The application for Mandarin exchange teachers for the 2024-2025 academic year is CLOSED. 

The application extended deadline for Mandarin exchange teachers was January 20, 2024 at 5:00PM Taiwan Time.

The Teachers of Critical Languages Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by American Councils for International Education.


Program Eligibility

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 resident of Taiwan; 
  • Is currently a certified, full-time teacher of English as a Foreign Language or Mandarin as a Foreign Language in a primary or secondary (G1-12) school in Taiwan; 
  • At the time of application, has at least four years of full-time classroom teaching experience;
  • Is prepared to teach for the entire United States academic year with leave time limited to school breaks; 
  • Has a firm understanding of Mandarin; 
  • Can teach Mandarin using simplified characters; 
  • Has at least a bachelor’s degree;
  • Demonstrates a commitment to continue teaching after completion of the program;
  • Is proficient in written and spoken English; and
  • Has submitted a complete TCLP application package (please see Application Checklist). 

Individuals in the following circumstances are NOT eligible for 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 United States permanent residency in the past three years;
  • Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside of Taiwan; 
  • 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 United States 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 that do not meet the above technical eligibility requirements will not be forwarded to the selection committee.


Informational Webinar

Please refer to the 2022-23 TCLP informational webinar for Mandarin exchange teachers with TCLP exchange teacher Lin Pin-Shiu (2022-2023, IL) from December 7, 2022. You can learn about the program and how being a Mandarin exchange teacher can benefit you and your students. Please click here to view the recorded webinar video.


Program Provisions

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

  • J-1 visa support; 
  • A pre-departure orientation held in the participant's home region; 
  • Round-trip travel from each participant's area of residence to and within the United States; 
  • A nine-day welcome orientation in Washington, DC; 
  • A teaching assignment of approximately 10.5 months in a United States host school; 
  • Professional development workshops; 
  • Accident and sickness health benefit plan; 
  • Assistance with finding housing, generally arranged by the United States host school/educational community; 
  • Living stipend of approximately $20,000; and 
  • Housing in the form of a monthly housing allowance for the duration of the program, calculated based on average housing prices for the assigned host community.


Application Process

  • To be considered for the program, please submit a complete application online.
  • Incomplete applications or items submitted by fax or e-mail will not be accepted.
  • Unless otherwise noted, please answer all questions in English.
  • If a required 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.
  • Materials that require technical equipment (such as audio or videotapes) will not be reviewed by the selection committee.

To be considered complete, all applications must 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 certification(s); 
  • A resume written in English that is no more than two pages long; 
  • A recent passport-size photograph of the applicant; and
  • 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.


Selection Process

The U.S. Department of State and American Councils will convene an independent panel to 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.; 
  • Ability to express ideas clearly and effectively;
  • Demonstrated commitment to current pedagogy and willingness to adapt methodology;
  • Willingness to co-teach in the United States classroom; and
  • Potential for developing long-term linkages between U.S. and Taiwanese educational institutions and schools.

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

Family Policy: 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, dependent upon program approval, the families will be able to join after December 20 of the exchange year.

Home Residency Requirement: Exchange teachers may not extend their program in the United States and are required to return to Taiwan after their program concludes in June. Exchange teachers are also subject to the home residency requirement which obligates J-1 Exchange Program teachers to return to their area of residence and remain there for two years following completion of their program.



In Taiwan 

Lisa Lin 


In the United States: