J-1 Exchange Visitor Programs leave a lasting impression on both participants and host communities. I see it everywhere I go. This year, I was excited to meet four amazing participants who have dreamed of building their skills in the United States, but needed some assistance to make their dreams a reality. Through an innovative new program developed by their sponsor, these four received scholarships to participate in the SWT program – and are now excelling in their respective placements. The scholarship idea was a way to support stellar participants from countries that have historically lower participant levels in the program. Read More ›
For the past few years, a number of sponsors across the country, in partnership with the Alliance, have encouraged their participants to take a whole day – or even a few hours – and participate in something bigger than all of us, giving back while having fun. Called, “J Day”, it has become a tradition, and is a part of the broader emphasis on cultural activities within the Summer Work Travel program. Yesterday, people across the country used the hashtags #CelebrateJDay and #eatplaygive and showed us some of the amazing ways J-1 participants impact U.S. communities.
As I wrote from Florida, I am on the lookout for J-1s wherever I go this summer. While up in New England visiting family last week, I made my way to the iconic Mt. Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. A living history book, it opened in 1902 as a luxury summer residence for wealthy city dwellers who were carried by train almost straight to the hotel doors. Nestled in the White Mountains, it is a popular destination for hikers, as well as ghost hunters, international monetary policy wonks, and J-1 Summer Work Travelers and Trainees. Read More ›
In this post, my State Department colleague Stacey Gomelsky describes her recent experience volunteering with J-1 Au Pairs in Washington, D.C. (Photo credits to Yupa Khin Nyunt.)
“We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill Read More ›
Route J-1’s subtext is “Discovering the World in Your Hometown” because of the sheer number of hosting communities all across the United States. People are often astonished to learn that the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program bridges communities in all 50 states with participants from 200 countries around the world. Two hundred! In every state! Our website’s handy tool allows you to see how many participants are currently on program in each state. The EVP brings to life international cultures and faraway countries for the American public. These days, as a part of my vacation preparation routine, I check to see if any J-1s are on program at my destination. Read More ›
The Fourth of July, U.S. Independence Day, is quite often the highlight of the J-1 summer, and the holiday leaves a strong impression on our visitors. We love to hear stories of participants being invited to experience the diverse ways in which Americans celebrate this important holiday. This year, we asked our Summer Work Travel and Camp Counselor sponsors to share some of their favorite Fourth of July moments. Below is a montage of some of them. These photos illustrate the cultural exchange that happens in neighborhoods all across the country, thanks to the phenomenal exchange visitors and support by local host employers and sponsors that make up the Exchange Visitor Program. Read More ›
In this post, my State Department colleague, Nadine Zaatar, describes her recent visit to Block Island, RI, where she met with the local community and J-1 exchange visitors.
J-1 Summer Work Travel participants are lucky to call Block Island home. A truly picturesque isle off the coast of Rhode Island, Block Island is home to over 200 Summer Work Travel (SWT) participants from 19 countries each summer. Block Island also happens to be the home of a volunteer community group with the mission of embracing these participants who help keep the island running during the busiest season. Read More ›
As you read this, J-1 SWT participants are landing in airports across the United States and heading to their summer destinations. Some are with friends, some on their own–all with unique expectations. I often remark about how ambitious, outgoing, and ready these students are for adventure. However, I want to see them coming on the program fully prepared for what lies ahead. I know from my own overseas experiences that flying across the world for a brand new experience without proper preparation and expectation-setting can bring on a strong case of nerves, even for the most seasoned traveler. Read More ›
I loved being up in New York to kick off the second summer Route J-1 roadtrip. After a day of inspiration at Liberty Island, I headed upstate to Bear Mountain, NY. Just an hour or so outside of the Big Apple, and you are in pristine nature.
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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.Read More
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