Program Fees & Costs


If you have found a job as a teacher in the USA and need a visa, you can use our SELF-PLACEMENT PROGRAM. The fees can be paid either by the participant or by the host school. You can apply for the GEC Teach USA program 100% FREE and wait for a job offer from a school in the GEC Partner School Network. Placement is not guaranteed. Schools make the final hiring decisions.
Application fee $450 Complimentary / Sponsored by GEC Host School
Placement Fee n/a Complimentary / Sponsored by GEC Host School (values $4,550)
1-year program fee $2,500 Complimentary / Sponsored by GEC Host School
Program fee / each additional year $1,500 / year    * Due date: July 1 $1,500 / year   * Due date: July 1

The program fee includes the following.

  • Review and processing of an application for sponsorship.
  • J-1 Visa sponsorship (DS-2019 form)
  • SEVIS fee ($220)
  • Program pre-departure orientation and materials.
  • Monitoring of the program in the U.S.
  • 24/7 in-country support from GEC

Other Application and Pre-departure Expenses.

  • J-1 Visa Application Processing Fee: $185
  • Foreign Credential Evaluation: $200–$350
  • Exchange Visitor Insurance: $3/day (Also required for each J-2 visa holder, if applicable)
  • Airfare to and from the U.S.

Foreign or Domestic Third Party or Partner Expenses
GEC does NOT work with foreign or domestic third parties or partners to accept participants in the program. All GEC participants must apply directly. According to federal visa regulations, your visa sponsor must properly investigate and approve any third-party agency. Use of a third-party agency without authorization from GEC may result in program termination. GEC is committed to ensuring fair treatment and the best possible experiences for our international teachers in the United States, actively avoiding and combating any practices that exploit them financially or create negative living and working conditions.

Additional Expenses GEC may charge (Optional Services).

  • Change of host school (different school/district): $750
  • Change of host school (within the same school district): $0
  • J2 visa sponsorship: $ 550 / year for each J2 visa holder + Insurance
  • Travel validation: $30.
  • Program extension application: $750 (Non-refundable)

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Cancellation of the program for any reason (including visa refusal) after application review and acceptance by the GEC will incur the following cancellation fees:

  • If GEC is advised of the cancellation at least 28 days before the DS-2019 start date: $500.
  • If GEC is advised of the cancellation 27 days to 1 day before the DS 2019 start date: $ 1000.
  • If GEC is not advised until on or after the DS 2019 start date: The entire program fee.
  • A $500 cancellation fee applies if a ”GEC Placement” program participant abandons the program before the end of the first school year.
  • Cancellation/visa denial for J2 dependent visa: $300


You are responsible for and required to have or bring ‘’minimum’’ $7,500 for yourself and ‘’minimum’’ $1,500 for each of your dependents (if applicable) to cover expenses such as housing and transportation arrangements, food, utilities, health services, teaching licenses, etc. until you get your first paycheck in the U.S., which might take 6–10 weeks after your date of arrival.

Post-Arrival Costs

  • Criminal background checks (if applicable): $50 – $150
  • Teacher Licensing Application/Fees (if applicable): $50-300
  • Initial short-term housing: $100-300/night

*** Exchange visitor teachers in the U.S. must obtain a license or certification, pass licensure examinations, and pay varying fees depending on the state or school district. The application and processing fees can range from $50 to $300, depending on the jurisdiction. Licensure examinations for teachers also vary by state and subject area, ranging from $90 to $300. Additional coursework or training may be required to meet state requirements, with costs varying based on the institution and program length. Teachers often need to renew their licenses every few years, with renewal fees ranging from $50 to $200, and continuing education costs varying depending on the chosen courses or activities.

On average, an exchange visitor teacher might expect to incur costs ranging from a few hundred dollars if only minimal exams and fees are required, to several thousand dollars if extensive coursework, training, or multiple examinations are necessary. 

Paycheck Deductions

  • Federal taxes*: 10-15%
  • State taxes*: 0-10%
  • FICA taxes (Social Security/Medicare) *: 0-8%
  • Union dues (if applicable): $50-75
  • Retirement deductions (if applicable): 0–15%
  • School Insurance (single vs. dependents): $50-1000

* Tax treaties between your country and the government, as well as whether you file as a resident or non-resident, may affect the amount or exemptions available to you.

Monthly Expenses (single teacher)

  • Rent (location dependent): $500–2,450.
  • Transportation (public vs. buying a car): $150–500.
  • Utilities (not in rent, such as electric, water, internet/cable): $100-400
  • Cell phone: $50-100
  • Food, groceries, and household items: $250–735
  • Social / Other: $100-$200
  • School and/or Childcare (after school vs. full day care): $500–1500

**Most categories will incur greater expenses when dependents are included.


Here are some websites that provide cost of living information to help you estimate how much you should budget for each field. Please feel free to perform extra web research to obtain price estimates in the area where you will be residing.

Economic Policy Institute – Family Budget Calculator


Living Wage / Calculator