USA Exchange Visitor Program

A comprehensive internship and training program that provides hands-on work experience, cultural immersion, and resume building in the USA!

USA Exchange Visitor Program

Start your career soaring with an internship or training experience in the USA!

Experience International invites you to experience the U.S. through a unique practical training program within your career or academic field for up to 18 months.

Have Your Own Placement or Host?

Placements Are Made In:

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

We offer placements in Enology, Viticulture, Equine, Livestock, Horticulture, Crops, and Greenhouse.  These are limited to 12 months because they fall under the field of Agriculture. You can find your own placements in Fisheries, Forestry and Natural Resources.

Management, Business, Commerce, Finance

Secure your own placement in these fields prior to applying

Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics, Industrial Occupations

Secure your own placement in these fields prior to applying.  This category also includes computer science and information technology

Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling, Social Services, Information Media, Communications

Secure your own placement in these fields prior to applying.

To get started with EI, fill out the form below!

List of countries where EI has established program partners

Are you interested in hosting an international trainee/intern?

Ready for the Experience of a Lifetime?

Program Details

At the right you will find detailed information about our Exchange Visitor Program.

Please note:
Placements can only be made in the applicant’s area of study or career field.
Applicants may need to apply through a program partner in their home country.

Criteria to apply as a trainee

  • Minimum of 21 years of age (no upper limit)
  • A post-secondary degree or certificate in career field and at least one year work experience in career field OR Five years work experience in career field.
  • Degree and work experience must be obtained outside of the U.S.

Criteria to apply as an intern

  • 21 years of age preferred
  • Students enrolled in a degree-seeking program related to specific field of placement/career, or
  • Recent graduates who will begin their program within 12 months of graduation
  • Degree must be obtained (or in progress) outside of the U.S.

Criteria for All Applicants

  • Conversational English
  • Self-motivated
  • No criminal record and solid references
  • Documentation of “home country ties” that show you will depart the United States and return home at the end of the program
  • Valid home country driver’s license required if placement requires driving
  • Provide CV to Experience International to determine if you qualify.
  • EI will provide feedback and may refer you to a program partner next.
  • Complete and submit an application and supporting materials.
  • Interview to verify English ability and background.
  • EI will work with host you have selected or search for a host.
  • Upon confirmation of placement, pay EI program fee.
  • EI sends Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 visa and full visa application instructions.

Placement Process

Placements are made two ways:

  • Applicants find their own placement and provide host contact information to EI.
  • Applicants are placed by EI based on background and goals.

Once the placement has been identified

  • EI and host will develop a training/internship plan which is shared and agreed to with the applicant.
  • EI will draw up final documents which both host and applicant sign.

Fees are based on length and whether or not you have your own placement.

For example:

1-6 month program cost is:

  • $1000 if you come with your own placement and $1600 if EI finds your placement (Note: Wine Placements are $1000, whether self or EI placed.)

7-12 month program cost is:

  • $1400 if you come with your own placement and $2000 if EI finds your placement

13-18 month program cost is:

  • $1700 if you come with your own placement and $2300 if EI finds your placement

Other Costs:

  • $70 per month health insurance
  • $380 in visa fees
  • $125 Administrative Fee, to cover express courier, tax preparation service, and currency transfer fees
  • Hosts also pay a $95 per month fee and intern/trainee will need to absorb this cost if host isn’t able to cover.

Please view the J-1 Budgeting Worksheet for help planning your total program expenses.

  •  Applications are accepted year-round.
  • Apply at least 3 months prior to your desired start date.
  • If you have your own placement the process will take 6-8 weeks.

Agricultural placements are often dictated by season. For crop, harvesting, vegetable, orchard, golf, recreation, and forestry placements, the most likely placement period is March-November.  For Viticulture/Enology, placements are available Aug-Nov.  Full year placements are more likely in livestock, animal production and cheese-making fields.

Trainees and Interns in the private sector receive at least “minimum wage” compensation from their hosts. Trainees and Interns with government agencies  or non-profits may be considered volunteers and may not receive compensation. Each placement is unique and trainees/interns must be clear that the program is for gaining quality practical experience and not to just make money. Whatever the compensation and/or reimbursement ‘packet’, all trainees/interns will know the exact details before making a commitment.

