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Programs To the US

Trainee Intern Program


Live in the US for up to 18 months!

IENA’s Trainee Intern Program provides the opportunity to live in the US for up to 18 months and learn new skills directly related to your field of study or professional experience. The program length for interns is up to 12 months and program length for trainees is up to 18 months.

The program is an excellent opportunity to build upon the skills and knowledge you already have and learn new skills to take home with you at the end of the program. And of course, you’ll be able to experience American culture up close and personal.

IENA supports you through the application process and assists your host site in developing a training plan specific to your learning goals and objectives. We’re also your resource in the US for the duration of your stay.

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IENA sponsors trainees and interns in these occupational categories:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Information Media and Communications
  • Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, and Social Services

IENA sponsors trainees and interns in these occupational categories:

  • Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
  • Public Administration and Law
  • The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations
Application and Fees

On-Site Learning with American Employers

We’re looking for applicants that want to experience on-site learning with American employers. This is not an employment program, so you should be serious about learning new skills or building on skills you already have in your field of educational or work experience. You should also have a plan for how you intend to integrate your American experience into your future career when you return home.

Here are specific requirements for Interns and Trainees:


  • Current enrollment in a post-secondary academic program outside of the United States
  • OR, Graduated within the past 12 months from a post-secondary institution outside of the United States
  • 18 years of age
  • Proposed J-1 training does not duplicate your previously completed work or training
  • Sufficient English-speaking skills so as to be able to fully benefit from the training and cultural opportunities in the United States
  • Can demonstrate how the training will be used upon return to your home country
  • Can demonstrate intent to return to your home country
  • Will be available for interview outside the US in-person or by video conference


  • Graduated from a post-secondary institution outside of the United States, plus at least one year degree related to full-time work experience
  • OR, five years of full-time work experience
  • Proposed J-1 training does not duplicate previously completed work or training
  • Sufficient English-speaking skills so as to be able to fully benefit from the training and cultural opportunities in the United States
  • Can demonstrate how the training will be used upon return to your home country
  • Can demonstrate intent to return to your home country
  • Will be available for interview outside the US in-person or by video conference

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Travel Information

On the Move in the US

Aim to live close to where you work. Walking and biking allows you to get to know your neighborhood and city. You will stay physically active and save on transportation costs.

For longer trips, try public transportation in your area or rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Local taxi services offer direct service.

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Participants will arrange their own transportation to and from the US, and to their housing/destination Check with your recruiter for information on flight deals.


If your employer doesn’t have a shuttle, you may be able to arrange public transportation to/from the airport to your destination. Ask IENA or your recruiter for help in identifying public transportation options.

Participant Resources

What to See in the USA

  • Sporting events
  • Museums
  • Historical sites
  • Oceans, lakes, and rivers
  • National/state/local parks and recreation areas
  • Major cities/nearby cities
  • Festivals
  • Concerts
  • Amusement/water parks

SEVIS Validation & Survey

The following SEVIS Validation Information is for Exchange Visitors who are sponsored by IENA ONLY and participating in our Trainee Intern Program.

If the Sponsor listed on your DS-2019 is not IENA, please STOP and contact your sponsor.

Report your arrival and validate your U.S. address

On-line validation is not yet available. After you arrive in the U.S., IENA will contact you by email with instructions for reporting your U.S. address.


At the end of each training phase, both you and your immediate supervisor are required to submit an evaluation showing that you have successfully complete the phase. Don’t worry, IENA will send you a reminder by email to complete the survey.

Frequently Asked Questions


We know traveling to a new country for work can raise a lot of questions. Check out our useful FAQs or reach out with questions

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First: At a minimum, you’ll need to create a cover letter and resume outlining your education, experience, what you can offer to the host employer, and what you hope to learn. And don’t forget to mention that you are applying for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa with IENA. Refer potential host employers to IENA if they have questions. You can find free resume templates in Microsoft Word in the resume wizard. Click on File, New and Other to download templates. You can also find examples of cover letters in MS Word. Just download the template and type over the sample test with your own text.

Second: An American host employer may ask for a list of references or a reference letter. You can include references in your resume. Just make sure that you ask your references first before using their information! If the host employer requires a written letter, it should include information about how the reference knows you and for how long, how you performed as a student or employee, and any other helpful information. And all letters should be written in English.

Third: Here are some tips for finding a host for your training program or internship.

