Cultural Exchange is the cornerstone of our J-1 program. We plan for at least 2 cultural activities a month, which means we have thousands of participants across the United States experiencing local culture. Cultural activities increase in the participant’s emotional ties to the community they’re living and working in, strengthens the relationships with their colleagues, and introduces Americans to invaluable experiences from the participant’s home culture.
On September 3, Spirit representative, Suzanne Kolasa, met three Chinese J-1 participants living in Kodiak, Alaska for coffee. The group discussed the various activities they have participated in throughout the summer. Through their employer, participants have become very involved in a local church choir and have made great friends. Each participant said that the church barbeque they attended was their favorite part of the summer. The participants competed in 3-legged races and an egg toss, which were all new experiences for them. They said that the group has really helped them become part of the community; they were even having dinner the next night at the home of a new friend.
Participants are really enjoying their time in Kodiak and highly recommend it as a location for future J-1 participants. They love how beautiful the scenery is and how easily they can explore the town. During their time off, the participants enjoy going into town, attending church events, hanging out at the beach, going fishing and hanging out at the hotel.