Teacher Exchange Program Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in the teacher program?
School placement in an accredited American school
DS-2019 form to support the J-1 visa application
University training and orientation program, exclusively designed for ESI teachers
Supplemental medical insurance
24-hour emergency support while in the USA
What should I expect from my program?
Your program includes the following main parts or components:
Professional training - Before arrival in the United States, you will have access to
training program, designed exclusively for ITA Teachers by Northern Arizona
University. The program
includes instruction in English for the classroom and Classroom Readiness & Teacher
instruction. Learn more about ITA’s exclusive university training program here.
School work - You will have a full-time teaching position at a school. You will be a
of the school and ofer your professional techniques to your colleagues.
Cultural exchange - You will learn about the culture of the United States, and you
will teach your
class and colleagues about your home country culture. You will be required to
participate in and
report to ITA at least two cross-cultural activities each year -- one that teaches
about your home
country and one that involves cross-cultural communication between your students and
Personal growth - You will grow as a person as you are challenged professionally and
Your English will improve. You will leave the US with a better understanding of who
you are, your
professional direction and your personal goals.
Do I need a visa?
Yes, ESI will support your application for a J-1 visa by providing the
paperwork, a DS-2019 form and job offer from your American school.
Can I bring my family?
Yes, ESI offers sponsorship for a spouse and/or dependents on the J-2 visa.
The fee for
a J-2 program is $500 per dependent per year. They also must purchase health insurance
regulatory requirements, and maintain close communication with ESI throughout the
program. See more information on ITA's J-2 policies and costs.
What type of job responsibilities will I have?
Your job responsibilities may include: teaching in the classroom, preparing
plans, attending school meetings, taking professional development classes, and meeting
parents. You should expect to work full time at the school and a minimum of 32 hours per
week of teaching
or teaching-related administrative activities. Some weeks you will work more, and some
you will work
less, but your hours should average out to be full time.
What salary will I receive?
Your salary will be commensurate with teachers from the U.S. with the same
education and years of experience. Each school district typically has a plan or “wage
outlines the salary for every employee. Your salary information will be provided to you
part of the
Employment Agreement. You should receive a paycheck directly from your school on your
schedule (typically every 2 weeks).
What deductions will be taken from my
You will notice that federal and state taxes will be taken out of your
paycheck at a
rate between 15-20% of your paycheck. Additionally, your paycheck may include a
for your medical
insurance premium, depending on the type of insurance you elected. If your paycheck
deductions that you do not understand, please ask your school’s financial officer or
department. Your host school should provide you a written explanation for any deductions
How should I prepare for my arrival in the US?
Be sure to read ITA’s orientation materials, including the ITA Exchange
Handbook and online FAQ, before you arrive in the United States.
What is a foreign credential evaluation or FCE? And, How do I obtain a foreign credential evaluation?
Foreign Credential Evaluation (FCE) is a process to have education and transcripts evaluated for certification and is needed for the visa appointment.
The FCE report is valid for 5 years. Your documents will need to be translate into English. The FCE company can translate transcript for an additional cost.
Please note: an FCE documenting a course-by-course evaluation with a US equivalency is required to apply with IAG.
List of Foreign Credential Evaluation (FCE) companies:
SpanTran: all states $290 - Please request a US equivalency
AZICE: AZ & Texas $250 - Automatically completes a US equivalency.
As part of the International TeachAlliance exchange program, it is
important that participating teachers follow the program rules.
Within 7 days of arrival in the United States, submit an Arrival Report to ESI to
confirm your safe arrival and report your housing address.
Maintain an accurate and up-to-date host school and housing address and contact
information. Report to ESI any address or email/ phone change within 10 days of any
Teach effectively and work cooperatively with administration, teachers and staff in
your designated school to best meet the educational needs of the student population.
Follow the rules, policies and procedures of the school and district.
Participate only in authorized employment at the host school that has been approved
Maintain the minimum medical insurance coverage required by Department of State
regulations and ESI.
Important Note - It is extremely important to inform ESI when you arrive to
your host community and if you make any address changes, as ESI is required by
U.S. government regulation to report your location in the SEVIS system. Failure
to follow these important rules and regulations of the program may result in
program termination, requiring an immediate return to your home country.
How much money do I need to bring to the US?
It is important that you carefully plan a budget for your International
TeachAlliance program. As part of the application process, you will complete a Budget
Exercise to calculate your expected income and expenses. Participating teachers should
aware that your teaching salary may not cover your total expenses -- including the cost
the program, visa application/ SEVIS fees, travel, housing, transportation, and living
expenses – so you should plan to bring additional personal funds. You should have at
$2,000 - $5,000 available to you when you arrive in the United States for settling
including transportation to your host school, housing deposits, food and other personal
expenses until you receive your first paycheck.
Should I work with a recruitment or placement
IAG does not partner with any third-party recruitment or placement agencies in the
administration of its J-1 Exchange Teacher program. Accordingly, we encourage you to
work directly with IAG and not pay any fees to a third-party recruitment or placement
agency located in Participant's home country or in the U.S. If you have already
registered with a recruitment or placement agent, it is important that you disclose the
agent fees paid and provide IAG with a copy of the agreement signed between you and the
How to get started
Chat with Olivia to the right and one of our team members will reach out to schedule
time with you.