Work and Travel USA

Summer Work Travel is a program started by the U.S. State Department in the 1960s for students from all over the world who want to visit America during their summer break. Not for those who just want to take a few pictures or videos, but for those who also want to earn some money.

Summer Work Travel gives you the chance to be more than a tourist, and we believe it's the greatest college experience.

 

Last year 90,000 students went to the States with the Summer Work Travel program. About 7300 were from Romania.
 

 

SUMMER WORK TRAVEL
PROGRAM HISTORY

In the 1960s the U.S. State Department laid the foundation for a series of programs that allowed young people from around the world to experience the American lifestyle for a limited period of time. Initially a program for travel alone, it gained momentum when the State Department realized that there were many students who wanted to visit the USA but also earn some money.

As a result, as part of the Summer Work Travel program students with J1 visas are now allowed to travel and work legally in the USA during their summer break. For Romania the program runs from June 15th to October 30th. Students may work until October 1st, then travel for up to 30 days afterwards.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

When you come to us, you can be sure you'll have the best selection of jobs and accommodations in the places you want to go. First of all, because we are leaders in the field of cultural and educational programs in United States, and second of all because we have a long list of trusted employers from which you can choose a job. To date we've sent thousands of students to the States, making us one of the most prominent Summer Work Travel companies in Eastern Europe.

 
 
 
 

Eligibility Requirements

You can go to the States if you are in one of the following categories:

FULL-TIME BACHELOR'S, MASTER'S, or
PHD STUDENT

You may attend either a public or private university, and it should be accredited. You must be less than 30 years old and at least intermediate English-language skills. Even if you’re not a Romanian citizen, if you study and live in Romania you are eligible for the Summer Work Travel program.

FINAL-YEAR/GRADUATING BACHELOR'S STUDENTS

You can still go the USA if you are in your final year of college, as long as you plan to continue your studies by applying to a master's or PhD program.

“FRESHMEN”

You can go to the USA as early as your first year of college, as long as you are a full-time student at an accredited university.

Since 2010, the USA Embassy in Bucharest has relaxed the eligibility conditions for the Summer Work Travel program: there is no minimum grade point requirement. However, it is still important to have good grades and few or no failed exams.

All students are invited to Work and Travel in the USA

So,
”All students are
invited to Work and
Travel in the USA”.

 
 

It’s not a trip. It’s not tourism.
It’s a journey.

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Prices and Options

We have three options for you. You can go independently (find your own job and housing), you can choose job placement for locations throughout the U.S., or you can choose a special package/specific destination.

 
1

INDEPENDENT

We help you get your visa; you must find your own job and housing. In this case, the Summer Work Travel program costs you 899 USD. If you've already done one Summer Work Travel in the USA, the independent option is 999 USD.
To simplify the process you can download a Work Placement Agreement for your employer to fill in.

2

JOB PLACEMENT

American Experience works with you and the Visa Sponsor to get the job you want. With this option your only concern is passing your exams and packing your bags for the summer. The price of this option is 1099 USD.

 
3
 

SPECIAL PACKAGE

If you want to go to one of the most sought-after destinations in the USA, then choose this option. You'll get the job and housing you want and live in a very cool location.

THE PRICE INCLUDES:

• Obtaining the legal right for you to work in USA
• DS-2019 form for the visa interview;
• Medical insurance;
• Briefing and orientation sessions;
• 24/7 assistance during the program period in the USA;
• Housing assistance during the program period.

 

Hurry up if you'd like a special package, as there are limited placements!
 

 
 
 
 
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Procedure

Sign up early, because there are several steps in the process…
 

 

But also because you have a higher chance of getting a good job and going to a more touristic destination.

Don't wait until the last week before summer break, because by then, no matter how fast we move it will be too late to get you to the States. Just like at a concert, the good seats are gone quickly. In our case, for Hawaii, California, and Ocean City you need to sign up early. This way, you have access to a bigger job list, and the visa process and paperwork are less stressful.

EMBASSY AND VISA

Before you arrive in the States, you need a j-visa that enables you to enter the country, then work and travel. You get one by going to a visa interview at the United States Embassy in Bucharest. The interviewer will ask standard questions about you, about your plans in the USA, about where you are going to work, etc. Our advice is to be calm and to be honest.

