Letter from the Editor
Our winter CIEE Work & Travel USA students are arriving and our summer participants just experienced a summer they’ll always remember and cherish! The reminders of their cultural exchange experiences are still appearing daily on our social media accounts – such as Instagram where pictures are flagged with the hashtag #CIEEWorkTravelers – as they share their summer with CIEE and the world.
We also had a period of uncertainty about the future of the J-1 Summer Work Travel program (and other J-1 cultural exchange programs). CIEE thanks you, our employers, for your support in advocating for the importance of this program, which is essential to businesses, communities, and lives across this country. The stories you shared, along with your calls and emails to elected officials, have sent a strong message. This program is invaluable to your business and communities and is a highly impactful public diplomacy tool. The outpouring of support for J-1 programs has not gone unnoticed, and while we cannot predict what the future holds, we are optimistic. With this in mind, CIEE and the J-1 community are moving forward. While we continue our advocacy efforts, we also remain focused on providing the best programs and experiences for all our stakeholders – our employers, our International Representatives, the communities we live in, and, most importantly, our students. On November 16, we invited you to join us on a conference call to provide an update on advocacy and the landscape of the program. For those who attended, thank you for joining. If you missed this and would like additional information, please email me and I’d be happy to share the content.
In this edition of Exchanges, you’ll read more about how CIEE is moving forward! You will learn about the industry’s advocacy efforts and how CIEE is educating, training, and preparing our network of International Representatives to recruit the best students and set expectations that will lead to successful programs. We also share how CIEE is engaging our alumni to tell their stories about program impact. Finally, we have information to prepare our winter employers to welcome our participants who are about to embark on their cultural exchange journey.
Thank you for taking the time to read the important updates below, and for your commitment to and focus on the future health of CIEE Work & Travel USA. You are valuable partners and help contribute to impactful cultural exchange programs. We could not do this without you!
Cara Mills, Director, Employer Relations