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 how 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?
Exchange 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. Exchange 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.?
Exchange 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 Exchange 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 Exchange 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 (per immediate family member)
- $180 SEVIS Fee (State Department fee)
Costs that vary by country:
- Visa application fee (approximately $150)
- Health Insurance and evacuation/repatriation costs – currently $90 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.
- 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 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?
Following the completion of their program, the Program End Date stated on the Form DS-2019, a 30-day travel period commonly referred to as the “Grace Period” is permissible. The “Grace Period” does not apply if the teacher withdraws from the program or the program is terminated before the official program end date for serious reasons. In that case, the teacher and dependents would have to leave the U.S> immediately.
Am I allowed to travel within the U.S. during my program?
Yes. Exchange teachers are encouraged to see and experience as much of the United States as possible during their assignment.
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.