Self-Placement Program Details


All participants who are applying for a Summer Work Travel visa through InterExchange must have pre-approved jobs. This includes the Self-Placement program. In this case, students obtain a job offer from an American employer directly. These jobs CANNOT be arranged by staffing agencies or third parties, as such third parties often take advantage of students to make a profit. Any involvement of third parties known to an IC must be made known to InterExchange. Failure to identify anyone not employed by an IC who is involved in participants’ jobs or housing will result in non-renewal of the cooperation agreement. Job offers must meet certain requirements to ensure student safety. The job offers are always carefully screened by InterExchange, and will be screened by American Embassies as well. We rely on our International Cooperators to pre-screen the offers as well. This helps ensure that students are placed in safe environments and reduces the rate of visa denials.

Self-Placement jobs must:

  • Provide a safe location and work environment.
  • Be close to safe and affordable housing.
  • Be located in areas with seasonal tourism.
  • Be located in areas where students will have frequent contact with Americans and practice their English.
  • Be located in areas where students will have the opportunity to pursue cultural activities in their free time.
  • Offer students 30 to 40 hours of work per week.

Please review and follow the procedures listed in this chapter carefully before approving the job offers submitted by students.

Application Instructions

The following must be submitted with each participant’s online application:

  • A signed and/or stamped official Proof of Student Status or document that proves that a participant has completed at least one semester or equivalent at an accredited post secondary institution located outside the U.S.
  • A photo copy or scan of the picture page of the participant’s valid passport.
  • For Self-Placement participants: A signed Employment Offer and Agreement form (Job Offer) from a U.S. employer should be uploaded by the participant after submitting his or her online application. If a participant does not have a signed job offer but knows of an employer who has agreed to hire, the participant can invite the employer to complete a digital job offer through the online application. This document can be downloaded from the International Cooperator Resources section of the InterExchange website, and a sample is available in the appendix.

Job Confirmations

InterExchange calls all Self-Placement host employers to ensure that Job Offers are accurate and appropriate. A student will not be issued a DS-2019 Form until the Job Offer has been confirmed.

Students presenting Job Offers that do not meet our standards or U.S. State Department regulations will be rejected.

InterExchange reserves the right to cancel any student if, after speaking with the employer (or being unable to contact the employer), the job offer is found to be unacceptable or a housing deposit has not been paid. The student will forfeit a minimum of $50 as they will be given a CAX status of CAX Bad Job.

If any student is found to have falsified a Job Offer, that student will be cancelled from the program and forfeit the entire program fee.

InterExchange reserves the right to reject any employer who does not provide an EIN and workers’ compensation policy.

InterExchange will call each employer to verify every Job Offer. We will notify you on a daily basis of jobs that are confirmed.

InterExchange will periodically send an email to you with each student’s name and the following information:

  • J-OK: Job is confirmed. DS-2019 Form can be printed.

  • J-NO: Job is not confirmed or not acceptable. DS-2019 Form is not to be printed.

  • J-LM 1, J-LM2: Left messages. DS-2019 Form is not to be printed. There is no J-LM3; the job offer will automatically change to J-NO if employer is still unreachable after the third call.

  • FORGED: Student forged job offer and will be cancelled from program.

Unacceptable Types of Jobs

Refer to Section 7.2 for a list of prohibited job types. An example of an acceptable Self-Placement Job Offer is provided in the Appendix.

Requirements for Self-Placement Job Offers

(Faxes and copies of job offers are discouraged.)

We require the job offer on an InterExchange Employment Offer and Agreement form, which should be uploaded to the participant’s online application after submission. The agreement must be signed by the employer and student and should include:

  • Company’s contact address
  • Valid telephone number (and extension, if applicable) and the name of the contact person
  • Valid email address of contact
  • Skype address or mobile number
  • Description of the job
  • Number of work hours
  • Wages
  • Description of accommodation provided or assurance of assistance in finding housing
  • Dates of employment
  • Federal tax ID number (EIN) and workmen’s compensation insurance carrier

Unacceptable Types of Self-Placement Job Offers

  • Group job offers
  • Emailed or incomplete job offers
  • Job offers arranged by a third party staffing agency or an employment agency

Interviews for Students With Job Offers

A student who has arranged his or her own job must be interviewed by you and their interview report must be uploaded to their online application before submitting to InterExchange. A participant will not automatically be accepted if a job offer has been made by a U.S. employer. Once a job offer is sent to us, we will review it, call the employer, and notify the cooperator if the job is valid.

In order to accept Self-Placement students, InterExchange must be confident that the student understands the essentials of his or her future job and is committed to working for that employer.

Cooperators should keep a copy of the job offer with the copy of the application in their offices.

Student Responsibilities

Remind students to:

  • Make certain that the position is definite and that housing will be available before the interview.
  • Inform the employer that InterExchange is the J-1 Visa sponsor and will be calling to confirm the offer.
  • Keep in touch with the employer before arrival to make certain that everything is in order. Some of the larger resorts will offer positions to many students in anticipation that some students who accept the job may not be able to participate due to visa rejections or a change in plans. It is very important that students make their employers aware that they are definitely coming!
  • Get detailed travel directions to their job site.
  • Research the area they will be living in, including weather, modes of transportation, and available cultural activities.
  • Get nearby hotel or hostel information in case of an emergency.

Students must inform InterExchange if their job changes or if the employer can no longer offer them a position. All job changes must be approved and confirmed by InterExchange. In the event of a job change, we will reprint the student’s DS-2019 Form to reflect the new employer. Failure to go to the approved job is deemed unacceptable and has negative consequences.

Advice to Students About Self-Placement Jobs

Every year, some students encounter problems because they did not know enough about their Self-Placement employers and job offers. Some students arrive to discover that the open position has been filled or cancelled before they arrived or that housing is unavailable. Although InterExchange calls to make sure that all job offers are acceptable, students should take the necessary steps to make sure that the position they have arranged is secure and acceptable to them.

Online Orientation

All students (Job Placement and Self Placement) are required to successfully complete the InterExchange Work & Travel USA online orientation before their arrival in the U.S. The online orientation provides students with important information about their legal documents, arrival in the U.S., SEVIS, Social Security, insurance, safety, the cultural component of the program and U.S. laws.

InterExchange will email all participants with their individual login information and will notify International Cooperators once this information is sent. Students must use their individual logins to pass the orientation and should not watch it in groups. InterExchange will track each student’s progress and will inform ICs on a regular basis.

Students’ failure to complete the online orientation requirement before they arrive may result in their removal from our Work & Travel USA program.

Next: Returning Students (Second- or Third-Timers) »

U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
Exclusive partner of the Erasmus Student Network for J-1 Visa sponsorship of internships in the U.S.
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Generation Study Abroad
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation