What is Work and Travel exchange program?


Work and Travel USA is a government-designated cultural exchange program that allows post-secondary students from around the world to work in the US during their summer vacations and travel within additional 30-day grace period. Since its foundation in 1957, thousands of students from all over the world have been coming to the USA as participants of the program. Many students return to the US one or two times as program regulations permit participants to repeat the program more than once.

Purposes. Besides gaining work experience, students get to know the American culture and lifestyle, along with travelling and exploring US most spectacular sights. The employers, in their turn, meet their staffing needs by hiring seasonal workers. Participants usually  work in customer service sector (hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, resorts, etc.).
All the participants are provided with J-1 exchange visitor visa. The visa, along with DS 2019 eligibility certificate, allows the students to work  up to 4 months. Upon expiration of their visa, students are granted a 30-day travel period by the U.S. government. They are no longer authorized to work, still they have time to travel.

Duration. Earliest start date for Summer Work and Travel Program is the 15th of May and the latest date participants must return back home is the 1st of October. Working period dates can’t exceed 4 months and are specified in student DS-2019 form.

Program requirements for Summer Work and Travel participants:

Age: 18 to 28 years old,

English level: Basic to Advanced,

Student status: participants must be current post-secondary students in the country of their residence.

Possible jobs: Basically students perform unskilled service jobs at resorts, hotels, amusement parks, restaurants, supermarkets, ranches, fast food restaurants, etc. However participants can be engaged in all types of office work, in front desk clerk, receptionist, or even work as qualified employees in media communication business, computer software and electronics firms, legal offices, etc.

Participants cannot work:

  • as domestic help in American households,
  • in door-to-door sales industry or in any other position which require them to invest their own money for inventory,
  • in patient care positions (caregiver, medical worker)
  • in adult entertainment positions,

Host companies requirements: There are no other limitations for the US businesses besides above to hire a participant as a temporary employee! You can bring a summer work and travel participant to your organization by signing only one form (Job offer or employment agreement) and confirming your intention to offer employment (by phone or via email) upon request from designated sponsoring organization. We at WorkAbroadTeam do our best to make the whole process as easy and transparent as it can be! Due to the numerous program benefits, the number of participants increases every year. These days, more and more employers all over the US prefer to hire International Students for the summer.