Recruit for the Work and Travel Program

Bring diversity to your workplace by hiring a Summer Work and Travel participant.
  • Overview

    Interested in becoming a Greenheart Exchange international sending partner?

    As a J-1 visa sponsor designated by the U.S. Department of State, we work with a network of sending partners from around the world. Together, we invite international university students to the U.S. to spend their academic summer break on the Summer Work and Travel program.

    While engaging in cultural exchange, participants work in seasonal positions in various industries located throughout the U.S. In addition to building invaluable life skills, participants receive the opportunity to immerse themselves in U.S. culture, improve their English, make new friends, and so much more!

  • Program Options

    Greenheart Exchange offers two program options (pending country):

    1. Self Placement (SP): The participant secures a job offer on their own. Once a position is found, the participant submits a Self-Arranged Job Offer (SAJO), along with their application to Greenheart Exchange. Greenheart then screens, vets and approves all placements prior to acceptance.
    2. Full Placement (FP): The participant is placed with a well-established and quality host organization based on experience, skills and job availability. Participants may complete an in-person interview with a desired host organization at an international Job Fair or through a virtual interview with the host organization or a Greenheart staff member.


    Participants on the Full Placement program may have the following options available:

    Job Board

    The online Job Board is a tool for participants to view and apply for available jobs with our pre-screened host organizations. This portal allows participants to view openings, and for host organizations to receive, review and manage applications.

    Virtual Interviews

    Virtual interviews via Skype are a way for participants to talk with host organizations or Greenheart Exchange staff members about the position they are applying for. This is an opportunity for participants to ask questions about the host organization and get a better idea of the cultural activities in the area.

    Virtual interviews can be conducted throughout the hiring season, but many are done when host organizations gather in Chicago for our Greenheart World’s Fair (GWF). During the GWF hiring event, Greenheart Exchange will coordinate with you to finalize interview styles and schedules for participants.

    Job Fair

    Hosting a Job Fair creates a comfortable environment for participants to interview with desired host organizations face-to-face. The Job Fair is a four-day event in the participant’s home country, with the hiring event typically taking place on the third day.

    As the sending partner, you are responsible for the following:

    • Recruiting the agreed upon number of participants
    • Airport transfers
    • Meals
    • Securing three nights hotel stay
    • Organizing a Greenheart volunteer project
    • Offering a cultural tour of the Job Fair city
    • Organizing an event with alumni and U.S. Embassy representatives
  • Partner Responsibilities

    As an international sending partner, you are responsible for the following:

    • Identifying suitable candidates for Greenheart Exchange’s Work and Travel program
    • Providing interested candidates with program information and application materials
    • Screening for English language proficiency
    • Verifying and checking all applications
    • Submitting complete applications to Greenheart Exchange for review and processing
    • Communicating directly with applicants during the application process
    • Assisting participants in obtaining the necessary visa from the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate
    • Assisting with making travel arrangements
    • Conducting pre-departure orientation
    • Serve as home country contact in the event of an emergency
    • Maintaining regular hours, checking email daily and providing Greenheart Exchange with updated contact information
  • Timeline

    We are updating our timeline. Come back soon!

  • Placements

    Where do our participants work?

    • Hotels
    • Restaurants
    • Amusement Parks
    • Waterparks
    • Retail Stores
    • Campgrounds
  • FAQs

    I am a new business, can I partner with Greenheart Exchange’s Work and Travel program?

    Greenheart Exchange will consider your request, however, we rarely partner with businesses that have less than 2 years of experience and/or have not previously sent students to the U.S. on the Summer Work and Travel program.

    When is the best time to inquire about partnering with Greenheart Exchange’s Work and Travel program?

    The best time to contact Greenheart Exchange regarding the Work and Travel program is between August and November. We are, however, always available to connect and answer any questions.

    Do program participants receive health insurance through Greenheart Exchange?

    Participants receive health insurance coverage during the dates listed on their DS-2019 form. They will have access to an online claims and service center, along with native language phone assistance 24 hours a day. If participants are in the U.S. outside of their DS-2019 form dates, law requires them to purchase additional insurance through Greenheart Exchange or another health insurance provider.

    What happens if a participant is injured while working?

    Job related injuries are covered by the host organization’s Worker’s Compensation policy. Participants must report injuries to the host organization and Greenheart Exchange to ensure that their injury is properly addressed.

    Are participants allowed to travel the U.S. upon completion of Greenheart Exchange’s Work and Travel program?

    The Summer Work and Travel J-1 visa includes a 30-day grace period for most countries. Participants that utilize this for travel within the U.S. must also be aware of U.S. Embassy restrictions in their home countries. Participants must return home by the date required by the U.S. Embassy in their home country. This is not negotiable.

    What supplemental documents are required for contracting with Greenheart Exchange?

    Greenheart Exchange takes due diligence in reviewing potential international sending partners (i.e., foreign entities) who assist in fulfilling our core programmatic functions that may be conducted outside of the U.S., such as screening and orientation.

    Greenheart Exchange reviews and maintains the following documentation for potential or existing foreign entities at a minimum of once per year:

    • Business License/Registration statement
    • Notarized statements from recognized financial entities that demonstrate the business solvency
    • Disclosure of any previous bankruptcy proceedings or pending legal actions
    • Written references from three current business associates
    • Written summaries of previous experience with the Exchange Visitor Program
    • Copies of criminal background checks of all owners and officers
    • Advertising materials for participant recruitment
    • English proficiency evaluation documents
    • Request for Operating Agreement
    What must be included in English proficiency evaluation documents?

    It is your responsibility as the sending partner to adequately assess each potential participant’s English level prior to enrollment. During contracting, you must submit documents explaining how you evaluate English levels, and must include minimally:

    • A written explanation of how English skills and levels are evaluated along with a detailed evaluation scale
    • A sample of a written English test and/or a list of the interview questions used with the evaluation scale included
    • Information about the staff member evaluating participant English levels
    Do participants receive Social Security Numbers and cards?

    Yes. After arriving to their host organization and validating their program in SEVIS, participants should wait a minimum of 10 days before applying for a Social Security Number in person. Participants must ask for a receipt to show that they have applied for a card, which should arrive to them within 6 weeks of application. Participants may work and receive pay as long as they have applied for a Social Security Number.

    Are participants exempt from Social Security, Medicare taxes and Unemployment taxes?

    Summer Work and Travel participants are in the U.S. on a J-1 visa and are considered non-resident aliens and should not have Social Security (FICA), Medicare, or Federal Unemployment (FUTA) taxes withheld.

    Are participants exempt from paying taxes overall?

    No. Participants are required to pay federal taxes, and state and local taxes if applicable. While participants are all university students in their home countries, the IRS does not consider them students while in the U.S. For tax purposes, Summer Work and Travel participants are considered non-resident aliens and must file a tax return. Participants are often eligible for a refund at the end of the fiscal year.

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