Finding a summer job in the U.S. can be challenging. If you are thinking about participating in our program, consider our Job Placement program. We will connect you with potential employers and take care of the hiring process for you.
Most students interested in living and working abroad need help finding a job. Each year, InterExchange matches thousands of international students with employment opportunities across the U.S.
The first step is to speak with an agency in your home country. Once you’re accepted into our Job Placement program, you will have access to our Online Matching System. You can view hundreds of job listings from different host employers across the United States. You can apply to these positions based on your preferred job type and location. We encourage you to be open to new experiences and consider all kinds of opportunities in different areas of the U.S.
Once a host employer makes a job offer and you accept the position, InterExchange will:
- Prepare you for what to expect while working and living in the U.S.
- Process your J-1 Visa paperwork
- Provide information on applying for a Social Security number when you arrive in the U.S.
- Assist with travel arrangements to your host employer
- Provide you with housing information from your host employer
- Arrange your accident and sickness insurance
- Support you every step of the way!
- While you are in the U.S., you’ll be able to contact staff at InterExchange if you need assistance or general support. We’re always here to help!
Types of Jobs Available in the U.S.
InterExchange Work & Travel USA works with a wide range of employers all over the country who host short-term, seasonal staff. A variety of job opportunities are available to our participants, including positions in:
- Bed & Breakfasts
- Amusement Parks
- Ski Resorts
- Retail Stores
For citizens of Australia or New Zealand, our program options are different from other countries. Learn more about opportunities for participants from Australia and New Zealand.
Self Placement Program
If you are a participant looking for a job in the U.S., below are resources to assist you with your job search. Before applying for any position in the U.S., please be sure that you understand InterExchange’s job verification process and review the list of prohibited jobs.
Resume and Cover Letter Samples
When seeking temporary employment in the U.S., you should provide a resume and cover letter for potential employers. A resume is a written document (similar to a curriculum vitae) that highlights your relevant work experience, skills, and education for the advertised position. A cover letter states your interest in the job and highlights key skills and experience that are detailed in your resume.
The samples below are only provided to guide you in composing these professional documents. You should personalize the information so it’s specific to your background and experience.
- Sample Resume [PDF]
- Sample Cover Letter [PDF]
Job Search Engines
There are many online job search engines in the United States. The following websites allow you to post your resume, search listings by industry, and find job hunting advice and tips for cover letters, resumes, and interviewing:
Tips on Applying
Follow these guidelines when you apply:
- Make a list of companies or job postings that interest you.
- Ensure that you meet any requirements in the job descriptions and that you have researched the company and its location.
- If you’re applying for a specific position, include all the requested documents and follow any application instructions listed in the job posting. Follow all application instructions carefully.
Tips on Interviewing
If an employer responds to your application to schedule an interview, make sure you are ready to discuss your skills and experience, especially the experiences and skills you have listed in your resume and cover letter. To prepare for your interview:
- Gather as much information as possible about the company and write a list of questions that you’d like to ask your interviewer. Many of your questions will be discussed throughout the interview, but you should prepare enough questions to learn more about the company and the position. American employers expect and want applicants to ask questions about the job.
- Practice your interview with a friend or family member. You’ll find a list of potential interview questions and other interviewing tips on https://www.livecareer.com/interview/questions.
- On the day of the interview, be on time and be prepared! If you are interviewing via phone or webcam, test your equipment in advance so that you are sure you know how it works. Also, be sure to find a quiet and private spot so that your interview will not be interrupted and there will be no distractions.
- Always send an email within 24 hours of your interview to thank the interviewer(s) and to reaffirm your interest in the position. Make sure you have the contact information (names, titles, and email addresses) for all of your interviewers.
InterExchange must vet all initial, replacement, and additional jobs based on U.S. Department of State regulations and guidance to verify that participants will be pursuing the purpose of the J-1 Visa program. The following positions are not allowed on the InterExchange Work & Travel USA program:
- Positions that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Exchange Visitor Program;
- Sales positions that require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves;
- Domestic help positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur);
- Pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators;
- Operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers’ licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not;
- Positions related to clinical care that involve patient contact;
- Position in the adult entertainment industry (including, but not limited to jobs with escort services, adult book/video stores, and strip clubs);
- Positions requiring more than four hours of work between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;
- Positions declared hazardous to youth by the Secretary of Labor at Subpart E of 29 CFR part 570;
- Positions that require sustained physical contact with other people and/or adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions guidelines (e.g., body piercing, tattooing (including henna), massage, manicure, hair braiding);
- Positions at businesses that offer body piercing, tattooing (including henna), massage, manicure, hair braiding;
- Positions that are substantially commission-based and thus do not guarantee that participants will be paid minimum wage in accordance with federal and state standards;
- Positions involved in gaming and gambling that include direct participation in wagering and/or betting;
- Positions in chemical pest control, warehousing, catalogue/online order distribution centers;
- Positions in the mobile amusement and itinerant concessionaires industries;
- Positions for which there is another specific J visa category (e.g., camp counselor, intern, trainee);
- Positions in the North American Industry Classification System’s (NAICS) Goods-Producing Industries occupational categories industry sectors 11, 21, 23, 31-33 numbers as outlined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, including, but not limited to: construction (includes specialty trade contractors), mining (includes oil and gas extraction, support activities for mining), manufacturing (food manufacturing, textile mills, apparel manufacturing, wood product manufacturing, printing), natural resources (crop production, animal production, fishing, support activities for agriculture and forestry);
- Positions through employment or staffing agencies;
- Positions in kiosks or cart stands at malls;
- Positions in home-based businesses;
- Positions in warehouses or factories;
- Administrative positions handling sensitive/personal information;
- Positions as an independent contractor (1099 Form employee);
- Positions in fisheries;
- Positions in door-to-door sales or canvassing;
- Positions in industrial style/scale service sector (jobs that involve assembly lines, repetitive movement using heavy machinery, use of industrial size steamers/pressers and dryers, use of industrial chemicals, factory-like atmosphere);
- Position where an exchange visitor is solely responsible for the safety of others (e.g., as a lifeguard); does not have regular on-site or timely on-call supervision by the host entity and/or would be without reasonable time off for breaks and meals;
- Positions that are not compensated hourly (e.g. piece wages, stipends, etc.);
- Placements that employ the exchange visitor as a mover or in any position where the primary work duty is the movement of household or office goods
- Positions in waste management, janitorial, or custodial positions
- Position with a host entity that participates in the Summer Work Travel Program on a basis other than seasonal (e.g., for more than two seasons during the year, or that covers a total period of employment longer than eight months in a single calendar year);
- Locations where telephone and Internet communication is not accessible.
Important notes about Work and Travel in large cities
If a large city (e.g. Miami, New York, or Los Angeles) is submitted as a potential place of employment, the following must be demonstrated:
- The job is seasonal or temporary in nature.
- The employer has reasonably attempted to hire locals for the season and the placement will not displace U.S. workers.
- here is access to suitable, affordable, and safe housing