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About Cultural Exchange Programs and Your Business

With over 10 years of experience in the international cultural exchange sector, we understand that navigating the frequently changing rules and regulations can be time consuming and detract your from your business. Exchange Abroad acts as your partner to do it all recruit, place, train, and provide support.

Host Employer frequently asked questions about the Summer Work Travel Program and Seasonal Work Program.

Summer Work Travel Program

The State Department  Summer Work Travel Program is an Exchange Visitor Program designed to achieve the educational objectives of international and cultural exchange by involving young adults in the daily life of the host country through temporary employment opportunities, to return home to share their experiences, and to encourage Americans to participate in the educational and cultural programs in other countries.

FAQs

What jobs are not allowed?

The following are prohibited placements: positions in the adult entertainment industry, sales positions that require participant to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves, domestic help positions in private homes (e.g. child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur), pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators, operators of vehicles or vessels that carry passengers for hire and/or for which commercial drivers licenses are required, clinical care that involves patient contact. For the full list of prohibited placements, please see the "Program Exclusions" section on the Department of State website.

What is the pay scale for Work Travel participants?

Students must be paid the same as the wage paid to U.S. workers in comparable positions. At a minimum, it must also be the higher of the State and Federal minimum wages.

Does my company have to pay EA to request Work & Travel participants?

No. It is a free service for our host companies.

Do Work Travel program participants pay taxes?

Summer Work Travel Program participants pay all relevant federal, state and local taxes. Summer Work Travel Program participants are "EXEMPT" from Social Security (FICA), Medicare and Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA). EA also works with a preferred tax service provider for all of our program participants, as they are generally able to get back nearly all of the taxes paid once they file their tax return.

Will my company be responsible for accommodations, meals or transportation?

EA partners with our host companies to ensure that affordable and safe housing, and transportation is available for all of our placements. The safety and welfare of our students is of utmost importance. In cases where host companies do not provide housing or transportation, EA will ensure participants are provided with approved housing leads to select from prior to their arrival to the U.S. The more attractive your offerings (a free meal, company carpool, or available housing) the more students will want to work for you and the more successful the program experience will be overall.

Can I interview your candidates prior to acceptance?

Interviewing candidates in person is possible at EA recruitment fairs depending on the size of your request of students. We are also able to help arrange phone or Skype interviews when needed, or we can have EA staff interview on your behalf.

What is the official purpose of the program?

The State Department Summer Work Travel Program is an exchange visitor program designed to achieve the educational objectives of international and cultural exchange by involving young adults in the daily life of the host country through temporary employment opportunities and to return home to share their experiences. The program also aims to encourage Americans to participate in the educational and cultural programs in other countries. Today’s global markets require international work experience, and the value added by working in the USA is immeasurable to students from overseas.

Is there a regulation regarding minimum wage?

Summer Work Travel participants will receive the federal minimum wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  All of Work & Travel Program participants employed need to be paid the equivalent of their American counterparts.

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