The InterExchange Work & Travel USA Program
The InterExchange Work & Travel USA Program

The Work & Travel USA Program

How InterExchange Can Help Fill Seasonal Staffing Needs

As a U.S. Department of State-designated J-1 Visa sponsor, InterExchange serves as a central contact point between qualified host employers who want to hire seasonal international staff and international students who are looking for an opportunity to work and travel in the U.S. during their official university breaks.

InterExchange has been a U.S. Department of State-desginated sponsor of the J-1 Summer Work Travel program since 1970. This program provides students with a way to visit the U.S. by helping them to work and earn spending money while they make friends from around the world and learn about the U.S. and its culture. During their time here, students have the opportunity to improve their English, explore host communities, act as ambassadors for their countries, and become future advocates of the United States. Students also have an optional 30-day travel period to explore the U.S. at the end of their work assignments.

The InterExchange Work & Travel USA Program

The primary purpose of the Summer Work Travel program is to offer young men and women from around the world an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and understanding of the United States through a combined cultural and work experience. The InterExchange Work & Travel USA program places international university students in temporary seasonal jobs throughout the U.S. We help match these motivated students with American employers who are in need of entry-level staff in locations where seasonal needs are not met by the local workforce. InterExchange Work & Travel USA participants should not be hired in place of U.S. employees.

We make every effort to recruit applicants who are hardworking, flexible, and ready for new experiences. InterExchange Work & Travel USA works with international organizations in more than 60 countries to help recruit and screen qualified applicants. Our international participants help increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries; help strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations; and assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.

Program Seasons

Summer Program

Participating employers include hotels, bed & breakfasts, national parks, restaurants, amusement parks, pools, and convenience stores.

Summer InterExchange Work & Travel USA participants are primarily from countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Participants come from many countries, including Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan.

Winter Program

Participating employers include hotels, bed & breakfasts, and restaurants in ski resort areas and at warm weather tourist destinations.

Winter Work & Travel USA students are primarily from countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Students come from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

Spring Program

Participating employers are usually focused on the busy months between the winter and summer peak seasons and include hotels and resorts. Spring InterExchange Work & Travel USA students are from the Philippines.

12-Month Program

A 12-month J-1 Visa is available for citizens of Australia and New Zealand. The program allows students and recent graduates to work legally in the United States in entry-level, unskilled positions for up to 12 months.

Work & Travel USA Student Requirements

InterExchange Work & Travel USA applicants must be:

  • Full-time university students
  • Between the ages of 18 and 28
  • Able to demonstrate a high level of maturity and adaptability
  • Able to work for a minimum of three months
  • Proficient in written and spoken English

InterExchange Work & Travel USA is committed to selecting and matching your business with the best possible seasonal staff.

When you choose to work with us, you can expect:

Exceptional Recruiting Services

InterExchange recruits and screens students, ensures all students have accident and sickness insurance, helps students apply for their Social Security cards and provides travel directions to their work site. Staffing needs can be met easily and well in advance of the beginning of your season. Our online system allows approved employers to review applicants and submit job offers directly to qualified students.

Compliance with Regulations

InterExchange is thoroughly knowledgeable of Exchange Visitor Program regulations. InterExchange can also provide assistance to facilitate the successful completion of exchange visitor programs with regards to federal, state and local laws pertaining to employment, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and SEVIS.

J-1 Visa Processing

InterExchange processes all J-1 Visa sponsorship paperwork and prepares job offers and contracts between the student and the employer.

Cost-Free Program

There is no cost to employers. Participating students pay their own expenses, including program and travel fees.

Personalized Service and Support

A dedicated Regional Manager will take the time to learn your specific staffing needs and will submit applications for you to review. Your Regional Manager is also available throughout the year to answer questions or assist with any problems that may arise. 24-hour emergency telephone support is available throughout the season.

Participant Assistance

InterExchange hosts cultural meetups at our New York City headquarters packed with activities that acquaint participants with U.S. culture and history, as well as information on taxes, labor laws, and resources for living and working in the U.S. Participants are also given a 24-hour emergency contact number and information about applying for Social Security numbers.

Staff Commitment to Employers

Applicants sign an employment agreement agreeing to work through their full commitment and meet all job requirements. Most come to the U.S. to improve their English and learn more about U.S. culture by working alongside American staff and having constant contact with U.S. citizens. The money students earn is an additional incentive to work through an entire season, as it is a means to defray their travel and living expenses while visiting the U.S.

Comprehensive Screening & Orientation

Applicants are interviewed and tested for English proficiency. Orientation programs are held in the participant’s home country to ensure applicants have realistic working and living expectations.

Full Season Coverage

International university students have longer breaks than U.S. students, allowing participants to work throughout the busy season. By staggering staff arrival dates, employers can ensure full-season coverage.

A Diverse Workplace

International visitors on J-1 Visas arrive from more than 60 countries, adding an international flair to U.S. businesses. Students are here to learn about and experience U.S. culture, so they’re eager to engage with you, your customers, and their American peers. International staff members are carefully screened and have strong English communication skills.

Help Us Follow Program Regulations & Requirements

As a host employer, part of your role is to assist international participants in their compliance with the U.S. Department of State’s Summer Work Travel program regulations. You’ll make their experience more successful as well as ensure that you’re able to host students through the program in future years. In accordance with our practices and the regulations of the program, please:

  • Do not allow participants to begin work at your business until InterExchange, the J-1 Visa sponsor, has fully vetted and approved your business and the positions for the students. This vetting process applies to all participants who may be taking on a second job at your business as well.
  • Notify sponsor immediately of any concerns regarding participants’ health, safety, or welfare, including housing issues, no-shows, termination, quitting a job, etc.
  • Notify sponsor immediately when participants arrive at work sites to begin their programs.
  • Notify sponsor immediately when participants do not arrive at work sites to begin their programs.
  • Notify sponsor immediately if there are any changes or deviations in job placements during participants’ programs.
  • Don’t overhire.
  • Familiarize participants with the local community.
  • Ensure that participants have opportunities to meet Americans, both in the work environment and during their free time.
  • Ensure that participants have opportunities to engage in cultural activities.
  • Don’t allow participants to work past the dates on their DS-2019 Forms.
  • Be prepared for visits, both scheduled and unscheduled, from U.S. Department of State officials or InterExchange during the season.
  • Treat all international participants with respect and act as a welcoming ambassador for the U.S.