The purpose of this partnership is to enhance understanding between citizens of the United States and citizens of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) offers Illinois school districts the opportunity to recruit highly qualified teachers from Spain to teach in Dual Language, Bilingual Education and Spanish courses as part of a World Languages Program.
Illinois State Board of Education governmental and programmatic oversight for this cultural exchange program includes the assessment of the English language proficiency of teacher candidates in Spain. ISBE collaborates with the Ministry of Education to recruit potential teachers in the program.
Visiting teachers have at least three years of experience. The 67 teachers hired for the 2019-20 school year to work in 11 Illinois school districts are highly qualified to teach early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school, including areas such as special education, language arts, social studies, world language, math, and science. ISBE tests the candidates' language proficiency and verifies their qualifications for an International Visiting Educator License.
The visiting teachers make a one- to three-year commitment to teach in the United States, if the school district agrees to rehire them. Participating districts employ these teachers in accordance with local regulations and policies.
Support for teachers and school districts in the program is provided by a Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain adviser who is stationed in Chicago.
For more information about the Illinois Exchange Visitor Teacher program, please contact us at
Timeline of events:
- Fall: Spain makes a call for applicants
- Late Fall/Winter: Spain screens the applicants; applicants select states for work
- January: ISBE convenes informational meeting with interested districts
- April: ISBE and interested district travel to Spain to recruit (ISBE gives licensure assessments and districts conduct interviews; districts may also interview via skype)
- Candidates are hired on site by districts; exact school placement may be tentative
- May-June: Candidates with job offers are required to submit all documentation for licensure
- June-July: ISBE processes visas for all candidates with job offers and issued PELs + Endorsements
- August: Teachers arrive in Illinois
- August/September: Teachers begin teaching
- News - Partnership with Spain Brings 138 Bilingual Teachers to Illinois Schools