InterExchange provides participants with a program handbook and our Inside the USA guide, but you should develop additional pre-departure materials and orientation programs to prepare participants for their time in the U.S. We also require a mandatory online orientation for participants, which can be accessed using the login details we send in the pre-departure email. Our online orientation is a one-hour presentation that gives participants an overview of what to expect in the U.S. and how to prepare for their program. Participants should complete this orientation prior to arriving in the U.S. but must do so no later than 10 days after arrival or they will not be permitted to remain in the U.S. We track completion via participants’ login records and will receive notification once the entire orientation has been completed. This is a very important requirement, and we request your assistance with ensuring your participants complete the orientation. In addition to our resources, participants are encouraged to research the city they will be moving to and to seek out additional information on their own as well.
InterExchange does not provide housing. Some employers offer housing as part of the participant’s compensation, but most employers are not able to supply this benefit. However, employers can provide participants with resources like local newspapers and websites to find affordable options. Additionally, employers are familiar with their cities and can advise participants of which neighborhoods to search and the expected price ranges for each location.
We also encourage International Cooperators to serve as a resource. You may consider putting new participants in touch with past or current participants who have lived in the same cities to ask for recommendations and advice. Further, some participants pass apartments and cars on to other participants as one leaves the program and another joins. Anything you can do to facilitate this sort of sharing process will benefit the participants. You may also refer participants to the Housing Information section of our website. Participants are welcome to contact InterExchange for additional advice regarding housing.
During the initial screening process, you will determine whether potential applicants are prepared for a cultural exchange program. However, it is still recommended that you discuss topics such as culture shock and the differences between their home country and the U.S., especially with regard to American culture and business practices. The more information you provide, the better prepared participants will be once they arrive in the U.S.