Teach in the USA for up to 3+ years at K-12 schools
Learn about culture, society, and the educational system in the USA
Teach in the USA
Participating in the J-1 Teacher Exchange program enhances mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries, sharpens Teachers’ professional skills and methodologies, and provides opportunities to participate in cross-cultural activities at host schools and in U.S. communities.
Information for Teachers and Potential Host Schools
J-1 Exchange Teachers may teach in accredited public and private primary and secondary U.S. schools (K-12), as well as in pre-kindergarten language immersion and international school programs in the USA.
J-1 Teachers may teach in the USA for a maximum of 3 years, and may be eligible to extend their teaching contracts for an additional one or two years. After the program, teachers return to their home countries to share their experiences and knowledge of the United States, its educational system, culture, society, and teaching practices.
The J-1 Teacher Program creates friendships and connections across borders, as well as opportunities to increase the number of cultural exchanges and school partnerships worldwide. J-1 Teachers enhance American and foreign students’ and host communities’ knowledge of each other’s customs and teaching approaches. The J-1 teacher exchange program helps program participants become better teachers in their respective subject fields.
To qualify as a J-1 Teacher, you must:
Meet the qualifications for teaching at the primary, including pre-kindergarten, or secondary levels in schools in your home country; be working as a teacher in your home country at the time of application; and have at least two years of full-time teaching experience;OR
Not be working as a teacher in your home country at the time of application, but otherwise meet the qualifications for teaching at the primary (including pre-kindergarten) or secondary levels in schools in your home country;
Have had at least two years of full-time teaching experience within the past eight years; and
Within 12 months of your application submission date for the program, have completed an advanced degree (beyond a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree) in education or in an academic subject matter that you intend to teach or that is directly related to your teaching subject field.
Possess, at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in either education or the academic subject field in which you intend to teach;
Satisfy the teaching eligibility standards of the U.S. state in which you will teach (e.g., meet minimum educational requirements, pass teacher training coursework at a sufficiently proficient level, have provided an evaluation of foreign teaching preparation coursework, have demonstrated the requisite prior teaching experience, etc.);
Provide any required criminal background or other checks;
Are of good reputation and character;
Agree to come to the United States temporarily as a full-time teacher of record in an accredited primary or secondary school, understanding and agreeing that exchange teachers may teach a variety of subjects and levels at their host school or schools, if qualified, but at the pre-kindergarten level, may teach only in language immersion programs;
Receive from a qualified U.S. host school a written and signed “teaching job offer” (offer of employment”).
Teacher Program Sponsorship Fee: $2255 (1st year; includes $450 for J-1 program insurance)
Expedited processing fee – $450 (please check with Intrax to confirm availability of expedited processing services)
Renewal fee (2nd – 5th year, if applicable) - $1400 each year (includes $450 for J-1 program insurance) due in May of each program year
Program extension fee –$437 ($367+ $70 for DS-2019 reissue)
J2 Dependent fees – $400 (1st), each additional $250
Transfer fee to new school - $750
Form DS-2019 reprint fee - $70
Travel authorization - $25
Payable to third party agency or partner (if applicable):
Foreign or domestic third party or partner services including, but not limited to, school placement, background checks, assisting with obtaining a state license, and assistance with finding housing.
Fees can range from $1,000 to $6,000+ depending on the specific services the agency is providing.
Other visa related fees/pre-arrival expenses:
Credential evaluations, background check, translations, or other document services (if applicable): $200 - $500 (payable to applicable vendors)
I-901 SEVIS fee: $220 (payable to SEVIS)
J-1 visa consular interview fee: $160 (payable to US consulate)
J-2 insurance: $450 annual fee (this is for emergency medical & travel insurance as required for all J-1 program participants. Most teachers also participate in their school district’s plan which is usually a more comprehensive plan. Please review all plan documents carefully to understand your benefits.)
Airfare: $500 - $1,000 each
Estimated living expenses while in the US:
The cost of living can vary greatly depending on where you will be living in the US. Please conduct research online to get the best estimate for what your living expenses will before the city where you will be residing.
Below are averages and may or may not apply to your planned living situation in the US.
Local transportation $500 - $800
Housing $1,500 - $3,000
Utilities $150 - $300
Cell phone $50 - $100
Food $600 - $1,000
Clothing $100 - $500
Travel / Entertainment $250 - $500
Medical including insurance deductibles $300 - $600
Potential work-related paycheck deductions:
These deductions would vary depending upon salary and school district and would reflect in your actual employment agreement.
Teacher certification, licensing costs $100 - 300
Federal and state income tax withholding - Federal and state income tax must be paid by J-1 Exchange Teachers. We recommend that Exchange Teachers consult qualified school personnel and accounting professionals for tax advice. 8% (US average) of your wages depending on local regulations and federal tax bracket – Federal Income Tax Return Calculator