Route J-1


3,500 Miles of Memories

Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 at 7:05 pm.

By Aleksandra Węgrzyn and Mateusz Stankiewicz, J-1 Interns from Poland

Display Garden, Pleasant View Gardens, Loudon, NH

My name is Aleksandra and together with my fiancé Mateusz we are students from Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland.

We came to the United States for an internship. We worked in Pleasant View Gardens, which is a greenhouse located in beautiful New Hampshire. We loved the state for its lakes and mountains. The views were gorgeous! The company we worked in is one of the leaders in liner (small plants) production in the whole country. It is famous for the diversity of plants it offers – from annuals and perennials to herbs and vegetables. We spent some time working in different departments that allowed us to see and understand how the whole company works. The internship itself was really interesting. We learned more than we could have ever expected and made many friends we’ll try to stay in touch with. Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

2017: Year in Review

Posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 at 9:57 pm.

By Lynette Evans-Tiernan, Communications Manager for the J-Visa Exchange Visitor Program

Let’s take a look back at some of the stories that shaped an extraordinary year of the Exchange Visitor Program.

2,300 mile bicycle adventure on Route 66
Au pair Tamires took a solo cycling trip through Historic Route 66! “I met a lot of nice people while I was cycling. Real people with real stories.”

Welcomed the First Outbound Rotary Exchange Student from Nepal
Seema Tamang traveled to the United States as the first outbound Rotary Exchange student from Nepal. “Being blind, I have to admit I was a bit scared at first, but it did not take long to adapt, and enjoy an amazing experience.”

Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

At Per Se, International Chefs Take a Seat at the Table

Posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 at 6:05 pm.

By Anna Boisseau, Communications Officer, Cultural Vistas
A version of this story was published on Cultural Vistas Blog

Pierre Pouplard mans the Saucier station at Per Se. He’s using cherry tomatoes that he picked out himself at a local farmer’s market. Photo by: Peter Plotica

You’ll see a different menu every time you walk through the blue doors of Per Se, the Michelin three-starred New York restaurant located across from Central Park. This creativity is in part due to the diverse staff that collaborates in the Per Se Kitchen, including international trainees.

With Chef de Cuisine Eli Kaimeh at its helm, the restaurant invents new concepts for their nine-course tasting menu daily. While the overall vision of the restaurant is Thomas Keller’s, the whole kitchen staff of 40 is involved in planning the next day’s dishes. “[It’s] usually a discussion by everybody sitting around a table. And that [really] includes everybody,” said Kaimeh. Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

First Outbound Rotary Youth Exchange from Nepal

Posted on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 at 5:40 pm.

By Seema Tamang, J-1 Secondary School Student, Kathmandu, Nepal
A version of this story was published on Rotary Voices

Seema Tamang, third from left, with other Rotary Youth exchange students

Seema Tamang, the first rotary youth exchange student from Kathmandu Nepal talks to us about her high school exchange in the United States.

Describe your home life in the United States.

During the 2016-17 school year, I was thrilled to be the first outbound exchange student from Nepal. Being blind, I have to admit I was a bit scared at first, as home life in the United States was much different than in Nepal. In my host-family’s home I had my own room, which was a new experience for me. I was used to sleeping in the same room with my sisters and with other girls in the dormitory at school. Being in a large home was very different and exciting as I got to explore every room and orient myself so that I could move about safely and quickly. It didn’t take me too long to be able to find everything by myself. It seems funny now that when I first arrived I asked my host-mom where the water bucket and pitcher was for flushing the toilet, like we do in Nepal.

Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

Celebrating International Education Week: Creating Global Citizens

Posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 at 4:17 pm.

By Lynette Evans-Tiernan, Communications Manager for the J-Visa Exchange Visitor Program

Loyola Marymount University students indicate where they are from and where they have studied around the world

November 13-17 was International Education week. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of an effort to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences. Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

Good Samaritans: Helping Hands during Hurricane Harvey

Posted on Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 at 3:14 pm.

By Jody Mayo, Company Storyteller and Writer for Alliance Abroad Group
A version of this story was originally published on Alliance Abroad

Kush preparing a United Aerial Drone for flight testing.

When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Kush Sutaria, a J-1 intern, was on a sales call in San Antonio, fortunately out of the fury of the storm’s eye. As it turns out, being in San Antonio proved fortuitous in other ways. Kush was exactly in the right place to be able to assist Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. military with hurricane disaster relief efforts.

