Embark on a cultural exchange journey to the United States alongside TPG Cultural Exchange. We will be with you every step of the way, making sure it’s a rewarding experience both professionally and personally.
TPG is an official J-1 visa sponsor for teacher exchange visitors, designated by the U.S. Department of State. TPG has supported thousands of teachers for more than a decade to realize their dreams of teaching in the United States.
Teachers can engage in the cultural exchange program for up to 5 years: the initial visa is issued for 3 years, and at the conclusion of the 3 years, teachers can request an extension for 2 more years for a total of 5 years. At the conclusion of the program, educators are required to return to their home countries for a minimum of two years before returning to the U.S. on the J-1 nonimmigrant visa.
THE BENEFITS YOU WILL GET
- Expand your horizons by teaching abroad and learning new perspectives;
- No cost for visa sponsorship;
- Earn a salary equivalent to that of a similarly-situated American educator;
- Gain professional development opportunities through TPG’s free professional development both before your arrival and throughout your time in the U.S., as well as through your school and district;
- Pre-departure and post-arrival orientation and relocation support;
- Comprehensive health insurance that meets Department of State requirements;
- Sponsorship for qualified dependents under the J-2 visa at no cost;
- Embark on the journey of a lifetime and return home to pass your learnings along to your students, friends, and family.
- Demonstrate an active interest in cultural exchange and an understanding of the cultural exchange program;
- Have the equivalent of a 4-year U.S. Bachelor’s in Education, as evaluated by a NACES-member organization;
- Have at least 2 years of full-time, K-12 lead classroom teacher experience;
- Meet the qualifications to be certified as a teacher in the U.S. state in which they will be teaching;
- Be currently working as a teacher;
- Be of good reputation and character;
- Be fluent in English.
TPG engages with K-12 educators in a variety of backgrounds, including:
- Information And Communication Technology
- Special education;
- Science (general science, biology, chemistry, physics, etc.);
- Elementary; Primary, KG,
- Early Childhood
- English Language
- World Languages (Spanish, French, etc.);
- Social Studies;
- & more
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TPG does not charge teachers any fees for sponsorship and does not work with any third parties who charge fees to prospective Exchange Visitors. However, there are other expenses that may apply to you for joining the program for teachers to be aware of and prepare for (all costs listed as U.S. dollars).
- Initial expenses: Applicants to the program may incur some personal costs for their collection of documents necessary to prove eligibility for a J-1 visa, including but not limited to:
- NACES-member credential evaluation: $220-$280;
- J-1 application fee: $185, non-refundable and payable directly to the U.S. Consulate;
- SEVIS fee: $220;
- Criminal background checks (cost varies based upon country of origin);
- Exams for English proficiency: $100-$200;
- Medical exams (cost varies based on country of origin);
- TB tests (cost varies based on country of origin);
- COVID-19 tests (cost varies based on country of origin);
EXPECTED SALARY PER ANUM
- Salary: Teachers are paid the equivalent salary to a similarly situated American educator, based upon: 1) the school district that hires them; 2) their degree(s) as evaluated by the credential evaluation service; and 3) their year(s) of experience at an accredited K-12 school after receiving the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s in Education. Salaries range from $35,000 to $85,000 per year depending on these factors.
TAXES TO BE PAID PER ANUM
- Taxes: Salaries in the United States are subject to federal and state income taxes and withholdings and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) Deductions. Taxes may range from 15-35% of salary depending a number of factors. Based on your country of citizenship, you may be eligible for certain tax treaty benefits.
- Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) deductions are only paid by the employer and will not be deducted from your pay.
- Union dues: up to $1,000 per year if you elect to join your local teacher union
- Retirement benefits: up to 7% of your compensation goes towards retirement depending on the state in which you work
- Health insurance: The U.S. Department of State administers the Exchange Visitor Program and requires that all program participants be covered under a health benefits policy compliant with regulations set forth at 22 CFR 62.14. The Department of State created this requirement to ensure that U.S. taxpayers and health care providers do not incur the costs associated with your health care while you are a participant in the Exchange Visitor Program.
- The requirements as outlined in 22 CFR 62.14 include:
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
- Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of exchange visitors to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000; and
Deductibles not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
- In order to ensure your compliance with the Department of State’s health insurance regulatory requirement, TPG provides you, as the program participant, with health insurance coverage that meets DOS regulations at no cost to you for the monthly premium.
- If you will be accompanied by dependents on a J-2 visa, they too must be covered by a health insurance policy compliant with Department of State regulations. If you fail to provide health insurance coverage for your accompanying dependents, the U.S. Department of State requires that TPG terminate your program participation.
- The monthly premium (cost) of this health insurance coverage for your dependents is your responsibility. You may satisfy the regulatory requirement that your dependents be covered under a regulatory compliant health insurance policy by enrolling your dependents in the TPG provided policy and paying the monthly premium for such coverage directly to the insurance provider. This required insurance coverage will cost you approximately $70-$400 monthly, depending on the ages of your J-2 dependents and the number of dependents you have.
- As with all health insurance in the United States, the health insurance policy offered by TPG does include some member cost when receiving health care services for both Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents, in line with the Department of State limitations.
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- School districts and employers also offer health coverage at a cost of up to $900 per month per person. We have found that employer-sponsored health coverage does not meet the requirements outlined in 22 CFR 62.14 since it does not include the required Repatriation of Remains and Emergency Evacuation requirements and most plans have a deductible that is greater than $500.
- Should you elect to be covered under a policy that does not comply with the requirements outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations, this would also necessitate the purchase of another policy that is compliant with the regulations, which would cost an additional $70-$200 per month per person.
- Typical monthly expenses: Monthly expenses for a family of three are:
- Rent: $750-$2,000 depending on the area and type of housing;
- Food: $500-$1,500;
- Utilities, cellphone, wifi, etc.: $100 – $1,000;
- Car/transportation: $250-$1,000;
- Health insurance: $70-$400 (depending on size of family and ages) for J-2 insurance that meets Department of State requirements + up to $900 per month per person on an employer-sponsored health insurance plan (optional)
- We also ask that teachers take into consideration the cost of childcare if you are bringing small children with you to the U.S. The cost of childcare can be up to $1,000 per week per child, but varies by location, age of child, number of hours, and other factors.
EXTENSIONS OF YOUR VISA
Extensions: If you reach the third year of your program and choose to request an extension for two additional years, you will have the following expenses:
- $367 SEVIS fee (this fee is the responsibility of the J-1 teacher)
- Up to $100 to extend your teaching certification for the additional 2 years of your program (this fee is the responsibility of the J-1 teacher)
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