What is the program ?
Work and Travel USA is a program of international cultural exchange, developed by the US State Department in 1961.It gives a chance for a full-time students to spend their summer vacation in the US, working legally in tourism and services sphere, amusement parks and more. On the American side the program is administered by the sponsoring organization that cares for the students during their stay in the US. Each participant receives a visa J1, which gives him the right to work legally in the US for last 4 months, and with it the opportunity to save money, make a trip overseas to improve their English and to gain friends from all over the world. Each year over 10,000 students from Bulgaria and taking part in the Work and Travel USA program.
The program is four months working period and one month tourist stay for travel within the United States, the latest date for returning to Bulgaria is October 1st.
Time for the program:
• Your arrival in the US should be between 1 May - 20 June
• Specific date of arrival - each participant chooses independently
• Period of the work offer - ranging from 2.5 to 4 months + each participant can travel 1 month after the end of the working period, but he/she should be leave the US, no later than October 1st
The program is open to any student who is:
• Full time students in Bulgaria or abroad (Bachelor or Master’s Degree)
• Between 18 and 28 years
• Can speak fluent average English
Rights of participants in the US:
Obtain additional information:
• After signing the form for Job Offer (Premium Placement), you must contact the employer via e-mail or phone and tell him that you are willing to work for him.
• Know what you need to take with you. Stuff like blankets, pillows, towels and sheets are not usually provided in the accommodation.
• Plan your travel and specify what is the most convenient and fast way to get to the job.
• Every state and every employer has a self-determined policy on overtime.
• In some cases, you can make more hours, above those stated in the job offer. Every hour above the 40th is called Overtime . Typically, the increase in the payment for the overtime is half the amount of the principal of overtime, but each employer has his own policy regarding the payment of overtime.
According to the order for standards of fair wages, the minimum wage in the US is $ 5.15 per hour or $ 2.13 an hour for those who receive a tip.
• The law prohibits discrimination on racial, religious, sexual signs, skin color, physical or mental inferiority and establish procedures to ensure equal rights.
• The employer has no right to discriminate you in employment, in growing the company, in wages, giving an advantage in organizing trainings and communication.
• The law prohibits discrimination in wages when performing the same job in the same company for people of different age and gender.
• If you think you discriminate or your right to work is impaired, call the Equal Employment Opportunity (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) phone 1-800-669-4000 (free in the US).
Check for drugs:
• Your employer may request to make a drug test.
• Any employer uses different methods to verify their workers.
• You may be checked at the start of the job and can be checked periodically throughout your working period.
Features work in America
• Work in a team
• Do not be late
• Dress appropriately
• Keep as American (American): Americans shake hands and never kiss on the cheek as in other countries .Try not to be very quiet
• Americans like impulsivity and excessive relaxation can be considered as unfriendliness.
• Keep your promises: Each employer has certain expectations when they hired you .He is part of which appears after you take the job .With taking the work position you accept certain obligations that must do .Remember that you agreed to work for a certain period of time and it is good to honor your promise.
Salary and payment checks:
You will be paid every week or twice a month. From each check will be deducted legitimate taxes that are returned to you when you return to your home country . When receiving checks carefully observe whether there has been a mistake and promptly call the employer.
Problems at work:
If problems arise with colleagues or superiors try to solve them within the best language .You are a new employee and you may experience a problem similar to the one which a colleague has had and has been resolved - do not be afraid to ask for help and advice from others.
Completion of work:
When the duration of the work offer coming to an end do not forget to warn the employer two weeks before the last working day .This will ensure timely receipt of your recent checks.
Before you leave work:
• Ask for last check
• If you gave a deposit for the apartment do not forget to take it
• Keep any data of the employer if any problems occur.
• To be able to get your tax refund, remind the employer that you will need a W2 Form (usually it comes in the files to fill in at the start of the work).
You can be fired if the company is dissatisfied with your work. In most cases dismissed because of an inability to work in a team or for disciplinary events (delays, defaults, sleeping at work). If you violate the rules, there will be some warnings and if violations are repeated again, you can get dismissed.