Teach in a U.S. School

Calling all talented teachers! Sharpen your skills and gain valuable experience by teaching in the U.S.
  • Overview

    Greenheart Exchange’s Teach USA program connects enthusiastic, highly-qualified international teachers with U.S. K-12 host schools to promote cultural understanding and public diplomacy.

    Our primary goal is to facilitate an exceptional professional exchange program for teachers from all around the world to share their knowledge and experience in the U.S.

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


    2020 Program Update:

    On June 22, 2020, the White House issued a proclamation suspending J-1 visas effective June 24 through December 31, 2020, with the possibility of continuation. Therefore, we are no longer able to take participants for the 2020 school year. Please read more here. You can start an application for the 2021 school year, but we will not be starting the interview process until November 2020.

  • Our Program

    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:

    • Self-Placed (SP): placements are arranged directly between the teacher and the host school, supplemented by Greenheart Exchange’s sponsorship. To confirm the host school is recognized as an accredited school in the US, please refer to the link below:
    • Full Program (FP): placements are facilitated by Greenheart Exchange Teach USA, matching host schools with a qualified, experienced teacher.
  • Eligibility

    All Teach USA applicants must:

    • Meet the qualifications for teaching at the primary or secondary levels in schools in their country of nationality.
    • Have a degree equivalent to a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree in Education or the academic subject field in which they intend to teach.
    • Have a minimum of 2 years teaching or related professional experience.
    • Satisfy the teaching eligibility standards of the U.S. state in which he or she will teach, including any required criminal background checks.
    • Be of good reputation and character.
    • Agree to come to the U.S. as a full-time teacher of record in an accredited primary (including pre-kindergarten) or secondary school.
    • Be proficient in English. Teachers will be interviewed in English to assess verbal ability and comprehension.
    • Be working as a teacher at the time of application.

    Applicants NOT working as a teacher at the time of application must:

    • Meet the qualifications for teaching at the primary or secondary levels in schools in his or her home country (including pre-kindergarten).
    • Have at least two years of full-time teaching experience within the past eight years.
    • Have completed an advanced degree (in Education or in the academic area he or she intends to teach) within 12 months of his or her application submission date for the program
    • Have a completed Foreign Credential Evaluation (FCE) prior to interviewing with a Greenheart Exchange host school.

    Greenheart Exchange partners with a third-party entity, offering discounted rates to our applicants. For more information, please contact the Teach USA team.

  • Fees

    Teach USA’s Program fees are variable and depend upon program type, program length, and whether you are a direct applicant to Greenheart or an applicant through one of Greenheart’s partners. Additionally, there are several non-refundable fees associated with each step of the application process and other fees that are specific to each applicant. See below for the full list of program pricing and services provided.

    Program Fees

    • 1-Year Program Fee – $1,260-$2,560
    • 1-Year Extension Fee – $1,000
    • J2 Dependent Fee – $400 per year

    Application Processing Fees (non-refundable)

    • Application Fee – $200
    • U.S. Government Fees – SEVIS fee ($220) and Visa Interview Fee ($160)
    • Foreign Credential Evaluation Fee – $150-$220
    • Flat Rate Courier Fee – $60 per overseas shipment

    Program Fees include the following:

    • J-1 Visa Sponsorship (DS-2019 form)
    • Pre-Departure Virtual Orientation
    • Discounted Foreign Credential Evaluation (FCE) services
    • 24/7 in-country support from Greenheart Exchange
    • 90-day medical insurance coverage and emergency medical evacuation insurance (provided for the full program length)
    • Placement with an approved and accredited U.S. Host School (Full Program)

    Program Fees do not include the following:

    • Partner recruitment fees
    • Foreign Credential Evaluation (FCE) Course Analysis
    • Airfare to and from the U.S.
    • Housing, transportation, meals, and personal expenses
    • Subsidized medical insurance premiums (for insurance plans offered through school employers)
    *Note: All participants are subject to fees associated with the Greenheart Exchange Program Cancellation Policy. Please contact our office for further details.
  • Regulations

    The Exchange Visitor 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.

    Department of State Resources
    Greenheart Exchange Notification Requirements

    Teachers and host schools are required to notify Greenheart Exchange of the following situations:

    • Teachers must check-in with Greenheart Exchange and provide their housing address within 72 hours of their arrival to the U.S.
    • Teachers must check-in with Greenheart Exchange every 30 days throughout the duration of their program.
    • Teachers must notify Greenheart Exchange of any changes in their housing address within 48 hours of the change.
    • There is a concern for the teacher’s health, safety and well-being.
    • The teacher’s DS-2019 Form is lost, stolen, or damaged.
    • The teacher leaves, quits, or is fired from the host school for any reason.
    • The teacher intends to travel internationally.
    • The teacher has issues processing a Social Security card application.
    • The teacher has issues with wages or taxes.
    • The teacher has issues with their job duties.
    • The teacher is not abiding by the rules and regulations set forth by their sponsor, the U.S. Department of State and by their host school, in the form of contracts, employee handbooks, etc.
    Exchange Visitor Rights

    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:

    I-9 Form: Employment Eligibility Verification
    • All host schools are required to ensure proper completion and retention of the I-9 Form on the teacher’s first day. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides a variety of resources for host schools on their website.
    • Social Security Number: Teachers will need to apply for a Social Security card (if they have never been issued one). Host schools should be aware that the Social Security card application can take up to 6 weeks, and teachers can begin their program during this time. Please see the additional resources below:
    U.S. Tax Withholdings

    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:

    Annual U.S. Tax Returns

    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:

  • Program Timeline

    Applications Open:      November 1st

    Applications Close:      June 1st

    U.S. Arrival Dates:        July – September

    U.S. School Year:            August – May


    2020 Program Update:

    On June 22, 2020, the White House issued a proclamation suspending J-1 visas effective June 24 through December 31, 2020, with the possibility of continuation. Therefore, we are no longer able to take participants for the 2020 school year. Please read more here. You can start an application for the 2021 school year, but we will not be starting the interview process until November 2020.


  • FAQs

    How do I apply for the Teach USA program?

    It’s simple! Begin by clicking the “Get Started” button. Greenheart Exchange will review your submission and contact you shortly.

    Who pays the Teach USA program fees?

    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.

    What type of salary will I earn as a teacher?

    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.

    How do I become certified to teach in my U.S. host state and school?

    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!

    What types of host schools am I eligible to teach at (public, charter, private, international)?

    Greenheart Exchange works with all types of accredited K-12 schools, provided they are supportive of international teachers and cultural exchange.

    What is the timeline of the Teach USA program?

    The U.S. school year typically runs from August to the following June.

    Can my spouse or children (dependents) accompany me to the U.S.?

    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.

    Can my spouse work on a J-2 visa?

    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.

    How long can I stay in the U.S.?

    Teachers can stay up to 3 years and may apply for an extension of 2 years for a possible total of 5 years.

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