Greenheart Exchange’s Teach USA program connects enthusiastic, highly-qualified international teachers with U.S. host schools to promote cultural understanding and public diplomacy.
The purpose of the Teach USA program is to promote interaction and enhance mutual understanding between U.S. and international teachers. Participating teachers are placed in a K-12 host school for 1-3 years and teach a wide range of subjects. During this program, teachers can expect to sharpen their professional skills and take part in cross-cultural activities within their schools and local communities.
Greenheart Exchange provides two (2) program options:
**** PLEASE NOTE: Eligibility Evaluation for 2024-25 will open in January 2024. Please see our Program Deadline section for further information. ****
All Teach USA applicants must:
Applicants NOT working as a teacher at the time of application must:
Greenheart Exchange partners with a third-party entity, offering discounted rates to our applicants. For more information, please contact the Teach USA team.
The Teach USA Program is part of the US Department of State’s BridgeUSA programming.
Greenheart Exchange is a Department of State (DOS) designated Exchange Visitor Program J-1 visa sponsor for many BridgeUSA programs, such as:
This program is formally administered through the US Department of State through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).
The US Department of State
Greenheart Exchange’s Role as Visa Sponsor:
Fees (as of August 2023 – note: program fees change from year to year and are determined at the time the service is provided) Greenheart’s Program fees on the Teach USA programs are variable and depend upon program type, program length, and whether you are a direct applicant to Greenheart or an applicant through one of our contracted partners.
|Fee Name||Amount||Paid to|
|Greenheart 1-Year Program fees||$2,200-$3,400||Greenheart Exchange|
|Sending Partner fees||$1,400-$5,000||Third Party Partner|
|Annual Program Renewal fee||$1,820||Greenheart Exchange|
|J-2 Dependent fee||$450||Greenheart Exchange|
|J-2 Dependent Annual Renewal fee||$450||Greenheart Exchange|
|J-2 Insurance Coverage||Estimated $400-$2,000+
depending on provider
Miscellaneous non-refundable fees to anticipate:
|Fee Name||Amount||Paid to|
|Application Fee||$200||Greenheart Exchange|
|Flat Rate Courier Fee||$60||Greenheart Exchange|
|State Teaching License||$100-$200||Specific State Authority|
|Lost/destroyed DS-2019 Replacement||$50 + shipping||Greenheart Exchange|
|Foreign Credential Evaluation (with Spantran)||$150-$220||Spantran|
|Change of Host School Fee||$300||Greenheart Exchange|
|Yearly Program Renewal||$1,820||Greenheart Exchange|
|Year 4/5 Program Extension Application Fee||$500||Greenheart Exchange|
Visa related fees:
|Fee Name||Amount||Paid to|
|SEVIS fee||$220||U.S. Department of Homeland Security|
|Visa Interview Fee||$160||U.S. Embassy or Consulate|
|Reciprocity fee||Varies based on the country of citizenship||U.S. Embassy or Consulate|
|Cancellation Period||Cancellation Fee||Visa Denial Fee|
|Cancellation request received at least 28 days before DS 2019 start date||$500||$250|
|Cancellation request received 27-1 day(s) before DS 2019 start date||$1,000||$500|
|Cancellation request received on or after DS 2019 start date||Entire program fee||Entire program fee|
Teaching salaries and living expenses in the United States Teachers on this BridgeUSA program receive a full-time salary from the host school which enables the participant to pay for living expenses in the U.S. The expenses anticipated include, but are not limited to: housing, food, and leasing or purchasing a car. Teaching salaries and living expenses in the U.S. vary based on a number of factors such as years of teaching experience, location, family size, and lifestyle choices.
*Salary Tax Withholding: while being placed in a USA school you will need to account for three different categories of taxes:
|Federal tax: The federal withholding tax rate an employee owes depends on their income level and filing status. This all depends on whether you’re filing as single, married jointly or married separately, or head of household.||The federal withholding tax has seven rates for 2021: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%.|
|State Income taxes||which vary by state, are a percentage of money that you pay to the state government based on the income you make at your job.|
|*FICA is a U.S. federal payroll tax. It stands for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and is deducted from each paycheck.||FICA mandates that separate taxes be withheld from an employee’s gross earnings: 6.2% Social Security tax, withheld from the first $147,000 an employee makes in 2022. 1.45% Medicare tax, withheld on all of an employee’s wages.|
|*First-year teachers may be eligible for a FICA exemption for up to two calendar years, based upon prior presence in the U.S.|
|*Tax information is subject to change and you will need to check the IRS website for the most up-to-date filing information.|
It is important that you plan carefully for all expenses prior to coming to the U.S.
