am currently enjoying my job as an ELA & US History teacher in Arizona. Since joining the school family I have encountered some amazing staff members and students who continuously show a great deal of interest in my Country- Jamaica. On the other hand, they too shared their Mexican and American culture with me by taking products for me and I am ecstatic to be a part of such an amazing cultural experience.
This will assist me to broaden my global perspective, gain additional experiences in the education system and ultimately, be a Global Ambassador for my Country. During this journey not only am I growing, but my students, school, and community are able to benefit from the impact of different cultural exposure. Living in the 21 st Century is crucial for us to be globally prepared and aware of diversity.
USA Employment LLC provide a great support system to all their teachers. They work in true spirit to help teachers come and settle in the new environment effortlessly and help us adapt and adopt in every
way possible. They are always available to extend emotional support as well as professional and personal support as and when required. From the very first day I connected with the USAE team they were kind
and patient with all my queries and always took the time to explain them in great detail. The team also extended a helping hand with all the paperwork that was required to come and work in a new country. It
was a hassle free journey from my home country to the new world out there in the United States of America and that was only because of the dedication and support shown by USAE.
The workplace she chose for me is a great school with a supporting, caring and encouraging environment. The Principal, management and the staff are super inclusive and welcoming and provide the opportunity for growth. I am really enjoying the work culture and my time here. Even though, in all honesty, in the beginning it was a bit difficult to adjust and blend in but, with the help of USAE the transition was as quick as it was smooth.
I really want to thank USAE for the efforts and dedication that they put in. They really do treat you and
consider you as a part of their family. I was lucky to have them by my side!
I am writing today to share my last year's journey and experience in the United States of America while working with TUSD district in Lawrence 3-8 school and getting great support from USA Employment LLC.
Firstly, I would like to thank USAE for showing trust on me and for giving me the great opportunity to learn new skills in the United States and to show my calibre through the cultural exchange programme
and for the support that you have extended to me. I never expect this chance of progress which I got like a gift from USAE. I started this job with TUSD district as an elementary teacher. You have been nothing but helpful and supportive and it means more to me than you'll ever know.
I remember my first day in Tucson, AZ. I was new to this culture and country and as nervous as I can be. Instead of coming down hard on me you gave me friendly advice, comfort and a little pep talk. I don’t
know if you even remember that conversation but it stuck with me all this year.
I would also like to thank and really appreciate my honourable Principal “Ms.Zulema,Stanbrook” who is always been so friendly and supportive to me. Working for her has been very enjoyable and I have learnt and grown a lot. Her support throughout my 1st year shows just how incredible human she is. Her warmth, generosity, and kindness mean the world to me.
Special thanks to USAE for showing me the right and progressive path.
Feeling uneasy about the process? We’ve got you covered every step of the way.
Once eligibility requirements are met, we will guide you through the application process, resume submission and subsequent interviews. Our step-by-step timeline explains the process in detail.
USAE will identify a suitable host school and obtain a job offer on your behalf after a video interview. Through our pre-departure orientation you will receive all necessary information for your transition to the U.S. as well as guidance with the visa process of issuing a certificate of eligibility form (DS2019).
We operate as your visa sponsor for three years which can be extended for up to 2 additional years. We also issue your family visa documents after 180 days of your arrival.
USAE offers comprehensive relocation assistance to all teachers. The objective is to ensure that all teachers are settled comfortably in their new environments. When applicable, USAE will involve local residents (ideally from the same ethnicity as the teacher) as well as representatives from the host school to assist in relocation and acclimation issues.
We provide pre-departure orientation after you accept your job offer for your new position in the USA to help you settle in with confidence and enjoy the most rewarding experience possible.
Our U.S. based team provides 24/7 emergency support services for unexpected events, health emergencies, or personal issues that may arise during your time overseas. You will also be assigned to a client service coordinator to assist you with needs you may have throughout your program.
We take the guesswork out of tax compliance by providing an overview during pre-orientation. J-1 teachers must comply with local, federal and state tax law unless specified otherwise under exemptions with country-specific tax treaties. We will provide you applicable tax information in our teacher handbook and review this material in the pre-departure orientation. USAE will also inform your host school of your tax responsibility.
J-1 teachers must maintain health insurance (includes Basic Medical Health Insurance/Accidental Insurance, Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance). This is required by law for yourself and any of your dependents on J-2 status throughout your stay in the U.S. Find more details here.
Can’t find the answer to your question here? Feel free to contact us directly and express your concerns.
USA Employment is the sponsor of this program and is authorized to sponsor cultural-exchange teachers in the U.S. USAE is officially recognized by the U.S. Department of State as an Exchange Program Sponsor.
International teachers participate in cross-cultural activities in schools and communities to enhance American students’ knowledge about foreign cultures and customs. Teachers then return home to share their increased knowledge of U.S. culture, customs and teaching advancements with students in their own country.
This promotes mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and people of other countries by enriching educational and cultural exchanges.
Participating cultural exchange teachers earn their salary from their schools. Teacher salaries are established by individual schools and school districts based upon degree level and years of experience. Salaries and benefits offered to teachers will be the same as their American counterparts. Salaries will vary in different parts of the country, given the differences in cost of living and other factors, but typically range from $35,000 to $65,000 per year.
This will vary, depending on your host school district requirements and hire date. You may be asked to relocate immediately depending on your date of joining. Usually, teachers join their schools at the beginning of the school year (depending upon the state and school circumstances). The expected relocation time will be announced prior to or during the interview, and it will be a minimum of 14 days.
Before your interview, we will disclose the location where you will be working. USAE operates in 12 different states and will inform you which location has been selected for you prior to the interview.
You may bring a spouse and any number of your unmarried children under the age of 21 with you to the U.S. They will arrive on a J-2 visa. Any J2 dependent may travel to the United States after 180 days of your arrival.
