International Initiatives

Visiting Teacher Programs

Districts in need of world language teachers, have an opportunity to hire a language teacher in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, or Spanish for a minimum of one year. 

Chinese Guest Teacher and Trainee Program
This program is the largest K-12 Chinese guest teacher program in the U.S. and brings qualified teachers from China to teach Chinese language (Mandarin) and culture in U.S. elementary and secondary schools. The program is a collaboration of the College Board, Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters and the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages. Following orientations and training sessions in both China and the U.S., guest teachers arrive in the individual states in August and teach for a period of one to three years. As each guest teacher's travel is fully subsidized and his/her salary partially subsidized by Hanban, host institutions can pilot or expand a Chinese program at a reasonable cost for the first few years.

Starting in 2012, the Chinese Guest Trainee Program provides established K-12 Chinese programs with the opportunity to gain an authentic Chinese language and cultural resource to enrich their school’s classrooms and communities. This program places a trainee from a Teaching Chinese as Foreign Language post-graduate program in China in a host school or district for one year. The guest trainees have one year of teaching experience; however, they cannot serve as teachers of record nor fixed co-teachers. Participating institutions are responsible for providing guest trainees with a structured training plan and complimentary housing and transportation.

Detailed information, including frequently asked questions and an application, is available online. The application deadline is Feb. 1 for the following school year. Contact the Maine DOE world languages specialist or the Chinese language & culture initiatives at the College Board.

Additional requirements for participating Maine school districts include the following:

  • Payment of $100 application fee for an International Visiting Teacher Permit issued by the Certification Office of the Maine DOE.
  • Payment of $55 fee for a Criminal History Records Check (fingerprinting)
  • Payment for a telephonic ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview in Mandarin if required for teacher certification due to the guest teacher’s credentials
  • Payment of expenses for the guest teacher to attend the annual FLAME Conference held in Portland
  • Payment of the guest teacher’s expenses of up to $150 to attend a one-day orientation program held in August in Augusta

Programme Jules Verne – Visiting French Teachers
This program brings elementary and secondary school teachers from France to teach for a period of one to two years. The visiting teachers will be prepared to teach French language and culture in Maine schools. The teachers’ salaries and required health insurance are paid by the French Ministry of Education. Participating school districts are responsible for travel expenses, visa fees and teacher certification fees. Because the Maine DOE has an educational MOU with the Académie de Nantes in France, visiting teachers will come from the Nantes region. Contact Maine DOE world languages specialist for additional information.

Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP) – Visiting Chinese and Arabic Teachers
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP) places experienced English as a Foreign Language teachers from China, Morocco, and Egypt (native speakers) in schools throughout the U.S. for one academic year to teach Mandarin or Arabic. Elementary and secondary schools can apply to host a Chinese or Arabic exchange teacher. TCLP supports teachers' living expenses, health care, roundtrip airfare and both methodological and cultural training throughout their participation. Additionally, TCLP provides ongoing and in-person support to participating schools and teachers, as well as providing monthly honoraria to mentors and access to grants to support language-learning projects. Check their website for program and deadline information or contact them at or 202-833-7522.

Visiting Teachers from Spain Program
The Maine DOE, in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, participates in the Visiting Teachers from Spain Program. This program brings qualified teachers from Spain to teach the Spanish language and culture in Maine elementary, middle/junior high and high schools for a period of one to three years.

International Professional Development & Global Community Opportunities

Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Program
The flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, the Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The program provides opportunities for full-time teachers with at least five years of full-time teaching experience to participate in direct exchanges of positions with colleagues from other countries for a semester or a year. The participating countries may vary from year to year. Teachers exchange classroom teaching assignments and related school duties. By living and working abroad, exchange teachers gain an understanding and appreciation of different educational systems and cultures, practice their skills in another language (depending on the country), and enrich their schools and communities by providing students with new perspectives about the world in which they live. The application deadline for the following school year is Oct. 15.

Note: The French Fulbright Commission will actively recruit teachers from the French Academy of Nantes, with whom the Maine DOE has a MOU, in an effort to match interested Maine teachers with teachers from the Nantes region.

Maine-France Partnership Program
The Maine DOE has a MOU with the Académie de Nantes in France. The purpose of the MOU is to foster educational collaboration between Maine and the Académie de Nantes, which is responsible for directing K-12 and post-secondary education in the Pays de la Loire region of France. 

Through the MOU, all partners agree to develop a range of joint educational or research activities for students, teachers, and school administrators. Examples of possible cooperative projects include correspondence, visiting programs and study/research activities and exchanges that are either face-to-face or mediated through technology. (Overseas travel should not be viewed as a required component to a project. The inclusion of travel will depend on the extent to which partner schools are able to find ways to finance the desired travel.) Examples of project themes range from a comparison of French and American schools to a discussion of an environmental issue facing your region or the state; from sharing cultural information (e.g. tourism, history, visual and performing arts) to comparing geography and related industries in Maine and the Pays de la Loire; from sharing information about students’ families and/or friends to creating stories or plays together in French and English. 

Maine-Spain Partnership Program 
The Maine DOE has a MOU with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training of Spain. This MOU was created to promote cross-cultural connections between the citizens of Maine and the people of Spain and to collaborate on educational initiatives. One such initiative is a partnership program between elementary, middle or high schools in Maine and Spain.

Consulate of Spain Scholarship

This scholarship is offered by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training of the Kingdom of Spain to advance understanding and appreciation of the culture shared by these two cultures, promote a bilingual and multicultural education for students, and provide professional development opportunities for educators.  This scholarship includes the cost of courses, accommodations, and some activities.  Applications must be post marked by January 21 or received via email by 11:59 pm on January 21.

Spanish Language and Cultural Assistants

The Ministry of Education of Spain sponsors the Spanish Language and Culture Assistants program for elementary, middle and high schools in the United States and Canada. This program gives American students the opportunity to learn Spanish language and culture from native speakers. Similarly, the Spanish assistants will have the opportunity to learn about American culture, improve their command of English and use their knowledge upon their return to Spain, thus helping to develop cultural understanding between both countries.

The assistants may be college students in their senior year or may already have a B.A. in Education, English/Spanish or Translation and Interpretation. The assistants’ stipend and medical insurance are paid by the Spanish Ministry for the period between October 1st and May 30th. Host institutions (schools, school districts or universities with SRCs) should make arrangements to provide the Spanish assistants with free transportation and free lodging (such as a room in a furnished apartment or dorm, staying with host families, etc.) OR alternatively could provide financial assistance to help the assistants pay for their own accommodation and transportation.