Host a Trainee
Host a Trainee or Intern
Hosting an international trainee or intern is rewarding and productive! We invite you and your business to participate in our unique international exchange program.
As a host, you will:
- Work with reliable, qualified, motivated International trainees and interns
- Add fun and diversity to your family, community, and work place
- Participate in a unique cultural and technical exchange
- Travel the world without leaving home
Hosting an international visitor is easy:
- If you already have someone in mind and would like to offer a position we can make it happen.
- If you would like to see resumes and offer a position, we’ll help you find a trainee that matches the opportunity that you offer.
The Experience International Program is a US State Department designated J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. With us, you can host a trainee or intern from almost anywhere in the world for 1-18 months. We match hosts with students and professionals from abroad to work, learn, share, and enhance your place of business. You can choose one of our applicants or let us provide a program for someone you already know!
As a host, you will:
- Work with experienced, reliable, and motivated young professionals
- Share and exchange new ideas
- Establish new professional contacts
- Have exciting cross-cultural experiences
- Form lifelong international friendships
- Bring an international perspective to your family and/or business; and broaden the horizons of your staff
- Have a minimum of 1 year practical work experience
- Have a post-secondary degree in their career field
- Speak conversational English
- Have a driver’s license
- Are 21 years or older
- Are currently enrolled (or have recently graduated within 12 months) in a degree-seeking program related to their placement.
- Have a driver’s license
- Are usually 21 years or older
Trainees and interns are interviewed and carefully screened by Experience International and our program partner in their home country. They submit a full application that includes a resume, references, and a detailed placement request. Based on applications and interviews, it is determined if they qualify for the program.
There are two basic ways in which you can host through the program:
- EI Placements: You tell us what you’d like to offer and we find qualified applicants for you through our international network of program partners abroad.
- Self Placements: If you have a candidate in mind and would like to offer him/her a position, provide us with the contact information and we’ll help make it happen!
Hosts submit an application and training plan to EI outlining the business and types of opportunities that could be provided. Once we have a good idea of what you offer, we match applicants with available positions. As part of the placement process, trainees review the training plan provided by the host and hosts review applicant resumes and references. EI assists with the basics of writing a training plan and hosts have a chance to speak with prospective applicants over Skype or the phone before a commitment is made.
Once both host and trainee agree, we move forward with the necessary paperwork.
Hosts are farmers, businesses, public agencies, private organizations, researchers, or educators in fields related to agriculture, horticulture, food processing, forestry, fisheries, natural resource management, natural sciences, engineering, computer science, business, marketing, conservation, education, social services, library science, counseling and social services, information media and communications. Hosts have an interest in sharing their industry knowledge, learning about the world, and mentoring international trainees/interns. Requirements include:
- Provide on-the-job practical training, guided by a written training plan
- Provide at least 32 hours a week of training for 1-18 months
- Assign a supervisor to the participant
- Provide the trainee or intern with exposure to the diversity of functions involved in your workplace
- Provide safe work conditions and ensure safe work practices
- Provide either a living wage or combination of stipend, housing and food
- Provide Worker’s Compensation Insurance
- Provide cultural opportunities and ideas for sharing of cultures
- Cooperate with Experience International to comply with Department of State Regulations
- Comply with Fair Labor Standards and Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Acts
- Contact Experience International!
- Complete a Host Application.
- Sign a Host Agreement.
- Create a Training Plan (we work with you to do this).
- We will discuss the hosting options with you; share resumes; put you in contact with applicants; and do whatever follow-up is necessary to ensure you receive the best possible trainee/intern.
- If you would like to be more proactive, we will help put together a position description tailored to your placement site, circulate it to our program partners abroad, and share with you the responses.
- Finally, if you already have someone in mind, through personal or professional contacts, we can work with you so that they come through the program.
You can request an trainee/intern for 1-18 months, depending on the season that matches your industry’s needs.
As a host, you provide minimum wage (or higher) or a combination of stipend, room, and/or board equal to minimum wage (or higher). There is also a $95 monthly fee and a one-time-only $250 application fee paid to Experience International to enable a site visit. The program is entirely self-funded and your monthly contribution makes it all possible.
