Route J-1


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.”

Assisted with Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Efforts
Kush Sutaria, a J-1 intern at United Aerial Drone assisted FEMA and U.S. military with Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts by helping to log the inventory of relief supplies arriving at a nearby Texas Air Force base and demonstrating to military personnel how drones can be deployed to gather data in times of natural disasters by sending a drone to capture a video of flood damage. The experience made Kush even more interested in drone technology and taught him about the great American spirit of courage, camaraderie and compassion. He witnessed people coming together, literally lifting each other out of flooding streets and joining forces to rebuild a ravaged city.

J-1 Community Celebrated – Eat. Play. Give.
J-1 sponsors hosted 52 J-Day events across 20 states and the District of Columbia, including food and shoe donations, a lifeguard Olympics competition, a school supply drive, environmental rehabilitation projects, and coastal clean-up activities. J-Day is a nationwide event that raises awareness about cultural exchange and diversity. It gives participants of the J-1s the opportunity to give back to their communities and experience volunteerism in the United States.

Opened up Economic Opportunities through New Partnerships
The Ubuntu partnership is helping businesses in Austin and other Texas cities to thrive in an increasingly global economy, while aiding disadvantaged youth and helping to close the skills gap in South Africa. Local businesses reported the diversity of talent, perspective and backgrounds are key business enablers and have helped enhance employee and customer experience.

Host Family Celebrated a Dynamic Decade of Hosting Exchange Students
The Schutte family from Rushmore, Minnesota believes “exchange are an opportunity to change lives for the better – both the host family’s and the student’s. Broadening student’s horizons is just one of many important benefits to hosting. We personally feel we have raised more globally aware children because of the diversity in our home. Being able to expose our children to new cultures, and our exchange students to a new lifestyle, are all benefits of the exchange experience.”

Teacher Used Robots to Inspire Passion for STEM
Wilmar Lee, a J-1teacher from the Philippines, served as a sixth-grade teacher and sponsor of the robotics club at a middle school in Houston, Texas. “Robotics is a great way to teach math, technology and science while challenging students to use problem-solving, analytic and creative thinking skills.”

Categories: Program Spotlight

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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