Frequently Asked Questions
What is USA Employment?
USA Employment is a Texas based Cultural Exchange Program for international educators. In collaboration with United States Department of State, USA Employment’s Cultural Exchange Program provides countless opportunities for international educators to live and work in the United States while promoting their culture.
Foreign teachers participate in cross-cultural activities in schools and communities to enhance the U.S. students’ knowledge about foreign cultures and customs. Teachers then return home to share their increased knowledge of U.S. culture, customs and teaching advancements with students in their own country.
How much money will I make?
Participating cultural exchange visiting teachers earn their salary/wages from their employers (schools). Teacher salaries are established by individual schools and school districts based upon degree level and years of experience. Salaries offered to cultural exchange visiting teachers will be in line with the salaries offered to other teachers in a given school district or city.
In certain school systems, teachers in "high-need areas" (high-need varies but is often defined to include some or all of the following subjects: special education, Spanish bilingual, foreign language, math and science, and possibly others); with many years of experience; and teachers with post-graduate degrees (master’s degrees and doctorates) may expect to receive higher starting compensation. Salaries will vary in different parts of the country, given the differences in cost of living and other factors.
How soon after being hired, will I be asked to relocate to America and begin teaching?
This will vary, depending upon when your school district requires your presence. You may be asked to relocate immediately if you are selected in the program during the school year, which is August to May. Usually, teachers join their schools at the beginning of the school year, July, August or September depending upon the State. The expected relocation time will be made known to you prior to or during the interview, and it will be a minimum of 14 days.
Will I be teaching at a public school or private school?
The words "public" and "private" mean different things in different countries. In America, "public schools" are those funded by the government and tax-payers. They are free for children to attend, and the vast majority of students attend public schools. "Private schools" are those schools where tuition is paid by the parents of the attending student. Most job opportunities will be with public schools, but this detail will be made known to you before, during or directly after the interview process.
Can I also teach part-time at a local college or university?
Cultural Exchange Teachers are only allowed to earn from the employer listed on their DS-2019. On the J-1 visa the teacher is not allowed to work for supplemental income. For more information, please consult the USCIS (formerly the INS) website. http://uscis.gov/graphics/index.htm
How can I make extra money while on the J-1 visa?
Many schools offer ample opportunities for employees to earn extra income to supplement their teacher salary, including but not limited to: club sponsorship stipends; coaching stipends; study hall and discipline supervisor; summer school teaching; and other opportunities. Candidates will be informed of these varying opportunities once you are teaching in the school.
How quickly will I get certified in the United States?
That is mostly up to you! Your dedication, aptitude and commitment will often determine the speed with which you obtain teaching certification in America. It is always helpful to pass TOEFL and/or IELTS exams while you are in your country. USA Employment and your school administrators will guide you completely on all tasks necessary to obtain certification. In most cases, you will be required to pass one or more state-mandated tests, for which ample study tools and tutoring sessions are available. USA Employment and your nearest international office affiliate will guide you on all certification-related documents that need to be collected by you before you depart for America.
Will my school-aged children receive free education in America?
YES! All children between the grades of kindergarten through high school (K through 12) will receive the same quality of education offered to American children. USA Employment will guide you on getting your children enrolled into the school system immediately upon their arrival to the United States. In regards to college enrollment, the high school counselors will guide your college-aged children on how to enroll, receive financial aid, etc.
Will I have a mentor to guide me when I join my new school in America?
USA Employment and your employer will work hard to surround you with the necessary infrastructure to succeed. All school districts have extensive training, orientation and mentor programs that will help acclimate you into the system. Furthermore, you will have access to many of USA Employment's teachers already working in America, who can give you tips, suggestions and invaluable advice! Finally, you have USA Employment, which is available to answer your questions and field your comments. It is our hope that someday you will become a mentor to another teacher who is coming to America for the first time, and that you can extend the same welcome to them as was extended to you when you initially arrived!
How much does it cost to live in the USA?
Cost of living is different in every city and state, and it is based on many factors. World wide web is a strong resource to learn and compare the cost of living for different cities, states and regions in America. As part of our relocation assistance, during our orientation session, USA Employment can assist you and your family in preparing a budget, based on cost of living, your salary and your personal financial needs. USA Employment will also provide lots of tips, suggestions and best practices for living cost-efficiently in America. Please see the average cost detail link for Arizona. https://www.expatistan.com/cost-ofliving/phoenix
I have friends or relatives living in America, or another country, who wish to take advantage of this program. How can they start the process?
They can apply online at our website www.usaemployment.org and a representative will be in contact with them. Much of the information regarding our program is available online.
Once relocated, do I have the option of bringing my dependents?
Yes, you can bring some, none or all of your dependents, including a spouse and any number of your unmarried children under age 21. They will come on a J-2 visa. The spouse may travel to the US after 180 days of arrival of the teacher and can accept employment only with the authorization of the INS (Immigration & Naturalization Services).
What guarantee do I have that I will be hired?
USA Employment cannot guarantee that you will obtain a work assignment immediately after joining our cultural exchange program. Our track record of performance and excellence speaks for itself, and we have structured our organization in such a way that all participating teachers will find a school. Preparing for, and performing well during the interviews, is the responsibility of the candidate – though USA Employment will furnish ample preparation materials to help during this process. USA Employment will only accept those candidates into its program who meet the strict requirements and display the professionalism, personality and dynamic qualities desired by American schools today.
Will I be able to travel during my J1 Program?
Yes, you will have the freedom to visit within and outside the United States of America. We would recommend you to plan your vacation/trips during the spring, winter and summer breaks to avoid any absence from work, unless emergencies. Please follow your school’s policy for any applicable leave you may require. Before you leave the country you must send your DS 2019 for signature.
Will I be able to attend college classes or pursue other academic coursework while teaching?
Yes, you will have every opportunity to participate in any coursework offered by a local college or university, or any other you wish to explore. Often schools encourage their teachers to take workshops, classes or attend conferences to learn more about their students. USA Employment recommends that all teachers spend at least their first full year focusing on the task of performing well in the classroom and becoming an effective American teacher, before pursuing other time-intensive academic challenges.
Will I have opportunities to grow professionally?
Yes! In fact, you will likely be required to complete a certain amount of "professional development" hours or courses. Tremendous funds are put toward training teachers and equipping you with new materials, skills, practices and tools to make you more effective!
How long is this program and can it be extended?
J-1 Cultural Exchange Visitor Teachers are allowed to teach for a maximum of 36 consecutive months. An extension can be requested and it can take 4-6 weeks to get it approved. Participating teachers that have intention to stay longer should contact USA Employment at least two months (90 days) prior to the expiration of their DS-2019. A fee is applicable for all extension requests.
Can I change my school?
Yes, a change of work location is allowed on J-1 Cultural Exchange Visa Program. However, it is a detailed process and should be approved by USA Employment prior to the change. A revised Form DS-2019 is required to be issued with new work location, revised salary and other compensations information. The employer holds the financial responsibility on Form DS-2019 and updated information is mandatory before finalizing any commitments with a new employer. Participating exchange visitors and their employer can face substantial penalties if the suggested procedure is not followed.
What is DS2019?
The Form DS-2019 or “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status” is the basic document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program.
This form permits a prospective exchange visitor to seek an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in order to obtain a J visa to enter the United States.
The Form DS-2019 identifies the exchange visitor and their designated sponsor and provides a brief description of the exchange visitor’s program, including the start and end date, category of exchange, and an estimate of the cost of the exchange program.
How do we get started?
Contact USA Employment immediately via email at email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org to begin.