J-1 Teacher Exchange Program

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.

Program Duration

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.

Program Benefits

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.

J-1 Teacher Qualifications

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.
Additional Requirements
  • 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”).