Host an Intern or Trainee

Add an international perspective to your workplace. Join other top-rated US companies that hire international students for internships in the USA. Spirit’s J-1 Interns and experienced professional Trainees are eager to share their global insight and culture with your staff, while at the same time learning about American customs and gaining new skills in their field of study or expertise.

Program Details

j-1 visa sponsor cultural exchangeAmerican businesses are invited to host Spirit J-1 Interns or Trainees in any of the following occupational categories:

  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
  • Information Media and Communications
  • The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations
  • Arts and Culture
  • Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling & Social Services
  • Public Administration and Law

Independent Placement

Spirit’s Independent Placement option is available to Host Companies who have already identified a candidate abroad who qualifies as a J-1 Intern or Trainee.  In this case, Spirit advises on training plan (T/IPP) development to ensure J-1 visa requirements are followed, provides visa support documentation, medical insurance and 24/7 support to participants and cooperating Host Companies during the program.

Premium Placement

Spirit’s Premium Placement option offers a full-service choice to Host Companies interested in hiring an international intern but aren’t sure where to start. In addition to services offered with the Independent Placement option, Spirit will tap into its extensive international network to identify a candidate that matches well with your company’s requirements.

Cultural Activities

host an international internCultural activities that introduce American life to international participants are the cornerstone of Spirit’s programs.  It is important that your organization embraces this core principal and identifies at least one activity per month for your participants.  Activities need not be expensive, in fact some of the best typically American cultural opportunities are free!

Examples of cultural activities include: 

  • Attending an “after-work” event with American colleagues 
  • Volunteering in the local community 
  • Visiting a museum or historic site 
  • Gathering with American friends for meals, games, or movies 
  • Touring a US city or visiting a tourist site in your host community 
  • Visiting a national park 
  • Attending a local baseball game 
  • The opportunities are endless! 

Program Costs

j1 internship cultural exchange

Spirit charges one program fee for the program.  This program fee includes program support to both the participant and Host Company.  Typically, the program fee is paid by the participant, however many Host Companies contribute towards program fees as part of the participant’s compensation.  Spirit’s current program fees for Interns and Trainees are as follows: 

  • Independent Placement Option: $995 + $60/month 
  • Premium Placement Option: $2,395 + $60/month 

All program fees include regulatory compliant illness and accident insurance for the participant during program dates, emergency support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and required visa support paperwork (DS-2019). Fees are subject to change.

Requirements

J-1 host company requirementsAll Host Companies must meet the following requirements:

  • Sign a completed federal government Form DS–7002 – Training/Internship Placement Plan (T/IPP) to verify that the outlined training plan will be followed. Placements must be tailored to the skills and experience level of the individual intern or trainee.
  • Have sufficient resources, equipment and trained personnel available to provide continuous on-site supervision and mentoring by experienced and knowledgeable staff
  • Agree to abide by all federal, state and local occupational health and safety laws, as well as all program rules and regulations, including the completion of all mandatory program evaluations
  • Agree to embrace the cultural exchange purpose of the program and offer at least one monthly American cultural activity for the participant.  Examples of such activities include a shared meal, visit to a concert, or movie night with American co-workers.  The possibilities are endless and it’s a great way to enhance team building efforts with your whole staff!

Helpful Terms

DS-2019: Official U.S. government form, provided by Spirit and required at visa interview. This official document must be kept with participant passport throughout the program, as it confirms authorized program dates.

Training/Internship Placement Plan: Also called a T/IPP or DS-7002. This document describes the content of the Internship or Training program. This form must be signed by Spirit, the Host Company and participant, and must state specific goals and objectives of the training, as well as detail the knowledge, skills or techniques to be learned by the participant during the course of the program.

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS): U.S. Department of Homeland Security database used to manage the status of Exchange Visitors to the United States. Spirit uses this database to provide the U.S. government with important information on each participant’s status.

Validation: Within seven days of arrival in the US, all Spirit J-1 participants must submit their SEVIS “Validation” through Spirit’s online Support Center. Only once this has been completed and processed by Spirit is a program considered “Active” – allowing the participant to begin the program and apply for a Social Security number.

J-1 visa: The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs, such as Spirit’s Work & Travel, Intern, Trainee and Teacher Programs.

J-1 Intern: Current student at or recent graduate (within in the last 12-months) from a primarily academic (must issue degrees, such as Bachelors or Masters) institution outside the USA, which is recognized by that country’s Department of Education (or equivalent). Students or recent graduates from technical or vocational institutions do not qualify for the program. Degree must be in the same industry as requested Intern program.

J-1 Trainee: Graduate from primarily academic (must issue degrees, such as Bachelors or Masters) institution outside the USA, which is recognized by that country’s Department of Education (or equivalent) with at least one year of professional experience OR Professional with 5+ years of professional experience. Degree and experience must be in the same industry as requested Trainee program.

Support Center: Spirit’s online resource for participants and Host Companies to access important information about their program 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start the process of hiring an Intern or Trainee?

Apply now to submit your initial application to Spirit. A Spirit representative will follow-up with you shortly about next steps.

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Are there J-1 visa rules on the number of participants I can hire?

The number of candidates you hire should be based on your ability to offer a bone-fide training including regular supervision and support. Spirit requires a minimum 5:1 ratio of American staff to international J-1 Interns or Trainees at your company.

What is the process to host an Intern or Trainee?

If you require placement assistance, Spirit will reach out to you to discuss your organization and position requirements. Our team will then begin identifying qualified candidates and providing CVs and interview videos for your review.

If you already identified a candidate, Spirit will walk you through program and paper requirements after you complete our initial application.

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How do I know which dates a participant can train?

Program dates listed on the DS-2019 form outline when a participant is legally able to train in the US.  Dates listed on the visa in the participant’s passport apply only to when a participant is legally able to enter the country.  These two sets of dates may vary, and that’s ok!  Follow the DS 2019 for legal dates of training.

In which fields do you offer J-1 Intern or Trainee program sponsorship?

American businesses are invited to host Spirit’s Interns or Trainees in any of the following occupational categories:

  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
  • Information Media and Communications
  • The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations
  • Arts and Culture
  • Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling & Social Services
  • Public Administration and Law

Am I required to find housing for participants?

As international participants will be new to your community, it is important that they have a resource to help them identify safe, affordable housing options. Although you are not required to provide long-term housing to participants, we encourage you to identify at least one short-term (1-2 week) housing option for participants to utilize upon their arrival in the US.

Get Started as a Host Company

Apply Now to Host an Intern or Trainee

What our host companies say…

Our experience with the program has been amazing. We have learned a lot from the people who came onboard. I would totally recommend Spirit. They respond right away every time we had questions or needed help. - Maria J. | Hotel Human Resources, Wisconsin

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