Student Selection Process

Applicant Qualifications

All applicants for the InterExchange Work & Travel USA program must be full-time university students in good standing, who are pursuing a degree. We require that applicants are 18 to 28, have a good command of English, and demonstrate a high level of maturity and adaptability.

Our International Cooperators screen prospective applicants before distributing an information packet and application. Qualified individuals are invited to an interview in English with an InterExchange representative and an orientation session.

During orientation sessions, InterExchange representatives explain the program in detail, outlining the benefits of the cultural exchange experience, while also providing a realistic idea of what students should be prepared for while living and working in the U.S. In addition, we outline the rules and regulations of our program and give students information about general expectations and policies their employers might have.

Interviews, both in person and using Google Meet and Zoom, allow InterExchange to select students who will benefit from participating in the program and will be able to succeed in an American work environment. By interviewing each student, we are able to gain a better understanding of an applicant’s character and can form an idea about what type of placement would best suit him or her. English levels are assessed during this interview and language skills are rated on a scale of 1 to 10. To participate, students must have at least a rating of 5 and have an ability to understand their rights according to U.S. laws and act accordingly as needed.

Students applying for our Work & Travel USA program must be able to work for at least three months. The majority of summer students arrive in early June, although there are some earlier and later arrivals. The majority of winter students arrive in mid-December. Spring students from Ecuador, the Philippines, or Thailand arrive in March. All students are issued J-1 Visas and are eligible to work for a maximum of four months, but may not work for you beyond your peak seasonal need. Many students are eager to work for as long as possible, and although they initially commit to work for three months, many choose to stay throughout the duration of their work eligibility.

At the time of the interview in their home countries, applicants are asked to make a realistic commitment about how long they can work. The students understand that employers hire them largely based on the dates they are available to work.

The InterExchange Work & Travel USA program prepares the students for the changes and adjustments they will need to make in order to have a successful season. If any difficulties arise at their job sites, we encourage our students to first discuss these issues with you, their employer. Many problems are simply misunderstandings and can be easily resolved. If both parties are unable to resolve a particular issue, please contact InterExchange so that we can help both you and the student reach an understanding.

During our overseas interviews, we ask each applicant his or her preferences for both job locations and job types. Applicants understand that most jobs are in seasonal resort areas, hotels, inns, amusement parks, restaurants, ski resort areas, and national parks. They also understand that the positions employers will offer them are typically entry-level and require a willingness to do physical work. Duties may range from serving and preparing food to housekeeping and maintenance. Although all of these jobs require hard work, the program is also designed to allow them to meet and interact with Americans, other international students, co-workers, and vacationers in the U.S. They should also be able to learn about American culture firsthand as well as earn some money and have a life-changing experience.

Students expect to work hard and have fun. When they receive the job offer through InterExchange, they are encouraged to research as much as they can about the area and position in which they will be working.

We take the terms and conditions of the job you describe and use it to develop a Job Offer. The Job Offer is sent to the students who you have chosen to work for you, and will be reviewed by the U.S. Embassies in their countries when determining their J-1 Visa eligibility. The Job Offer is sent through the InterExchange online application. This gives the students basic information about the job they will have on our program. We try to prepare the students by giving them as much information as possible, so we ask for you to be very truthful, thorough, and detailed. The Job Offer received by a student should be viewed as a binding contract and should be followed as closely as possible.

If there is any additional information you would like your students to receive prior to their arrival in the U.S., such as brochures, staff handbooks, and supplemental information about your area, feel free to contact your InterExchange representative to manage its transmission.