Globalize your work place by welcoming an AHA international intern or trainee into your hospitality organization! J-1 participants are highly motivated individuals who bring fresh energy and are enthusiastic about gaining hospitality career experience and are eager to collaborate and share with your U.S. employees.
The primary objectives of the J-1 Internship and Trainee programs are to enhance the skills and knowledge of the participant through structured and guided work-based training and to improve participants’ knowledge of American techniques, methodologies. The J-1 programs offered by AHA give organizations the opportunity to hire talent from around the world as part of the U.S. government’s Exchange Visitor Program. AHA is designated as a program sponsor by the U.S. Department of State.
Participants are available throughout the year to complete a structured work based program within Food & Beverage, Front Office and Culinary Operations at a fine American hotel, resort or hospitality organization. Highly motivated and dynamic program participants receive one of the two J-1 categories for a maximum of 12 months:
J-1 Intern Visa for students and recent graduates
J-1 Trainee Visa for young professionals
AHA requires Host Properties to have broad enough operations to facilitate a comprehensive training in the hospitality field including rotation through different departments and or functions depending on duration of the training. We typically find that hotels with at least a four-star/four-diamond rating as determined by AAA and/or Mobil Travel meet these requirements. In addition, some properties without this rating may also be appropriate for hospitality internship and trainee programs. .
To participate in the J-1 Intern or Trainee program, your organization must be able to provide a structured, work based training experience while abiding by some key program regulations. When deciding to host a J-1 participant, ask yourself the following:
- Do you have the resources in place to provide a structured, guided work based training program to the intern/trainee within a professional environment?
- Do you have the ability to provide ongoing supervision and evaluation of the intern/trainee?
- What kind of training can you offer and what kind of training is the participant looking for? These should overlap.
- Is what you are offering bona fide training and not regular work?
- Can you schedule your participant to train at least 32 hours a week?
- In programs 6 months or greater, can you provide at least three comprehensive departmental and/or functional rotations.
- Can I provide housing and transportation assistance and or support?
- Are you willing and able to provide cultural activities and teach an international participant about U.S. culture?
Once you have completed the necessary steps to be an approved J-1 intern/trainee host property, hiring an AHA-sponsored international intern/trainee is a simple, straight-forward process.
A passionate and dedicated AHA manager works directly with you to:
- Recruit qualified candidates
- Arrange interview via telephone or Skype
- Assists in designing a comprehensive training plan and complete required the DS-7002 form.
- Presents the DS-7002 Trainee/Internship Placement Plan to the applicant for signature.
- Finalizes the process and send the DS-2019 to applicant to apply for a J-1 visa with their local U.S. Embassy/Consulate
- Prepare your participants for their arrival, provides you arrival updates
- Provides ongoing support throughout the program to you and your participants!
Please note, certain cases may not follow this exact process, on average this process takes 6-8 weeks to complete.
As the premier provider of international training and work programs specifically designed for the hospitality industry, we are committed to providing you with the highest level customer service, support and assistance in the industry:
- AHA recruits on your behalf, presents candidates meeting your specific needs and helps you prepare for the arrival of your international participants.
- AHA works with you to educate your management and supervisory team on J-1 programs, requirements and what to expect from your international participants. Your team will have full access to AHA’s Employers Portal full of information and resources.
- We thoroughly prepare your international participants for their experience in the United States. We focus on open communication, setting clear expectations and understanding life in the U.S. After they arrive, we provide ongoing support and outreach.
- AHA assists with planning cultural exchange activities for your participants, provides resources, best practices and promotion of cultural activities within the community.
- Your participants will benefit from an advanced level of structured learning and cultural exchange through their enrollment into World Campus, AHA’s online global community. In World Campus, participants have access to professional development seminars, training tools and resources, discussion forums and more.
- AHA participants are eligible to earn AHA’s Hospitality Professional Certificate – additionally we invite ALL of your employees to earn the Hospitality Professional Certificate – at no additional cost to you or your employees!
- The J-1 programs are a free service to our host employers.
- AHA is designated as a program sponsor by the U.S. Department of State.
At AHA, we believe the hospitality industry is the ultimate platform for cultural exchange experiences. Through our cultural exchange programs, your guests, employees and the local community breakdown sterotypes, see the world from another perspective; become more tolerant and respectful of differences; and appreciate similarities that bring people together. These are the goals of people-to-people exchange and are the central reasons the Exchange Visitor Program exists.
The Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961
As a proud J-1 Visa sponsor and cultural exchange organization, we encourage our participants and professional colleagues to learn about The Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, also known as the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. This important act enables the Government of the United States to:
- Increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange.
- Strengthen the ties, which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations, and contributions being made toward a peaceful and more fruitful life for people throughout the world.
- Promote international cooperation for educational and cultural advancement and thus assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.
- AHA is committed to providing you with the highest level of customer service; every AHA's host employer works with a passionate and dedicated AHA manager to assist with any needs that arise. Additionally host managers and supervisors will have full access to AHA’ Employer Portal, a one stop location jammed packed with all the resources and information needed to host a world class international program!
- Employer Portal Log In: Click Here
- Download and Resources – Click Here