EXCHANGE TEACHER INFORMATION
International teachers interested in the Amity Exchange Teacher Program must undergo a careful selection process. They
have to meet J-1 visa and program requirements. In addition to professional eligibility, potential candidates need to
inform themselves about program cost before applying.
The following information will provide answers to frequently asked questions.
Do I qualify?
To qualify as an Amity Exchange Teacher, candidates must meet all of the requirements below.
1. University degree with teacher training
2. Certified to teach in home country
3. Minimum of three years documented teaching experience
4. High level of written & verbal English fluency
5. Able to pass U.S. State required tests
How do I apply?
Complete the initial online application form and allow Amity to assess your basic qualifications.
• If qualified, Amity will request additional materials to begin the application process
• Interview with an Amity Screening Officer or Amity representative
• Complete Amity application, submit to Amity for review and document evaluation
• Pass an interview with a host school representative
Where in the U.S. will I be placed? What type of school will it be?
Exchange Teachers are placed throughout the U.S. in rural, suburban or urban areas. Participating schools include
accredited public, private and charter schools, as well as religious and foreign language immersion schools. Exchange
Teachers can only work at a primary or secondary level. College or university positions are not possible for Exchange
Teachers sponsored on a J-1 visa, category Teacher.
How does the teaching licensure/certification system work in the US?
US schools often have a mandatory system of licensure or certification to make sure their teachers are fully qualified.
Exchange Teachers will have to comply with the teacher certification process in the state they are placed. Teachers may
be asked to take a basic skills test where math aptitude, reading comprehension, and analytical ability will be tested.
They also may have to take additional classes in teaching methodology, psychology, basic skills or a variety of other
What will my responsibilities be in a U.S. school?
• Teach as fulltime, paid faculty member at a primary or secondary school
• Share language, culture and knowledge with students, colleagues and community
• Fulfill all state licensure/certification requirements including classes, tests and/or additional assessment measures
• Participate in extracurricular student activities (sports, student clubs, newspaper, festivals).
• Assist students with additional academic needs (tutoring, discussion groups).
How will I find housing? Who will pay for it?
Host schools are encouraged to arrange initial housing for the Exchange Teachers with a host family for the first few
weeks after arrival. Often faculty of the host school offer room and board in exchange for a small stipend. The Exchange
Teacher is responsible for finding and paying for his/her own housing.
What are my financial responsibilities?
• $100 non-refundable application fee
• Approx. $220 document evaluation fee through acknowledged evaluation service (if needed by school)
• Travel expenses to and from the United States
• SEVIS Fee currently $180 - Participants must enter their information into SEVIS database before applying for visa
• Visa application fee $150
• Health Insurance and evacuation/repatriation costs - currently $75 per month for the teacher through Amity endorsed
insurance policy. Dependent's insurance premium is slightly higher
• Personal expense money for the initial costs upon arriving to the U.S., prior to receiving your first paycheck
• Certification or licensure costs at U.S. school
• The annual Amity Administrative Fee, due after arrival. Some applicants are required to pay the Amity Administrative
fee others share the fee with the Host School
What should I know about U.S. Schools?
US schools are generally divided into the following age groups:
• Elementary - 5-11 years of age - Kindergarten is part of mandatory education in most U.S. states
• Middle/Jr. High - 12-14 years of age
• Senior High - 15-18 years of age
In the United States, students and teachers tend to have less formal relationships and more relaxed standards of behavior
and discipline. Students can be extremely vocal and outspoken. There is a strong emphasis on extracurricular activities and
sports. Standards of behavior and discipline may be more relaxed. U.S. schools are geared to prepare students for
participation in American society.
EXCHANGE TEACHER PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The Exchange Teacher program arranges for certified
professional teachers to serve as temporary paid faculty at
primary and secondary levels. International teachers can be
assigned for up to three years at a school. Our international
teachers currently educate American students in a variety
of fields including foreign languages, bilingual education,
math, science and special education. Most positions are in
foreign language immersion schools and elementary schools
where qualified exchange teachers teach all subjects in
their native language. The cultural aspect of the program
allows participants to gain deeper knowledge in American
teaching methodology and offers the participant to
sharpen English skills. Participants are required to return
home at the end of their exchange program and share
Travel Grace Period
Participants may enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the Program Begin Date stated on the Form DS-2019 to settle into
their new living situation, take care of necessary formalities (i.e. apply for the Social Security number, get
finger-printed, find suitable housing, etc.). They are not permitted to work during this time.
Following the completion of their program, the Program End Date stated on the Form DS-2019, the United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows participants a 30-day travel period commonly referred to as the
"Grace Period." During this 30-day grace period, participants are no longer in J-visa status, and are under the jurisdiction
of the USCIS. The USCIS grants this period to allow participants to settle their affairs and to prepare to return to their
home countries. Program participants may no longer continue and/or complete exchange activities, nor may they work.
Although participants may travel in the United States, it is recommended that they do not travel beyond the borders of
the United States as they may not be permitted reentry.
EXCHANGE TEACHER APPLICATION PROCESS
Thank you for your interest in the Amity Exchange Teacher program. Please note that if you are a non-native English
speaker but have taught English as a foreign language in your home country for most of your career, it will be extremely
difficult to arrange an assignment in the U.S., an English speaking country.
Review again the minimum requirements below. If you feel that you meet these requirements, please complete our
initial application form below. Amity uses this information to assess your basic qualifications and suitability for the
Determine your Eligibility
Minimum requirements for Amity Exchange Teacher program:
• University degree (Bachelor's or higher) and formal teacher training
• Licensed to teach in the home country
• Three years of documented classroom teaching experience at primary and/or secondary level (age 5-18)
• High level of English fluency - written & verbal
If you are able to fulfill these mandatory requirements, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request an
How long will I be able to work at a U.S. school as an Exchange Teacher?
Assignments vary in length from one to three years at a U.S. school. Generally,
schools issue one year renewable contracts and annually assess a teacher's
professional performance. Assignments are limited to three calendar years per J-1
Can my spouse and children come with me to the US?
Amity may sponsor the Exchange Teacher's immediate family (spouse and
dependent children under 21) for the duration of the assignment. The Exchange
Teacher must be financially able to support his/her family and will be responsible
for their living expenses, including visa required sickness/accident insurance.
I am an English teacher in my home country. What are my chances in the U.S.?
English is the official language of the United States. Non-native English speakers
should not apply for a position as English teachers.