Agricultural Internship and Training (J-1 Program)
The WISE Agricultural Program has been developed to allow international agriculturalists to pursue training in the area of agri-business in order to improve their knowledge of advanced agrarian practices, techniques, methodologies and expertise, while enhancing their knowledge of American culture. A customized training plan is prepared for each participant that outlines specific objectives and phases of training and supervision and evaluation procedures to be used during the program.
Enrollment in the WISE Agricultural Training and Internship Program is open throughout the year.
There are no pre-set intakes or start dates.
The WISE Agricultural Training and Internship program is typically a 12 month program.
On occasion, there may be reasons for limiting the program to as little as 9 months.
All participants must
Be at least 18 years old
Have either a round trip ticket or sufficient money for return airfare home
Have proficient English skills to perform internship activities
Internship applicants/participants must:
Either be currently enrolled in, and pursuing studies at a degree- or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside the U.S. or graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to his or her exchange visitor program start date.
Enter the U.S. to participate in a structured and guided work-based internship program in his or her specific academic field.
Training applicants/participants must:
Possess either a degree or professional certificate from a foreign post-secondary academic institution and at least one year of prior related work experience in his or her occupational field acquired outside the U.S., or five years of work experience outside the U.S. in his or her occupational field.
Enter the U.S. to participate in a structured and guided work-based training program in his or her specific occupational field.
WISE has developed a network of partners we work with in many countries around the world. Participants can be directed to representatives in their home country that will help them complete the application process and discuss their goals.
Host farmers and agribusinesses will benefit from participation in the Agricultural Training and Internship Program by having intelligent, well motivated, well educated and eager young adults contribute to their operations. These young agriculturalists will contribute to your operation in many ways. From helping to put a crop in, manage and harvest it to livestock activities, and simple farm experiences, participants have proven to be dependable and reliable. WISE requires participants to have adequate hands-on experience in the field they are applying for. Many applicants also have university degrees and coursework that supplements their practical experience. Compensation must satisfy minimum wage requirements. WISE staff will be happy to discuss options, which usually include housing.
Participant Arrival and Orientation
Relocation and starting in a new position are two of the most stressful events in life, but they can be exciting, positive experiences. When preparing for arrival, hosts should consider the types of assistance that would be beneficial from a foreign host. Participants should try to consider what would make a good impression on a host. The first few weeks can be very challenging for both participants and hosts. Participants will be looking for direction on how to accomplish their goals efficiently and be a productive part of the organization. Providing detailed information and outlining objectives to be accomplished and how to accomplish them will be appreciated. This will allow for a smoother transition at the training site. Some specific issues to think about preparing for are:
Arrival. Has the participant been given specific direction on what to do and who to contact upon arrival? Who will be available to meet the participant? What should the participant do prior to arrival? WISE staff will assist in communicating these details.
Participants should have contact information for the host and WISE with them in their pockets or carry-on luggage so that they can contact both the host and WISE upon arrival in the country or if there are any flight delays.
Housing/accommodation. What arrangements have been made for the participant’s accommodations upon arrival? Are the living arrangements outside the host’s home? If so, are they clean, safe and sound? Are cleaning supplies present?
Utilities/Phone service. Normal utilities for the living quarters will need to be arranged. Have appropriate deposits been made? Participants are advised to purchase calling cards so that they can call home and let their families know that they have arrived safely. Many use on-line voice-over-internet provider communication that relies on internet service. Is internet service available somewhere on or near the farm?
This information will assist the host and participant with the fundamentals of their transition. We suggest hosts and participants communicate early and often to review the program and expectations to get things off to a good start and avoid confusion. It may be advisable to provide a mentor or buddy for new participants. This could be a current participant who has successfully transitioned to the site, or someone that the participant will be in consistent contact with during the initial phase of their program. This will provide the participant with a sense of continuity and security and an advisor for community involvement. If you notice that a participant is having difficulty with the adjustment, encourage them to ask questions and talk about their concerns.
Multicultural Program Requirements
Cultural exchange is an important aspect of this program. All participants should be encouraged to interact with American citizens. Interaction with groups, families, professional societies, religious, community and company-related social activities should be encouraged. Each community in the United States has its own unique culture, such as seasonal festivals and fairs, community and/or religious events. Hosts should encourage participants to attend or participate in these events and participants should take advantage of the opportunity to experience cultural activities and should embrace the concept of exposing themselves to these cultural experiences.