J1 Teach USA

Cultural exchange meets the classroom! Teach in the U.S. for 1-3 years.

J1 Teach USA

Greenheart Exchange’s Teach USA program connects enthusiastic international teachers with American schools through our commitment to promoting cultural understanding and public diplomacy. Our primary goal is to facilitate an exceptional program for educators from all around the world to share their knowledge and experience in the US. This program spreads cultural understanding in a classroom setting, giving K-12 youth 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 teachusa@greenheart.org.

Our Program

The primary purpose of the Teach USA program is to promote interaction between U.S. and foreign teachers, to enhance mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. The teachers who participate in this exchange are able to sharpen their professional skills and be a part of cross-cultural activities in schools and communities. They return home to share experiences and increased knowledge of the United States and the U.S. educational system.
Participating teachers are placed in a K-12 school for 1-3 years Most J-1 teachers instruct in science, math, core languages or 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 J-1 Teacher and the school, supplemented by Greenheart Exchange’s ongoing support
  • Full program: placements are facilitated by Greenheart Exchange, matching host schools with a qualified J-1 teacher.


Participants will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • The applicant 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 applicant satisfies the teaching eligibility standards of the U.S. state in which he or she will teach, including any required criminal background checks
  • The applicant is of good reputation and character
  • The applicant 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

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.)

Language Proficiency
Advanced English language proficiency is an essential requirement of the program. Teachers will be interviewed in English to assess verbal ability and comprehension.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at teachusa@greenheart.org.


Program fees include the following:

  • Greenheart Exchange application fee
  • Sending partner’s administrative fee, if the candidate is not a Full Program Applicant
  • General program administration (sending partner and Greenheart Exchange administrative fees)
  • Placement in and supervision of a screened host school
  • DS-2019 form to assist in obtaining the J1 Teaching 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-placed option only)

What’s not included:

  • Extension fee
  • 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 $2,500 upon arrival to cover deposits and living expenses until the first paycheck.
  • Emergency Medical insurance beyond the first 90 days of program, if applicable

Costs incurred on program:

  • Housing Costs: approximately $400/month (in some cases, housing leads will be provided by the host school)
  • Costs of Meals: approximately $300/month (in some cases, meals will be provided by the host school)
  • Spending money: approximately $200/month (ex: entertainment, personal expenses)
  • Public transportation to and from teaching site: approximately $180/month
  • The host school may require participants to purchase a car

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


2018 School Year Application Deadline: July 15th*The typical U.S. school year begins in August or September. We require that prospective teachers submit their application between April – July 15th to ensure we have enough time to process applications. In the “Application Checklist” section, you will find all of the documents required for submission by the application deadline.

If you have any questions about the process, don’t hesitate to reach out us at teachusa@greenheart.org.

*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

There are a number of items you will need to complete your application.. Below you will find a helpful checklist of all the documents that are required to submit the online application. If you have any questions about the necessary documents, please email us at teachusa@greenheart.org.Application Checklist:

  • Complete Online Application
  • Copy of Passport, including prior visas to the United States
  • Resume/CV
  • Photo (Please upload a passport sized photo)
  • Two (2) reference letters written within the last 12 months, these letters must confirm at least 2 years of work experience from Primary or Secondary education, outside the U.S.
    • 1 from a post-degree full time school on the school’s letterhead
    • 1 from a colleague (Teacher) on letterhead or be included with the recommender’s business card.
  • Proof of a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in either education or the academic subject field in which you intend to teach
  • Proof of qualification to teach at the primary or secondary levels in school in your home country, e.g. licensure and/or Teacher Certificate (from home country) in your native language and with an English translation
  • Signed Terms and Conditions
  • Budget Sheet to be submitted with job offer
  • Proof of sufficient finances for living and housing expenses: Financial Resources Verification (FRV) form.
  • If Full Placement Option, counter-signed job offer letter received by Greenheart Exchange no more than 7 days after placement is sent

Self-Placed Program Option only: For participants that have found their own placement, they must also provide the following at the time of application, in addition to the documents above:

  • Signed Offer Letter
  • Brochures/marketing materials if host school does not have an active website along with contact information
  • Copy of host school medical insurance coverage, including the name and contact information of the insurance company, the policy number, name and contact information of the claims office(s), as well as procedures on what should be done in a medical emergency. Please indicate what date your school-provided policy will begin coverage on.

Request an Application

Ready to start teaching in the United States? Click here to request an application now.

Additional questions? Please email us at teachusa@greenheart.org.