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Summer Work and Travel USA Program

The Summer Work Travel program provides foreign students with an opportunity to live and work in the United States during their summer vacation from college or university to experience and to be exposed to the people and way of life in the United States.

Participants in the program must be post-secondary school students in an educational institution outside the United States who have completed at least one semester or equivalent of post-secondary academic study. Additionally they must possess sufficient proficiency in English and must be pre-placed in a job prior to entry unless from a visa waiver country. Applicants must be pre-placed in a job prior to entry. U.S. based exchange visitor sponsors will issue form DS-2019 once they accept applicants into their program.

Participants are allowed to work up to four months during their summer break and are generally allowed a grace period (usually 30 days) to travel in the United States after the end of the exchange program. The Summer Work Travel is not for visitors who only want to travel in the United States; to enter the United States as a tourist only the correct visa category is B-2.

See or FAQ for further information.

HISTORY OF Summer Work&Travel

The Summer Work Travel program was created by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Senator J. William Fulbright’s legislation to increase mutual understanding between Americans and the people of other countries.

This legislation created such important academic exchanges as the Fulbright Program, among many others.

In that legislation, Senator Fulbright also saw the need for work-based exchange programs like Summer Work Travel. 

Over 50+ years, Summer Work Travel has become the U.S.’ largest student exchange program. It is privately funded and costs nothing to the U.S. taxpayer. In addition to its diplomatic and foreign policy benefits, the program has evolved to provide important economic benefits to U.S. host businesses and seasonal communities. 

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