InterExchange staff criss-crossed the U.S. this summer, traveling to 32 states, and meeting with over 1,000 of our Exchange Visitor Program participants and over 500 host organizations.
The health, safety, and welfare of our participants is our first priority. This means meeting in person with as many exchange students as possible.
It’s also important for us to support our host employers and camps, and engage with the American communities hosting our international participants for the summer.
We handpicked 6 awesome stories to show you what our team was up to out on the road!
Bike Safety in Wisconsin
Regional Account Manager, Wisconsin, Work & Travel USA
Becky: I had so much fun hanging out with more than 500 international students as we gathered in Bowman Park in Wisconsin Dells to have a good old fashioned American barbecue! This event was organized by the Wisconsin Dells Community Support Group, which includes local businesses, church groups, and law enforcement.
The Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau supported the event by donating bike lights. All Exchange Visitors who registered their bike with the local Police Department that night received a free bike light for safe-riding during their program.
Outreach Program in South Carolina
Regional Manager, South, Work & Travel USA
Meave: Myrtle Beach, SC is "home away from home" for hundreds of Summer Work Travel participants every summer. The local International Student Outreach Program (ISOP) organizes welcome orientations and makes all international students feel at home as soon as they arrive. The ISOP consists of the Police Department, Beach Patrol, the Chamber of Commerce, city government, and community volunteers.
These welcome events are a great resource for all international students (and their hosts!) because they introduce them to the community, assist with Social Security Number applications, help open bank accounts, and provide resources on local transportation and beach and swimming safety.
Alena G. from Russia (left) and Andela L. from Serbia (right), Work & Travel USA participants in Myrtle Beach, SC.
A Civics Lesson in New York
Employer & Community Engagement Manager, Work & Travel USA
Clay: A long-time host community for Summer Work Travel students, Lake George, NY is also home to Mayor Robert Blais, one of the longest-serving mayors in U.S. history - 47 years! Mayor Blais loves welcoming Exchange Visitors to the area (as well as Work & Travel USA staff, like me).
I joined a group of international students as we gathered for a special annual breakfast at the Village Hall in Lake George. We learned about the history of the Village of Lake George from Mayor Blais himself. This cultural event gave the exchange students an opportunity to meet a representative of the U.S. government and learn about American local government first-hand.
Incredible Diversity at Camp in Connecticut
Senior Program Coordinator, Camp USA
Liesl: Camp Stonewall is not just a great host organization for Exchange Visitors, it’s an experience! The camp incorporates its international counselors in all kinds of great ways, from hosting an International Day for campers to organizing an "American Idol" talent show. When I talked to Emily S., the Camp Director, during my visit, she reminded me that Stonewall makes it a priority to help every Camp USA participant get a taste of a real American camp life:
"We love hosting Camp USA participants! This year, we are lucky to host a very international group: from Bolivia, New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, Germany, Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. We’re lucky to work with InterExchange. I don’t think any other organization beats the diversity and quality of program applicants that InterExchange has."
Camp Stonewall Director Emily S. (right) with Debbie K. (left), Camp USA third year returning participant from the Netherlands.
A Community Gathering in New Jersey
Regional Manager, Mid-Atlantic, Work & Travel USA
Leslie: During my visit to Wildwood, NJ, I took part in National Night Out, a popular annual event that many of our international students take part in. It’s hosted by the Wildwood Police Department with help from the Fire Department, local community members, and organizations. It promotes safety through a night of fun and games geared towards the community’s youth.
For Morey’s Piers, one of our Work & Travel USA host employers, engaging international exchange students with the local community is a priority. International students and American staff members from Morey’s took part in the event sporting colorful logo capes, and volunteered at the soccer goal and corn hole games for local kids. InterExchange also supported this year’s event with special giveaways: reflector lights and backpacks for night time bike riding.
Connections at Camp Fairs in West Virginia
Senior Program Coordinator, Camp USA
Julia: When I visited Camp Twins Creek in Marlinton, WV, I had the wonderful opportunity to see how our Camp Fairs helps make Camp USA an amazing exchange experience. Richard G., a Director at Twin Creeks, met Tyrone B. and Calum W. when he traveled with us to the U.K. for a Camp Fair. Richard, Tyrone, and Calum got along so well when they met there that Richard offered them both counselor positions for the summer!
It was so cool to see them working together at camp. Richard told me he loves traveling with InterExchange to Camp Fairs; that we understand his camp needs and help him connect with awesome international counselors. “I'd travel with you again any time,” he told me (which was lovely to hear). For Tyrone and Calum, they were so glad to get to meet Richard in person and understand more about Twin Creeks before traveling over to the U.S. And they had a great summer!
Camp Twin Creeks Director Richard G. (right) with Calum W. (left), Camp USA participant from the United Kingdom.
Learn about life abroad
Read about the adventures others have had and get excited for yours.