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US Work and Travel Program


What is Work and Travel?

This is a cultural exchange program of the US State Department. It allows current full-time university students of any course, 18 - 25 years old and preferably in their second or third year of university, to enter the US on a J1 visa. Participants get to meet other foreign nationalities and learn about American culture while working in a private company during their summer break.


At the end of their work experience, students also have the opportunity to travel around the US. In turn, in the true nature of a cultural exchange program, the participant will enrich the lives of other people in their assigned communities by giving them the chance to learn about each other’s culture and country.

The time spent in the US will be filled with opportunities to meet new friends, learn new skills, overcome challenges, help gain independence, and prepare the participant for the future that will be increasingly dependent on international cooperation and cross-cultural understanding.


Frequently Asked Questions


How long is the Work and Travel Program?

This is a 3 – 4 month summer program, usually from March to June every year. The approval document, called DS 2019, defines the start and end dates of the program. J1 visa holders are given extra 30 days for travel after their work experience concludes, depending on allowable dates by the university.


Where will I be placed?

Anywhere in the US on a first come, first served basis. The participating companies are usually resorts, hotels and restaurants, theme parks, and retail stores. These are situated in the suburbs or outside the major cities.



How many hours do I work a week?

Approximately 20-30 hours per week. Some companies have overtime and holiday work hours  that are paid extra. In some cases, students are allowed a second job, subject to the approval of the US sponsor.


Do I get paid? How much money will I make? When do I get paid?

You will receive an allowance, between $7.25- $11.00 per hour, or around $ 1,000.00 per month, depending on the position, hours worked, host company and location. Typically, you will get your allowances weekly or every two weeks.


Where will I stay during my program? 

Students will either be assisted by their host company in securing their housing or provided accommodations within the company facilities. In all cases, the student will pay for accommodation. In some situations, a deposit due prior to arrival or upon arrival in the US is required, and/or a non-refundable housing search fee.


There must be a satisfactory turnover of the apartment at the end of their stay, or else the students will be charged for repair of any damages to the room. The room must be left in good condition, or else the student will be liable for all the costs to return it to the same condition as when they moved in.


The students provide for their own food. In some cases, they are given free or subsidized meals at work. Students living in dormitories do not have kitchens but are allowed use of the pantry with re-heating facilities.


When should I start applying?

Please refer to the schedule of document submissions.


Do I have to pay anything to join?

A deposit is required upon submission of initial requirements. Balance of all the fees is due once the applicant has been hired and before signing the placement confirmation form. Please refer to the process flowchart for the total costs and schedule of payments.


What do I get for my fee?

  • Program orientations and briefings together with parents and/or authorized guardians
  • Assistance in processing applications
  • Guaranteed placement prior to arrival, J-1 Visa Documents such as DS 2019, Placement Confirmation Form / Job Offer and SEVIS
  • Assistance in securing Social Security card
  • Health and accident insurance for the duration of the program and based on DS-2019 program dates.
  • Monitoring and support throughout the program, including a 24-hour toll-free emergency phone number
  • Pre-Embassy interview evaluation and cultural integration seminar
  • Pre-Departure orientation seminars and Post-Arrival program debriefing


In the event that I cancelled my application, would I get a refund of my fees?  

Most  fees are refundable based on the schedule in the process flowchart.


What are the requirements? Do I need to have specific skills?

The student should be willing and able to learn and perform the job he/she has signed up for, as indicated in the placement. Some practical experience will be an advantage to the participant, since he/she will have a better understanding of what to expect and is usually more motivated to do the job.


Do I need to be good in English to join?

It is important that the students have good conversational English to communicate with their peers and supervisors and at the same time, understand instructions well.  Language ability is a must to have a credible J1 visa interview at the consulate.


Do I need to get a visa for this program?

The applicant will apply for a J1 visa, otherwise classified as the Cultural Exchange Visitor’s Visa.


Is it guaranteed that I will get a visa?  

NO. Only the US embassy consuls have complete authority to approve or deny issuance of visa. FPI and our US partners are not responsible for visa denials. However, FPI provides assistance in preparing for the visa interview, such as guidance and review of  documents and other requirements.


Do I pay taxes?  

Yes. You will pay state, federal, or city tax.  You must complete documentation before the start and end of your stay so that you can qualify for a tax refund. Participants are also required by the US Government to file an Income Tax Return, where it will be determined if participant is entitled to tax refunds.


Can I participate in the Work and Travel again?  

Current sophomore students may join the program again for as long as you still have one more academic year on your return.


Can I get academic credits for my experience?  

Giving of academic credits is at the discretion of the schools. The schools have the option to give academic credits to the summer experience.

Related Links
Events & Schedules

Orientation Schedules:


Canada Study and Work Program orientations take place at 2:45 PM, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, at our free online Zoom call sessions. Sign up at the following link: 


Canada Study and Work Applications are now OPEN!


Applications for the Canada Study and Work Program now OPEN. Students are encouraged to attend the program orientations held online for free!


You may also attend our orientation programs held at our offices in UP Diliman and in Cebu. For more details, sign up at the following link:  


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