Work & Travel (J-1 Program)

University students from around the world can work in seasonal positions, live in and learn about the United States, travel, and make friends during their summer break from school. The WISE® Work and Travel Program in the USA provides the visa sponsorship, placement in a seasonal job at resort and vacation destinations throughout the US, as well as housing assistance and ongoing personal support to make this dream a reality for thousands of participants.

This program is open to university students from around the world who want to experience another culture while earning money to support their stay. By working throughout the United States, participants have a unique chance to experience the United States as more than just tourists, and to share their own traditions and culture with people from both the U.S. and abroad. By living abroad in an English speaking environment, gaining some practical experience, and meeting friends that last a lifetime, participants benefit from the experience for years to come.

WISE Atlanta Office
1853 Piedmont Rd
Suite 200
Marietta, GA 30066

Phone: (770) 579-0567
Fax: (770) 579-0219

Information for interested students​

Select a topic on the tabs below for more information. If you have any questions or require additional information regarding this program, please e-mail us at

To meet the basic requirements for the Work & Travel Program, you must be:

At least 18 years of age or older.

In good health.

Comfortable using English in a work environment.

A full-time student pursuing a degree at a university recognized by the education ministry of their home nation.
Willing to participate in an unskilled or service sector position.

Willing and able to abide by the rules of the Work & Travel Program as well as the laws of the United States.

Ready and committed to pursuing cultural exchange opportunities with an open mind and a positive attitude.

You may participate in the WISE Work and Travel program during your summer vacation. This means that if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, your program dates are in the summer season in the U.S., starting as early as May. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, your program dates are in the winter season of the U.S., starting as early as December. Your actual dates of participation depend on your university’s official summer holiday dates. You can only participate in the program during these dates for a maximum of 4 months.

Below is a list of program dates for each of the countries eligible for participation. Please note that these dates are subject to change.

Costa Rica1-Dec31-Mar


BulgariaMay 130-Sep
Czech Republic15-May15-Sep

Please note that once WISE® receives your application, the process takes 4-6 weeks. Once you receive your DS-2019 form you will still need to go to the US Consulate to interview for the J1 visa. Some consulates take up to 4 weeks to issue the visa. Please plan ahead so that you can arrive on time for work in the US!

The WISE® Foundation works with Work and Travel Program overseas partners in Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa. For information on a partner in your country please contact WISE® at

Please note that once WISE® receives your application, the process takes 4-6 weeks. Once you receive your DS-2019 form you will still need to go to the US Consulate to interview for the J1 visa. Some consulates take up to 4 weeks to issue the visa. Please plan ahead so that you can arrive on time for work in the US!

WISE® Placement

What types of jobs do students selecting WISE® Placements receive?

WISE® will arrange a basic, entry level job for you, much like one that a student in the US would have during a school break.

You will not normally be able to have a position that offers training for your future career, but you will certainly be able to learn a lot through your job if you are open to new people and experiences. The Work & Travel Program does not require that participants have special training or professional skills. We just ask that you have a positive attitude about hard work! Earn money while you get to know the country as no tourist can. Here is a sample of the types of businesses where WISE® places students in the country. These types of positions are located in many states across the US.

Theme Parks


National Parks

Retail Stores

Ski Resorts

When WISE® receives your application through one of our overseas partners, we will review your interests and coordinate the available employers that best fit your interests and skills to arrange for an offer. Please note that not all first choices can be met, and the most popular locations and positions are filled first so applying early is very important.

WISE® Services for you include

Guaranteed job placement prior to arrival.

Experienced, friendly staff.

Thorough review of WISE® placements to ensure suitable opportunities and accessibility to housing and transportation.

Affordable housing arrangements (avg. $250-$300 per month) or assistance through your employer.

Documentation and support for obtaining your J-1 visa (DS-2019 form)

Assistance with your visa application.

Comprehensive health insurance.

Pre-departure orientation.

Assistance in obtaining Social Security Card.

An Emergency, toll-free 24-hour assistance telephone number: 1-888-242-7456.

Support from your WISE® partner organization before your arrival, and support from WISE® Offices and Staff while you are in the US.

Detailed participant handbook.

Post-arrival orientation through your host site.

Self Placement
Eligible students are allowed to arrange their own placement. If you elect to arrange your own placement, you will be required to collect a job offer and host employer agreement from your placement. You can get this paperwork from your local WISE® Work & Travel Overseas Partner Agency. WISE must then vet and approve this placement. This option is a great solution for 2nd timers on the program or those students who have specific preferences for their placements.

There are certain positions that WISE® does not consider acceptable for the SELF Placement program. WISE® reserves the right to reject any job offer if the position is deemed to jeopardize the applicant’s well being and/or safety or that would in the judgment of WISE® not suitably represent the cultural exchange objectives of this program. Please consult with your local WISE® Work & Travel Overseas Partner Agency prior to signing up for a job that may not be allowed.

Advice to students about Self-Placed Positions
Every year, some participants encounter problems because they did not know enough about their self-placed position. Some students arrive to discover that there is no longer a position for them, or that there is nowhere for them to live. Although WISE® calls to make sure that all job offers are acceptable, students should take the steps necessary to make sure that the position they have arranged is secure and acceptable to them.

Applications should

Before the interview, make certain that the position is definite, and that housing will be available.

Before agreeing to work for an employer, verify that the job is acceptable with the local WISE® Work & Travel Overseas Partner Agency.

Inform the employer that WISE® will be calling to confirm the job offer.

Keep in touch with the employer before arrival to make certain that everything is in order. Some of the larger employers over hire, since many applicants who accept the job may not actually show up. It is very important that participants make their employers aware that they are definitely coming!

Get detailed travel directions to their employment site.


WISE Foundation
P.O. Box 1332
Dyersburg TN-38025, USA


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