- Trainees and interns are exempt from federal payroll taxes: Social Security, Medicare and Federal Unemployment
- Federal Withholding must be deducted from paychecks (participants must file a 1040NR)
- Trainees and interns are subject to state payroll and income taxes where applicable
- Worker’s compensation must be provided
- Trainees and interns provide their own personal accident and health insurance; and are responsible for all their own personal expenses and non work-related travel
- Minimum Wage info for your state can be found at https://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm
The staff at Experience International are happy to answer inquiries from both experienced and prospective hosts. And, as a host to an international trainee/intern, you can expect ongoing support from EI program staff who will work closely with you to ensure a positive and productive experience, including:
- Matching hosts and trainees/interns
- The screening and selection process includes working with our overseas program partners to ensure quality applicants with verified English speaking skills and background checks
- Assistance with developing individual Training & Internship Plans
- All paperwork related to the J-1 visa
- An arrival orientation and logistical instructions to get to placement site
- Host Manual
- Newsletters and host updates
- 24/7 emergency contact in case of urgent questions, illnesses or accidents
- Resources addressing:
- Cultural adjustment
- J-1 exchange visitor program and regulations
- Payroll taxes, W-4, and I-9 forms
- Fair Labor and Standards & Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Acts
Trainees and interns with a J-1 visa are exempt from Federal Payroll taxes (benefit to host), but are subject to Federal Withholding. In most cases they are subject to all State Payroll Taxes and Withholding. Complete information is provided in the Host Manual.
Additional information is available in IRS Pub 15; Circular E; Employer’s Tax Guide: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15.pdf
- Section 9. Withholding From Employee’s Wages: Amount to Add to Nonresident Alien Employee Wages for Calculating Income Tax Withholding Only
- Section 15. Special Rules for Various Types of Services and Payments; Go to Students, scholars, trainees, teachers; review item #5
The J-1 visa was established to enable nonimmigrant foreign nationals to legally enter the United States for participation in educational and cultural activities. To implement this program, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) designated a limited number of organizations, such as Experience International, to sponsor J-1 trainees/interns to the U.S. for practical training and work experience in specified fields.
J-1 Visa Regulations for U.S. Hosts require:
- Host application and agreement
- A Training-Internship Plan
- Minimum wage OR a room/stipend package equal to the minimum wage
- Compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as state law governing minimum wage and other employer obligations
- Compliance with the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA)
- Worker’s Compensation
- A Tax ID Number (TIN)
For additional information on the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program and the Federal Regulations governing the program, see the Office of Exchange Visitor Programs:
"I feel that the program is well managed and solid, a great benefit to trainees and hosts, with some added benefit to employees and all those around and working with the trainees. A great cultural benefit to all!"
"We truly enjoy working with the exchange program. The program works really well with our seasonal business and it is such a great pleasure working with these different trainees from around the world. I hope they learn from us, but I know for sure, we learn a lot from them."
"Kati learned almost every facet of our program, both on the field and administrative sides. Her flexibility made her invaluable. She has [now] founded her own environmental non-profit organization in Estonia."
"Matt revolutionized our program. He streamlined our systems, learned and applied very complex trail construction and stone masonry techniques, developed an entirely new web site, and taught others to excel. It is not often in life that someone steps into an organization with an opportunity to help set standards and develop manageable systems. Matt has developed confidence and skill sets that will continue to serve him well."
"Our trainee brought a very strong, independent work ethic. She was very proactive and retained a very positive attitude and positive relations with colleagues. She shared her knowledge and experiences from France and offered an insight into the French culture. Overall, she was a wonderful person to work with!"
"Our trainee is extremely intelligent, professional and a hard worker, dependable and strong in the face of challenges."
“Szabina brought great enthusiasm and energy to the team, and eagerly tackled all tasks that came her way. Being a small company means we need to be able to adapt and pivot quickly to new projects and changes, and she joined in that role well.”