Be Open to American Culture and Other Advice for Future J-1 Interns and Trainees

3 minutes

Though we are always ready to offer advice to our incoming participants, sometimes the best advice they can receive is from our outgoing participants! From budgeting to traveling to getting involved in the community, we’d like to share some great tips from our program alumni.

Get the most out of your internship!

Take the opportunity to shine at work!
Take the opportunity to shine at work!
Photo courtesy of Monika Lipinska

“Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve during the visit and keep this in mind as you progress. Don’t be afraid to try new things and equally don’t be afraid to tell others what you know. Everyone is still learning, and this has the potential to be one of the most beneficial experiences of your life.” - Ryan V. from the U.K.

“Be confident in your abilities and find opportunities to show them.” - Stephanie B. from Australia

Stick to your budget.

Don’t forget to save money for travel!
Don’t forget to save money for travel!
Photo courtesy of Felix Yates

“New York is an expensive city. Try not to get takeout three times a day but find some cheap grocery stores so you can have breakfast at home and bring lunch to work” - Ciska S. from the Netherlands

“Try to reduce the unnecessary expenses while preparing to live a wonderful experience. When possible organize everything in advance. When living in a big city look for housing outside the centre; life is cheaper and it’s also a better way to explore and live the cultural experience.” - Federico C. from Italy

“I recommend doing research into cheap places to shop, eat, and do laundry before you arrive. There are many big stores around, but these are often more expensive, and spending half an hour researching into what’s nearby will give you a better understanding of where the locals like to shop. You can reduce your spending significantly this way as you are getting the same products for a fraction of the price. It also makes you a lot more relaxed if you know this information before you arrive.” - Ryan V. from the U.K.

Be open to new experiences.

Take chances and live your dreams!
Take chances and live your dreams!
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Yebe Agotobila

“I would suggest them to go the deepest in the experience and to try to live and work exclusively with American people. I would also suggest them to not try to compare with their own culture and to be more on a discovery level and adaptation of the U.S. culture.” - Romane G. from France

“Don’t sit at home during the weekends, rather travel as much as you can. There are always many places to visit, and your time is limited, so don’t waste it doing nothing.” - Barun P. from India

“To make the most of it as you will only get out what you have put in.” - Megan C. from the U.K.

Make friends and have fun while in the USA!
Make friends and have fun while in the USA!
Photo Courtesy of Rita Tabet

“Do not be shy, meet as many people as possible, and enjoy every moment because time runs fast when you are feeling well during your internship.” - Alexis C. from France

“To be open to the culture! It is ok if it changes you. Change is necessary. Be open to other’s thoughts and opinions no matter how different they are from yours. Make as many friends as possible. Don’t try and find people of your own nationality to hang out with. Make friends with Americans instead.” - Surabhi K. from India

Want more advice from past participants? Check out our article on making a memorable experience.

Are you ready to start your adventure in the U.S.? Sign up for our program!

Kristen Gartside Kristen Gartside

Kristen started at InterExchange Career Training USA in 2016 after returning from a year-long internship in London. She is thrilled to be able to help InterExchange participants embark on their very own internships abroad in the U.S. Kristen currently lives in New York City, holds a masters degree from the University of Oxford, and is hoping to travel to every corner of the globe.

Career Training USA
Career Training USA

Experience American culture and add international skills to your resume.

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U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
Exclusive partner of the Erasmus Student Network for J-1 Visa sponsorship of internships in the U.S.
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Generation Study Abroad
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation