Participant Applications (October 1 to January 31)
Once you have determined which applicants are appropriate for the program, you can invite them to apply at app.interexchange.org. They need to complete their application independently. Set a deadline for applicants to submit their applications well in advance of InterExchange application deadlines so that you can review all applications and confirm that they are satisfactory. It’s a good idea to double check their references and make sure there are signatures on all documents requiring them.
A completed Camp Placement application will include:
Application form — This form will be completed online and needs to be reviewed by your office. Two references are required (one skill reference, one employer/teacher reference). InterExchange Camp USA will not accept references that are submitted by family or friends. If the referrer does not speak English, he or she should fill out the reference in his or her native language. The applicant should include a translation of the reference and include both the original and translated versions with the application. Your office must verify the translation is accurate. The referrer may return the form to either the applicant or the cooperator. The referrer must fill out the reference on his or her own; the participant may not fill out a reference and have the referrer sign it. Do not give applicants a sample reference.
Police background check — Please consult your local police station to find out the easiest way for your applicants to obtain a background check. They should be aware that this could be a lengthy process and should request a background check as soon as possible. Applicants should keep the original report to take with them to the embassy and include a copy in the application. If the police background check is not in English, please make sure there is an exact translation (verified by your office) in the application as well. Police background checks must be issued no more than 12 months before participation in program.
Personal Statement — This section of the application gives the participant the chance to showcase their personality. The personal statement may include a description of the applicant’s family and community, an explanation of why he or she is interested in working as a counselor, some work history, experience with children, and how he or she personally intends to contribute to the camp community. While each applicant should state what is most important to him or her, the personal statement should not be longer than one page. The personal statement will be completed online and the participants must compose this statement themselves. Do not give applicants a sample personal statement.
Proof of student status — We will accept either a form or a letter from the participant’s university or the Camp USA Proof of Student Status form (which you can download from the International Cooperator Resource Center). These must be signed and dated by a university official.
Photo — Please upload to the online application. Keep in mind that this is the first thing a camp director sees, so the applicant should smile! It’s preferred to have a photo that’s a close-up so the applicant is recognizable.
Photocopy of passport — Only copy the first page with photo and information.
Copies of all certifications — Certifications should be current and relevant to the applicant’s intended position at camp. In addition, all applicants should indicate any life-saving or CPR certifications.
Photographs — We encourage applicants to include a few photographs that are relevant to their skills or experience with children. These photographs should not be staged or inappropriate in any manner. We accept a maximum of three photographs.
Introductory Video-Although not required to submit an application, we highly encourage everyone to have one. The videos will be one of the first things camp directors see and some will not even look at applications without them. Videos should be short, 30 seconds to 5 minutes long, and be a platform to show off their personality, creativity and skills. At the very least, we want to see a smiling face introducing themselves.
- Medical form — Applicants must upload their medical reports to the online application. Please confirm that each applicant has had the medical form properly filled out and signed by a doctor. All camps are required by the U.S. government to maintain medical records for all staff members and campers. If a participant does not provide a completed medical form, he or she will be responsible for the costs associated with seeing a doctor for a physical examination in the U.S. Please check these carefully and make note of any areas of concern. Pre-existing conditions will not be covered by the provided accident and sickness insurance and may pose serious concerns about the participant’s ability to successfully navigate the program’s demands. Participants should never knowingly jeopardize their mental or physical well-being or misrepresent themselves in any way.
Please stress the importance of honesty to applicants. Each camp will provide its staff with a unique experience related to the type of camp. Participants should be very clear about what they are willing to do or not do at a camp placement. This information will help InterExchange match each participant with a camp that is most suitable to his or her skills, experience, personality, character and camp preference. If we catch an applicant lying, we will remove the person from the program.
Please review applications regularly, as you receive them. Do not wait until right before the deadline. Once you have a completed application in your office, verify both of the references with the referrers. If the referrer has written the reference in English, then please speak to the person in English. If the referrer does not speak English, then make sure that the application includes both an original reference in the referrer’s native language and an English translation.