Route J-1


#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]

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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.

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DAS Lerner meets with J-1 Interns at CISCO.

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

A Few Things to Know About Our J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program

Posted on Friday, October 9th, 2015 at 9:20 am.

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J-1 exchange visitors jump for joy in the Nation’s capital

This week, I wrote a State Department blog outlining a few things you should know about the J-1 Visa program, in hope of reaching a larger audience. While the program is well known abroad and to the readers of Route J-1, many Americans are unaware of the amazing work being done by J-1 participants. Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

J-1 Exchange Visitor Program in the Outer Banks

Posted on Thursday, October 1st, 2015 at 6:37 pm.

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DAS Lerner and members of the J-1 International Student Outreach Program (ISOP) group in Outer Banks, North Carolina

Autumn begins this week, and with the change in seasons we have closed out our concentrated summer monitoring and travel for 2015. Route J-1 will continue, of course, so keep checking in. Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

Building Bridges with Cuba

Posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2015 at 7:46 pm.

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Sitting on a panel during the “Building Bridges: Strengthening Educational & Citizen Exchange Linkages” symposium

Last week we held a symposium at George Washington University, here in Washington, D.C. on “Building Bridges: Strengthening Educational & Citizen Exchange Linkages,” following the opening of official diplomatic relations with Cuba. The idea was to bring together those who work with exchange programs to discuss our new U.S. approach on engaging people-to-people with Cuba – of which J-1 plays an integral role. Read More ›

Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants

Take Me Out to the Ballgame: J-1 Participants Experience America’s Pastime at Nationals Park

Posted on Monday, August 31st, 2015 at 4:30 pm.

J-1 exchange visitors pose with George Washington – one of the Running Presidents at Nats Park. (Photo credits to Kevin Morgan)

J-1 exchange visitors pose with George Washington – one of the Running Presidents at Nats Park. (Photo credits to Kevin Morgan)

Recently, my colleagues Ethan Bursofsky and Julia Saltzman joined more than 200 J-1 lifeguards, their sponsor, and host employer representatives at a Washington Nationals game to experience a great American pastime: baseball.
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Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

J-1 Participants Champion Disability Rights

Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 at 8:16 pm.

The United States has been a longtime leader in promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. In fact, championing disability rights is a core part of our foreign policy goals. The State Department recently commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and we used this opportunity to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in international exchanges. This summer, my colleagues Carolina Pena and Stephen Hill from the Office of Compliance had the privilege of visiting a camp for children with disabilities in Southampton, New York, which hosts several J-1 Camp Counselors and SWT (Summer Work Travel) participants each year. You can read all about their visit below!

Compliance staff members Caroline Pena and Stephen Hill with Camp Directors David Billingham and Thomas Naro and camper

Compliance staff members Carolina Pena and Stephen Hill with Camp Directors David Billingham and Thomas Naro and camper

Southampton Fresh Air Home, a camp for physically challenged children, has been an oasis for kids with special needs since 1901. With a range of activities uniquely adapted for them, children with physical disabilities grow their self-confidence, learn new skills, and develop positive attitudes. The camp hosts J-1 Camp Counselors and Summer Work Travel (SWT) participants, who bring cultural diversity and make meaningful connections with the staff and campers.

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

Summer Work Travel Exchange Visitors Bring International Flavor to the Yellowstone National Park

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2015 at 1:48 pm.

In addition to the rodeo, my colleagues Stacey Gomelsky and Nadine Zaatar also made their way to Yellowstone National Park, the second leg of their tour of Wyoming. You can read about their visits with J-1 exchange visitors at this famous and historic location.

Old Faithful, a cone geyser in Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful, a cone geyser in Yellowstone National Park

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

J-1 Exchange Visitors Experience a Legendary Western Tradition – the Rodeo

Posted on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 3:00 pm.

Earlier this summer, my colleagues Stacey Gomelsky and Nadine Zaatar traveled to Wyoming, where they attended a rodeo event with J-1 participants.  You can read all about it below.

Bison roaming in front of the Grand Tetons

Bison roaming in front of the Grand Tetons

Wyoming is a state best known for its diverse ecosystems of scenic mountain ranges interspersed with sparkling rivers and alpine lakes, vast green landscapes stretching to the horizon, free-ranging herds of bison, and frequent human encounters with bears.  Wyoming is also known for its enduring “Western spirit,” which for Americans summons images of pioneers heading across the open range into the new frontier of early America.
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Categories: J-1 Visa, Participants, Program Spotlight

Scholarship Programs Make Dreams into Realities for Participants

Posted on Monday, August 10th, 2015 at 8:09 pm.

At the Civic Leadership Summit with Mahmoud Sadek, Aly Metwaly, Ghadeer Abu-Rass, and Manuel Guerrero

At the Civic Leadership Summit with Mahmoud Sadek, Aly Metwaly, Ghadeer Abu-Rass, and Manuel Guerrero

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 ›

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 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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