Route J-1


In Alaska, J-1 Participants See the Value of Our Ocean Everywhere

Posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 at 9:04 pm.

By Adriana Kusnirova, CCI Greenheart Senior Partner Relations Manager

J-1 participants attend the Weaving Watersheds project, a community-based Interactive, impermanent art experience.

J-1 participants attend the Weaving Watersheds project, a community-based Interactive, impermanent art experience.

In south central Alaska, the fishing community of Cordova cares so deeply about our oceans that you can’t escape the theme for even an hour while in town. A number of Summer Work Travel participants are also there this summer, experiencing Alaskan culture in this community tucked between the Prince William Sound and the Copper River watershed.

Our Ocean” is an initiative led by Secretary of State John Kerry to raise awareness about ocean-related issues around the world, such as marine pollution and sustainable fishing. At Greenheart International, we believe in the importance of protecting all parts of our environment – so this is an initiative we are excited about!

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Categories: Program Spotlight

J-1 Program Fosters Innovation and Global Perspective

Posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2016 at 8:29 pm.

By Jessica Rey Dubra, Marriot International Host Employer

Jessica Rey Dubra welcoming our new Summer 2016 J1 STARS from Spain.

J-1 participants from Spain enjoying lunch.

Get inspired! Read this question and answer style interview with host employer Marriott International.

Why did your organization decide to participate in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program?

At Marriott International, we believe that international education is a pathway that leads us to three absolutes: peace, innovation and mutual understanding. While sharing an evening meal at the family table and experiencing an average day walking in a J-1 participant’s shoes is a good start, learning alongside him from the same white board in the same classroom is a life changing experience. Moreover, it is a pathway to diplomacy over war and a pathway to lasting friendships that transcend age, race, or borders.

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Categories: Program Spotlight

Let’s Google it! J-1 Participants Explore Google NYC Office

Posted on Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 at 7:10 pm.

By Tanya Burovtseva, InterExchange sponsor organization

J-1 participants meet with Google employees.

J-1 participants meet with Google employees.

Arriving in a new country and embarking on a cultural exchange experience is not an easy task. Surrounding oneself with a network of like-minded individuals from the very beginning makes the J-1 Visa exchange program experience more interesting and fun.

InterExchange, one of the J-1 Visa sponsors, facilitated a series of weekly cultural meet-ups in its headquarters in New York City in June. These meet-ups helped participants learn about features of American culture and included discussions about cultural ambassadorship and the role of people-to-people diplomacy. The meet-ups also engaged exchange participants in cultural events such as a briefing session at the United Nations, sporting activities, and visiting major New York City attractions and landmarks.

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Categories: Program Spotlight

J-1 Long Beach Clean-Up Protects Our Oceans from Pollution and Debris

Posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 at 5:57 pm.

By Rachel Atterbury, Program Manager, International Culture & Career Exchange

Four teams, three picnic tables, two hot dogs=one great afternoon!

On Saturday, June 11, the hardworking interns packed their reusable bags to the brims with debris left out on the lovely Junipero Beach, which is located 20 miles south of Los Angeles, California. We partnered with an awesome, non-profit organization Surfrider Foundation who guided us in the shore clean up and many local volunteers also helped rid the litter from the soft sand. The bags holding the rubbish were weighed at the conclusion of the clean-up which was then used in the city’s statistical data for future studies. The waste collection certainly made us more conscious about how we need to pay closer attention to restoring our surroundings to their natural beauty.

Group of young people picking up debris from a shoreline

Karolina, Lead Activity Coordinator (Front) & J-1 interns from Korea work together in gathering the litter scattered on the beach.

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Categories: Program Spotlight

J-1 Community Supports Secretary Kerry’s Our Ocean Campaign

Posted on Monday, August 8th, 2016 at 9:31 pm.

By Lynette Evans-Tiernan, Director of Communication and Outreach for J-1 Program

OurOceanLogo

Have you ever stood on the beach with your toes nestled in the grainy sand, looking out at the vastness of the ocean’s awe inspiring beauty while listening to the soothing sounds of the waves as they crash against the shore? It’s a calming experience that always makes me feel reconnected to the natural world and Mother Nature.

We live on a blue planet. The ocean covers three-quarters of the Earth’s surface and provides 99% of the Earth’s living space. Not only is the ocean a shared resource that connects people – physically, culturally and spiritually – but it is also a driving force in the global economy, pivotal to food security, human health and scientific advancement, and home to a vast ecosystem that regulates climate and weather.

Our blue planet is fragile. It’s at grave risk – and it’s not happening by accident. Human activity is the cause. Rising levels of carbon dioxide are causing our oceans to acidify. Pollution endangers marine life. Overfishing threatens whole species as well as the people who depend on them for food and their livelihoods.

