Click on a question below to be taken to the corresponding answer further down the page.

  1. When can I go?
  2. When do I need to apply?
  3. How do I apply for the program?
  4. What do Student Exchange need to know from my US employer?
  5. Can I extend my work visa?
  6. Do I need to find a job before I leave?
  7. Can I travel around the US after my working authorisation has expired?
  8. Do I need travel and medical insurance?
  9. How do I start to locate a position in the US?
  10. Why do I have to pay to go on this program?
  11. Can I repeat the program?  
  12. What industries are acceptable for the program?

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Simply click on the e-mail link above to ask us the question which is important to you. We will get back to your question as soon as possible and, if appropriate, publish it on this web page.

 When can I go?

You can go on Internship USA or Trainee USA at any time of the year.

 When do I need to apply?

Your full application, certified by your employer, must be submitted to Student Exchange Australia New Zealand a minimum of 8 weeks before your departure date.

 How do I apply for the program?

You can download  an application form from our website, e-mail us, or give us a call - (cost of a local call) 1300 135 331 (from Australia) or 0800 440079 (from NZ) and we will send you one. Please see How to Apply section.

 What does Student Exchange Australia New Zealand need to know from my US employer?

Your employer will be required to complete an Internship Agreement and provide information on the nature of your position, salary and dates of employment and training components. They will also need to submit a comprehensive training plan - this is the most important part of the application.

 Can I extend my work visa?

Our US partner, CIEE can sponsor you for the J-1 visa for a maximum of 18 months. If your placement is for a shorter period than this (e.g. for 6 months), you can apply for an extension up to the total time of:

  • Internship: 12 months.
  • Trainee: 18 months.

It is a requirement that you remain with the same employer and you must lodge the extension application before your original visa has expired. Extension forms will be supplied to you prior to your departure. Additional fees will apply.

 Do I need to find a job before I leave?

Yes. You will need to pre-arrange your training placement before you apply and arrive in the US. 

 Can I travel around the US after my working authorisation has expired?

Once your DS-2019 has expired you have 30 days from the expiration date to travel within the US.

 Do I need travel and medical insurance?

Your program fee includes travel and medical insurance. Under US Government program regulations, you must have an approved level of insurance coverage. Our custom insurance plans meet this requirement. Our insurance covers you for emergency and accidents including hospital cover - but only while you are on the program. There is only limited baggage coverage and it does not cover loss of personal effects. If you are intending on taking expensive items we recommend you take out additional coverage.

 How do I start to locate a position in the US?

This website will get you started and give you lots of great ideas and resources. Surfing the net, personal contacts and mailing of your CV can all lead to a training placement. The time taken to find a suitable placement will vary considerably depending on your skills, the type of position you are looking for and how specific you are in your search. Please remember that when sending your resumé, not all employers will respond to your enquiry and so it is important that you follow up by calling them a few days after you send your CV.

 Why do I have to pay to go on this program?

Your program fee cover our services to you before you leave and CIEE’s services and support whilst in the US including sponsorship of your visa. The fee also covers your insurance. View a full list of what’s included in the program fee for Internship USA or Trainee USA.

 Can I repeat the program?

Applicants are permitted to repeat the program as long as they meet the eligibility criteria and have satisfied the required hiatus rules:

  • INT to INT: 90 days minimum, from old DS end date to new DS start date;
  • INT to Trainee: 2 years minimum.
  • Trainee to INT: 2 years minimum.
  • Trainee to Trainee: 2 years minimum.

 What industries are acceptable for the program?

According to the regulations of the Internship and Trainee USA program, the US Department of State may designate training and internship programs in any of the following occupational categories:

(i) Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing;

(ii) Arts and Culture;

(iii) Construction and Building Trades;

(iv) Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling and Social Services;

(v) Health Related Occupations;

(vi) Hospitality and Tourism;

(vii) Information Media and Communications;

(viii) Management, Business, Commerce and Finance;

(ix) Public Administration and Law; and

(x) The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics, and Industrial Occupations.

Are there any prohibited industries on the program?

Any job, whether or not it is included in the list below, must be generally compatible with the rules, regulations, and intent of the program.

The following job types are currently prohibited

  • Any job that is unpaid or does not pay at least the minimum wage for that state
  • Sales jobs requiring the participant to invest his/her own monies to pre-purchase inventory
  • Domestic help positions in private U.S. households – e.g. au pair, servant, gardener or chauffeur
  • Jobs in the adult entertainment industry
  • Jobs on the Department of Labor’s “hazardous jobs list”
  • Jobs in warehouses
  • Jobs with moving companies
  • Jobs in factories
  • Jobs in manufacturing
  • Jobs in construction or located on construction sites
  • Jobs in catalog / online distribution centers
  • Jobs in the fisheries industry
  • Jobs that are substantially commission-based and thus do not guarantee minimum wage
  • Jobs at mall kiosks/carts
  • Employment that involves driving as a primary job duty
  • Jobs with exposure to dangerous chemicals (e.g. pesticides)
  • Jobs on the gaming floor of casinos
  • Jobs with travelling carnivals / concessions
  • Jobs where the participant is hired as an independent contractor / hired on a 1099 form
  • Operators of pedicabs, rolling chairs, other passenger carrying vehicles for hire, and/or vehicles requiring a commercial driver’s license
  • Jobs providing clinical care, medical services or involving patient contact, hands on therapy, counseling, administering treatment or making diagnoses of medical, psychiatric or psychological patients, or veterinary work involving hands-on care.
  • As ship or aircraft crew members, or as pilots, except as crew members on ships that travel only within domestic U.S. waters
  • Teacher, teaching assistant or coach
  • Camp counselor
  • Jobs through staffing/employment agencies
  • Jobs entailing sustained physical contact with customers (e.g., body piercing, tattoo parlor, massage)
  • Overnight/graveyard shift jobs