Greenheart Wins 2018 Best Education Abroad Provider by WYSTC
Our signature leadership program, the Greenheart Odyssey, topped the shortlist of initiatives honoring the best in cultural exchange. Judges of the WYSTC awards were among top industry experts in the field.

Work and Travel in the U.S.

  • Spend your summer break working and traveling in the United States.

  • Overview

    Spend your summer in the United States with Greenheart Exchange’s Work and Travel program. Designated by the United States Department of State, our program allows you to work in a variety of seasonal positions throughout the country for up to 4 months. Through a heavy emphasis on cultural exchange, our Work and Travel program promotes language exchange, building international friendships, developing cross cultural understanding and so much more!

    We offer participants two program options (pending country):

    1. Self Placement option (SP): You, as the participant, are in charge of finding your own job. Once you have found a position, Greenheart Exchange will need to verify it and the host organization before the application can be accepted.
    2. Full Placement option (FP): You, as the participant, are placed with pre-approved host organizations based on your experiences, skills, and availability. This placement can be completed through an in-person interview at an international Job Fair or through a virtual interview with a host organization or Greenheart staff member.


    Placement Industries








    Amusement Parks

    Amusement Parks





    Retail Stores

    Retail Stores





  • Our Program

    • Participant requirements: Must be a full-time university student from a participating country
    • Program length: Up to 4 months with a 30-day travel period after; this varies by country
    • Language skills: Must speak English (all participants are screened for English proficiency)
    • Jobs: Entry level jobs within seasonal industries (examples: server, lifeguard, food service attendant, housekeeping)
    • Hours: minimum of 32 hours per week
    • Cultural opportunities: Greenheart encourages participants to get involved in their host community through volunteering, click here for more information.
  • Fun in the U.S.

    The United States is a wonderful place to explore during your summer! While there is an important work component while you are on the Summer Work Travel program, the primary focus is on cultural exchange. We encourage you to get involved in your local community and experience all that the United States has to offer. Some ways to accomplish this is by volunteering, engaging in cultural activities, becoming an ambassador scholar or by applying for Greenheart’s Global Leaders Conference.

    Volunteer with Greenheart
    We blend service learning and volunteerism into all of our programs, creating a community of compassionate and conscious global citizens. We provide you with volunteer opportunities and even award active volunteers with up to $1,000 in grant money to be used for a service project in your home country. You can also log your volunteer hours and connect with other participants in our online community during and after your program.
    Cultural activities
    Becoming involved in your new host community is one of the best ways to get the most out of your exchange experience. Volunteering and attending cultural events are great ways to meet new people, explore your passions, have fun, and build a meaningful connection to your new home!
    Within our Greenheart Club, you will find cultural flyers that promote attractions, activities, events, and volunteer opportunities in your area!
    Ambassador Scholars

    Ambassador Scholars are our participants with an enhanced opportunity for personal growth and professional development.
    You can be selected to be our Ambassador based on your community leadership in your home country. As an Ambassador Scholar, participants must volunteer in their host communities in the U.S. and document their life living and working in the U.S. through a blog or video. As a selected Ambassador Scholar, your program costs will be reimbursed upon successful completion of your program and scholarship requirements.

    Learn more about or Ambassador Scholarship here:

    Greenheart Global Leaders Conference

    Network and collaborate with your international peers from across Greenheart’s cultural exchange programs. This is your opportunity to challenge your beliefs and think critically about global issues alongside other Greenheart attendees. During the conference you will:

    • Develop leadership skills through site visits and workshops with distinguished governmental, social, and cultural leaders.
    • Experience Washington D.C. through guided tours of monuments and memorials, local entertainment, and a service-learning project.
    • Gain tools to translate your international experience into a mission-driven life and career.
    • Learn how to develop a community-focused service project.


    Learn more about our annual conference here :

  • Housing

    Greenheart Exchange requires housing to be arranged prior to your arrival in the United States. Though this may seem daunting, we are here to help you every step of the way. Get started on your housing search by viewing this video

    Housing options

    While in the U.S. you are likely to stay in one of the following living arrangements:

    • Dormitory: a large bedroom for a number of people in a school or institution; often having shared bathrooms and common areas
    • Shared apartments or condominium: A suite of rooms forming one residence, typically in a building containing a number of these
    • Mobile home or Trailer: A house on wheels that is parked in one particular place and used as a permanent living accommodation
    • Hotel/Motel/Inn/Extended Stay: A bedroom with a bathroom in a hotel/motel/inn – may include limited services such as refrigerator, microwave, housekeeping services, breakfast, and WIFI
    • Home: A building for human habitation usually shared with a group of people
    • Hostels: A shared or private room with shared bathroom facilities.
    Housing Policies

    Greenheart Exchange enforces the following housing policies:

    • You must have housing secured at least 30 days prior to your DS-2019 start date
    • Housing should not live more than 20 miles away from your site of activity
    • You must have reliable transportation to and from work
    • You must have your own bed
    • You must have a designated bedroom and bathroom, whether private or shared
    • Rent should be no more than 33% of your monthly gross income
    • Housing must follow all local, state, and federal housing, building, and fire safety codes
    Housing Resources

    We are always here to provide you with resources every step of the way. Click below to check out some blog posts and Facebook live videos on housing.


