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From FOMO to Family Medicine

Posted on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024 at 1:53 pm.

By Dr. Sushania Pryce

From as early as I can remember, my family physician inspired me to help others. His ability to care for everyone in the community, from old to young, left me in awe. It became my life goal to follow in his footsteps. Before entering medical school, I knew I wanted to become a family physician. After all, growing up in Oracabessa, Jamaica, a very rural community, that was the only type of doctor I knew. Fast forward to now, years later, I have traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to complete my residency training to become a family physician.

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

On this National Camp Day, read about Fiona’s remarkable journey of self-discovery as a retiree on a J-1 visa.

Posted on Tuesday, November 21st, 2023 at 7:40 pm.

A Leap of Faith

Fiona Griffin is an Irish BridgeUSA alum who spent two summers as a camp counselor in Wisconsin. On this National Camp Day, read about Fiona’s remarkable journey of self-discovery as a retiree on a J-1 visa.

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

World Space Week 2023: BridgeUSA Research Scholar has Lofty Plans for Nanotechnology

Posted on Tuesday, October 10th, 2023 at 7:08 pm.

Very proud of living in the Washington area.

Carles Corbella Roca, Ph.D., is a Spanish physicist who has recently completed his BridgeUSA exchange experience as a Research Scholar at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C. Given his focus on plasma methods for materials design and production, Carles’ work has potential for scientific application in space and makes him an ideal exchange visitor to spotlight during World Space Week 2023!

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

BridgeUSA College Exchange Visitors Seek to Advance Social Change in the Deaf Community

Posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023 at 1:51 pm.

During International Week of Deaf People and International Day of Sign Languages, we would like to highlight three Deaf BridgeUSA exchange visitors who are studying at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Gallaudet is a world renowned institution of higher learning which serves deaf and hard of hearing people to become the university of first choice for the most qualified, diverse group of deaf and hard of hearing students in the world, in addition to hearing students pursuing careers related to deaf and hard of hearing people. Its Office of International Affairs selects students who will create a “Global Gallaudet” that positively impacts the quality of life for the full spectrum of Deaf identities worldwide.

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

Eat, Play, and Give: Exchange Day 2023! 

Posted on Friday, August 11th, 2023 at 5:42 pm.

Today, we are highlighting community stakeholders and exchange visitors from around the world who came together to celebrate Exchange Day 2023.  For nine years, the exchange community has celebrated Exchange Day annually on the first Monday of August and it has grown to become a worldwide celebration of the power and breadth of cultural and academic international exchange.  On Exchange Day, participants, alumni, and their communities are invited to take part in service projects, reflect on the ways in which exchange programs have impacted their lives, and to continue to promote cross-cultural understanding.  Check out how Exchange Day 2023 was celebrated around the United States and round the world.

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

Member Feature: Celebrating Exchange Day with Greenheart International’s Haldis Toppen

Posted on Monday, August 7th, 2023 at 2:11 pm.

Written by: Haldis Toppen, Director of Communications, Greenheart International

In 2014, the Alliance set up a training for three sponsors in the Midwest – Cenet, Greenheart International and Spirit Cultural Exchange. It was a few years after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton implemented major changes to the BridgeUSA Summer Work Travel program, and the Alliance thought it would be a beneficial to take stock of these changes and for these three organizations to share some best practices they had learned and developed. It was during this training that the idea of Exchange Day (formerly J Day) was created.

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

It’s a Derby Dream, Meet Equine Trainee Ian Wilson from South Africa

Posted on Monday, July 24th, 2023 at 7:05 pm.

 June 14, 2023 CAEP

“I wanted to participate in the CAEP program because it has allowed me to chase my dream of breaking into the American thoroughbred industry, renowned for producing the world’s best racehorses through three centuries of materialist selection,” shared Ian.

“Being granted a student visa, the internship has provided both theory and practical aspects that have been the stepping stone needed to develop a career in the thoroughbred industry. This has been beneficial as one gains hands-on experience raising thoroughbreds, learning about their make-up, and how to manage them.

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

Diagnostic Science Lab Benefits from having International Trainee’s Skills/perspective

Posted on Friday, June 30th, 2023 at 5:36 pm.

Greenheart Exchange; Photo credit: Robert Harper and the team at IVD Solutions

Greenheart Exchange works with hundreds of globally-minded U.S. businesses who hire international interns/trainees through our Career Advancement Program (CAP). This Department of State-designated program provides career enhancing and cultural exchange experiences for bright, energetic international students, recent graduates, or professionals and allows U.S. businesses to tap into diverse skills and perspectives while increasing their visibility in today’s global marketplace.

We recently interviewed Robert Harper, Founder and CEO of IVD Solutions, who currently hosts George Temeng, a recent Masters in Biological Sciences graduate from the UK.  IVDS is composed of skilled engineers and scientists who develop innovative diagnostic tools and technology. IVDS’s mission is to discover scientific solutions that improve the quality of life through timely, accessible, actionable diagnostic information. Here’s what Mr. Harper had to say about his business and hiring a CAP intern/trainee with Greenheart.

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Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

U.S. Department of State Announces Updated Options for Form DS-2019

Posted on Thursday, May 11th, 2023 at 3:42 pm.

The Biden Administration’s effort to provide a simplified and seamless customer experience for the public took a great step forward today when the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), published an Interim Final Rule in the Federal Register that permits designated sponsors for the Exchange Visitor Program to digitally sign and electronically transmit the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J-Nonimmigrant) (Form DS-2019). The new rule is effective as of April 27, 2023. “We’re thrilled that sponsors can now digitally sign and electronically transmit the DS-2019 form,” said Director for the Office of Private Sector Exchange Designation, Karen Ward. “The new regulation will reduce costs, improve efficiencies for exchange program sponsors, and streamline Department of State exchange visitor visa processing.”
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Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

10th Anniversary of BridgeUSA’s Office of Private Sector Exchange Program Administration

Posted on Thursday, May 11th, 2023 at 2:52 pm.

May 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the Exchange Visitor Program’s Office of Private Sector Exchange Program Administration (OPA)

The J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program has undergone many changes since its creation through the Fulbright-Hays Act in September 1961.  At its core, the Exchange Visitor Program seeks to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. All foreign nationals that participate in the Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA)  inbound exchange programs travel on J-1 exchange visitor visas.  Over 90% of the approximately 300,000 annual J-1 exchange visitors participate in private sector programming spanning the J-1 visa categories of: Au Pair, Camp Counselor, College and University Student, Government Visitor, International Visitor, Intern, Physician, Professor, Research Scholar, Secondary School Student, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist, Summer Work Travel, Teacher, and Trainee.  Each year, ECA programs provide opportunities for visitors from roughly 200 countries and territories to experience U.S. culture and engage with Americans with the goal of increasing mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries.
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Categories: J-1 Visa, Program Spotlight

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About Rebecca Pasini

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange

Rebecca Pasini

Rebecca A. Pasini joined the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchanges in July 2023. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister - Counselor, Ms. Pasini has been an American diplomat since 1997.

Ms. Pasini previously served as the Director of Public and Congressional Affairs in the Bureau of Consular Affairs from 2021-2023. Other Washington assignments have included positions in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, the Office of Foreign Missions, and as a liaison to the Department of Homeland Security. She has also completed multiple overseas tours, including as Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs in Islamabad, Pakistan, and as the Consular Chief in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Other tours included Mexico City and Kuwait.

A Maryland native, Ms. Pasini has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University, a master’s degree in National Security and Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School, National Defense University, and an undergraduate degree from Mary Washington College.