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 taxback.com to make claiming back the taxes as simple as possible