  • Networking and Personal Contacts: Talk to your current or past employers, and professors and ask for contacts that they may have. Most likely, some of them may have contacts to American companies or know someone who does. Your university may have relationships with universities in the U.S. or with American companies.
  • Social Media: Become a fan of American companies on sites like Facebook to learn more about companies. Some companies promote internship opportunities on their profiles. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, you should a create a profile and complete your information as completely as you can. Your profile serves as a virtual resume. LinkedIn is a great tool for networking and searching for training and internship opportunities. Companies post internship opportunities on the site!
  • Search Engines: Internship search engines provide a lot of information and are a great resource. There are hundreds of online search engines, but here are a few that allow you to post your resume, search for opportunities, and provide tips:

The T / IPP, DS-7002, and training plan are all the same document. The T / IPP is a required document, signed by you, the host site, and IENA, which outlines the overall training program and what you will learn in the U.S. at the host site.

As you may be aware, health care is not free in the USA. You must have medical insurance. We have that covered for you. There are however some terminology and procedures it is handy to know:

Co-payment: This is like your car insurance excess. Its an amount you always have to pay when you have treatment. For non-Emergency Room Visits, the Co-pay is $50. Whenever possible. You should always call the 800 number (free call) on the back of your insurance and discuss your symptoms before visiting a doctor. They can best advise you whether to visit a doctor and if so, where the closest clinic is.

Workers Compensation: Whilst you are at work and carrying out your duties at work, you are covered by this insurance. This means if you have an injury/illness caused by or related to your work, you are covered by this insurance which is held by your employer. Our insurance is for non-work related cases, or injuries/illnesses that occur while on days off and while you are traveling.

Emergency Room: It’s the same thing as the A & E and is for serious injury or illness that requires immediate attention.  There is no co-pay or deductible for this if the injury/illness is deemed life threatening or requires an overnight stay. In all other cases, there will be a $350 Copay, so you should go to a walk-in clinic whenever possible.

Pre-Existing Conditions: If you have a condition that has been treated, or you take regular medication for, in the past 6 months, it will NOT be covered by this insurance.

More details on your insurance policy can be found here


When it comes to social media and American culture, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

Host sites have withdrawn program offers to participants due to things they have found on social media. Please be aware of how you portray yourself. You are going to America in a professional capacity and your public presence should reflect that. We highly recommend that you make all your social media private. Remember, even something someone else tags you in or photos someone else posts of you can have an impression on a host site’s impression of you.

Each host site will have its own set of rules regarding social media.


You, your host site, and IENA put a lot of work into creating an internship or training program that meets your specific goals and objectives. Because we put in the work to ensure that you will learn new skills and experience the American workplace, problems are minimal. If you have any concerns about your program, contact IENA and we will work with you and the host site to solve any issues. In rare cases changing host sites is necessary. In these cases, IENA will assist you every step of the way.


Second jobs are not permitted.


You are going to hear several terms for different forms etc. during the process. Here is our IENAipedia to those forms:

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa: This J-1 Visa is a government program that allows qualified students and young professionals to share their cultures and ideas with the people of the United States. This program is run by the US Department of State. Visit this website for more information.

DS-2019 Form: This form can only be issued by a US Department of State designated visa sponsor. IENA is one of those. It certifies that you are eligible to take part in the cultural exchange program and is a vital part of the application process. You will need it for your embassy appointment AND you will need it when you enter into the USA. Guard it as you would guard your passport.

SEVIS Receipt (or SEVIS I-901 Receipt): SEVIS stands for “Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.” It is a system by which the US Department of State keeps track of you on the program. You will need this form when you visit the embassy for your visa interview.


Social Security: The US Government requires all employees to apply for a Social Security Number. Your host site supervisor will help you do this upon your arrival, however, you MUST validate your arrival via your IENA account BEFORE you can apply. Once done, you will need to visit the local Social Security office. You must obtain a Social Security Card. If you already have one, then that’s yours for life.

Form I-9: All employees, foreign and domestic, are required to complete this form. It is a straightforward form and you will need your passport (including J-1 Visa) and your DS-2019. Your employer will help you complete this.

Form I-94: This is your arrival and departure record. It is a good idea to print this when you get settled and keep it with you. You cannot print it until after you have arrived in the USA. It can be printed here

W-4: This form is for tax purposes. Your host site may withhold a small amount of taxes from your salary. You ARE entitled to claim some of this back because you are not a resident of the USA. IENA partner with to make claiming back the taxes as simple as possible


The USA is a vast country.  People say that every state is almost like a country with its own culture and compare it to Europe.  Here are some handy tools to help you:

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