The Internship USA program

Internships are common throughout the US, especially in the spring and summer, and are available in most fields. The Internship USA program allows you the rare opportunity to work on an internship while experiencing what it's like to live and work in the world's dominant culture. Program participants have landed unforgettable internships working in finance, television, the arts, fashion, engineering and more that they simply couldn't find working at home.

Finding Your US Internship

Before you apply for the SWAP Internship USA program, you must first find and secure an internship directly related to your course of study. You should allow for plenty of time for your search. We have provided a number of online resources (on the right) to help you get started. Bookmark this page and go to those sites everyday - new placements are added daily.

According to our past participants, the most common way to find an internship was to approach companies you admire even if they haven't posted any placements. It shows initiative and presents an exclusive opportunity to sell yourself.

Remember: finding a suitable internship takes time, persistence, and a little creativity! Hundreds of Swappers have found internships and went on to have amazing times all around the US from New York to Hawaii.

Types of Work Allowed

The Internship USA program is intended to complement your academic skills with real world experience, so there are very specific rules regarding the kinds of work that you will be able to secure.

  • Your internship must be related directly to your studies (i.e. your course major).
  • Your visa will be granted for one specific employer. Part-time jobs and / or changing jobs is not permitted. Changing an internship is only possible in exceptional circumstances (e.g. your host organization is closing down, non-compliance with the agreed training plan from your host organization, etc.) In such a case, the Sponsor will evaluate the situation and give permission for any internship change.
  • The following fields of work are prohibited under this J-1 visa category: patient care, diagnostics / medical interns, work of any type with children, cruise lines, airplanes, any position offered by temporary work agencies, veterinary practitioners, domestic workers, camp counsellors, sports therapy / coaching, fast food restaurants, performing artists / entertainers, guards, construction work, and research scholars (although short research traineeships are possible if it is actual training in research).
  • Your internship host organization must have Workers Compensation Insurance and must be covering you under their policy.
Internship USA Program Duration
  • Up to 12 months.
  • You are allowed to enter the US up to 10 days before your internship starts and stay up to 30 days after your internship ends (specific dates will be needed at time of your application). You are not allowed to work during that time.
What's Included When You GO with SWAP
  • Personalized assistance in reviewing and editing the necessary application forms.
  • We take care of the processing and issuance of the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor J-1 Status (DS-2019).
  • The GO SWAP Kit, which includes: Your DS-2019, SEVIS receipt, insightful pre-departure / border crossing literature, and a participant handbook that has important information on SEVIS, Social Security, taxes, visa rules and regulations, etc.
  • Mandatory orientation after the approval of your visa, covering: required documents, health insurance, visa rules and regulations, and much more.
  • Your US Sponsor will monitor your internship on an ongoing basis, ensuring that it meets the Training / Internship Placement Plan described and agreed to for your internship.
  • Access to a toll-free, 24/7 emergency number.
  • Optional health insurance coverage for the full duration of your stay in the United States.