 

STEP

1

Choose your program option. Tell us if it’s going to be independent or with a job placement.

STEP

2

Sign up. Bring your ID (original and a copy) and your proof of student status so a program coordinator can help you fill in the signup sheet. You then have 10 days to pay the first installment of your program fee

STEP

3

Choose your job. (Or don’t choose one if you applied for the Independent option.)

STEP

4

Apply for your visa.

STEP

5

Get your plane ticket.

STEP

6

Come to our briefing and orientation sessions.

Your embassy file must have:

PASSPORT

DS 2019 FORM (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status)

DS-160 VISA APPLICATION FORM

VISA FEE
$160 as of April 13, 2012

PHOTO
must meet Embassy requirements.

 
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Jobs

The Summer Work Travel program was created for students that want to work and travel in the US during their summer break. American Experience offers jobs in areas and cities worth visiting as tourists. In fact, the reason why employers need more employees in those areas is that a great number of tourists visit these cities during summer. There are also lots of things to see! Las Vegas, Ocean City, Palm Beach, the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, Atlantic City, California, New England, Texas – there are a lot of places you can go.

Whatever position you have, it’s a temporary job, so you don’t need any special qualifications or tourism experience. If you are going to interact with the customers, your charm, communication skills, and your English knowledge will help you.

 

Your duties will be simple, so you will be able to do your job - especially since you will be trained by your employer.
 

 

SUMMER BREAK PERIOD

American employers need you beginning on June 15th, and you can work until October 1st. After that you may no longer work, but you can travel for up to 30 days after the end date on your DS-2019 form. You can arrange your return travel for this time, but keep in mind that August is when many American students return to school, so your chances to work extra hours or find a second job increase. For the widest range of choices, plan to arrive in June, and be sure to sign up for the program early.

WAGES, TIPS, OVERTIME

In the USA you have the same rights as an American citizen working the same job. If you are there as part of the Summer Work Travel program you are working legally, just like an American. You can easily find a second job, where you can work part-time. You can work as much as you want, and you can earn money from wages, tips, and overtime. Working full- time usually means 40 hours per week, and most employers pay for overtime at 150% of your regular wage.

HOW TO FIND A JOB?

There are several ways to find a job under the Summer Work Travel program. First, you can attend a Job Fair (we'll let you know when it's going to take place) where you can meet potential employers and discuss job details. You can show your personal and professional strengths. Most of the time personal contact helps you get the job in the end. Another option is to visit an AE office and consult the AE job list. You can also find your own job by getting in touch with friends that live in the USA or searching online. Be careful not to buy job offers from unauthorized people! Not only is it illegal, but you also risk not having a job when you get there!

 
 
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Medical Insurance and Taxes

There are a few things in United States that you should be careful about: medical insurance and income taxes.

 

In the USA, like everywhere, any income is taxable, and for any medical needs you must have insurance or you will have to cover all of your own expenses.
 

 

MEDICAL INSURANCE

SThe American Health System is different from ours. The biggest difference is that it is more expensive. Everything is paid by the patient. Subscribers (except retirees and disabled people) do not receive help from the Government to cover insurance costs. The hospitals are extremely modern and have up-to-date technology. If you have an accident and do not have medical insurance, you will be responsible for the cost of all medical procedures. All American Experience program participants have medical insurance that meets U.S. State Department requirements; it is included in the program free. The insurance is necessary for your journey abroad and can be used both in the USA and in transit countries.

Your insurance covers emergency medical expenses, early return to your home country (for medical reasons), emergency dental treatment, lost luggage, lost plane ticket, etc.

TAX RETURN

You will pay several taxes over the period you work in the States: federal and state taxes and sometimes Medicare or Social Security Taxes. American Experience can help you request a refund of your taxes and have them sent back to your bank account (we recommend a dollar account). The state and federal tax refund process takes from 30 to 90 days; Medicare and Social Security Tax refunds (usually not paid by Summer Work Travel participants) can take up to 6 months.

 
 
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Lifestyle

CULTURAL DISTINCTIONS

We're sure you've heard lots of stories, both good ones and bad ones, about Americans. You probably have some ideas about American society from movies and TV shows. The U.S. society is extremely complex and diverse. There are differences between Americans living in different geographical areas, in cities or in the countryside, and between different social classes. Added to that, there are millions of immigrants that add more variety and color to their culture.