Your spouse can work only with an Employment Authorization document (EAD) which he obtains by applying to the Immigration & Naturalization Services (USCIS) by way of a form I-765. This can take 90 days or more to be approved.
J-1 Cultural Exchange Visitor Teachers are allowed to teach for up to 3 academic years. An extension for up to 2 years can be requested and it can take up to 4-6 weeks for approval. Participating teachers that have an intention to stay longer should contact USA Employment at least 120 days prior to the expiration of their DS-2019. A fee is applicable for all extension requests.
The Form DS-2019 or Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status is the formal document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program. This form permits a prospective exchange visitor to seek an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in order to obtain a J visa to enter the United States.
The Form DS-2019 identifies the exchange visitor and their designated sponsor and provides a teaching position with salary amount including the start and end date of their program. All candidates for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program must complete this Certificate of Eligibility in order to be considered for a temporary, paid teaching position in the U.S.
J-1 Exchange visitors are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement which requires you to return to your home country for at least two years at the end of your exchange visitor program. This is also known as the foreign residence requirement under U.S. law, Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212(e). This rule applies to J-2 dependents also. As a J-1 Exchange Visitor, United States law requires a two-year period of home residency before an individual applies for a J-1 visa again.
All teachers’ school contracts are offered for one academic year and their renewal depends on performance. Some schools do offer three-year job offers which are renewed annually. Successful employment and renewal is the responsibility of the exchange teacher and largely dependent on your ability to meet evaluation criteria and performance reviews.
Living in the U.S. can mean a higher cost of living than the teacher’s home country and it is crucial to make all necessary financial preparations before your arrival. The cost of living is different in every city and state, and varies based on many factors. You can find many resources online to help compare the cost of living across different cities and states. USAE will also provide lots of tips, suggestions and best practices for living cost-efficiently in America. You can see the cost of living specific to various cities here.
Traveling within the United States is permitted and encouraged. Vacation dates that fall outside of school closures must be approved by employers ahead of time. Independent travel is a wonderful part of the cultural exchange experience, but must be done at your own responsibility and expense. To avoid issues, we recommend traveling safely with your passport and your valid DS-2019.
Traveling outside the U.S. is permitted as long as teachers submit a DS-2019 form and pay the $50 fee to USAE for validation. Once signed, USAE will validate your travel and sponsorship, which should permit re-entry at the border when returning. This signed document is valid for one year. Please submit this form at least three weeks prior to your travel date.
The J-1 visa is only valid for the United States, which excludes entry to Canada and Mexico. Travel outside the U.S. will be subject to your home country requirements.
If your visa is approved, and you’ve received your new DS 2019 form with updated travel dates, you may travel inside the U.S. However once your visa expires, the extension does not permit re-entry into the U.S. if you travel abroad. Your new DS 2019 form is not a new visa, but simply attests to your legal status in the U.S. after your visa has expired. Without a new, J-1 visa, you will not be able to return to the U.S. The only way around this is to apply for a new, valid J-1 visa in the U.S. Embassy in your home country. There is no guarantee that the extension will be approved thus it is important to consider this risk before traveling internationally during your extension period. Please be aware that it is a risk you are taking.
YES! All children between the grades of kindergarten through high school (K through 12) will receive the same quality of education offered to American children. In regards to college enrollment, the high school counselors will guide your college-aged children on how to enroll, receive financial aid, and study abroad.
Some states issue the certification within a few weeks of your arrival while others take longer. We will help you with this process. Your dedication, aptitude and commitment will often determine the speed with which you obtain teaching certification in America. It is always helpful to pass TOEFL and/or IELTS exams while you are in your country.
Many schools offer ample opportunities for employees to earn extra income to supplement their teacher salary, including but not limited to: club sponsorship stipends, coaching stipends, study hall and discipline supervisor bonuses, summer school teaching, and more. Candidates will be informed of these varying opportunities once you are settled in your school. On the J-1 visa teachers are only allowed to earn from the employer listed on their DS-2019 and cannot earn supplemental income from another employer including higher education institutions.
They can apply online at our website www.usaemployment.org and a representative will be in contact with them. Much of the information regarding our program is available online.
Yes, you will have opportunities to participate in coursework offered by a local college or university, or any other you wish to explore. Often schools encourage their teachers to take workshops, classes or attend conferences to learn more about their students. USA Employment recommends that all teachers spend at least their first full year focusing on the task of performing well in the classroom and becoming an effective American teacher, before pursuing other time-intensive academic challenges.
Yes, a change of work location is allowed on the J-1 Cultural Exchange Visa Program. However, it is a detailed process and must be approved by USA Employment prior to the change. We will approve a location change only if it is necessary for the teacher due to extenuating circumstances. A revised Form DS-2019 is required for a new work location with revised salary and other compensation information. Your new host school must sign an agreement with us prior to you signing a contract with them. The employer holds the financial responsibility on Form DS-2019 and updated information is mandatory before finalizing any commitments with a new employer.
You are permitted to stay for up to 30 days after the end date of your program as shown on your DS-2019 form. To apply for an extension for traveling for more than 30 days after your program ends, The Department of Homeland Security allows for a change in status if approved. This process must be completed well prior to your program expiration date. Please note: remaining in the U.S. illegally after the end date of your program can have serious consequences, especially if you desire to return in the future. Keep USA Employment informed as to the end of your employment date and the end of your program date on your DS-2019. If you intend to remain in the U.S. after the fact, beyond the 30 days permitted, you will need to plan this ahead of time. USAE can assist you in applying for the extension through USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).
If you are an international teacher interested in working in the US, please apply here.
Once your application is approved, you will receive an email with all the information you need and the next steps to get started.