|*Housing||Rent varies by location and size of the unit: $750 to $5,000+ per month|
|*Transportation||Public transportation: free to $130 (monthly pass)|
|*Groceries||$100 per week|
|Greenheart provides insurance through a trusted provider:||7-Month Insurance emergency medical plan: $500 12-Month Insurance emergency medical plan: $720|
|Subsidized medical insurance premiums for insurance plans offered through host school||HMO plan: $30+ per paycheck PPO plan: $38+ per paycheck Dental Benefits: $26 – $100 per paycheck *you can always ask a potential school to provide you with the summary of their benefits.|
|*Expenses differ for each community; you can utilize a cost-of-living calculator to understand potential expenses.|
Examples (for estimation purposes only; actual expenses will vary):
Example 1: Family with 2 small children living in Phoenix:
|Rent for 2-bedroom apartment||$1680|
|Phone (2 lines)||$120|
|Subsidized school health insurance||$240|
Example 2: Single teacher living in Chicago who enjoys nightlife and dining out 2x per week:
|Rent (sharing with one roommate)||$1,100|
|Transportation (monthly pass for bus/train)||$80|
|Subsidized school health insurance||$75|
Teachers should expect to wait several weeks or more for their first paychecks. Greenheart Exchange recommends teachers bring a minimum of $3,500 with them to cover initial expenses, such as first month’s rent and rental deposits, a car down payment, driver’s license and Social Security application fees, and other initial expenses.
The BridgeUSA Program fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.
Greenheart Exchange is committed to making sure that our teachers are safe during their time in the U.S. The information on this page will provide you with up-to-date program regulations and expectations. Please contact us directly with any questions.
Teachers and host schools are required to notify Greenheart Exchange of the following situations:
All Exchange Visitors are entitled to the same legal protections as U.S. residents and citizens. Please review the following resources regarding rights and protections of participants on the Teacher Exchange Program:
Teachers are required to be on regular payroll and must complete Form W-4 at the start of their program. Teachers are required to pay federal, state, and local (if applicable) income taxes and are exempt from paying FICA and FUTA taxes. Please review additional resources below:
Host schools must provide W-2 forms to teachers in-line with Social Security Administration requirements. Teachers are required to file an individual tax return in-line with Internal Revenue Service requirements. Please review the additional resources below:
The Application Period is closed for the 2023-24 Academic Year
Eligibility Evaluations for Academic Year 2024-25: Opens January 2024
Application Deadline for 2024-25: Closes June 1, 2024
U.S. Arrival Dates: July – September
U.S. School Year: August – June
Here’s where to Check your eligibility now
It’s simple! Begin by clicking the “Get Started” button. Greenheart Exchange will review your submission and contact you shortly.
Participants are responsible for paying all fees associated with the Teach USA program. However, Greenheart does encourage schools to help pay for program fees if funding is available.
Teach USA teachers earn the same salary and benefits as their American counterparts. This is a requirement for all host schools in the Teach USA program.
Teacher certification for international teachers is different state-by-state. The first step for all teachers is to undergo a Foreign Credential Evaluation (FCE). Greenheart Exchange offers a unique discount for our teachers to expedite their FCE and save money in the process!
Greenheart Exchange works with all types of accredited K-12 schools that meet or exceed state standards, provided they are supportive of international teachers and cultural exchange.
The U.S. school year typically runs from August to the following June.
Yes! Spouses and children under 21 are eligible for sponsorship on a J-2 visa. Greenheart recommends that your family join you in the U.S. only after you have arrived at your placement, began teaching, and secured housing. Additionally, J-2 children can attend school in the U.S.
Dependents may apply for an I-765 from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work throughout the duration of their stay.
Teachers can stay up to 3 years and may apply for an extension of 2 years for a possible total of 5 years.
During the 3 year program time frame, teachers must renew annually in February.
Teachers wishing to extend beyond the 3 year program must apply in December-January of their third year.
Greenheart Exchange has been a J-1 visa sponsor for many years, and there are advantages to Greenheart being your visa sponsor:
We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Exchange teachers and alumni!
Greenheart Grants are funds awarded to Greenheart teachers to use for community development projects in their host or home country. A Greenheart Grant is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see a past Teach USA grant recipient project here.
Greenheart Global Leaders Conference
Each August Greenheart offers full-ride scholarships to over 40 alumni to attend our annual conference in Washington, DC. Participants even get a chance to advocate for cultural exchange in a presentation to the US Department of State. You can see more about what GGLC is and what you could do at the conference here.
Check out some of our latest blog posts.