As a host employer with the InterExchange Work & Travel USA program, you play an important role in helping our international participants learn about American culture and have a fantastic experience in the U.S. Encouraging participants to interact with Americans and experience our culture in their free time is an essential part of your role. Hosting your own cultural events and activities is often the best way to teach them about life in the U.S! To help you facilitate these fun cultural activities for your international student staff, we've created the InterExchange Cultural Activities Toolkit. You'll find printable materials and games that make is easy to host a fun and engaging event.
Beginning of the Season Events
Making sure your international participants have a warm welcome can be the key to a successful season. Remember, they've just arrived in a new country and don't know anyone! Events at the beginning of the season can be as simple as gathering employees together for introductions or a name game. Here are a couple ideas to welcome participants:
Welcome to the U.S.: Host a welcome reception for Summer Work Travel participants and introduce U.S. culture. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, ice breaker game, cultural bingo, flag frames, American culture trivia. Materials available on our website.
First day of work: Orient participants to the workplace and allow time for participants to get to know their colleagues. Use icebreaker games to help people get acquainted. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, ice breaker game, cultural bingo, flag frames, American culture trivia. Materials available on our website.
What other ideas do you have for events to hold at the very beginning of the season?
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.