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Spotlight: International Representative Forum

On September 18 and 19, CIEE hosted an International Representative Forum with more than 100 attendees from nearly 50 countries for two days of training and meetings with CIEE staff at our headquarters in Portland, Maine. At this year’s forum, there was a focus on J-1 program advocacy and ways to keep student confidence in the program strong for the seasons ahead. CIEE hosts the forum biennially for Work Exchanges’ representatives to keep them unified, engaged, as well as up to speed on the latest program and policy updates. This allows us to set clear expectations for CIEE’s high performance standards.  

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CIEE currently has a CIEE Work & Travel USA representative network of 93 agencies recruiting in 64 countries and we continue to reach out and expand our network into new markets to further program accessibility, as well as fulfil our mission of reaching a diverse range of participants.

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CIEE representatives are our ears on the ground in sending countries; they share feedback with CIEE about student and university system trends, as well as maintain close relationships with U.S. embassies to facilitate positive visa results. Since CIEE International Representatives are the first point of contact for prospective students, it is critical they are well-trained to screen for the best candidates, provide clear and accurate program expectations, and promote the program in a constructive and accurate light. That is why we provide ongoing training to and are in constant communication with our representatives; it ensures they are up to speed on the latest CIEE policies and procedures.

Spotlight: Alumni Engagement

If you mention the word alumni to a CIEE Work & Travel USA participant, you’ll likely be met with a quizzical look. Why? Because this is a new concept to the majority of CIEE Work & Travel USA participants. Fortunately, CIEE is working to change that!

Many CIEE Work & Travel USA alumni return to their home countries and go on to have exceptional careers, working as change makers in their communities and around the world. This is often a direct result of their program participation and experiences. By connecting and engaging with our alumni, CIEE collects stories that demonstrate the benefits of program participation, highlighting the positive impact of our program. These stories add value for students, employers, and communities; they also enhance the importance of U.S. public diplomacy, which ensures program sustainability. As an alum of CIEE Work & Travel USA, our participants understand the power of international exchange: they come from all over the world to America to learn skills and share cultures. Not only do they return home better prepared to make a difference, but they become advocates for international exchange! Their stories matter; their programs matter. That is why engaging with our alumni is so important.

How do we engage?

After the program ends, participants are invited to join the CIEE Alumni Global Network. Here they can network with other CIEE alumni, gain professional experiences and resources, and learn about upcoming local CIEE alumni gatherings and online events. CIEE has a network of over 350,000 alumni from across our family of programs living and working in 170 countries around the world. This includes 220,660 Work & Travel USA alumni. Not only do we reach out to our alumni, but there are several ways they can connect with us, too: the CIEE Alumni website, the CIEE Alumni Instagram account, and the Work & Travel USA Ambassadors LinkedIn group. Even the U.S. State Department has an International Exchange Alumni group.

How can you help?

If your past participants are making change in their world, contact CIEE and also encourage these participants to get in touch with us directly to share their stories! Not only is storytelling a great way to reflect on the program experience, but it gives CIEE the chance to collect and share text, photos, and/or videos from alumni who want to tell others. In fact, to celebrate CIEE’s 70th anniversary, we went out to all our program alumni asking for stories. Atenea Rios Buzo, a CIEE Work & Travel USA participant from Glacier Park, won our video contest! This video speaks to the power of the program and the impact it has on our participants. By engaging our alumni, more stories like Atenea’s can be shared with the world and our program can continue to change lives.

 

 

 

On Your Mark! Get Ready! Go! Winter is Here!

It’s time to lay the groundwork for a successful winter season! Below are some best practices for communicating with your winter students, CIEE, and important program reminders and tips about how to facilitate a lasting cultural exchange experience with your students.

Connect With Your Winter Students

Your students are undoubtedly excited and nervous to meet you! Whether they just arrived or will arrive soon, it is important to open the lines of communication now to ensure a positive experience for everyone. If your students have not arrived yet, be sure to include the following in your welcome email:

  • An introduction to your company, with an explanation of what it is like to work there during the winter months
  • Company expectations, including dress and grooming requirements
  • An digital copy of your company handbook, if available
  • A packing list, including weather-appropriate clothing, linens, and so on
  • Basic travel instructions, with a more detailed reminder closer to the date of arrival
  • A schedule of what they should expect to do during the first few days after arrival
  • When they will receive their first paycheck
  • A message stating that you will be in touch again before departure
  • Information on how to contact you with follow-up questions
  • If you provide housing:
    • Send a description and photos, if available; also include information on how and when to sign up for housing, a reminder if they need to have a housing deposit ready upon arrival, and how to make roommate requests, if permitted
  • If you do not provide housing:
    • Send information regarding where and when to find affordable housing, and check in to be sure housing has been arranged prior to arrival

