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Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (TEA)

The Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (TEA) brings outstanding secondary school teachers from around the globe to the United States to further develop expertise in their subject areas, enhance their teaching skills, and increase their knowledge about the United States.

The program also brings US secondary school teachers to the home schools of international alumni to collaboratively develop workshops and share best practices. International alumni are eligible to apply for small grants to implement self-designed projects that benefit their home schools and communities.

TEA is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State.


• Information for International Teachers

Information for US Teachers

Information for Alumni

• Information for Host Universities

Video by Utah State University


 • Build lasting relationships that promote international understanding and collaboration between US and international teachers and students.

 • Provide pre-service and in-service professional development to enhance teachers’ expertise in their teaching disciplines and equip them with a deeper understanding of best practices in teaching methodologies, lesson planning, and the use of technology in education.

 • Contribute to improving teaching in participating countries by preparing participants to serve as teacher leaders, equipped to apply and share their experience and skills with their colleagues and students upon returning home.

Project Activities

Teacher Training: TEA teachers participate in an academic program at US universities that includes coursework and intensive training in teaching methodologies, curriculum development, and the use of technology for education. The program also includes subject-specific strategies for teachers in the disciplines of math, science, social studies/civics, and English as a foreign or second language. The program is six weeks in duration and includes an internship at a US secondary school to actively immerse participants in the American classroom environment.

Small Grants to Benefit Secondary Education: International TEA alumni have the opportunity to apply for small grants to benefit their home schools and communities. These grants are awarded on a competitive basis to alumni who design outstanding projects to improve local secondary education. Alumni may implement a variety of education projects either as individuals or in collaboration with fellow program alumni or US colleagues. Through the Alumni Small Grants program, IREX encourages alumni to leverage their experience and knowledge, put their ideas into action, and create change.

Project Facts

• 94% of TEA Fellows report using student-centered teaching methods in their classrooms that are included as part of the program
• 79% of TEA Fellows have led a peer training workshop within the past 6 months on subjects that reflect technical topics and capacities covered during the program
• Since June 2009, IREX has awarded over $400,000 in Small Grants to TEA alumni