With a Summer Work Travel program, university or college students enrolled in a post-secondary academic program established outside of America can travel to the U.S. for a temporary work opportunity. In addition to the opportunity to work overseas, student participants in the program can also have the opportunity to network with new international connections and share knowledge about their culture with the rest of the world.
All potential participants in Summer Work Travel programs must be between the ages of 18 and 28. Prospective participants have at least a passable level of fluency in English. The students have to be able to both smoothly interact and conduct themselves and a primarily-English-speaking environment.
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Students applying for summer work travel programs must come from a post-secondary school and be enrolled in a full-time course of study at any accredited institution outside of the United States of America. The students must have at least one fully completed semester of post-secondary academic studies.
Prospective students must be pre-placed for a job before they are allowed to enter the country for the program. The only exception to being pre-placed is for the students to be from a country that features a visa waiver.
Even if they meet the base eligibility criteria, in order to go through the program, participants need to be able to arrive their host city on a date that precedes the time that they’re scheduled to begin. In addition to arriving before their scheduled starting date, participants need to be capable of beginning work no later than that very day.
Before the student can begin doing any work, it’s necessary for a preliminary screening and interviewing process to be undertaken and cleared by United Work and Travel personnel.
Past and Ongoing Program Developments
In the year 2010, the program as a whole was largely overhauled and remodeled. The program was adjusted to better facilitate the overall safety, welfare and health of all students participating in the program.
Two years after its 2010 adjustment, the program was modified yet again with the implementation of an Interim Final Rule (IFR). The IFR outlined a furthering of the safety measure protocols enacted two years prior.
Following a review of the program that occurred in early 2017, a new set of program rule-making policies were proposed. Soon thereafter, the State Department examined the proposals and signed off on several initiatives to further develop the structure of the program into a safer and more secure model.
The Summer Work Travel program could be accurately described an exercise in diplomacy. Ideally, through the successful implementation of the program, positive international relations can be strengthened by proxy via connections made between local and foreign students.
In the best case scenario, a deeper sense of mutual understanding can be fostered between similarly-aged young professionals entering the international workforce from different parts of the globe.
In addition to sharing more about their own cultures, students in the Summer Work Travel Program can become more well-rounded by taking home a new perspective on the ways of life held by the American students that they connect with.