Below are a few things to remind students about within the first few days of arrival:

  • SEVIS: Students must call CIEE when they arrive in the U.S. to register in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). They should call CIEE at 1.888.268.6245 and provide their DS-2019 number, housing address, and phone number, if available.
  • Monthly surveys: It is a program regulation that sponsors communicate at least monthly with students. As such, CIEE requires all students to complete a monthly survey to let us know how their program is going. Please remind students to complete these monthly surveys in a timely manner.
  • Second jobs: It is a program regulation that students report second jobs to their sponsor. If you’re interested in hiring a CIEE J-1 student for secondary employment, please remind the student that he/she must have approval BEFORE beginning work at your company. Students can reach CIEE at 1.888.268.6245, or contact@ciee.orgfor more information on reporting second jobs.

You will also want to check-in with your students regarding these items:

  • Social Security: We ask students to wait 5 business days after registering in SEVIS before they apply for a Social Security number. However, we recommend they apply within 10 days of starting work. While it may take several weeks for social security cards to arrive, it is legal for students to work and get paid in the meantime—as long as they have applied for a Social Security number. Ask your students to provide you with a receipt from the Social Security office to confirm they have applied.
  • Opening a bank account: Provide your students with information about banks in the area, and the paperwork needed to open an account. We recommend creating a handout, which you can add to each student’s orientation paperwork. You can also post a flyer in your break room. Please note: national banks are preferred, as they may also have international branches.
  • Payroll and taxes: Every student must pay federal, state, and local income taxes, but do not pay Social Security tax, Medicare, or federal unemployment taxes.

 

Stay Connected with CIEE

Please contact us at any time; however, it’s especially important to contact us in these situations:

  • A student does not arrive as expected
  • A student has a medical emergency and sought urgent care
    • CIEE has a 24-hour emergency support line 1.888.268.6245
  • A student quits before his/her agreed job end date
  • There is a performance issue at work
  • The termination of a student’s employment

Take advantage of our website for more information on the program, and ways to support your students throughout the season!

Cultural Programming

Cultural exchange is the core of the CIEE Work & Travel USA program. As an employer, you have a fantastic opportunity to cultivate this exchange, which will help students understand what makes the United States special.

Here are some winter activity ideas:

  • Provide information about local winter recreation in your area
  • Create a bucket list for students, which can help them share what they hope to experience during their time in the U.S.
  • Organize a buddy system between your international and domestic employees
  • Organize a potluck, cookie decorating, or Valentine card-making party
  • Host a Secret Santa or secret snowflake gift exchange
  • Host a “Winter Olympics” game or party
    • The 2018 Winter Olympic games kick off in PyeongChang, South Korea on February 2!
  • Encourage students to volunteer by partnering with local charities and community organizations
  • Plan a group volunteer event around the holidays, such as caroling at a local nursing home
  • Utilize email or social media to update your students regarding schedules, things to do in your community, and fun activities they can sign up for (be sure to use hashtag #CIEEWorkTravelers)

Prepare Your Frontline and Domestic Staff

If you did not get a chance to join us for the CIEE Work & Travel USA Fundamentals webinar, please view this 20-minute recording. The webinar provides you, your supervisors, and frontline staff the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the CIEE Work & Travel USA program, the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, how to be an impactful cultural ambassador, and discusses the best practices for a successful winter. This is a great opportunity to get your team ready for the busy winter season.

If you and/or your managers would like to have a more extensive training to assist in effectively managing international students, watch our 30-minute webinar: Diving Deeper Into Cultures. Learn how to suspend judgement by adopting a practical tool and resource (D.I.V.E), which can help you and/or your managers become more effective during intercultural interactions.

As always, thank you so much for all that you do!

Letter from the Editor

CaraCircleAs we step into another busy summer season, it is important to pause and reflect on the tremendous impact the Work & Travel USA program has on our world. Each year, CIEE connects close to 20,000 CIEE Work & Travel USA students with fantastic employers across the U.S. As a result, this program leaves a lasting impression on you, your staff, your guests, your community and these young exchange visitors. By hosting students and introducing them to your community, you play an important role as a cultural ambassador to the U.S. We ask you to be intentional this summer with your exchange visitors; welcome them, get them involved in your communities, share your culture and take the time to learn about their cultures! By doing this, you will have an impact on the future of our world.

