FAQs

What is 推荐十大正规网赌网站 Cultural Exchange?

推荐十大正规网赌网站 Cultural Exchange, LLC (推荐十大正规网赌网站) is a U.S. Department of State-designated J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program sponsor. Our program helps prepare students for success in the 21st century through world-class instruction from highly qualified teachers while enhancing global awareness and cultural exposure.

What is the J-1 visa?

The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work- and study-based exchange visitor programs. Qualified foreign nationals can travel to the United States for a period of time to participate in cultural exchange programming and then return to their home country to complete the exchange. 推荐十大正规网赌网站 Cultural Exchange sponsors qualified K-12 educators specifically in the teacher category of the exchange visitor program.

What is the purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program?

The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to promote cultural and educational exchange between citizens of the United States and those of other countries. The program provides foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in exchange programs in the US and then return home to share their experiences. The Exchange Visitor Program is for the purpose of educational and cultural exchange, NOT EMPLOYMENT, although many participating in an exchange program will be paid by their host school.

You can read more about the Exchange Visitor Program at the U.S. Department of State website at J1visa.state.gov.

What is the home-country physical presence requirement?

Some exchange visitors with J-1 visas are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement. It requires you to return home for at least two years after your exchange visitor program. This requirement is part of U.S. law, in the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212(e).

What are the activities a j-1 visitor engages in while on the J-1 teacher exchange visitor program?

Teacher Exchange Visitors are placed at host schools in the United States for the duration of the exchange visitor program. The Exchange Visitors receive a teaching certification from the state in which they are teaching and serve as classroom teachers in accredited K-12 schools. Exchange Visitors receive the same salary as similarly-situated, certified American educators and, on the 推荐十大正规网赌网站 program, primarily work in public schools in the United States. Working hours for teachers in the United States are typically 7am-2pm or 8am-3pm.

A key component of the cultural exchange program are the cross-cultural activities that Exchange Visitors engage in. Exchange Visitors are required to complete two cross-cultural activities during each year of their exchange visitor program: one activity with the school or community to give an overview of attributes of their home country and one activity to connect students in the United States to students in the teacher’s home country.

Teachers, students, and the community at large gain invaluable experiences through the cultural exchange program: learning how to connect with others across backgrounds, learning more about each other’s cultures, and opening their minds and hearts to an interconnected global community.

Why should I choose 推荐十大正规网赌网站 Cultural Exchange for visa sponsorship?

推荐十大正规网赌网站 Cultural Exchange provides:

  • Visa sponsorship for qualified individuals and their spouses and children under 21;

  • A full-time teaching position;

  • Assistance acquiring teaching certification in the U.S. state in which you are being hosted;

  • Required health and other insurance while in the U.S.;

  • Guidance and required documentation for the J-1 visa and for teacher certification once in the U.S.;

  • Interviews with accredited schools in the U.S. interested in collaborating with exchange teachers;

  • Preparation for the American classroom experience;

  • Virtual and in-person orientation;

  • Assistance upon arrival (housing location, bank account, SSN, and more);

  • Ongoing professional development;

  • 24/7 support line once in the U.S.;

  • A warm and caring environment with real people supporting you every step of the way;

  • The experience of over 1,000 teachers placed over 15 years by the 推荐十大正规网赌网站 team;

  • A family and network in the U.S. and all over the world!

What are the terms & conditions of the program And/or conditions and restrictions of the exchange visitor program overall?

  • Educators must meet certain qualifications to participate in the teacher exchange visitor program as outlined below.

  • Educators are required to be employed by an accredited K-12 school in a certified classroom teacher position that is commensurate with their certification, experience, and degree(s) for the duration of the program.

  • Once the educator joins the program, they are required to be certified in the state in which they are teaching and maintain that certification for the duration of the program.

  • Exchange Visitors must have health insurance for the entirety of the J-1 program, which 推荐十大正规网赌网站 sponsors.

  • J-2 dependents must also have health insurance for the entirety of their program, which is the J-1 Exchange Visitor’s responsibility.

  • Educators must update their visa sponsor, 推荐十大正规网赌网站, about any change in contact information (i.e. address, phone number, email address, etc.) within 10 days of a change.

  • Educators must return home at the conclusion of the J-1 program to complete the cultural exchange.

  • Educators must fulfill the 2-year home country physical presence requirement prior to returning to the United States on a J program.

What are the terms & conditions of employment activities?

