International Teachers


  • There are over 1000 international teachers from 34 different countries working in South Carolina schools each year.
  • Five private companies serve as Visa sponsors and provide two weeks of orientation upon arrival.
  • Teachers arrive with 2 suitcases and about $1500 to begin a new life, including deposits on apartments, furnishing an apartment, securing transportation, and preparing a classroom.
  • Teachers who can afford airfare may bring their spouses and children to come and live in SC after they get settled.
  • Others leave families behind and send money “home” to support them.
  • Transportation is a great challenge to most teachers. Many walk, bicycle, ride the bus, or pay for Uber rides.
  • The majority of teachers come from warm climates. Their bodies are not acclimated to cold temperatures, and they do not have the warm clothes and shoes needed for winter seasons.
  • These teachers seldom ask for help but may not have essentials such as a bed to sleep on.
  • There is a great desire for fellowship with one another and others in the community, but these teachers are often isolated, especially during Covid.


  • Are there international teachers at your local school or in your district? Get to know the teacher; encourage them; create a relationship with them.
  • Befriend teachers when they enter the country. Greet them with a welcome basket: towels, pillows, cleaning supplies, gift cards to local restaurants/grocery stores/ places to purchase supplies.
  • Help teachers navigate a new city and a new culture.
  • Offer transportation as they are learning to get around.
  • Help furnish an apartment. Sometimes this is as simple as a Facebook post asking our friends if they have items to donate.
  • Invite teachers to join you and your family for fellowship.
  • Consider having your small group or Sunday School class sponsor a teacher for a year.
  • Include teachers in special celebrations like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Work with the district to identify the teachers in your area and provide opportunities for them to gather for fellowship.

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