You are participating in the J-1 Summer Work Travel program. The primary purpose of your J-1 program is for cultural exchange. Please note that you may not earn enough funds from working in the U.S. to recover the costs or expenses of your program. If you are only interested in making money, this is not the program for you. As part of your exchange, you are allowed to work in temporary or seasonal positions within the program start and end date on your DS-2019 Form. In addition, you are not entering the U.S. on a tourist visa (B2). You are required to work and to comply with the terms of your program and Training Plan.
The Exchange Visitor Program fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. As an exchange visitor in the U.S., you are required to return to your home/school country upon completion of your program in order to share your exchange experiences. GEC encourages you to share your cultural activity experiences with us by sending us photos and taking the time to share your experiences when you submit your monthly monitoring questionnaires.
Once you complete your program, you may travel in the U.S. for up to 30 days before returning to your home/school country provided you return before the official academic start date of your university. You will find more detailed information regarding employment and travel periods later in this handbook.
Below is a helpful guide of average expenses in the U.S. Exact costs will vary based on different locations throughout the U.S. This only serves as a guide to assist you with creating a budget based on your hours and the wages earned from your work agreement.
Be sure that the dollar amount of funds you are required to bring with you to the U.S. will cover your first several weeks of expenses until you are able to start earning money in the U.S.
|RENT||$600 – $1250 per month||(Based on a room in an apartment or house with shared kitchen, living room, bathroom)|
|RENTAL DEPOSIT||$100 – $500||Paid along with the first month’s rent, and may or may not be refundable|
|UTILITIES||$100 – $300 per month||May include electricity, water, phone, gas, trash pickup|
|UTILITY DEPOSITS||$25 – $150||May be required by some rental properties|
|GROCERIES||$150 – $500 per month||Based on your personal choices|
|PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION||$4.00 – $20.00||per one-way trip|
|PERSONAL TRANSPORT||$5.00 – $25.00||per one-way trip|
You will make a choice among great variety of seasonal jobs in the USA. You can work at restaurants, hotels, retail stores, amusement parks, ski resorts or national parks. GEC works with a number of well-chosen U.S. seasonal employers who provide reliable jobs with competitive salaries, and many even offer affordable housing.
Seasonal jobs usually let you earn enough money to use to travel around the country at the end of your program.
Below is a sample list of common work and travel job categories.
In accordance with the program regulations, you are not allowed to work at some certain kinds of jobs as in below.
The U.S. government requires all J-1 participants to be insured for the duration of their program. Failure to maintain insurance is a violation of your program and will result in the termination of your program even if your program has ended.