International Leaders in Education Program

The U.S. Department of State and IREX announce an open competition for a program that will bring outstanding secondary-level school teachers to the U.S. for a professional development opportunity. The International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP) provides international teachers with unique opportunities to develop expertise in their subject areas, enhance their teaching skills and increase their knowledge about the United States. ILEP consists of a semester-long non-degree, non-credit academic program at a U.S. university including seminars on new teaching methods, curriculum development, lesson planning, teaching strategies, and instructional technology training. As part of the academic program, participants will work in groups to develop a unique teacher professional development module. Participants will also audit two courses in the host university’s School or Department of Education and participate in a field experience in a U.S. secondary school near the host university, during which participants work closely with U.S. teachers and teach and present to U.S. students. All participants will receive a technology allowance and instructional technology training. Cultural enrichment, mentoring, and support will be provided throughout the program. ILEP will commence in January 2017 and conclude in May 2017.


After returning home, teachers will be eligible to participate in a small grants program to request funds for essential teaching materials, follow-on training for other teachers, collaborative projects between their home schools and U.S. schools, and other activities that build on the exchange experience.



Applicants must:

  • Be full time school teachers (6th to 12th grades) in a school that serves a primarily local (not expatriate) population;
  • Have five or more years of classroom experience in ILEP teaching disciplines: English, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, or Special Education;
  • Be citizens of and residents in India;
  • Live and teach in the states of Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli;
  • Have earned a Bachelor’s degree with a teacher training degree;
  • Be present in India at the time of submitting the application and for the interview;
  • Obtain a minimum score of 500 on paper based TOEFL or 61 on an internet based TOEFL*;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to continue teaching after completion of the program; and
  • Have submitted a complete application.

*TOEFL scores are not required at the time of application. If you are short-listed for interview, USIEF will administer the TOEFL or an equivalent of English proficiency test.

The International Leaders in Education Program promotes diversity in the classroom and in learning. ILEP supports inclusion and strongly encourages teachers with disabilities to apply. Preference will be given to applicants who serve students in under-resourced communities or from underserved groups.

Former participants of the International Leaders in Education (ILEP) program, the Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Program, Partners in Education (PiE), the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program or the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program are not eligible to apply. If you have participated in other professional development exchange programs, please talk to USIEF office about your eligibility. 

ILEP is a program for practicing teachers. Ministry of Education officials, full-time principals or educational administrators, full-time teacher trainers, university faculty, private English Language tutors, are not eligible.

Current IREX employees and consultants and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings) are not eligible to compete in any IREX-implemented grant programs, either as individuals or as the responsible party representing an institutional applicant. IREX does not discriminate against grant applicants because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability or any other protected characteristic as established by U.S. law.


IREX reserves the right to verify all of the information included in the application. In the event that there is a discrepancy, or information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible.



  • J-1 visa support;
  • A pre-departure orientation held in India;
  • Round-trip airfare to and within the U.S.;
  • A welcome orientation in Washington, D.C.;
  • Academic program fees;
  • Housing (generally shared with other program fellows) and meals;
  • Accident and sickness medical insurance coverage;
  • Transportation to the practicum school (if necessary);
  • A daily allowance for incidentals during the university academic program
  • A book/professional development allowance;
  • A baggage/shipping allowance; and
  • The opportunity to apply for alumni small grants.


ILEP Fellows will be selected through a merit-based open competition based on the criteria below. Top candidates will be interviewed by an interview panel and must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or equivalent English language examination or provide valid results from within the past year, or June 2015.

Selection Criteria (not in order of importance):

  • Demonstrated commitment to teaching in the field of secondary education;
  • Demonstrated leadership potential;
  • Professional and educational experience and achievements;
  • Potential for developing long-term linkages between U.S. and Indian educational institutions and schools;
  • Preparedness (including maturity, flexibility, and ability to function independently) for an intensive U.S.-based training program with very limited free time for personal travel or sightseeing;
  • Willingness and capacity to work and live collaboratively with international peers to foster a positive learning community for professional development;
  • Ability to express ideas clearly and effectively; and
  • English language skills adequate to manage coursework, develop lesson plans, and team-teach in U.S. schools (a minimum paper-based or equivalent TOEFL score of 500 is required for ILEP participation).
  • Applicants who have had few or no opportunities to travel to the U.S. will be given priority.



You are required to submit an online application along with supporting documents. Candidates can access the online application at For instructions on completing the online application, please click here.


Please note that USIEF will accept only online application form from Indian applicants. No paper application will be accepted.



APRIL 1, 2016                                         Application Deadline
Mid-end April 2016                                  Paper screening of the applications
Mid May 2016                                         TOEFL Testing/Interviews
September 2016                                     Notification of Finalists
December 2016                                      Pre-Departure Orientation
January-May 2017                                  U.S. Program Dates



If you have any questions,

Teachers teaching in the states of Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh should contact Dr. Gayatri Singhal, Indian Program Manager, USIEF, New Delhi, E:; Phone: 011 4209 0949

Teachers teaching in the states of Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli should contact Mr. Sachin Nikarge, Indian Program Manager, USIEF Mumbai Regional Office, Mumbai, E:; Phone: 022 2262 4603