J-1 Teacher Program
About the program
The J-1 Teacher program allows you to teach full-time in accredited public and private U.S. primary and secondary schools for up to three years. The objective is for exchange teachers to sharpen their professional skills and participate in cross-cultural activities in schools and communities. They return home after completing the program.
Note: Our program cannot be used as a substitute for ordinary employment or work purposes and it cannot displace American workers.
Initial Sponsor Fees:
Processing & Academic Fee: $1500
SEVIS Fee: $220
Program and Insurance Fee: $95 per month, 3 months due upfront and remainder billed monthly
J-2 Processing Fee: $695 per J-2 dependent
J-2 Program and Insurance Fee: $140 per month, 3 months due upfront and remainder billed monthly
*J1X highly encourages exchange teachers to be established and settled before bringing dependents to the U.S.
Recurring Sponsor Fees:
Annual Academic Fee: $1500, due May 15th
Monthly Program and Insurance Fee: $95 per month, due the 1st of each month
Monthly J-2 Program and Insurance Fee: $140 per month, due the 1st of each month
*Exchange teachers may opt to use their host school medical insurance to reduce J-1 insurance to a repatriation and medical evacuation policy after 90 days.
Other J1X Fees:
Transfer Host School Fee: $695
Travel Validation: $75, valid for 12 months
Extension Beyond Maximum Duration Fee (Year-Three Teachers): Annual Academic Fee + $367 Department of State Fee
Every third-party agent operates differently, and J1X continues to evaluate the agents we work with. That said, on average, an exchange participant can expect to pay $2000-$2500 towards placement fees to an agent who assists with identifying host schools. Some agents can provide additional services for Foreign Credential Evaluations, temporary housing accommodations, airfare, interview preparation, licensing, and more at an ad-hoc service charge.
While some third-party agencies can provide real benefits to exchange teachers, fees can quickly add up. In some cases, this can result in unexpected and exorbitant costs (sometimes exceeding $5000).
J1X highly encourages exchange teachers interested in working with a third-party agent to first review their fees, and the fine print before signing any agreement. Likewise, consider the services you’ll get from an agent before signing an agreement.
In the 2023-2024 Academic Year, J1X supported programs through:
– Foreign Cultural Exchange Consultants (https://www.fcec-inc.com/)
– Minga House Foundation (https://www.mingahouse.org/)
Estimated Teaching Related Expenses
Criminal Background Check/Fingerprinting Requirements: ~$50-$75 (dependent on state-by-state requirements)
Foreign Credential Evaluations: ~$100+ (dependent on company and country of evaluation)
Teacher Licensing/Certification: ~$75-$100 (dependent on state)
Translation Fees: ~$100+ (dependent on services)
Estimated Work-Related Deductions:
Exchange teachers can expect some work-related deductions during their exchange program. Here is a list of expected deductions:
Taxes: Exchange teachers can expect to pay between 20%–30% of their salary, on average, depending on their federal and state tax forms.
Local, State, and Federal Taxes: 15%-20% per pay period (some cities do not have a local tax)
FUTA/FICA Taxes: 7%-10%
-Dental, Vision, and Medical Plans: ~$50-$100+ per pay period. Medical coverage may be available through your host school. While having host school insurance doesn’t allow, it does allow for exchange teachers to qualify for monthly reduced rates. Some schools and school districts provide free medical benefits for exchange teachers.
-Union Dues: Union dues vary by state; however, the average exchange teacher can estimate between ~$400 to ~$1000 for union dues. States such as California can be estimated at ~$1000 a year, whereas states such as Arkansas and Texas are lower, estimating around ~$400 a year.
-Retirement Benefits: Estimate ~1%-3%, depending on chosen contributions. Host schools and host school districts may have and/or require exchange teachers to opt into a retirement plan. We encourage exchange teachers to connect with their contacts to learn more about these options and determine which plan is the best for them. You can read more about retirement plans related to teachers here: https://www.sec.gov/teachers-guide/planning-for-retirement.
General Monthly Expenses:
While the cost of living will vary by city and state, the following is an estimate to help teachers better understand their financial obligations before participation.
Rent: ~$1500/month for a studio/1-bedroom unfurnished apartment
Utilities: ~$150/month (water, gas, electric, trash, sewer) *estimated for a 1-bedroom apartment
Internet: ~$50/month for a base internet plan through a local ISP
Telephone: ~$50/month for a base phone plan without a service contact.
Transportation*: ~$100+ or ~$200/month (public transportation or gasoline cost/maintenance)
Childcare: ~$1000+/month for full-time daycare per dependent (varies by city)
Discretionary Spending**: ~$150–$200 per month
*Please note that in some locations, public transportation may not be an option. Additionally, J1X advises caution when purchasing a vehicle. While buying a $ 5,000 used vehicle may be an appropriate option for some exchange visitors, leasing a $40,000 vehicle and then paying $500/month in car payments usually isn’t.
**Discretionary spending is a term used to describe non-essential expenses such as recreation, entertainment, luxury goods, and travel. J1X encourages exchange teachers to understand the differences between a necessary purchase vs. a discretionary purchase.