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 BridgeUSA 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
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 schools in the U.S.
Exchange Teachers may teach in the USA for a maximum of 5 years, they typically start with a 3-year program, 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 Exchange Teacher Program creates friendships and connections across borders, as well as opportunities to increase the number of cultural exchanges and school partnerships worldwide. Exchange Teachers enhance American and foreign students’ and host communities’ knowledge of each other’s customs and teaching approaches. The BridgeUSA Teacher Exchange program helps program participants sharpen their teaching skills in their respective subject fields.
To qualify as a J-1 Teacher, you must:
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
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.
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.
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).
Fees Payable to Intrax (can be paid by host school or teacher):
Sponsorship Fee - 1st year: $2255 (includes $45/month for J-1 program insurance)
Renewal fee (2nd – 5th year, if applicable): $1400 (includes $45/month for J-1 program insurance)
Additional Fees Payable to Intrax (optional):
J-2 Dependent Fee (1st): $400
J-2 Dependent Fee (each additional): $250
J-2 Insurance: $45 per month
Extension Fee (extensions beyond 3 years must be approved by Intrax and U.S. DoS): $437 ($367 DoS fee + $70 for DS-2019 reissue)
Host School Transfer Fee (transfers to new schools must be approved by Intrax prior to signing a new host school contract, even for transfers within same school district): $750
Form DS-2019 reprint fee: $70
Travel Validation: $25 domestic
Other Fees (payable to U.S. Government):
I-901 SEVIS fee: $220 (payable to SEVIS)
Embassy Fee: $160
Estimated living expenses while in the US:
The cost of living can vary greatly depending on where you will be living in the U.S. Please conduct research to get the best estimate for what your living expenses will be for the city where you will be residing.
These deductions will vary depending upon salary and school district and would be reflected in your actual employment agreement.
Credential evaluations, background check, translations, or other document services: $200 - $500 (payable to applicable vendors)
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. J-1 Teachers are not typically required to pay Social Security, Medicare, or Unemployment taxes. 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
Union dues (variable): $50 - $100
Pension plans (variable): $50 - $100
Insurance (Many teachers also participate in their school district's plan which is usually a more comprehensive plan than the J-1 insurance plan which is for emergency medical & travel coverage. Please review all plan documents carefully to understand your benefits.): $100 - $300
Third-party agency fees (optional):
Intrax partners with select third-party agencies who assist some teachers with finding teaching positions. These third-party agencies may also provide additional, optional services including, but not limited to, school placement, background checks, assisting with obtaining a state license, and assistance with finding housing.
These agencies may charge additional fees for their services that are in addition to the above fees that Intrax charges. Fees charged by third-party agencies range from $1,000 to $7,000 or a percentage of the teacher’s first-year salary. There are some agencies that do not charge fees to the teacher but charge the host school instead. It is not a requirement for a teacher to work with a third-party agency.
Should you choose to contract with an agency, Intrax strongly recommends that you carefully review the terms of the contract before signing and consult with an attorney or other professional to ensure that you fully understand and agree to the contract terms.
Intrax cannot provide legal advice but if you have questions regarding any of the third-party agencies that we partner with please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.