Career Training USA
Intern & Trainee
Career Training USA

Cultural Exchange In Action

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 fun cultural activities for your international interns or trainees, we’ve outlined some ideas below.

InterExchange prioritizes giving our participants and hosts resources for exploring cultural learning opportunities, find them here:

  • Read or share our online guide to U.S. culture called Cultural Compass
  • The InterExchange Inside the USA guide contains many helpful recommendations and resources.
Beginning of Program

Making sure your international participants have a warm welcome can be the key to a successful program. Remember, they’ve just arrived in a new country and don’t know anyone! Events at the beginning of their program can be as simple as gathering employees together for introductions.

On their first day, orient participants to the workplace and allow time for them to get to know their colleagues. Consider hosting a welcome reception in the office for the participant to get to know colleagues in other departments or even just kick off the program by having a smaller team lunch.

Throughout the participants’ program, cultural events and outings are a great way to make sure participants are experiencing American culture. Participants may feel homesick at some point during their stay, and facilitating fun activities can help remind them why they’re here. Their American colleagues will probably enjoy an office outing as well!

Sporting event: Organize an outing to a local sporting event. Help explain the rules of the game if the participant is unfamiliar.

Food events: Host an American-style barbecue or picnic or organize a potluck where staff and participants prepare their favorite dishes from their home countries or countries of origin.

  • Enjoy typical American foods, such as s’mores, peanut butter, and Girl Scout cookies
  • Share popular American/local restaurants and food trucks
  • Tell your participants about brunch in the U.S.
  • Share your favorite recipes with your participants and see if they have any for you

Government & Politics:
 Teach your participants how elections in the U.S. work and learn about the governing structure in your participants’ home country

  • Find out if your statehouse gives free tours to the public

Celebrate an American holiday:
Celebrate holidays like the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving to give participants a unique insight into American culture. Office potlucks work well for holiday celebrations.

  • Pumpkin carving contest: Print out templates and have fun carving pumpkins
  • Attend a local holiday parade or festival
  • Teach your intern/trainee the story of Thanksgiving

Visit a local museum or concert hall:
 Encourage your participants to visit local museums.

Employee birthdays: For many participants, this may be their first birthday away from home. Help make it special by organizing a party or gathering with colleagues.

Volunteer event: Get coworkers together for a day or an hour of volunteering! Partner with a local volunteer organization for greater interaction with Americans.

At the end of the program, consider hosting a going-away party to show your appreciation for your participants’ hard work. Their American colleagues may appreciate saying goodbye as well!

International participants are likely to encounter some difficulties adjusting to living and working in the U.S.

A participant may soon realize that the familiar signs of home and their automatic responses for meeting situations of daily life may not be applicable in the U.S. Climate, food, landscapes, people and their ways of doing things may all seem strange. English ability may not serve the participants as well as they expected. They may feel the pressures of a fast-paced life in a busy city in the U.S.


Sign up to gain international talent

Complete your application and create your participant’s DS-7002 Training Plan.