As 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!
Cara Mills, Director, Employer Relations