J1 Visa Sponsor Q&A

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This J1 Visa Sponsor Q&A post begins our interview series where we invite cultural exchange industry leaders to discuss their role in the J1 internship & training programs. Today we we will be talking to Craig Brewer, who is the responsible officer for the J1  trainee program at International Student Exchange (ISE).

Craig is also the Responsible officer for the CSB Summer Work Travel Program, another J-1 visa program that helps college students come to the US for a cultural program during their summer break from college. Let’s start with our questions.

Tell us a little about International Student Exchange.

International Student Exchange is an organization that operates a J-1 visa high school exchange program and a J-1 visa trainee program. Basically, ISE assists high school students by finding host families and schools for them as well as supervising them during their stay in the USA. ISE also operates the J-1 trainee program, helping graduates and professionals from abroad to experience a 12 or 18 month internship type program in the USA.

When people describe ISE as a sponsor, does it mean that you provide funding for the program?

ISE is a sponsor organization. This means that ISE has the designation from the US Department of State to operate the program. All trainee participants are charged a fee to participate in the program.

When a trainee pays visa sponsor program fees, what do they get for this money?

A trainee will pay a fee to be enrolled in the ISE trainee program. ISE will assist the trainee with any paperwork and attempt to assist with any questions regarding J1 visa application process in his/her home country. ISE will arrange health insurance for the trainee and monitor the trainee, assisting with any issues while the trainee is in the USA.

When, if ever, should trainees be in touch with their J1 visa sponsor?

Trainees can be in touch with ISE as often as necessary. Trainees should feel free to contact ISE with any questions or issues. ISE does send out training program evaluations and will contact trainees by phone during the program as well.

You have worked with IIUSA for a number of years. What can you tell about the company and IIUSA interns?

ISE has worked with IIUSA for a number of years. IIUSA has been very successful in assisting trainees with placement to a host site. IIUSA has taken great care to insure that the trainees that they work with have been given an opportunity to be introduced to a trainee position that will benefit their future career.

What options do trainees have if they can’t find an internship in the US?

Not all potential trainee candidates are eligible for the J-1 trainee program. If you are not eligible for the J-1 trainee program in the USA you may want to explore work related programs in other English speaking countries such as England or Australia.

If trainees have more questions for ISE, who should they contact?

If a potential trainee has a question regarding the ISE trainee program they can feel free to send an e-mail to ISE at ryan@iseusa.com

Thanks to Craig for taking his time to answer our questions! Hope you have a better understanding of what J1 visa sponsors do.


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International education will change the world! J1 visas, F1 visas, OPT - been there, done that. Worked for a J1 sponsor, owned a technology business. Trail runner. Love search engines and Soviet history. Have a question about internship programs? Let's connect!

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