Preschool through Grade 12

J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

General Summary of Fees and Other Costs

The International School of Boston will reimburse all visa fees, including the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee, for our J-1 Visa Holders.

Salary in the United States of America is subject to Federal and State income taxes and withholdings, and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) Deductions (15 to 35% of salary depending on family composition). Based on the country of citizenship of the J-1 Visa Holder, one may be eligible for certain tax treaty benefits.

The following monthly expenses are estimates of monthly costs a J-1 Visa Holder can expect to pay while residing in the Cambridge/Arlington and surrounding areas; these estimates are based on one person (no family member) and may vary based on lifestyle choices:

  cost per month
Housing (1 bedroom apartment) depending on location and amenities - First month rent and one-month deposit usually required at signature of lease (sometimes last month rent as well)


Housing when sharing with a roommate $1,000-$1,300
Utilities (electricity, gas, water) depending on amount of use; monthly amounts will vary based on seasons $100-$200
Cell Phone/Internet/Cable TV


Medical Health Insurance (for teacher only) - includes medical, dental and vision


Food $300-$500
Local transportation cost $60-$100

The estimated cost of living increases with each added dependent.

  cost per month

Housing (2 bedroom apartment)


Medical Health Insurance (for teacher and one person) - includes medical, dental and vision


Medical Health Insurance (for teacher and family) - includes medical, dental and vision


Food – incremental cost for each J-2 dependent

$300 approx.

Cross-Cultural Activity Component

Exchange teachers must have a letter from the head of a school in another country, preferably that teacher’s home country, which states that school’s willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the cross-cultural activity component.

Exchange teachers will be required to complete, within the United States, and during each academic year of program participation, at least one cross-cultural activity from each of the following two categories:

  1. An activity for the teacher’s classroom, larger host school or host school district population, or the community at large designed to give an overview of the history, traditions, heritage, culture, economy, educational system and/or other attributes of his or her home country; and
  2. An activity that involves U.S. student dialogue with schools or students in another country, preferably in the exchange teacher’s home school, through virtual exchange or other means, in order to supplement the goals of the in-person exchange.