Information for parents
Your child’s participation in the program Work and Travel will surely excite you for the next few months. Indisputably this program allows your child to be more independent and responsible, to find new friends and live unforgettable emotions, while getting to know a new culture. The whole process for you about his applying can be a source of concern.
As a parent it is important and useful to know all entrants in Work and Travel Program.
• The role of WATA is to prepare your child’s participation in the program, to move his documents to the sponsors, to make orientations, to prepare your child for VISA interview and to schedule a date for the VISA interview, to assist buying the Airplane ticket and to provide information and advice for his/her rights and obligations of the Participant, also the way of the way of life and work in the US.
• The role of the sponsor (American sponsorship organization, as GeoVisions, CENET, Spirit and other) is to assist in finding and employer or check the job offer, to issue work permit ( DS-2019), to monitor the program runs smoothly and to assist all participants. The actions of the sponsor are monitored directly by the Department state of the US.
• The American employer is a company in which your child will be working for the summer. He is close watched by the sponsor and he is obliged to fulfill all the conditions of the job offer, which your child has signed.
• The US Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria is the place, where your child will apply for a VISA for Work and Travel of class J-1. We will help him/her to prepare the documents for the interview.
• The US Department State is one of the implementing departments of the US. It is founder of the Work and Travel USA program and its main regular. The US Department State is in permanent Connection with the sponsor, during program.
Save a copy of all documents. Save a copy of the international passport, VISA, work permit (DS-2019), job offer, a print out of the airplane ticket. European ID and driving license.
BUSINESS ETHICS AND BEHAVIOR OF THE WORK PLACE
For a big part of the students which are participants in the Work and Travel USA program, this is not only the first travel outside Bulgaria, but and the first contact with work and employer. Here you are some advices, which we think are useful, at beginning of work:
• The first days are usually allocated to training and orintation to work place. Let your child know, to listen carefully and if there is something that he/she doesn’t understand, he/she have to ask questions without worrying.
• Very important is not to be late for work, but if he/she can’t go to work, simply call and kindly explain what happened to him/her.
• If he/she finds an subject, which aren‘t his/her, immediately has to give it to the manager.
• To observe personal hygiene, to keep his uniform clean and ironed.
Here are some possible situations and advices, which is the right to give:
• He/she has to go to the airline desk, by whichwas released the airplane ticket. Let he/she explain carefully, why he/she missed flight, then she/he has to contact with WATA. If he/she has a good reason, the airline will show understanding and offer an alternative.
• Our advice to our participant is to put extra clothes in the hand luggage. At lost luggage area, your child has to find counter “Lost Luggage claim”, there he/she will fill in the necessary forms, in which she/he has to write his/her address for received the Baggage. Our advice is to write the employer’s address.
LOST IDENTITY DOCUMENTS
• He/She has to contact with Bulgarian Embassy in the US:
Phone: ( 202 ) 387 0174
( 202 ) 299 0273
( 202 ) 483 1386
Address : 1621 , 22nd Street, NW , Washington D.C. , 20008
Work time: 9 am – 5:30 pm
It is necessary to inform WATA by e-mail.
LOSING THE WORK PERMIT DS-2019
• In case of loss or damage of the DS-2019 (work permit) the participant has to contact to the sponsor.
• DS-2019 will be reissued and send to address which your child give to the Sponsor.
DS-2019 IS FORGOTTEN IN BULGARIA
• If your child finds out at the international airport in Europe that he/she has lost his/her DS-2019, let calmly and politely explained to the employee of the airline about the situation. Entry in the US without DS-2019 is possible, as immigration officers will give him/her 30 days to submit this document, as well as the instructions show how and where to be done. Then you have to send the DS-2019 to your child.
• If there is an accident, the student feels pain or his/her health suddenly gets worse, he/she has to search for qualified medical assistance. Also the student has to contact with the sponsor.
• Usually this happens at first glance for inoffensive situations, pilferage from stores, use of alcohol beverage in a public places, use of alcohol beverage under 21 years, noisy party or squabble with a representative of authority. Note that in the US those actions are not left unpunished! If your child is arrested, very important is that he/she contacts with the sponsor. You have to contact WATA. Stay calm and keep in mind that your child will have a public defender.
ADVICES FOR SAFETY
• Alcohol – in the US is banned the sale and use of alcohol for people under the 21 age. Also in bars and clubs it is not allowed underage people to enter. Use of alcohol beverage in a public place and transportation of not packed in nontransparent bags are banned.
• Wearing a helmet is mandatory;
• To be easily spotted by other road users, the participant is better to be dressed in bright clothes and wear reflective elements;
• the participant must establish visual contact with the driver of a nearby car, before taking maneuver;
Cyclists are full participants in the movement and such must follow the rules.
It is obligatory :
• to signal a change indirection of movement by hand signal;
• to stop on a red light;
• to drive in the strip for cyclists.
• To drive at the same way like cars.
More information for traffic rules cyclists for different states you can find on this website:
http: // www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/helmet_laws.html
OBLIGATION OF THE PARTICIPANTS IN CULTURAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM
Very important for your child is to contact with the sponsor. The sponsor will send him/her an e-mail, which they will check how is he/she is, does he/she has problems with employer or the house where he/she lives. In due time the student has to contact with the sponsor when:
• He/she arrived in the US – 3 days after entrance in the US, the students have to write to the sponsor the date and the address where he/she will live in the US.
• She/he has to replay every month to the e-mails from the sponsor
• Change the house where he/she lives
• problems ( with employer, healthy, with the house where she/he live )
Do not expect your child to communicate with you every day. Keep in mind the time difference and busy daily program or simply because there are many opportunities for entertainment and less free time is the reason for not calling.
Below you can check out the work and travel information for parents in pdf format in english and bulgarian language.