If you are working through a Foreign Partner Agent in your home country, assistance with flight arrangements will be given to you. If you applied without the assistance of a Foreign Partner Agent and once you have received your passport with the J-1 visa and your DS-2019 Form from the U.S. Embassy, you are ready to book your flight to the U.S. You must book a round trip ticket. We strongly encourage you to book a ticket that can be changed without a fee or with a small fee in the event that your travel plans may change. Remember that the earlier you can get all of your paperwork done, the cheaper your flight tickets will be. Check for student and youth airfares with your local student travel agency, the specific airline you choose to fly with, or on websites such as:

When packing for your trip to the U.S., please remember to keep the following items in your carry-on baggage. Do not pack these documents in your checked luggage, as you will not have access to them until after you have cleared U.S. Immigration:

  • Passport with J-1 visa
  • DS-2019 Form
  • Evidence of financial resources (e.g. bank /credit cards, cash)
  • GEC Work Agreement Form that includes contact information for your work site of activity
  • Any other valuables (i.e. laptop, camera, fragile items, etc.)
  • Insurance Information
  • U.S. address where you will be staying upon arrival including any transportation information or arrival instructions that you have received.

The documents are very important and must be presented to U.S. Customs & Border Protection at your arrival airport. These documents are very important so you should make photocopies and give them to a trusted friend or family member. In the event that your documents are lost or stolen, the copies will be useful in helping you to get them replaced.

Important reminders for health

  • It is important to take care of all dental work prior to leaving for the U.S. Your health insurance policy does not cover routine dental care and benefit limits are small for acute onset pain.
  • It is important to have a physical checkup prior to your departure for the U.S. Your health insurance policy does not cover routine medical care or pre-existing conditions.
  • Pre-existing condition(s) and/or diagnosis are not covered under your J-1 insurance policy. Please be sure to bring an adequate supply of any current medication(s) for the duration of your program.
  • Read through the complete insurance details that can be found under the “Program Materials” link within your GEC record to prepare for a healthy summer.