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The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is designated as a sponsor of an Exchange Visitor Program by the United States Department of State. Through this designation, ISBE can sponsor teachers from other countries, also known as Visiting International Teachers (VIT), to teach in Illinois through the Exchange Visitor Program for Teachers. Our agency has developed partnerships with foreign entities to assist in our recruitment of international teachers. These partnerships have been developed as a means of promoting multi-cultural and educational understanding, creating a foundation for educating and connecting Illinois students, schools, communities, and educators with other countries and to build support for bilingual education.​​

 International Partners

​ISBE has partnered with the following international governmental and non-governmental organizations to recruit visiting teachers from each country -
  • Spain: Spanish Ministry of Education
  • Mexico :Medina-Ramos Global Education Group
  • Morocco: Teachers of English Association of Morocco (TEAM)

 About the Program

​The U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States. The multifaceted program enables foreign nationals to come to the U.S. to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for a period ranging from a few weeks to several years. – U.S. Department of State​.
The Illinois State Board of Education’s involvement in this program, as a sponsor of J-1 teachers, has over the years given hundreds of foreign teachers the opportunity to share their talents with Illinois students and families. ISBE offers Illinois school districts the opportunity to recruit highly qualified international teachers to teach in areas that fit their professional background, which are often areas that have teacher shortages in Illinois. 

Visiting teachers have at least three years of experience. They make a one- to three-year commitment to teach in the United States, if the school district agrees to rehire them, and can teach up to 5 years under the J-1 visa if they obtain an extension approval from the U.S. Department of State. Participating districts employ these teachers in accordance with local regulations and policies.

 Teacher Retirement System


 Meet the ISBE VIT Team

  • ​Joanne Clyde – Director of Multilingual Services, Responsible Officer
  • Seng Naolhu – Principal Consultant, Alternate Responsible Officer 
  • Sonia Serrano – Principal Consultant, Alternate ​Responsible Officer 

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