Applicants should understand that the program's stipend or wages might not cover all of the program expenses, and applicants should bring additional personal funds to cover living expenses

 

Below we will present some ” typically American:” facts:
 

 

INDIVIDUALITY

Probably the most important American feature is that they see every person as an independent individual, with his own strengths and weaknesses, and they do not jump to conclusions despite their race, social status, and family. They emphasize the importance of equality, and their judgment is based on people's abilities. From birth children are taught to “stand on their own two feet,” to be independent. You may be surprised, but most American students choose the classes they want to attend, their leaders, and their careers without taking their parents' opinions into consideration. They make their own decisions.

Generally, Americans are very informal in relationships, even if there is an age difference. For example, students and teachers sometimes call each other by first name. In Romania it would be considered disrespectful, but it is a part of the American culture.

 

CULTURAL SHOCK

Culture shock is the process of adapting to a new and different country and culture. The weather, the food, the landscape, and the people you interact change, and they may seem strange at the beginning. It’s normal to feel shocked. When you get to know and understand them, the shock will disappear.

At the beginning it’s normal to feel nervous and home sick. In some cases you will experience low self-esteem and the need to talk to people from your country. You might even think you can’t make it on your own. The right thing to do is not to panic.

 
All Friends
 

OUR OFFICES IN USA

A home away from home, a place to find some friends, and a real hub from which to explore the American continent - with trips designed specifically for Summer Work Travel participants.

COMPETITION

One of the most important American values is the competitive spirit and the need to compete all the time with someone. You will find competition everywhere, friendly or not. This could be by breaking records or seeking to achieve in sports, business, or any other area. For example, books and movies are not always judged by quality, but for the number of sold copies.

Even if they are very competitive, Americans appreciate teamwork and the pursuit of a common goal.

 
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Our advices
 

Some Advice for Beating Culture Shock:

• Find something to do all the time. Watch a movie, go to a concert, take a walk. Avoid staying home and getting bored.
• Focus on the present, and don’t think about home all the time. You will see that you are surrounded by good things and fun things to do.
• Talk to people around you. Socialize, talk about yourself, and make friends you can spend your time with
• There are a lot of community activities, sports competitions, volunteering, or social events you can attend. Get involved!
• Go out, take walks, and explore the city. Your problems won’t go away if you keep sending emails to your parents.

We hope this gives you an idea about what living in the States means. For other details about living and working there and about American society, attend our briefing and orientation sessions.

 
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Why Go?

Most returned students tell us that their experience was more than they every thought it would be. The experience of a lifetime, one that wouldn't be possible at this age in Romania or any other European country. For the first time in their life they got to know themselves better. Or to quote one student, "a time of growing up.”

This is why you should visit us and talk to one of our representatives - or with one of the students that came back “the same person but not exactly the same.”

 

You can’t find out about “self improvement, " “crossing the ocean that splits you from yourself,” or “leaving as one man and coming back a different one,” unless YOU GO!!
 

 
 
 

Tibor Ritner

ORADEA - OCEAN CITY

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Tibor Ritner
 

Iulian Radu

BUCUREȘTI - OCEAN CITY

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Iulian Radu
 

Steliana Cosareanu

BUCUREȘTI - OCEAN CITY

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Steliana Cosareanu
 
 
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Work and Travel Loan

A few years ago we wanted to come up with a system to allow every student to apply for the program, despite their financial background. This is how the Work and Travel loan, offered by our partners - BRD Societe Generale, came to be. It’s the only loan of its kind in Romania (based on your future income) and is available only to Summer Work Travel participants.

It’s really simple: you receive money for all your expenses ($3,000 max), and you pay it back when return from the USA.

The application procedure is not complicated: come to one of our offices, sign up for the program, pay the first part of your program fee, and we will give you all the paperwork you need to get the loan. You can get from $250 to $4,000 to use for your program fee, visa fee, SEVIS fee, plane ticket, and pocket money until you get your first paycheck.

WORK AND TRAVEL
LOAN ADVANTAGES

• The loan amount is based on your future income

• You have 15 months to repay the loan

• There is a 14-month grace period during which you can choose to pay only interest plus an account management fee

• Payment in full of the principal is not due until the end of the grace period