Virtual ESL/EFL Global Projects for the U.S. Department of State in 2024/2025

U.S. Department of State
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jun 27

Position description

Virtual Educators are experienced and dedicated English language educators with an MA, preferably in TESOL or a related field. Virtual Educator projects range in length from a few weeks to a semester. Projects include online English language teaching, teacher training, and cultural exchange.

Virtual English Language Educators receive a generous benefits package for the valuable role they play in U.S. Embassy programming, and in achieving U.S. Department of State public diplomacy goals.

The final benefits package is outlined in the agreement Virtual Educators receive from the program. 

Refer to the Virtual English Language Educator Program Policy Handbook for more information on taxes and withholdings, and the benefits that are considered taxable income. Virtual Educators are not employed by the U.S. government, the cooperating agency, or any agency or government of the country(ies) of assignment. Virtual Educators are considered grantees and, for tax purposes, suppliers or independent contractors.

Virtual Educators receive an hourly stipend for contact hours of $35, deposited directly into their U.S. bank account, according to the payment schedule laid out in their agreement.


The Virtual English Language Educator Program recruits trained and experienced U.S. TESOL professionals for online teaching opportunities with local host institutions around the world. Virtual Educator projects are up to one semester-long, and up to 10 contact hours per week.  

Virtual Educator applicants must demonstrate that they have:

  • U.S. citizenship.
  • A conferred graduate level degree or higher in TESOL, applied linguistics, or a field related to English language teaching.
    • Applicants with a graduate level degree in a field unrelated to TESOL are eligible to apply if they have one of the following additional credentials:
      • A recognized TESOL certificate with at least 120 course hours plus a supervised and observed practicum (additional information regarding certificates can be found in the Certificates, Endorsements, Degrees tab).
      • A current, valid, and full state teacher credential, certification, or license with a specialization or an endorsement in ESL, or the equivalent.
    • If a degree was awarded by a non-U.S. institution, it must be evaluated by an educational credential evaluation service. Visit the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services for a list of evaluation companies. Most of these companies provide a variety of evaluations, but a general evaluation is sufficient for the program’s application requirements. Once a general evaluation from one of the recommended evaluation companies is obtained, it must be uploaded directly into the application.
  • A minimum of five (5) years of full-time experience in education, including three (3) years of full-time ESL/EFL classroom teaching. The definition of a full-time academic year depends on the setting: 
    • University and community college setting: one academic year consists of two semesters or three terms at 12 to 15 instructional hours/week.
    • Adult education: one academic year consists of the equivalent of two semesters or three terms at 12 to 15 instructional hours/week.
    • K-12 public/private school setting: one academic year consists of two semesters or three terms at 15 to 25 instructional hours/week.


Special Requirements

In some cases, projects have additional requirements and restrictions related to, among others, education or employment history, or age (related to local labor laws).

While these factors will not preclude an applicant from consideration for the program, they may prevent an applicant from being considered for certain projects. For example, some projects may require someone with a very specific educational background.

Eligibility Restrictions

Applicants should note the following:

  • Applications from former English Language Fellows and Specialists are not accepted (with the exception of 2020-21 Virtual Fellows who have not previously completed Specialist or in-person Fellow projects). Click here to learn more about opportunities for program alumni.
  • English Language Fellows, Specialists, and Virtual Educators are not permitted to engage in overlapping projects between, or within, the three programs.
  • Virtual Educators who will have an overlapping full-time employment contract with or will be employed by another U.S. Government agency, during a project agreement period, are required either to waive the stipend portions of the agreement or to take an unpaid leave of absence from the other U.S. Government agency for the duration of the overlapping period.
  • The following persons are ineligible for Virtual Educator assignments during and for a period ending one year* following the termination of employment, association, or service:
    • Employees of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development. This provision includes all employees, paid or unpaid (including part-time or temporary employees, consultants, and contract employees). This provision does not apply to interns;
    • Employees of private and public agencies (excluding educational institutions) under contract to the U.S. Department of State to perform administrative or screening services on behalf of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ exchange programs;
    • Officers of an organization, in the United States or abroad, including members of boards of trustees or similar governing bodies, or individuals otherwise associated with the organization, wherein the organization and the individuals are responsible for nominating or selecting individuals for participation in any exchange program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs;
    • Immediate families (spouses and dependent children) of individuals described in paragraphs 1-3. This provision does not disqualify self-supporting children who live apart from their parents.
    • The one-year period of ineligibility is calculated from the date of termination of employment, service, or association until the date of submission of a Virtual Educator application.

Application instructions

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