Greenheart Wins 2018 Best Education Abroad Provider by WYSTC
Our signature leadership program, the Greenheart Odyssey, topped the shortlist of initiatives honoring the best in cultural exchange. Judges of the WYSTC awards were among top industry experts in the field.

Host Teachers

  • Bring the world to your classroom! Hire an international teacher for 1-3 years.

  • Overview

    Greenheart Exchange’s Teach USA program connects enthusiastic, highly-qualified international teachers with American schools through our commitment to promoting cultural understanding and public diplomacy. Our primary goal is to facilitate an exceptional professional exchange program for educators from all around the world to share their knowledge and experience in the U.S. This program spreads cultural understanding in a classroom setting, giving K-12 students and faculty in America a first-hand opportunity to learn more about the world from their teacher.

    Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.

    If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us at [email protected]

  • Our Program

    The primary purpose of the Teach USA program is to promote interaction between U.S. and foreign teachers and to enhance mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. The teachers who participate in this exchange program are able to sharpen their professional skills and take part in cross-cultural activities within their schools and local communities. They return home to share experiences and increased knowledge of the U.S. and its educational system. Participating teachers are placed in a K-12 school for 1-3 years. Most J-1 teachers instruct in world languages, science, math, and special education, however, placements in other subjects are available.

    Greenheart Exchange provides two program options to match teachers with schools:

    • Self-placed: placements are arranged directly between the J-1 teacher and the school, supplemented by Greenheart Exchange’s sponsorship and monitoring
    • Full program: placements are facilitated by Greenheart Exchange Teach USA, matching host schools with a qualified, experienced J-1 teacher
  • Eligibility

    Host Schools

    Schools must either be in a state location where we have received a letter of approval to place teachers in OR the school must be willing to provide us a letter stating their approval of us placing teachers at their school. There are no requirements regarding the type of school where placements are allowed, they can teach at public, private, charter, international, or any type of school where we’ve received a letter of approval! Schools must be willing to offer teachers full-time (at least 32 hours/week) teaching positions and a salary equal to that of their American counterparts.

    Participants will be selected based on the following minimum criteria:

    • The teacher has, at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in either education or the academic subject field in which he or she intends to teach
    • The teacher has a minimum of 2 years teaching experience (or, in some cases, related professional experience)
    • The teacher satisfies the teaching eligibility standards of the U.S. state in which he or she will teach, including any required criminal background checks
    • The teacher is of good reputation and character
    • The teacher agrees to come to the United States temporarily as a full-time teacher of record in an accredited primary or secondary school and has experience in a classroom, as outlined in the next section
    • The teacher must possess sufficient proficiency in English. Teachers will be interviewed in English to assess verbal ability and comprehension.

    In addition to the requirements outlined above, the participant must be one of the following:

    Applicants currently working as a teacher:

    • Must meet the qualifications for teaching at the primary or secondary levels in schools in his or her home country (including pre-kindergarten)
    • Must be working as a teacher in his or her home country at the time of application
    • Must have at least two years of full-time teaching experience
    • Applicants not currently working as a teacher:
    • Must meet the qualifications for teaching at the primary or secondary levels in schools in his or her home country (including pre-kindergarten)
    • Must have had at least two years of full-time teaching experience within the past eight years
    • Must have completed an advanced degree within 12 months of his or her application submission date for the program. (Note: The degree must be more advanced than the U.S. bachelor’s degree. The subject of the degree must be in education or in an academic subject matter that he or she intends to teach or directly related to his or her teaching subject field.)

    Best Practices for a Successful Program

    We encourage host schools to provide the following for their visiting J-1 Teachers to ensure a positive exchange experience for both the teacher and the host community:

    • Contact Teachers at least 2-weeks before they arrive with welcome information and clear arrival instructions
    • Assist Teacher in paying some or all of their program fees
    • Assist Teacher in becoming licensed to teach within your state by directing them towards the requisite resources
    • Greet Teachers when they first arrive as first impressions are important
    • Spend some time onboarding or provide an orientation to go over your company policies and program expectations
    • Provide time for adaptation by being conscious of the cultural and communication differences
    • Coordinate cultural activities Teachers and U.S. staff members for team building and increased performance
    • Allow Teachers time to explore their host community
    • Participate in a Going Greenheart Tour as a means of giving back to your community
    • Notify Greenheart Exchange of Department of State visits
    • Contact Greenheart Exchange with any questions or concerns about the program
  • Fees

    Host Schools

    Host schools do not have to pay a fee, the participant is responsible for their program and visa fees. However, as a commitment to best practice, we do encourage schools to pay for some or all of their participant’s fees if funding is available to do so.

