Work & Travel

By solving your seasonal staffing shortages and bringing cultural exchange opportunities to your workplace, the AHA Work and Travel program is an innovative hiring solution that is good for your business... good for the world!

Through this program, top international university students are able to expand their knowledge and understanding of the U.S. through employment and cultural exchange opportunities. Students can work in the U.S. for up to four months during their official school break.

And with AHA it's simple-we recruit students for your positions, assist with all of the required paperwork, provide insurance, pre-departure orientation and 24/7 support to you and the participants at no additional cost to you. AHA is designated by the U.S. Department of State as a sponsor of the Work and Travel Cultural Exchange Program.

Our Cultural Exchange participants represent a wide range of skills, personalities and cultural backgrounds. Each participant is excited for the opportunity to live and work in the United States, bringing their skills to your company and improving their understanding of America.

All Work Travel participants are:

  • Full time students from the world's best universities
  • Excited to learn about American culture first-hand
  • Proficient in English

Work Travel participants can spend a total of four months in the United States spending their summer breaks from university working and traveling around the country.

The U.S. Department of State regularly updates its Official Country Eligibility Dates, but participants' actual availability dates depend significantly on their university academic calendars.

AHA connects international students with life-changing cultural exchange opportunities. We are passionate about the making the world a better place through hospitality and cultural understanding. Hospitality is our passion! We understand the service industry, the challenges you face on a day-to-day basis, the dedication and commitment required to exceed your guests expectations. Incorporating the work and travel program is an ideal solution to your seasonal staffing needs, a way to promote cross-cultural exchange, a chance for international students to experience the U.S. firsthand. Here are a few of the positions AHA work and travel participants have enjoyed working in the past, plus many more!

  • Front Desk Clerk
  • Housekeeping/Room Attendant
  • Guest Services
  • Reservations
  • Public Areas Attendant
  • Bell Staff
  • Parking Lot Attendant
  • Concierge
  • Maintenance (Grounds and General)
  • PBX Operator
  • F&B Waitstaff/Host/Cashier/Banquet Server
  • Laundry Attendant
  • Bartender
  • Security
  • Dishwasher/Busser/Utility
  • Pool Lifeguard
  • Food Runner/Line Server
  • Line/Prep/Banquet Cook
  • Retail Sales Associates/Cashier
  • Gift Shop Clerk/Stocker

Prohibited Positions

AHA must vet all initial, replacement and additional jobs based on U.S. Department of State regulations and guidance to verify that participants will be pursuing the purpose of the J-1 Visa program. The following positions are not allowed on the AHA Work & Travel program:

  1. In positions that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Exchange Visitor Program;
  2. In sales positions that require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves;
  3. In domestic help positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur);
  4. As pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators;
  5. As operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers' licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not;
  6. In positions related to clinical care that involve patient contact;
  7. In any position in the adult entertainment industry (including, but not limited to jobs with escort services, adult book/video stores, and strip clubs);
  8. In positions requiring work hours that fall predominantly between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;
  9. In positions declared hazardous to youth by the Secretary of Labor at Subpart E of 29 CFR part 570;
  10. 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 (including henna), massage, manicure, hair braiding);
  11. 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;
  12. In positions involved in gaming and gambling that include direct participation in wagering and/or betting;
  13. In positions in chemical pest control, warehousing, catalogue/online order distribution centers;
  14. In positions with travelling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;
  15. 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, including, but not limited to: construction (includes specialty trade contractors), mining (includes oil and gas extraction, support activities for mining), manufacturing (food manufacturing, textile mills, apparel manufacturing, wood product manufacturing, printing), natural resources (crop production, animal production, fishing, support activities for agriculture and forestry);
  16. Positions through employment or staffing agencies;
  17. Positions in kiosks or cart stands at malls;
  18. Positions in home based businesses;
  19. Positions in warehouses or factories;
  20. Administrative positions handling sensitive/personal information;
  21. Positions as an independent contractor (1099 Form employee);
  22. Positions in fisheries;
  23. Positions in door-to-door sales or canvassing;
  24. Positions in industrial style/scale service sector (jobs that involve assembly lines, repetitive movement using heavy machinery, use of industrial size steamers/pressers and dryers, use of industrial chemicals, factory-like atmosphere);
  25. Positions that involve the use of deli slicers;
  26. Positions that are not compensated hourly e.g. piece wages, stipends, etc.

AHA requires host properties to have the resources in place to provide a meaningful work and cultural exchange program. When considering hosting cultural exchange participants for the work and travel program, ask yourself the following:

  • Do I have a seasonal need that can provide participants with an average of 32 hours or more per week? I understand I cannot schedule participants in positions requiring work hours that predominately fall between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. (frequently referred to as graveyard shift in the hospitality industry)
  • Is it possible to pay participants during their wait period of getting their Social Security numbers? Please note, it is legal for the employer to assign participants a "dummy number" and add to payroll as soon as they arrive and begin the programs - it may take up to 8 weeks for participants to receive their Social Security numbers.
  • Can I provide a positive work and cultural exchange experience that complies with all Federal, State and Local laws regarding employment and occupational health and safety to include wage and hour law?
  • Can I provide or assist in identifying suitable, affordable housing for participants?
  • Will I be able to facilitate transportation or direct participants on how to use local transportation?
  • Can I provide opportunities for participants to engage in cultural activities and interact with Americans in the workplace and in the community?
  • Will I be available to communicate frequently with AHA via email or phone calls? Open communication is key to our partnership! Host properties must notify AHA promptly when participants arrive at the work site and begin their programs; when there are any changes or deviations in the job placements during the participants' programs; when participants are not meeting the requirements of the job placements; or when participants leave their position ahead of their planned departure.

Hiring for your peak seasonal needs is a simple, straight-forward process when you hire with AHA as your Work and Travel sponsor. A passionate and dedicated AHA manager works directly with you to:

  • Determine and understand your seasonal hiring needs
  • Recruit qualified candidates
  • Arrange interview via telephone or Skype for you to hire
  • Assist you in completing all necessary paperwork
  • Prepare your participants for their arrival, provide arrival updates
  • Provides ongoing support throughout the program to you and your participants!

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 Cultural Exchange 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 stereotypes, 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 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!

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