Chinese Exchange Teacher Applications Due January 12, 2018

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

This page is for teachers in China applying to be exchange teachers in the United States  

Chinese teachers: The 2018-2019 application deadline for Chinese exchange teachers is January 12. Please scroll to the bottom of this page to start your application.

If you wish to apply as a U.S. host school or as an Egyptian or Moroccan exchange teacher, please click the appropriate button below:

U.S. Host Schools Apply HereArabic Teachers Apply Here
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Are you interested in teaching Mandarin to American students? Are you interested in increasing your global competency? Would you like to improve your teaching strategies while living in the United States?

Learn more about becoming an exchange teacher with the Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP) from this online webinar with a TCLP alumni and TCLP staff members. Find out how this program can make a lasting difference in your school, community, and professional career!

December 6, 2017
9:00 pm (Beijing Time)
Zoom Round-Table with TCLP Chinese Exchange Teacher Alumni

This live event will be hosted at the following link:
To attend the event on your computer, please click the link above approximately five minutes before the starting time. If you are accessing the round-table on a mobile device, please download the free Zoom app for iOS or Android prior to joining.

The Teachers of Critical Languages Program is funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by American Councils for International Education in coordination with the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) in China.


The Teachers of Critical Languages Program is pleased to announce an open competition for U.S. schools to host an exchange teacher from China, Egypt, or Morocco for an academic year. This program seeks to strengthen foreign language instruction at U.S. schools, while also providing the selected exchange teachers the opportunity to learn about U.S. teaching methodologies, culture, and society. The exchange teachers will teach Mandarin Chinese or Modern Standard Arabic and will also serve as a cultural resource in the host school and community.


EXCHANGE TEACHER REQUIREMENTS: Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, sexual orientation or gender. Competition for the TCLP is merit-based and open to anyone who:

  • Is a citizen of China who currently resides in China;
  • Is currently a full-time teacher of English as a Foreign Language or Mandarin as a Foreign Language in a primary or secondary (K-12) school in China;
  • At the time of application has at least four years of classroom teaching experience;
  • Has a firm understanding of Mandarin
  • Has at least a Bachelor’s degree; and
  • Demonstrates a commitment to continue teaching after completion of the program;
  • Is proficient in written and spoken English; and
  • Has submitted a complete application package (please see Application Checklist).
  • This program is implemented in coordination with the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) in China. All applicants to TCLP must also complete an application to the Government-sponsored Teacher Program and submit it to Hanban. The application is available online at:
    The Hanban application deadline will be earlier than the TCLP deadline. Please contact your provincial education department or email for the deadline. You may complete this application simultaneously with your TCLP application. Applicants who do not complete an application to Hanban in addition to their TCLP application will be ineligible to participate in the program.

Individuals in the following circumstances are NOT eligible for the TCLP:

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States, or their spouses;
  • Individuals currently participating in academic, training, or research programs in the United States;
  • Individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years;
  • Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside of China;
  • Ministry of Education officials, full-time principals or educational administrators, full-time teacher trainers, education consultants, university faculty, private English Language tutors; and
  • Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored by the U.S. government for a period of more than six weeks in the last five years.

The U.S. Department of State and American Councils reserve the right to verify all of the information included in the application. In the event that there is a discrepancy, or information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible.

Applications not meeting the above technical eligibility requirements will not be forwarded to the selection committee.


  • Application deadline: 5:00 p.m. (China time) January 12, 2018
  • Notification of program semi-finalists: March 2018
  • Semi-finalist interviews in Beijing: Mid-March 2018
  • Notification of program finalists: Late March 2018
  • Pre-departure orientation in Beijing: June 2018
  • Exchange program in the U.S.: Early August 2018 – May/June 2019


TCLP is fully funded through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), U.S. Department of State and provides:

  • J-1 visa support;
  • A pre-departure orientation held in the participant's home country;
  • Round-trip travel from each participant's home country to and within the U.S.;
  • A nine-day welcome orientation in Washington, DC;
  • An approximate 10.5-month teaching assignment in a U.S. host school;
  • Professional development workshops;
  • Accident and sickness insurance (does not cover pre-existing conditions);
  • Assistance with finding housing, generally arranged by the U.S. host school/educational community;
  • Maintenance allowance of approximately $30,000 comprised of a maintenance stipend of $20,000 and an area housing allowance based on average housing prices for the assigned host community.


The U.S. Department of State and American Councils will convene an independent panel that will review the applications on the basis of the following:

  • Professional and educational experience and achievements;
  • Demonstrated leadership potential;
  • Preparedness (including maturity, flexibility, and ability to function independently) for an intensive academic year in the U.S.;
  • Flexibility, maturity, and ability to participate in an international academic exchange;
  • Ability to express ideas clearly and effectively;
  • Demonstrated commitment to current pedagogy and willingness to adapt methodology;
  • Willingness to co-teach in the U.S. classroom; and
  • Potential for developing long-term linkages between U.S. and Chinese educational institutions and schools.

Applicants who have had few or no opportunities to travel to the U.S. will be given priority.

Families may visit TCLP teachers during the academic program. However, the program is unable to offer financial support for family members of participants to come to the U.S. For those participants who decide to bring their family, the families can join them only after December 21, 2018.

Exchange teachers may not extend their program in the United States, and are required to return to China after their program concludes in May/June 2019. Exchange teachers are also subject to the home residency requirement which obligates J-1 Exchange Program teachers to return to China and reside there for two years following completion of their program.


  • The TCLP application deadline is January 12, 2018, 5:00 p.m. (China Time);
  • To be considered for the program, please submit a complete application package online (please see Application Checklist for application package requirements);
  • Incomplete application packages or packages submitted by fax or e-mail will not be accepted;
  • Unless otherwise noted, please answer all questions in English;
  • If a question does not apply to you, please enter N/A (not applicable);
  • There is a limit of three (3) attachments per applicable question; if more than three are submitted, the application may be disqualified;
  • Additional materials (such as student work or hand-outs) should NOT be included in the package; and
  • Materials that require technical equipment (such as audio or videotapes) will not be reviewed by the selection committee.
  • All applicants to TCLP must also complete an application to the Government-sponsored Teacher Program and submit it to Hanban. The application is available online at: Please contact your provincial education department or email for this application deadline.


All applicants must include:

  • One completed recommendation form from a person who is the applicant’s supervisor and is familiar with his/her professional work; it cannot be written by a family member. Recommendations must be submitted with the application by the application deadline date. Recommendations submitted separately or submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.
  • Please provide an English translation of the recommendation letter if it is not written in English. The translated letter does not need to be certified or notarized, but should be clearly marked as a translation. Recommendation writers must submit their comments online through the TCLP application system.
  • The application package including professional recommendation should be received by American Councils via online submission no later than 5:00 p.m. China time on January 12, 2018. For questions please contact:

    In China
    Wang Hui
    American Councils for International Education
    Room 1206, Beijing Boya International Apartment Building
    No. 1 Lizezhongyilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100102
    Phone: 86 13911795941

    OR In the U.S.


    In order to be considered for the 2018-2019 Teachers of Critical Languages Program, your application package should include:

    • An Exchange Teacher Application Form;
    • An essay that includes detailed answers to all questions;
    • A signed copy of the Application Certification Statement;
    • Transcript(s)/teaching certifications;
    • A resume of no more than two pages;
    • A recent passport sized photograph of the applicant; and
    • A recommendation from the applicant's supervisor: If the recommendation is not in English, an accurate translation must be submitted with the original.

    Application package including the recommendation form should be received by American Councils via online submission no later than January 12, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (China time).

    Click here to apply:
    Chinese Teachers Apply Here