I also encourage you to consider joining an important initiative and coalition in support of the J-1 Summer Work Travel program (SWT), called Americans for Cultural Exchange. Advocacy for and awareness of the program continues to be important for the program’s success. Americans for Cultural Exchange is a non-partisan coalition of American businesses, chambers of commerce, business and trade associations, and community leaders who embrace and support international exchange programs, especially the Summer Work Travel program. The website provides facts about the program and its benefits to U.S. foreign policy and local economies. It debunks myths about SWT, features profiles of SWT alums, provides important resources and information, and includes a list of supporting host businesses, chambers, associations, and leaders. I encourage you to explore the site and if you wish to join, you may do so directly from the website. Your participation will strengthen advocacy efforts to support the Summer Work Travel Program.

Thank you for what you do to shape these students’ life-changing experiences and for your support of cultural exchange! Please do not hesitate to contact CIEE for any support or to share with us any of your participant stories throughout this summer. On behalf of everyone at CIEE, I wish you a wonderful summer season.

Again, thank you for your dedication and contribution to supporting international exchanges!

Sincerely,

Cara
Cara Mills, Director, Employer Relations

SPOTLIGHT: ACCESS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM UPDATE

The CIEE Access Scholarship began three years ago with the aim to help students from under-represented countries gain the life-changing perspective and understanding that comes from living and working in the United States. This year we have received donations reaching nearly $30,000 from employers and individuals to help support this valuable program. We would like to thank Basin Harbor Club, Benjamin Franklin, Cedar Fair, Deer Valley, Maureen King from Harris Teeter, Migis Hotel Group, Morey’s Piers, Six Flags, Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Wilderness Resort, and Xanterra Parks & Resorts for their generous contributions towards CIEE Access Scholarship Fund.

 

CIEE is dedicated to continuing this scholarship fund. With your help, CIEE can continue to provide a diverse population of participants with the skills, competencies, and experience necessary to contribute positively to our global community. Thank you for your continued support — we couldn't do it without you!

Please consider making a donation to our scholarship initiative. You can donate in one of two easy ways:
    1. Visit our website at ciee.org/donate-wat and choose the Funding for Work & Travel USA Scholarships option.
    2. Send a check to CIEE at the attention of CIEE Work & Travel USA Access Scholarships.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Cara Mills at 207-553-4019 or cmills@ciee.org.

This summer we have 29 Access Scholars who will continue to develop their roles as global citizens and grow personally and professionally through their experience. Summer 2017 scholarship recipients come from Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and the Palestine Territories. Here are the stories behind some of our scholars:

Cheryl Tanisha Pablo Torres, Nicaragua

Cheryl is studying diplomacy and international relations at university in her home country of Nicaragua, and is looking forward to experiencing life in America for the first time. She says “I live in a country with a very diverse culture, so seeing cultural experience is what I am most excited about. Also, my career demands us to be outgoing, independent, and disciplined, and having a job in a foreign country is the best and most fun way to practice that and learn even more!”

After she finishes her studies, Cheryl aspires to work for a nongovernmental organization like UNICEF in the future with a focus on improving the lives of children who are suffering from poverty and hunger.

Cheryl
 

Mahmoud Abdalkarim, Palestine
Mahmoud is an exchange program veteran, having studied in Germany as a high school student. He is now studying computer science engineering at university in his home of Palestine, and his dream is to work as an engineer for Google. A four-time honor list student, Mahmoud describes himself as a global citizen with a passion to correct the misperceptions people have on life in Palestine. In his own words, Mahmoud “loves travelling and exploring new things, and I believe that this program will allow me to explore a wide range of new experiences….I’m also really excited about meeting and making new friends from all over the world!”

  Mahmoud

We have been so impressed by these scholars’ inspiring applications, and we are eager to see how this select group of students will enhance communities and workplaces across the United States. They are excited to start their summer and committed to make the most of this opportunity.  In the words of one participant from Nicaragua shared with fellow scholars “Let's go and work hard while having fun. And make CIEE staff proud for choosing us to represent our countries.”

