Best Programs For Work & Travel In The USA

Published on 2019-04-19


Woman and child

Interested in spending some time working and travelling in the USA this summer?  With the rich cultural hubs in places like California, New York and Texas, it’s no surprise that visitors would want to linger on an extended stay. However, it can feel a little daunting trying to find an option that complies with America’s strict foreign employment laws. Below are some of the avenues to explore as a foreigner who wants to work in the USA for just a few months. Keep in mind that each of these are temporary opportunities that tie your ability to stay in the country to your continued employment with the company or participation in the program.

Au Pair Program

The Au Pair Program allows you to live with a host family for a full year, with the ability to extend your stay by 6, 9, or 12 more months. You do need to speak English well enough to pass an interview and be between the ages of 18 and 26 to apply for this. It’s a mutually beneficial system where the family has a responsible source of consistent in-home childcare while the au pair is able to live and study in the US.

Camp Counselors

This is another option focused on exposing American children to foreign cultures and people. The qualifications are similar to those for au pairs, though there’s no upper limit on the age you need to be to apply. There is, however, a constraint on the type of role you’ll play in the camp. You cannot be a non-skilled employee, such as a cook or a dishwasher.

Summer Work Travel Program

This one is for current full-time college or university students who would like to spend their summer living and working in the US. You can check out a list of the programs offered by country to see if you qualify to participate. Organizations like SWAP help streamline the process of applying for and receiving the summer J-1 visa documentation. The goal is to find jobs that are only seasonal and that require extra people to fill during the summer months. Many outdoor events and restaurants see an uptick in business during the sunny summer season and will require some extra sets of hands. Amusement parks often only operate this time of year when children are out of school. Just keep in mind that the job cannot be commission-based, in the medical care field or of a nature that requires a commercial driver’s license.

Physician Program

This program allows foreign physicians to come to the US to participate in graduate medical education and training at accredited American medical institutions. There are many requirements to be met, but it can be a necessary part of becoming a well-trained medical doctor in certain parts of the world. The goal is to provide alien physicians with specialized training to tackle problems in their home country or their country of residence. You’ll have to get your ducks all lined up for this one, passing the National Board of Medical Examiners Examination as well as the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination.


If you only want to travel to the United States for tourism, you will need an approved ESTA. Visit our homepage to learn more.


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