Exchange Visitors in the Teacher category are employed by host school districts as certified classroom teachers in accredited K-12 schools. Exchange Visitors are required to comply with the terms of the contract that they sign with their host school district, including:

  • Job duties: certified educators have job duties that include serving as a classroom teacher, completing lesson plans, preparing students for standardized testing, completing regular student assessments, implementing school rules and regulations, and other similar activities

  • Number of work hours: school hours in the United States typically range from 7am-2pm or 8am-3pm, though hours can vary depending on the school and district. Educators typically are required to report to school before students and may have to complete additional work including grading and lesson planning outside of school hours. Standard employment contracts include provisions for holidays, school vacation periods, and paid time off.

  • Wages and compensation: Exchange Visitors are required to be paid a salary equivalent to a similarly-situated American educator. Salaries are dependent upon the educator’s degree(s) and year(s) of qualified work experience. 推荐十大正规网赌网站 works primarily with public school districts whose salary schedules are publicly available on their websites.

  • Typical deductions: in the United States, employers deduct taxes from an employee’s paycheck, which include Medicare, Social Security, Federal, and State taxes. School districts typically do not deduct for housing or transportation. If an educator is seeing deductions that they feel are incorrect or that they are unsure about, they are encouraged to reach out to the payroll office and/or a 推荐十大正规网赌网站 team member.

Will I be guaranteed employment?

Unfortunately we cannot guarantee employment. You will be on a standard school district contract, the same as an American educator. Contracts with school districts typically are renewed annually, though there are provisions in the contract whereby educators can be terminated for non-performance and other matters.

93% of our teachers remain in the United States each year of their visa, so the vast majority of teachers do maintain their employment.

Do I have to pay a fee for visa sponsorship?

No, 推荐十大正规网赌网站 does not charge any fees and does not work with recruiters or third-party agencies who charge candidates fees. If anyone has charged you a fee, please contact admin@mikeshiner.com to let us know.

What are other fees I may be responsible for?

  • Credential evaluation from a NACES-approved credential evaluation company (i.e. SpanTran, WES, etc.): $220-$280 USD

  • Visa fee: $185 USD

  • SEVIS fee: $220 USD

  • English test (i.e. TOEFL): $180 USD

  • Certification (i.e. fee to Department of Education, fingerprinting, etc.): up to $150 USD

  • Medical examination (i.e. TB test, medical clearance): $25-$100 USD

  • Initial expenses in the U.S. (i.e. food, cellphone, furniture, security deposit for apartment, etc.): $1,500-$2,500 USD

  • Air travel to the U.S.: $200-$1,500 USD

  • Sponsor fee: 推荐十大正规网赌网站 does not charge any fees for sponsorship or placement

  • Third-party or partner fees: 推荐十大正规网赌网站 does not work with any foreign or domestic third-parties or partners that charge fees

  • J-2 processing fees: 推荐十大正规网赌网站 does not charge fees for J-2 processing

  • EAD fee for J-2 spouse: $410 (optional)

  • 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)

PLEASE NOTE that wages may not cover all of your expenses as an Exchange Visitor. As such, 推荐十大正规网赌网站 recommends that educators bring additional personal funds with them. A recommended amount is $1,500-$2,000 USD to begin. Exchange Visitors may also elect to supplement their salary throughout their time in the United States depending on lifestyle choices.

What will my salary be in the United Stat.es?

Exchange visiting teachers are required to be compensated commensurate to a similarly-situated American educator. Your specific salary will depend on the school district in which you are placed, your own educational background, and experience.

PLEASE NOTE that wages may not cover all of your expenses as an Exchange Visitor. As such, 推荐十大正规网赌网站 recommends that educators bring additional personal funds with them. A recommended amount is $1,500-$2,000 USD for an initial set-up. Depending on your lifestyle preferences, your compensation may not be sufficient and you may need additional funds throughout your stay in the U.S.

In the United States, employers deduct taxes from an employee’s paycheck, which include Medicare, Social Security, Federal, and State taxes. School districts typically do not deduct for housing or transportation. If an educator is seeing deductions that they feel are incorrect or that they are unsure about, they are encouraged to reach out to the payroll office and/or a 推荐十大正规网赌网站 team member.

Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) deductions are only paid by the employer and will not be deducted from your pay. If you elect to join the union, you may pay up to $1,000 per year in union dues. Depending on the state in which you are employed, retirement benefits may be deducted up to 7% of your compensation.