 - Ella Studdiford, Project Manager, Access Scholarship
- Cara Mills, Director, Employer Relations

EMPLOYER WEBINAR LEARNING SERIES CONTINUES

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Employer Webinar – Work & Travel USA Fundamentals. We appreciate you taking the time to invest in the program to ensure you and your staff start the summer off on the right foot! Our goal is to have 100% of our employers view the webinar and share it with their managers, supervisors, and domestic employees. If you did not have a chance to view the webinar during the scheduled times, you can watch the recorded version here!

We are excited to have expanded webinar series based on your survey responses! Thank you to those who were able to join us for our Diving Deeper into Cultures webinar facilitated by Catherine Menyhart, CIEE Manager of Training and Development, and Olga Adamovich, CIEE Director of Student Experience. During this 30-minute webinar we taught the methods of suspending judgement by adopting a practical tool and resource (D.I.V.E) for managers in order to become more effective during intercultural interactions. If you missed our live webinar, please view the recorded version here.

ANNOUNCING CIEE’S NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION

We are excited to announce that we have a new CIEE Work & Travel USA Online Orientation for our students! Our Summer 2017 participants are the first ones to engage with this new platform. The Department of State requires that all Summer Work Travel participants receive an orientation prior to their arrival in the United States. CIEE participants receive the orientation approximately one month before their program start date, and it is an important opportunity for CIEE, as the program sponsor, to set appropriate expectations for their experience, provide helpful tips, and review program rules.

We chose to replace our previous online orientation in order to adapt to a new generation of on-the-go participants. The new platform is accessible via a mobile app on iPhone or Android, in addition to a web browser, and participants can continuously refer to information as a reference before and during their program.

The orientation now includes a mix of text, videos, and interactive questions in a mix of multiple choice and open-ended prompts. Watch our Online Orientation Welcome Video below!

 

Here are some example responses we’ve received from students to the question, “What can you ask your employer in order to help prepare for your experience?”

    • “What is the weather during the summer?”
    • “How do I behave with the wild animals in the park?”
    • “What are some good housing options in my area?”
    • “What places should I visit while I’m there?”
    • “What kind of clothes should I take with me?”
    • “Are you ready to meet your best employee :)”


This new platform also allows us to monitor student feedback. We found that the most frequent questions were about local weather and transportation options from the airport to the job site. These are great topics to include in your welcome email!
  Orientation FAQs graph

The content of the orientation was updated with contributions from all of the teams within CIEE Work & Travel USA. Much of the content from the previous orientation is included, but it has been refreshed and streamlined. You are welcome to read the full text of the orientation in the Orientation Handbook, which is available to participants as an optional PDF download as well.

-Erica Carley Harris, Manager, External Relations

SUMMER STUDENTS ARE HERE! BEST PRACTICES AND RESOURCES FOR A SUCCESSFUL SUMMER

At CIEE, we know that you and your team are busy preparing for the summer ahead. We’ve put together some resources and best practices to help you effectively prepare to welcome your summer students! Below are some of our favorite, tried-and-true best practices for every part of the CIEE Work & Travel USA summer season:


Pre-Arrival
Communication with your students is crucial in laying the groundwork for a successful season. If you have not already done so, please reach out to your students. Below are a few key pieces of information that we recommend including in your pre-arrival communication with students to make for a smooth arrival. For more specifics, please visit our Knowledge Base Communication page.

Best Practices:
    • Send information about housing. If housing is not provided, share with students housing resources and ask them how their housing search is going. If you provide housing, remind students about any security deposit procedures and the check-in process when they arrive.
    • Remind students about specific arrival instructions. What airport do you recommend? How do students get to their housing from the airport? If you provide transportation, what details do you need from the student to arrange it?
    • Provide students with a packing list. Do they need specific pants or shoes for their work attire? What is the weather like? What should students bring with them on their first day of work (important paperwork, specific clothing, etc.)?


Arrivals
Students’ first days in the U.S. can be overwhelming, but there are many things you can do to help! Below are some best practices on welcoming students to the U.S. (you can also read more on our Knowledge Base Cultural Adjustment page).

Best Practices:
    • Greet students with a welcome kit! Include miniature toiletry items, a list of favorite local shops and restaurants, and a list of exciting events happening this summer in your community.
    • Make students feel welcome! A smile and friendly conversation can go a long way. Introduce students to the domestic employees.
    • Share information on the local banks and give students information on how to open an account.
    • Remind students to call CIEE to register in SEVIS. Make a phone available to them to call, if they do not have one. Call CIEE at 1.888.268.6245. For more information, please refer to our SEVIS.