    Program fees include the following:

    • Sending partner’s administrative fee (if applicable)
    • Greenheart Exchange Teach USA administrative fee (varies dependent upon program type)
    • Placement in and supervision of a screened Host School
    • DS-2019 form to assist in obtaining the J-1 Teach visa
    • 24-hour support by the Greenheart Exchange National Office
    • Orientation prior to departure provided by the sponsor and another orientation shortly after arrival in the U.S. provided by the host school
    • Greenheart Exchange Emergency Medical Insurance for their first 90 days in the United States, until participants have been placed on their host school’s insurance plan
    • Assistance in securing and approving the Job Offer Letter (Full Program option)

    What’s not included:

    • Teach USA Application fee
    • J-1 Visa Extension fee
    • Extension of Greenheart Exchange Medical Emergency Insurance (optional past first 90 days)
    • Air fare: depending on the participants’ country of origin to teaching destination, this can

    range anywhere from $500-$1500 or more

    • SEVIS fee: $180
    • Visa interview fee (paid to local US consular section), typically $160
    • Participants will be expected to have at least $1,500 upon arrival to cover deposits and living expenses until the first paycheck
    • J-2 Dependent visa fee
    • Host state teaching accreditation/certification and foreign credential evaluation (FCE): approximately $200

    Note: Cancellation fees will apply if a participant needs to withdraw from the program.

  • Deadlines

    Host Schools

    Interested Host Schools should contact [email protected] immediately to initiate participant review and placement before the 2018-19 school year begins in August or September.


    2018 School Year Application Deadline: June 16th (tentatively)

    We require that prospective teachers submit their application between April – June 16th to ensure we have enough time to process applications. In the “Application Checklist” section, you will find all of the participant documents required for submission by the application deadline. Upon receiving applications, the Teach USA staff will initiate placements with Host Schools.

    * Visa interview scheduling is the responsibility of the applicant; applicants must ensure that they budget enough time to secure a visa prior to arrival.

  • Application Checklist

    Host Schools

    Interested Host Schools will need to submit a Host School Agreement, providing basic information about the school and agreeing to the Greenheart Exchange Terms and Conditions. There are a few items you will need to provide in order to place J-1 Teachers through Greenheart Exchange Teach USA. Below you will find a helpful checklist of all the documents that are required. If you have any questions about the necessary documents, please email us at [email protected]

    Application Checklist:

    • The name, location, and brief description of the host school;
    • The terms and conditions of compensation;
    • Any provisions affecting the ability of the exchange teacher to be accompanied abroad by a spouse or dependents;
    • A summary of the significant components of the program, as well as the required cross-cultural activity component;
    • Specific information on the fees and costs for which the exchange teacher will be responsible

    If your school is providing housing assistance, please make J-1 Teachers mindful of separate contracts that may be required, including any associated payroll deductions. For those not providing housing, your assistance in finding suitable housing leads such as extended stays, hotels or apartments is requested.

  • FAQs

    Does the school have to pay any sort of fee (for her visa, etc) to hire a teacher?

    The school does not have to pay a fee, the participant is responsible for their program and visa fees. However, we do encourage schools to pay for some or all of their participant’s fees if funding is available and as a best practice.

    What type of salary does a J-1 Teacher earn?

    J-1 teachers can expect to earn the same salary as their American counterparts. Greenheart Exchange Teach USA ensures this during the application process and job offer review and outlines this requirement in our Host School Agreement.

    How does a teacher become certified to teach in my US state and school?

    The certification process of international teachers varies state-by-state. Most states require, at minimum, a Foreign Credential Evaluation (FCE) from a certified credential evaluator that is part of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Teach USA recommends that teachers research and communicate with their host school regarding the state licensing procedure and, upon receiving a job offer, begin the credentialing process as soon as possible. Information on NACES can be found here For further information regarding specific placement states, contact [email protected].

    What types of host schools are eligible to host a J-1 Teacher (public, charter, private, international)?

    All accredited K-12 schools are eligible to become Host Schools with the Greenheart Exchange Teach USA program, provided they are supportive of international teachers and cultural exchange. An exchange teacher may teach at the pre-kindergarten level only in a language immersion program offered as regular course of study by an accredited primary school.

    Can a J-1 Teacher bring a spouse or children (dependents) to the US?

    Yes. Spouses and children under the age of 21 are eligible for a J-2 Dependent Visa sponsorship from Greenheart Exchange. Teach USA recommends that a teacher’s family join them after they’ve arrived at their placement, began teaching, and secured housing. Additionally, J-2 dependent children are allowed to attend school in the US during the length of the J-1 teacher’s program.

    How long can J-1 Teachers stay in the US?

    The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program generally allows for teachers to teach in the U.S. for up to 3 years. As of 2016, teachers in their third year of year participation are eligible to apply for a program extension of one to two years if mutually agreed upon with their host school. The J-1 teach category then requires that participants return to their home country for a cumulative period of 2 years to share their experience and knowledge gained in their home country, before applying for another J-1 teacher visa.

    Does the J-1 Teach program displace American teachers?

    The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program visa is a professional, cultural exchange visa that, in no way, attempts to displace American teachers. Teach USA works with schools in need of highly qualified teachers due to widespread teacher shortages in certain subject areas. J-1 teachers are then required to return to their home countries to share their experience for a minimum of 2 years.

    What is the benefit to hiring a J-1 Teacher in my school?

    The benefits are innumerable. Cultural exchange in schools exposes your students and faculty to diverse teaching practices from highly-qualified teachers that bring years of experience from different countries. This is a rare, low-cost investment in professional development that will have an immediate impact on your students and faculty. J-1 teachers offer the opportunity to fill a specific skill set that your school is looking for during times that there is a teacher shortage (I.e.: special education background, science teachers, etc.).

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