How much does health insurance cost?

推荐十大正规网赌网站 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.  The monthly premium (cost) of this health insurance coverage for your dependents is your responsibility. 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 推荐十大正规网赌网站 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.

School districts and employers may 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.

What does the health insurance cover?

The U.S. Department of State regulations, as outlined in 22 CFR 62.14, require that J Exchange Visitors have insurance that covers the following:

  • 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 the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000

  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

What are other costs I might incur?

The typical costs incurred by Exchange Visitors include:

  • Rent: $500-$2,000 USD per month

  • Food: $500-$2,000 USD per month

  • Utilities (i.e. cellphone, wifi, electricity, etc.): $100-$500 USD per month

  • Transportation (i.e. car, public transportation, etc.): $250-$1,000 USD per month

How do I know if I meet the qualifications for the visa?

Teachers are required to have:

  • The equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree in Education, as verified by a NACES-approved credential evaluation agency;

  • A minimum of 2 years of teaching experience at an accredited K-12 institution in their home country with students between the ages of 5-18;

  • Must be currently working as a teacher or administrator in a K-12 institution (not a University or language institute);

  • Fluent in English;

  • Availability to teach with 推荐十大正规网赌网站 for at least two years;

  • Strong demonstrated interest in cultural exchange;

  • Please note there is no age limit to apply.

Do I qualify to teach if I teach at a university or a language institute?

Unfortunately no. 推荐十大正规网赌网站 is looking for teachers who are currently working as a lead classroom teacher in a K-12 setting at an accredited school in their home country.

Do I qualify if I don’t have the equivalent of a 4-year Bachelor’s degree from a University? What if I don’t have an education degree?

推荐十大正规网赌网站 requires that educators have the equivalent of a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Education from a University to qualify for the program. This degree must be evaluated by a NACES-member organization.

Do I need a driver’s license?

A driver’s license is not required for the 推荐十大正规网赌网站 program but it is highly recommended.

How long does the visa last?

The visa is issued for a 3-year period. School contracts are issued for one year, and can be extended up to the 3-year period of the visa if the school and teacher would both like to continue. In the third year, the host school and teacher can apply for a 2-year extension if they would like to do so. The 2-year extension is subject to approval by the Department of State. At the conclusion of the visa, teachers return to their home countries to share their newfound knowledge and cultural learnings.

Can I bring my family with me?

Yes, the J-1 Exchange Visitor program allows spouses and children under the age of 21 to accompany the J-1 on a J-2 visa. 推荐十大正规网赌网站 does not charge any fees for J-2 processing. In order for Exchange Visitors to travel to the United States with their J-2 dependents, they are required to send 推荐十大正规网赌网站 a budget for the first month in the United States as well as proof of funds in line with the budget. This provision ensures that J-1 visitors will be able to support their families upon arrival. If a J-1 cannot compile a budget or provide the required proof of funds, they will be required to wait 30-60 days before applying for a J-2 visa to ensure they have received a paycheck from their host school district.

How do I apply?

Click “for teachers” on the home page and then “apply online” to submit your online application. Please note that the application requires that you upload a number of documents, so we suggest reviewing it then collecting the documents, and applying once you have all of your documents ready.

When does the U.S. school year begin?

U.S. schools begin between August and September each year. Teachers typically arrive in the United States in July or August, depending on their school start date.

When should I apply?

We recommend you apply between September and January for the following school year, which begins in August or September.

I am having an issue with my online application, help!

Please contact us at admin@mikeshiner.com with details about the issue you are facing and our team will reach out to provide support.

What are the type, duration, nature, and importance of the cultural components of the program?

There are two required cross-cultural activities as part of the Exchange Visitor program, which each Exchange Visitor must complete each year of their stay in the United States. These activities are:

(i) An activity for the teacher's classroom, larger host school or host school district population, or the community at large designed to give an overview of the history, traditions, heritage, culture, economy, educational system and/or other attributes of his or her home country; and (ii) An activity that involves U.S. student dialogue with schools or students in another country, preferably in the exchange teacher's home school, through virtual exchange or other means, in order to supplement the goals of the in-person exchange.

Educators are creative with the cross-cultural activities and can use these as an opportunity to connect with students in a unique way. Students are able to engage with a broader world outside of their city or state, and become better prepared to engage in a global community.

Do I need to be in my home country when I apply?

No, you do not need to be in your home country. You can be teaching in any country outside of the United States.