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Categories: Program Spotlight

J-1 Program Transformed an Intern into a Leader

Posted on Friday, August 5th, 2016 at 12:30 pm.

By Trish, J-1 Intern from the Philippines

Girl standing in front of flag pole with American flags

Trish posing in front of American flags

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Trainee Program has changed my life in many ways. It has allowed me to enhance my communication skills and I have learned how to multitask in a fast paced environment. I have met a lot of people from countries all over the world with different cultures, traditions, customs and beliefs, and many of them became my close friends.

Like most J-1 participants would say, this has been a life changing experience for me, not only in my professional career, but also in helping me build my interpersonal skills. Before I arrived in the United States, I had stage fright. I would literally start shaking if I stood up in front of a crowd. But when I started working at Kalahari Resorts, I was able to overcome my fear. I can’t believe that I now run the orientation for J-1 Work & Travel participants. I was also able to speak at the Wisconsin Dells and Lake Delton International Student Consortium to share my experiences. This was a very unforgettable experience for me because I never thought that I would be talking in front of foreigners without feeling shy. I have gained confidence and self-esteem through this program.

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Categories: Program Spotlight

Empowering Your People

Posted on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 at 9:33 pm.

By Carlos Mayogra Garcia, J-1 Trainee from Colombia

carlos mayora

Carlos Mayorga presenting his ideas to a 2016 MBA class at Inalde Business School.

I have been an entrepreneur for 12 years now, working on how to find the power to transform countries and empower people to build a foundation for sustainable development. I have witnessed how political decisions and policies create change in Colombia, but many of those public initiatives take more time than people expect. Through the Next Generation Leaders (NGL) program, The McCain Institute empowers NGLs to tackle these types of issues and search for the best practical solutions to positively impact communities.

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Categories: Program Spotlight

Celebrate J-1 Day with Us!

Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2016 at 1:09 pm.

By Lynette Evans-Tiernan, Director of Communications and Outreach, J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

J Day Logo

Eat. Play. Give.

What do those three words have in common? J Day.

J-Day is a nationwide celebration that brings J-1 exchange visitors together with their American hosts and local communities to celebrate and share cultural diversity, give back to their local communities, and have some fun too.

Group of J-1 participants holding a J Day logo sign

We invite you to celebrate the power of International Exchanges with us!

Get involved. It’s easy. Here are some suggestions:

  • Participate in a J Day event in your area. Most events are open to everyone. See a full list of events at http://www.alliance-exchange.org/CelebrateJDay.
  • Read about J-1 experiences and adventures on the Route blog. Don’t forget to check back later this week to see how J-1s across the country celebrated J Day.
  • And most importantly, share your photos and J Day experiences online using #CelebrateJDay.

Categories: Program Spotlight

Emmanuel Dabuo’s Unquenchable Thirst for Knowledge

Posted on Thursday, July 28th, 2016 at 8:53 pm.

By Shellie Weaver of Missouri, host mom of a J-1 Secondary School Student

Young black boy smiling holding a s'more

Emmanuel eating a S’more, one of his new favorite foods

Emmanuel Dabuo of Ghana befriended everyone from the moment he arrived. Whether at school, home, church, volunteer activities, or sporting events—he became the center of attention and achieved “movie star status” in our small community. His million-watt smile, genuine love of all people, hilarious giggle, and positive personality made him instantly popular. His willingness to step outside his comfort zone and try new things inspired others to be fearless. He reached out to those kids at school who were friendless, sitting alone in the cafeteria, and became their new best friend. His name means “God with us,” and it fits him well.

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Categories: Program Spotlight

Golfers Around the World Enjoy the Hospitality of a Former J-1

Posted on Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 at 4:04 pm.

By Daniel Grave, J-1 Summer Work Travel Alumni from the United Kingdom

Man standing with arms stretched wide near golf carts

Daniel Grave representing team UK at California Cup in Santa Barbara

Beginning in 1990 as a student from Portsmouth University, I spent two summers on the J-1 program with a good friend of mine.  It was the beginning of a journey that led to starting my own business, which last year served over 200,000 clients and is quickly growing to a world wide brand.

This was a unique J-1 program where I began to develop my entrepreneurial skills selling educational books door to door in the United States.  At first, I was a bit skeptical about going off to run my own business in America, but as my friend had done it before and the Southwestern program had been around since 1868, I thought I’d give it a shot.

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Categories: Program Spotlight

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About Keri Lowry

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Private Sector Exchanges


Keri Lowry is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchanges, where she oversees the Exchange Visitor Program, which brings over 300,000 foreign citizens to the United States annually to teach, study, home their professional skills, strengthen their English language abilities, connect with Americans and learn more about the United States.

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