Center for Language and Early Child Development

English Language Learning

Visiting Teacher Program - Spain


The Visiting Teacher Program - Spain, administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), is a partnership with the Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain and the Office of the Secretary of Public Education of Mexico. Spain has participated in the program since 1997, and Mexico joined in 2008.


The purpose of these partnerships 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 as a World Language Programs.

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 lots of 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, an International Visiting Teacher license, and 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.  In Illinois, we have housed at ISBE Jorge Berné from Spain.

Illinois Exchange Visitor Program

ISBE's governmental and programmatic oversight for this cultural exchange program includes the assessment of the English language proficiency of teacher candidates in Spain and Mexico. ISBE collaborates with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and the Secretary of Public Education of Mexico to locate potential teachers.

Visiting Teachers have at least three years of experience. The 54 teachers hired in 2014 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 to the program, teachers and school districts is provided throughout the three years of the program by the Embassy of Spain Education Advisor stationed in Chicago.

Teachers from Spain 2015 Recruitment

Districts interested in learning more about the Visiting Teachers Program for school year 2015-2016 may look at the following documents:

Other Opportunities:

Exchange Opportunities for Teachers

The Spanish Ministry of Education and several Spanish universities partially sponsor scholarships to U.S. teachers of Spanish to attend language and culture or children's literature courses for three weeks in Spain. The university credit courses take place in July and August.

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:

AP Spanish Language Courses

Ruta Quetzal

The Quetzal Route is both a study program and an adventure trip. During the course of the trip, participants complete a program of academic activities designed by the Universidad Complutense in Madrid.

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.

Contact Information

Spanish Ministry of Education
Roberto Garcia
Education Advisor-Embassy of Spain
100 W. Randolph Street, Suite 14-300
Chicago, IL 60601 USA
Phone: 312 814 5696
Fax: 312 814 8636 or