Social Security
Following SEVIS registration, students should apply for their Social Security number (SSN). It may take several weeks for SSNs to be issued. If students see delays, it’s best to contact the office with which they applied for updates. For more information, please refer to our Knowledge Base Social Security page.

Best Practices:
    • Ask students to put the business address as the address where their card should be sent, as students may still be in temporary housing by the time it arrives.
    • Remind students to bring a copy of their receipt showing they applied for social security.
    • If your payroll system requires a SSN to be entered in order for students to be issued a paycheck, you can use the first 9 digits of their DS-2019 number (found on their DS-2019 form) as a placeholder until their actual number arrives.


Payroll and Taxes
Every CIEE Work & Travel USA student must pay federal, state, and local income taxes. Students do not pay Social Security tax, Medicare, and federal unemployment taxes. For more information about payroll and taxes, please visit the Knowledge Base Compensation page on our website.

Best Practice:
    • If you offer direct deposit, strongly encourage your students to enroll. This can reduce the number of students who are unable to cash final paychecks when they return home.


Second Jobs
Program regulations require all Summer Work Travel students to report second jobs. If you wish to hire a CIEE Work & Travel USA student for a second job, please remind them that he/she must have approval before beginning work at your company. Students can reach CIEE at 1-888.268.6245, or contact@ciee.org for more information on reporting second jobs.

Best Practices:
    • Have a copy of the CIEE Second Job Offer Form on file to provide to students.
    • Keep your business license and workers compensation information up to date with CIEE to reduce delays in processing Second Job Offer Forms.


Transportation Safety
Most students come from places in the world where bicycles and walking are common forms of transportation. They may not realize that American drivers have different levels of awareness around cyclists and pedestrians. Help keep them safe by talking to them about transportation safety.

Best Practices:
    • Send students a link to the Transportation Safety Video created by a partnership between CIEE, the Department of State, and other sponsors.
    • Remind them to wear helmets, use bike lights, and wear bright clothing if biking at night.
    • Print out a map with the safest walking and biking routes so students know the best way to avoid highways and busy roads.
    • If students will be walking or biking from their worksite to their housing, consider providing transportation after dark.


Cultural Exchange
Cultural exchange is at the core of the CIEE Work & Travel USA program. As an employer, you have a fantastic opportunity to cultivate this exchange, which is more important than ever.

Best Practices: Try some of these activities with your staff!
    • Organize a talent show, fitness challenge, game night, pot luck dinner, or barbeque.
    • Create a “bucket list” for students. This is a great way for students to share what they hope to experience during their time in the United States.
    • Encourage students to volunteer by partnering with local charities and community organizations.
    • Organize a buddy system between your international and domestic employees. This is a meaningful way to foster communication and learning between students and your domestic employees.
    • Utilize email or social media to update your students regarding schedules, things to do in your community, or fun activities they can sign up for.


Stay connected with CIEE
You are welcome to contact us at any time, but it’s especially important to contact us in the below situations:

    • A student does not arrive as expected
    • A student has a medical emergency
    • The termination of a student’s employment
    • A student quits before his/her agreed job end date
    • There’s a performance issue – let us know right away, so we can work with you and your student
    • Department of State visits your business - Each season the Department of State (DoS) conducts site visits to employers as a continued effort to monitor the Work & Travel USA program. CIEE does not know in advance if you will be visited or when you will be visited so we recommend educating your front line staff on what to do if the DoS stops in. We encourage you to spend a few minutes with the DoS representatives to discuss the work and cultural opportunities you provide to your students and then allow the representatives to speak with as many students as possible. CIEE has received positive feedback both from the employers visited and the DoS. These visits are an opportunity for you to showcase your program and the cultural exchange experiences your students are having.

For more information about how CIEE supports you and your students, please visit the Knowledge Base In-Country Support page. For more resources for a successful summer, please visit our Download Center on CIEE’s website for easy PDFs you can share with your team on a variety of important topics!

-Kelly Enberg, International Recruitment Consultant

Letter from the Editor - March 2017

Jess pic

Since 1947, CIEE has brought together people from different backgrounds to humanize international relations and increase global understanding. We believe that through the exchange of ideas and experiences, we can foster understanding and mutual respect that will enable people to embrace their differences and celebrate their common ground. This mission has never been more important than it is today.