The minimum wage in the U.S. varies by state and city and ranges from $7.25/hour to $15/hour. This is prior to U.S. income taxes being taken out.

  • Program Partner Fees: Please be sure to clarify with our country partner the fees they charge for their support in applying to the program.
  • Visa Application Fee Paid to U.S. Embassy. This visa application fee is currently $160 and is paid directly to the U.S. Embassy when making the visa appointment. For information on how and when to pay this fee, visit the U.S. Embassy web site in the country where you’re applying for the visa.
  • SEVIS Fee Paid to Homeland Security. This fee is currently $220 and paid on-line directly to Homeland Security. EI or our partner organization will pay this fee on your behalf, and we will mail you your SEVIS receipt along with your other visa paperwork to present at your Embassy appointmnet.
  • J-2 Dependent Fee:  You may be approved to bring a spouse or child with you.  This extra processing fee is $600. Insurance coverage for a J-2 is $85/month and a $100 copay per medical incident.
  • Extensions:  You may be approved to extend your program up to the maximum allowed for your category.  Fees for this range from $400-$600 (plus insurance) if you stay with the same host.

Please view the J-1 Budgeting Worksheet for help planning your total program expenses.

All participants travel directly to their placement sites. Upon arrival, you will call to check in and we will validate your program in SEVIS so that you can begin.  You will receive an Orientation Manual prior to travel. We will set up a time within the first weeks of your arrival to conduct a formal arrival orientation via Skype. During the Skype orientation, we will review the J-1 visa regulations & EI program rules and discuss cultural adaptation, living and working in the U.S., medical insurance, traveling, money, and safety.

All participants in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program are required to follow both Federal Guidelines and Experience International Program Policies. These guidelines and policies help ensure you have a safe and successful program in the United States. In accepting Experience International sponsorship as a trainee or intern, you agree to accept the Trainee/Intern Obligations and Responsibilities.

When your placement has been confirmed, Experience International will send you a DS2019. This is the form you need in order to apply for your J-1 visa. We will send you instructions for applying for the visa. There is a visa application fee you will need to pay in order to make your appointment with a U.S. Embassy in your country. Go to http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html for current information on visa application fees and processes.

Participants who have visited the U.S. on a J-1 visa previously may be eligible for a repeat J-1 program. Be sure to provide complete information regarding your previous J-1 visa program during the application process.

Both the intern and trainee categories allow repeat visas with the following rules:

  • Trainees are eligible for additional J-1 training/internship programs after a period of at least two years’ residency outside the U.S. following completion of their program.
  • Interns who no longer meet the criteria of an Intern also must reside outside of the U.S. for at least two years prior to participation in a J-1 training program.
  • The only EVs who can return to the U.S. as a J-1 Intern/Trainee sooner than two years are Interns who still qualify as an Intern. They also must have completed another term of study, or advanced to a higher degree level, before returning to the U.S.
  • Anytime a J-1 program is repeated, it must be more advanced and/or address very different training objectives. It may not be a continuation of the previous internship.

Program participants are required to have personal medical and health insurance, including emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage, that meets J-1 visa regulation standards. Participants will be required to enroll in the insurance policy offered through Experience International or their approved Program Partner Organization. This policy covers medical treatment of all accidents and illnesses that occur while in the U.S. It does not cover pre-existing conditions.  Full insurance details will be provided with application.

All trainees and interns are required to pay taxes from any wage or stipend earned while in the USA. There are two parts to paying income taxes in the U.S.

  1. Tax Withholding. Your employer will withhold federal and state income taxes from your paycheck. This could amount to between fifteen and thirty percent of your gross income.
  2. Filing a Tax Return. At the end of each year, you are required to file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). On this form you report your gross earnings and calculate the amount of tax you owe. The amount you owe may be more or less than the amount withheld by your host.  This means you may get money back from the government or you may owe more.

In the case of J-1 exchange visitors, the tax form you must file is the 1040-NR. You can download this form and obtain full information on how to file your tax return from the IRS website: www.irs.gov. Examples of these forms are given to you in the appendices of your orientation manual.  J-1 visitors who have spent substantial time in the U.S. in the past five years may be considered residents for tax purposes.  If this may apply to you, talk to Experience International.

Discussion on paying taxes is a part of the EI Orientation for newly arriving interns and trainees.