What is Work and Travel?
This is a Cultural Exchange Program of the US State Department that allows current full-time university students of any course from all over the world, 18 to 28 years old and preferably in their second or third year of university, to enter the US and meet new people, learn about US culture while working in a private company during their summer break and at the end of their work experience, have the opportunity to travel around the US. In turn, in the true nature of a cultural exchange program, the participant will enrich the lives of other people by giving them the chance to learn about each other’s culture and country.
The time spent in the US will be filled with opportunities to meet new friends, learn new skills, overcome challenges, help gain independence and prepare the participant for the future that will be increasingly dependent on international cooperation and cross-cultural understanding.
How long is the Work and Travel Program?
This is a 3 to 4 month summer program, usually from March to June every year for Filipino students. The approval document, called DS 2019, defines the start and end dates of the program. J1 visa holders are given extra 30 days for travel after their work experience contracts.
How many hours do I work a week?
Approximately 30 to 40 hours per week. Some companies have overtime and holiday work that are paid extra. In some cases, students are allowed a second job.
Do I get paid? How much money will I make? When do I get paid?
You will receive an allowance, between $7.00 and $8.50 per hour or around $1,000.00 per month, depending on the position, Host Company and location. Typically, you will get your allowances weekly or every two weeks. Some companies allow students to work overtime at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate and/or allow students to apply for a second job when available in the area.
Where will I be placed? Who will be my Host Company?
Anywhere in the US on a first come first serve basis. The participating companies are usually resorts, hotels and restaurants, theme parks, and retail stores. These are situated in the suburbs or outside the major cities and in tourist destinations.
What is the level of English required?
It is important that the students have good conversational English to communicate with their peers and supervisors and at the same time, understand instructions well. The language ability is important to have a credible J1 visa interview at the Consulate.
What are the skills requirements?
NONE. The student should be willing and able to learn and perform the job he/she has signed up for as indicated in the Placement Confirmation Form. Some practical experience will be an advantage to the participant since he/she will have a better understanding of what to expect and is usually more motivated to do the job.
Explain the Accommodation situation.
- Students will either be assisted by their host company in securing their housing or provided accommodations within the company facilities.
- In all cases, the student will pay for accommodation. In some situations, a deposit is required. There must be a satisfactory turnover of the apartment at the end of their stay or they will be charged to repair any damages to the room. The room must be left in good condition or the student will be liable for all the costs to return it to the same condition as when they moved in.
- The students provide for their own food. In some cases, they are given free or subsidized meals at work. Students living in dormitories do not have kitchens but are allowed use of the pantry with re-heating facilities.
How much does the program cost? When are the fees due?
Please contact FPI for the total costs and schedule of payments. A deposit is required upon submission of initial requirements. Balance of all the fees is due once the applicant sign and confirms the Program Specific and Training Plan.
What do I get for my fee?
- Guaranteed placement prior to arrival, J-1 Visa Documents such as DS 2019, PCF and SEVIS
- Social Security Card
- Health and Accident Insurance for the duration of the program
- Monitoring and support throughout the program including a 24-hour toll free emergency phone number
- Assistance in Financial Document preparation
- Cultural integration seminars
- Pre-Departure and Post-Arrival orientations
When do applications need to be submitted?
Please contact FPI for the Schedule of Document Submissions.
What is the type of Visa that I will apply for?
The applicant will apply for a J1 visa, otherwise classified as the Cultural Exchange Visitor’s Visa.
Is it guaranteed that I will get a visa?
NO. Only the US embassy consuls have complete authority to approve or deny issuance of visa. FPI and the US Partner are not responsible for visa denials. However, FPI provides assistance in preparing for the visa interview such as, review of all financial documents and other requirements.
Are Fees Refundable?
Some fees are refundable based on the current schedule. Please contact FPI for details.
Do I pay taxes?
Yes. You will pay State, Federal or City Tax. You will pay around 10%-15%. However, you must complete documentation before the end of your stay so that you can refund most of the taxes paid.
Can I participate in the Work and Travel again?
Current sophomore students may join the program again for as long as you still have one complete academic year on your return.
Can I get credit for my experience?
The schools have the option to give full or partial academic credits to the summer experience.