Kush spent the summer interning at United Aerial, a drone data collection and management company based in Houston, Texas. Kush attributes his academic background and the fact that he has a private pilot’s license as being important reasons he was asked to join the company. The boutique company offers highly-specialized technology and has a very unique culture. Kush’s enthusiasm and education made him a great addition to the team. Kush’s background also made it easy for him to obtain a remote pilot’s certificate for drones. It was a skill that proved invaluable in the very real disaster scenario he encountered. Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

For Third Year Running, J-1 International Exchange Visitors Will Be New York City Marathon’s Largest and Most Diverse Volunteer Contingent

Posted on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 at 1:49 pm.

By Carlos Rodriguez-Cruz y Celis, Intern and Lynette Evans-Tiernan, Communications Manager for the J-Visa Exchange Visitor Program

J-1 Volunteers support runners at the TCS New York City Marathon

More than 1,400 participants who are in the United States on the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program– including students, interns, au pairs, and research scholars – are volunteering at the TCS New York City Marathon on November 5, 2017, the world’s largest marathon.

The exchange visitors will comprise more than 14 percent of the total volunteers at the marathon. They will stand alongside U.S. volunteers at miles 5 and 6 in Brooklyn and mile 18 in Harlem. As they provide water and moral support to nearly 50,000 runners from more than 135 countries, they will experience firsthand the American values of volunteerism and civic engagement.

Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

From Burning Man Art to Black Bears, Our (un)typical year in America

Posted on Monday, October 23rd, 2017 at 12:29 pm.

By Eva Dolezalova, J-1 Short-Term Scholar from Czech Republic

Eva’s wedding day in Las Vegas, Nevada

You can see my husband and me on our wedding day in the picture above. If you guess that we married in Las Vegas, you are right. We married in 2012 and since then we fell in love with the USA. The breathtaking view of Half Dome at sunset will always be imprinted on our hearts. We were just tourists at the time, but we knew that we wanted to come back and stay a little longer to experience more of the life and culture in America.

A few years after, I applied and was accepted for a post-doctoral position at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. I should also say that something changed since 2012, my husband and I had a beautiful little daughter. I was worried about moving and about her, especially because I was a new mother, but we eventually decided that this was “the chance” not to be missed. Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

Ambassadors Impacting the Future of Cultural Diplomacy

Posted on Thursday, October 5th, 2017 at 7:52 pm.

By Lynette Evans-Tiernan, Communications Manager for the J-Visa Exchange Visitor Program
A version of this story was also published on the CHI News Blog

Cultural Ambassadors from Malaysia, Poland, Uzbekistan, Russia and Jamaica
proudly represent their countries

From August 14-16, fourteen distinguished winners from Cultural Homestay International’s (CHI’s) Summer Work & Travel program, representing ten different countries, were chosen to participate in CHI’s Cultural Ambassador Award (CAA) Conference, in Washington, DC.

Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

J-Day Reflections: Volunteering in Action

Posted on Friday, September 22nd, 2017 at 1:00 pm.

By Samantha Dille, Program Director at International Culture and Career Exchange (ICCE)
A version of this story was originally published on ICCE blog

Exchange Visitors reflect on giving back to their local communities for J-Day,(https://j1visa.state.gov/eat-play-give-international-exchange-community-celebrates-j-day/) a nationwide event that raises awareness about cultural exchange and diversity. It also gives participants of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) the opportunity to give back to their communities and experience volunteerism in the United States.

J-1 participants with local volunteers and staff at L.A. Kitchen

In Los Angeles, J-1 participants joined forces with L.A. Kitchen. This inspiring local organization believes that neither food nor people should ever go to waste, and as a community, they should provide and give healthy meals to any Los Angeles community member who is in need of help. J-1 participants worked alongside local volunteers and chefs, chopping fruits and vegetables, to prepare meals for the hungry. After the community service activity, staff and J-1 participants gathered at nearby Los Angeles, historic park for pizzas and games. Later, participants broke into teams and made posters to share and express their opinions of what they have learned through community service.

Read More ›

Categories: Program Spotlight

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About G. Kevin Saba

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange


G. Kevin Saba serves as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In this capacity, he oversees the Exchange Visitor Program, which brings around 300,000 foreign citizens to the United States annually to teach, study, and build skills. He is the Director for the Policy and Program Support Division in ECA’s Office of Private Sector Exchange.

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