    1) Everything You Need to Know About Moving In: A Housing Checklist

    2) Housing in the United States

    3) Living in the United States: Housing Expectations

    4) Housing Emergencies 101: What to Do

    Facebook Live Video Series

    1) How to prepare for your housing

    2) Housing check-in

    3) Roommate Etiquette

    4) Cleaning your Housing

    5) Housing Emergencies

  • Pricing

    What is Included in your program fees (all options)?

    • One job offer with housing provided
    • DS-2019 form
    • Medical insurance
    • Virtual orientation (required)
    • Greenheart Club (optional)
    • 24-hour support of the Greenheart Exchange office

    What is NOT included in your program fees?

    • Housing fees
    • Meals
    • Spending money
    • International airfare
    • Domestic transportation in the US
    • Airport transfers
    • Public transportation to/from work
    • Visa fees
  • Regulations

    Greenheart is committed to making sure that our participants are safe during their time in the United States. A big part of that is making sure that everyone is following regulations set by the United States Department of State. Below you will find helpful tools to learn more about having a safe program.

    Participant Requirements
    • Participants must contact Greenheart Exchange immediately upon their arrival to the U.S.
    • The arrival check-in must be done no later than 3 days after the arrival date.
    • Participants are required to validate their programs upon arrival to Greenheart Exchange approved host organization, and no later than 7 days after the program start date.
    • Participants must also check-in with Greenheart Exchange every 30 days or by the deadlines listed in their Greenheart Online accounts.
    • Failure to complete any of these communications may result in a negative SEVIS status, requiring the participant to return home immediately.
    Department of State Regulations
    Department of State links
    Prohibited Placements
    *All SWT placements are subject to Greenheart Exchange approval. Jobs not listed herein may still be found inappropriate for the SWT program. Greenheart Exchange reserves the right to prohibit any placement.In addition to jobs prohibited by the Department of State, Greenheart Exchange prohibits participants from working:

    • In positions in kiosks
    • In positions with moving companies
    • In positions with staffing agencies
    • With third-party organizations. The participant must be hired, paid, and directly supervised by the same company.
    • With lifeguard companies that have not first completed a Greenheart Exchange questionnaire
    • In positions that involve door-to-door or traveling sales
    • In positions where manual labor is the primary focus, requires a high-level of skill, presents safety concerns, and the facilitation of cultural exchange is lacking
    • In positions with tent companies
    • In laundry-only positions, or other positions with extensive periods of time in rotation.
    • In positions that require sustained physical contact with other people (e.g. applying henna tattoos)

    Prohibited Placements by Location:

    Greenheart Exchange no longer allows self-placed placements in:

    • The state of North Dakota
    • Panhandle Florida (Destin, Panama City Beach)

    No positions for any program option are allowed in the areas of:

    • Williston, Dickinson, Watford City New Town, North Dakota
    • Hawaii
    • Baltimore, Maryland
    • Harrisburg-Hershey, Pennsylvania

    Though exceptions have been made in the past, self-placed and full program option placements in Detroit, Michigan are generally prohibited

    Conditional Placements by Location:

    Placements for full program options in the Gulf Cost Areas of Louisiana, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle from Gulf Shores, Alabama to Mexico Beach, Florida, including Panama City and Destin, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. To be considered by Greenheart Exchange, host organizations in these areas must provide excellent housing and extensive cultural activities for the SWT participants.

    The Department of State prohibits J-1 Summer Work Travel participants from working:

    1. In positions with host organizations that fill non-seasonal or non-temporary job openings with participants with staggered vacation schedules;
    2. In positions that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Exchange Visitor Program;
    3. In sales positions that require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves;
    4. In domestic help positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur);
    5. As Pedi cab or rolling chair drivers or operators;
    6. As operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers’ licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not;
    7. In positions related to clinical care that involves patient contact;
    8. In any position in the adult entertainment industry (including, but not limited to jobs with escort services, adult book/video stores, and strip clubs);
    9. In positions requiring any shift where hours will fall predominantly between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;
    10. In positions declared hazardous to youth by the Secretary of Labor at Subpart E of 29 CFR part 570;
    11. In positions that require sustained physical contact with other people and/or adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions guidelines (e.g., body piercing, tattooing, massage, manicure);
    12. In positions that are substantially commission-based and thus do not guarantee that participants will be paid minimum wage in accordance with federal and state standards;
    13. In positions involved in gaming and gambling that include direct participation in wagering and/or betting;
    14. In positions in chemical pest control, warehousing, catalog/online order distribution centers;
    15. In positions with traveling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;
    16. In jobs that do not allow participants to work alongside U.S. citizens and interact regularly with U.S. citizens and to experience U.S. culture during the workday portion of their Summer Work Travel programs;
    17. In positions that require licensing;
    18. In positions for which there is another specific J category (e.g., camp counselor, intern, trainee); or
    19. After November 1, 2012, in positions in the North American Industry Classification System’s (NAICS) Goods-Producing Industries occupational categories industry sectors 11, 21, 23, 31–33 numbers (set forth at
  • Blog