Where in the U.S. will I be placed and how long can I stay?
Amity Institute can sponsor qualified individuals for full-time paid teaching positions at accredited K-12 schools where a need for educators exists. Participants must secure their own teaching position and are employees full time directly by the host school.
- The duration of each teaching program is determined by the host schools.
- Programs can last up to three years, with the possibility to extend for an additional two years (for a maximum of five years).
- Upon complete, participants must return to their home country to fulfill the exchange, and may not return to the United States for at least two years.
What type of school will it be?
International Teachers are employed 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. International Teachers can only work with primary or secondary level students (K-12th grade).
Do I need a U.S. teaching license or other form of certification to teach in the U.S.?
International Teachers will have to comply with the teacher certification process “in the state in which they are employed” and may be asked to take a basic skills test where math aptitude, reading comprehension, and analytic ability will be tested. They may also have to take additional classes in teaching methodology, psychology, basic skills or a variety of other subjects.
How will I find housing? Who will pay for it?
The International Teacher must be financially able to support his/her family and will be responsible for their own living expenses, including visa required sickness/accident insurance. While Host Schools are encouraged to arrange initial housing for the International Teacher with a host family for the first few weeks after arrival, this is not guaranteed. This is something you will need to work out with your employer ahead of your U.S. arrival.
What are my financial responsibilities?
- $150 non-refundable application fee – payable to Amity after your eligibility has been established by our staff.
- $200 J2 application fee (one time fee per immediate family member)
- $180 SEVIS Fee (one time fee paid directly to the U.S. government)
- $1000 Administrative Fee per school year, due after arrival in the U.S. This fee may be paid by or shared between the applicant or school.
- The administrative fee fully covers all necessary processing associated with your program and there are no additional fees for regular program maintenance, travel validation signatures needed to reenter the United States, or reissuing a lost DS 2019 form. Amity Institute is a nonprofit organization that strives to keep our costs low so that cultural exchange is possible for everyone.
Costs that vary by country:
- Visa application fee (approximately $150)
- Health Insurance and evacuation/repatriation costs – currently $97 per month for the teacher through an 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. It is important to understand that International Teacher wages may not cover all expenses while living in the United States. It is imperative that International Teachers bring additional personal funds to provide financial security and support as needed. For information regarding estimated costs of living in different regions of the United States, visit the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator.
- 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.
- Fee for Employment Authorization Form I-765 – for J-2 dependents who wish to work in the United States.
What support will Amity provide?
From preparing for your visa appointment, to your very last day in the United States, Amity Institute is here to support you. Each participant is assigned to an individual Program Counselor, whose main responsibility is to ensure that every teacher’s experience goes as smoothly as possible.
What is the general structure of U.S. schools?
U.S. schools are generally divided into the following age groups:
- Elementary: 5-11 years of age
- Middle/Jr. High: 12-14 years of age
- Secondary (High School): 15-18 years of age
What is the teaching philosophy of most American schools?
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. There is a high rate of parent participation in the schools and classrooms.
Can my spouse and children come with me to the U.S.?
Applicants may request authorization for dependents to accompany them to the U.S. (spouse or children under 21 years of age).
Will my spouse be allowed to work in the U.S.?
Yes, after completing an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This process can take up to 6 months.
How long can I stay after my assignment?
From the end date of your program (as listed in SEVIS and your Form DS-2019), you and any dependents will have 30 days to leave the United States. You may travel within the U.S. during this time but once you leave, you will not be able to reenter on your J Visa or DS 2019 form. If you need to end your program early, your program will be shortened and the 30 day grace period will still apply. If your program is terminated for serious violations, the grace period will not apply and you must leave the U.S. immediately.
Am I allowed to travel during my program?
Yes. International Teachers are encouraged to see and experience as much of the United States as possible during their assignment! Teachers and their dependents may also travel internationally, but they must have a valid travel signature on their form DS 2019 to reenter the United States. Make sure to inform Amity at least three weeks before you leave for a trip so we can provide this signature. Additionally, you should check the entry requirements for the country you wish to visit, as your visa does not permit you to enter any country besides the United States.
Am I allowed to pursue any other paid opportunities outside of my position with the U.S. Host School?
NO! This is a violation of the J1 visa.