First, there is the ICEO Summer Work/Travel program that provides foreign college and university students an opportunity to interact with people in the U.S. and experience U.S. culture, while sharing their own culture with them. This program allows international students to work in the U.S. on a J-1 Work and Travel visa during their main break from school. They get to take up jobs that require minimal training, giving them an opportunity to experience working life in the U.S. American employers also stand to gain from this program as it gives them an opportunity to expose their business to an international perspective. With these seasonal jobs, they earn funds that help them with their expenses. The duration of this program is up to 4 months during a break between academic years.
There is the ICEO Internship Program aims to achieve the educational objectives of international exchange by offering international interns an opportunity participate in work based learning program at American host companies. This program may last up to 12 months and the length of the program also depends on the type of internship that the participant has opted for.
ICEO also offers the Training Program to international participants who can undertake bona fide training at American host companies. There are various training programs such as culinary arts, chef training program and other programs in the hospitality and tourism industries. The duration of this program may last from 12 to 18 months depending on the specific training that the participant has decided to undertake and should be specified before arriving in the U.S.
The CCI Greenheart is another organization that promotes academic development and cultural understanding through its cultural exchange programs in the U.S. Greenheart offers a wide variety of exchange programs for high school students, educators, work & travel interns and many more. It even offers short term English language and American culture classes for international participants. There is a Career Advancement Program that offers placements to English speaking J1 visa participants as interns and trainees in U.S. businesses such as hospitality and tourism, Management, finance and commerce, Information media and communications, Public administration, law and many more. CCI Greenheart has an online application system for participants, including program resources.
The benefits of participating in an international cultural exchange are many. For example, participating in a student exchange program teaches you how to survive on your own and also to appreciate the cultural traditions of a new country. It opens up diverse academic opportunities for you as student exchange programs give you the opportunity to learn through a different teaching strategy that is different from the ones offered by your local school.
Cultural exchanges are essential for mutual understanding between nations, international cooperation and the growth of human knowledge. A cultural exchange not only contributes to a person’s intellectual and personality development but also play a crucial role in addressing national and global needs. By participating in a cultural exchange program, you can expand your social network which will prove to be essential in the long run. It will open up attractive employment opportunities as prospective employers will appreciate your flexibility in adapting to a new environment along with the experiences and knowledge you gained while living abroad.