In the transition to a new administration, we know that you may have questions about the future of exchange programs, including the Summer Work Travel (SWT) program. CIEE is actively working with staff, colleagues at the Alliance for International Exchange, and advisors in Washington, D.C. to respond to the changing landscape in international exchange. We are engaging with key members of Congress and the new administration to advocate for international exchange programs. You can be certain that CIEE will remain at the table to ensure that our voices – and the voices of American employers and students around the world – are heard.

Since our last update we have been busying laying the groundwork for 2017. Winter is here and we are on the road visiting students and employers to hear about their experiences. Summer hiring is in full swing and we are preparing for students arrivals in the coming months. In this month’s newsletter we share employer best practices, provide updates on the proposed new SWT rule, and seek your feedback as we enhance our employer webinar series.

The Work & Travel USA program could not be successful without all that you do in offering incredible opportunities to students from around the globe. Thank you for your commitment to international exchange!

Kind regards,

Jessica
Jessica Kissell, Senior Director, Work & Travel USA

Spotlight: Questions & Answers with the Park City Marriott

While CIEE has many insightful things to share with you, we also know the value in hearing from each other, especially when it comes to best practices. Therefore, I caught up with Stacie Moore, the director of human resources at Park City Marriott and asked her to share a little more about what makes her program so successful.

Q: Who is the Park City Marriott?
A: We are full-service Marriott hotel located in beautiful Park City, Utah. We are brilliant hosts who invite and welcome the world to our hotel, including our guests and our associates! We provide excellent service like no other. We believe in taking care of our team – and they in turn take care of our guests.

Q: What is your role?
A: I am the human resource director and my role is to welcome our guests and associates. I hire our employees, J-1s included, and the management team and I teach them how to be brilliant hosts. My role is to ensure that our J-1s become a part of our family here at the Park City Marriott, and that they are well taken care of while in Park City. And of course, to help them have a great cultural experience here in Park City, Utah, and the United States.

Q: How long have you used the CIEE Work & Travel USA program?
A: I/we have used the J-1 program since 2006, so for 11 years! My first adventure traveling was to Peru (Lima and Arequipa), then Argentina (Buenos Aires and Córdoba), and now Costa Rica! We have hired students from Peru, Argentina, Costa Rica, Romania, Africa, Malaysia, Philippines, Brazil, Chile, etc.  Essentially we have hired students from all around this wonderful world.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your international students?
A: I love their passion for life and their positive energy! I love learning about their culture and teaching them about mine. I really love getting to know them as human beings and having fun together. I love how they become a part of our family here at the Park City Marriott. Oh, and I love their willingness to work hard and be a part of the team.

Q: What fun activities are you planning for your students or what have they already been up to?
A: We started off with the Park City Welcome Night here at the hotel. This event is open to all the seasonal employees (domestic and international) and provides valuable information about the area, and also turns into a big party, complete with a DJ. At the hotel, we have a monthly associate awards social luncheon where students get to socialize with the entire team and enjoy “American” cuisine. We also provide tickets to students so that they can see the films and experience the Sundance Film Festival here in Park City. We are the Sundance Film Festival headquarters. And of course, we encourage them to ski/snowboard, and we provide discounts and free ski/snowboard rentals. We also allow them use our Marriott discount rates as they travel throughout the U.S. while they are here. Finally, I’m planning a special thank you dinner (somewhere in Park City) for the team before they go home, to thank them for a great season.

Q: What three pieces of advice or best practices you can pass on to other employers about running a fantastic program?
A: 1. Be available to the students from the moment they are hired until the day they leave (and beyond) via email, phone, and text etc.  2. Help the students as they get acclimated in your city (especially first-time students – it’s scary to be in a new location with foreigners). Help them find housing, take them to get their social security numbers, take them to the free dinners your community may provide for seasonal employees, and give them info and pointers; etc. Just be there to help! 3. Work closely with CIEE to ensure that the J-1s are taken care of and that everyone is on the same page. Having a great working relationship between with all parties is one major key to success!

Employer spotlight 1
Stacie Moore (far right) with three of her winter students from Costa Rica

Employer spotlight 2
Stacie Moore (center) with her management team, excited to welcome their next group of CIEE Work & Travel USA students

Employer spotlight 3
Winter students taking a break from Park City to explore San Francisco. Next stop: Las Vegas!

- Cara Mills, Director, Employer Relations