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The Exchange Visitor Teacher Program - Spain, which administered by the Illinois State Board of Education, is a partnership with the Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain. Spain has participated in the program since 1997.


The purpose of this partnership is to enhance understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges. 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.

The Ministry of Education in Spain has this program, whereby English-speaking teachers come to the United States to teach for a few years and then return home. These teachers cover many subject areas — but the chance to have a person from another country “in residence” in an American school is a valuable opportunity for the students, staff, and community. The teachers have the appropriate state license and an International Visiting Teacher license. The districts interview and hire them in much the same way that they hire American teachers.

The ministry has staff in the United States to help the teachers and districts with paperwork and various issues that might arise as well as to promote the program in general. Roberto Garcia from the Consulate General of Spain works from the ISBE Chicago office. His email address is roberto.garciag@educacion.gob.es.​

 Illinois Exchange Visitor Program

Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) 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, provided that the school district agrees to rehire them. Participating districts employ these teachers in accordance with local regulations and policies. Teachers are paid according to their experience and certification level.

Support for the program, teachers, and school districts is provided throughout the three years of the program by Mr. Roberto Garcia, the Embassy of Spain education adviser who is stationed in Chicago.​

 Teachers from International Visiting Teachers Guide of the Spanish Education Office

 International Spanish Academies

Students can access highly recognized institutions of higher learning in the U.S., Canada, Europe, or Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America

 Sister Schools in Spain

Departments and Offices of Education in Spain have developed strong Bilingual and Immersion Programs at the elementary and secondary levels. There is an increasing interest in establishing partnerships with Sister Schools in English-speaking countries. This collaboration seeks to develop a lasting and sustainable relationship between schools through a number of channels: email, Skype, messenger, blogs, the exchange and creation of common materials, or even the possibility of visits to the country and school.

If you would like to learn about this possibility, send an email to Roberto Garcia: roberto.garcia@mecd.es

 AP Spanish Language Courses

 Cultural Ambassadors: North American Language and Culture Assistants in Spain

The Ministry of Education, through an agreement with the Education Authorities in the Autonomous Regions will offer over 2000 scholarships for Language and Culture Assistants in schools in Spain for 2014-15. Assistants will have the opportunity to learn about the Spanish language and culture and use their experience upon their return to the United States or Canada, thus helping to develop cultural understanding between the citizens of Spain and the United States of America and Canada. At the same time, the program provides Spanish students and teachers of English an opportunity to broaden and increase their knowledge of the English language and North American culture through interaction with native speakers.

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