Why take the initiative to find an internship or training program on your own?
Only you know exactly what kind of position you're looking for, and the more energy you put into searching for the right position, the more likely it is you will find a program that fits perfectly with your career aspirations.
You'll also appear especially motivated to American employers; they appreciate individuals who show their willingness to pursue their own positions!
Ultimately, when you are the one finding and choosing your internship, you will be happiest with the outcome. There are definite cost benefits to finding your own internship, particularly by eliminating placement fees. You'll also make more direct contact with employers, which may help you with networking for future positions!
Make sure your resume and supporting documents that U.S. employers typically require from applicants are in order. Your resume should summarize your educational background, your relevant work experience, and the type of internship for which you are looking. We have some tips on creating a U.S.-style resume and what your cover letter should include.
Our program requires that you find an internship before you apply. As soon as you have your resume in order, contact employers in the USA who might have opportunities that suit you. Positions in the USA are very competitive, so you should start searching as soon as possible. We provide some tips and resources for looking for an internship in the U.S., including some websites where you'll find industry-specific listings.
Having trouble finding exactly what you want? Consider crafting your ideal internship or training program yourself! Many businesses may not post internship openings online but would be open to the idea if the right person and proposal came along. Defining your goals and what you want to do is key in creating your own internship proposal, as is outlining the benefits to your potential employer.
When you find an opportunity that interests you, you should apply directly to the employer. Do your research before applying and interviewing with American employers; learn more about the company in which you're interested as well as the qualities about yourself that make you stand out from other internship applicants.
If the company is interested in hiring you as an intern or trainee, they will contact you to conduct an interview, usually over the phone, but sometimes via webcam. Be prepared to answer these common interview questions.
Applying for an internship/training program can be a long and difficult process, so when you receive an internship offer, it can be very exciting! In your excitement, you may be tempted to accept your offer immediately. However, it's extremely important that you understand the terms of your offer before you accept the position so that there are no surprises once you arrive in the U.S. When considering an offer, be sure to confirm your compensation, hours, and tasks.
J-1 Visa Sponsorship
After you receive an offer, InterExchange can sponsor your J-1 Visa. Both you and your employer will need to complete the J-1 Visa application materials and submit them to InterExchange. If your application is approved, you will need to schedule and attend a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country. The process takes approximately one to two months from the time you submit your application until you arrive in the USA and begin working.
The resources above will help you find the right internship or training program for you so you can enjoy all the benefits of becoming an international intern in the U.S. