International students spending time in the United States on a work and travel program will find many things to enjoy about the U.S., from the history to the food to the people! Their cultural exchange experience will also bring benefits after returning to their home country. In return, Americans learn from international visitors and gain a mutual respect and understanding for new cultures.
Here are some examples of how international visitors benefit from cultural exchange programs in the United States:
Learn About U.S. Culture: Working and interacting with Americans allows international students to not only build personal relationships, but also to learn about U.S. culture from a local perspective. Check out our guide to local culture in the United States to see what you can do in any part of the U.S.
Cross-cultural Skills in a Globalized World: Companies in all types of industries work with international partners and clients. We're also seeing more diverse workplaces with people from many types of cultures working together. The Work and Travel program allows visitors to make new friendships and relationships, and to learn how to talk and interact with people from other cultures.
Work in New Environments: Working and living in a new country and within an unfamiliar culture provides a great experience for young international visitors. Cultural exchange often involves adapting and learning about a new environment, and this flexibility is a helpful skill for our participants before, during and after the Work & Travel program!
Continued Connections to the U.S.: Our employers and host families act as cultural ambassadors to our participants, introducing international visitors to U.S. culture during their time as J-1 participants. After experiencing life in the United States, international participants may be more likely to return to the U.S. They also tend to stay in touch with American friends and use improved English skills to make connections with American companies during future careers in their home countries.
Make New Friends: One of the best features of cultural exchange programs it the chance to make new friends for a lifetime, both inside and outside the work place. Whether you are working side-by-side or meeting a new friend while traveling the United States, cultural exchange programs allow international students to make lifelong friendships.
If you have any questions about the Work & Travel program, contact our team today! Email [email protected] or call 212.924.0446.
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ani is a fan of exploring new places through photography and the local cuisine. After earning her BFA in photography from NYU and gaining communications experience at International Planned Parenthood Federation, she joined InterExchange in 2012, and worked as the Marketing Producer until 2016.