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Becoming a Civically Engaged Global Citizen

Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 at 6:07 pm.

By: Tebogo Serepong, Trainee from South Africa

Left: Tebogo getting ready for the Global Pathfinder Summit | Right: Tebogo chatting with other leaders before morning session commences.

When I left South Africa to begin my cultural exchange program in the United States, not only did I get a new physical address, I figuratively also acquired an address which has endearingly placed me outside of my comfort zone. I have made new friends and colleagues and linked up with some old ones, all while discovering and becoming a distinct version of myself. Personal growth has been coupled with tremendous professional development as my career as a Chartered Accountant keeps evolving and being constructively challenged through experience first obtained in California and now Washington, D.C. Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants

Sparking Innovation: U.S.-Portugal Pilot Exchange Program Builds Intercultural Understanding

Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2019 at 6:54 pm.

About the Author: Lynette Evans-Tiernan serves as a Public Affairs Officer for the Exchange Visitor Program at the U.S. Department of State.

Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce and Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital of the Embassy of Portugal sign MOU.

On February 11, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce and Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital of the Embassy of Portugal convened in the State Department’s Treaty Room to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU will increase intercultural learning and provide structured and guided training for American and Portuguese emerging leaders interested in learning about innovation and organizational growth and development. Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

State Department Publishes New Proposed Rule Notice for SWT

Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2017 at 10:48 pm.

By Nathan Arnold, Director of Press Relations for Educational and Cultural Affairs

The Federal Register for January 12, 2007

The Federal Register for January 12, 2007

Today, we published a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Summer Work Travel Program” to the Federal Register. Through February 27, 2017, the State Department will be taking comments on proposed changes to the regulation that governs the J-1 Summer Work Travel Program. Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa

Making Peace One Exchange at a Time

Posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 at 9:07 pm.

By Marcellin Niset, J-1 Secondary School Student from Belgium
This story was originally featured on Rotary Voices

participant standing in front of sign saying Welcome to Alaska

Belgian Exchange Student Marcellin Niset in Alaska

The Italian-American author and actress Vanna Bonta wrote, “There’s no hospitality like understanding.” That quote stuck with me as a Rotary Youth Exchange student to Alaska in 2015-16. I arrived in Alaska, a wilderness filled with beauty and love, determined to make my exchange purposeful and beneficial for myself, my host community, and the world.

An exchange is not only about a student going abroad, it is about all the people that make this exchange possible, and the ones that are impacted, directly and indirectly. Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

U.S. Embassies Engage J-1 Participants to Strengthen Relations

Posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 2:22 pm.

J-1 alumni and prospective participants having conversation in front of a photo display

J-1 Summer Work Travel alumni and prospective participants socialize and enjoy the photo exhibit.

The State Department is serious about relationship building with our exchange participants. That’s why we support alumni networks around the world. Recently, many of our embassies have increased efforts to engage participants from J-1 privately-funded jexchanges, so that the investment participants have made in their futures can be leveraged through association with other participants. We are excited to include these participants in our long-term alumni networks and outreach, and have seen much interest from participants to stay in touch with our embassies overseas.
Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

Relationship Building: The Heart of International Exchanges

Posted on Thursday, February 18th, 2016 at 9:21 pm.

Darra Klein (right), and her lifelong friend, David Čeljuska (center) attending Baltimore’s annual Slovak festival in 2001 with another friend.

Darra Klein (right), and her lifelong friend, David Čeljuska (center) attending Baltimore’s annual Slovak festival in 2001 with another friend.

“International exchanges – especially those for young people taking the first steps of their professional lives – are strong and life changing experiences. It’s important to keep the international connections you make during an exchange alive because they have a powerful impact on your life, as well as others. Let’s face it, at the heart of it, international exchanges are about the relationships you make and maintain.”

Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

The Whole Shebang for Camp Counselors in Pennsylvania

Posted on Friday, November 27th, 2015 at 5:27 pm.

camp counselors pose together with a horse

Hannah Bolger, Graeme Brown, Georgia Tibke, and Leia Jones stand with Camp Hilltop’s favorite horse.

As the cold settles in here in Washington, D.C. and the Northeastern United States, I want to revisit summer. My colleague Travis Parsley made a visit to Wayne County, Pennsylvania, during summer camp season. I will let Travis take it from here. Enjoy. Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

J-1 Volunteers Get Inspired by the 2015 NYC Marathon Experience

Posted on Thursday, November 5th, 2015 at 4:07 pm.

J-1 Exchange Visitors hand out water to runners during the NYC Marathon

Who needs water? During last Sunday’s grueling New York City Marathon almost EVERYONE needed water, and – especially between mile markers 17 and 22 – there was a good chance the smiling person with the extended hand offering water and Gatorade was a J-1 Exchange Visitor. Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

#RouteJ1 Participants Stepping Up to Support the NYC Marathon

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2015 at 3:38 pm.

While everyone in New York at this time of year shares the sweet anticipation of the upcoming Halloween festivities, for more than 50,000 runners from 135 countries it also means gearing up for a different kind of sweet treat: the proud accomplishment of completing the NYC Marathon. Among the 10,000 volunteers helping out at the world’s largest marathon on Sunday, you will find more than 850 of our J-1 participants. Experiencing the American tradition of volunteerism first hand, they will distribute water, cheer on athletes from their home countries, and share their cultures with their fellow volunteers and the runners.

Remarks by Miriam Vadria from Pakistan, J-1 masters degree student at Columbia University

[Interviewer] What are you excited for?

[Miriam] I am extremely excited about being at the New York City Marathon on Sunday, the 1st of November. Hi, I’m Miriam Vadria from Karachi,

Pakistan. I got a J-1 Visa because of a Fulbright Scholarship from Pakistan. And I’m doing a MBA degree here from SIPA at Columbia. I’ll be

volunteering at the New York City Marathon the first of November. I’ll be at fluid mile station 16. And I’ll be handing out water to all the runners

who are going to be doing hard work! And I specifically want to wish Hamna Zubair very good luck who is running for the cause of education in Pakistan.

[upbeat background music]

Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

J-1 Participants Gain Cutting Edge Experience in Silicon Valley

Posted on Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 at 4:21 pm.

Young people always dream about what they will be when they grow up. Will they bring about world peace? Will they end poverty? Will they win an Oscar for their moving documentary? Will they invent the next big thing that radically changes technology? Here in the J-1 world, we jump out of our seats and cheer each time the J-1 internship program brings those young dreamers closer to their life-changing goals. It is a noisy place around here.

I took Route J-1 to California’s Silicon Valley recently, where the world’s most innovative tech companies are hosting J-1 interns and turning dreams into action. I sat down with up-and-coming tech whizzes from all over the world at Cisco and Facebook. Through these J-1 programs, international students supply the dreams while their hosts teach them to turn their big ideas into programs and tools.


DAS Lerner meets with J-1 Interns at CISCO.

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

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About G. Kevin Saba

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange

G. Kevin Saba

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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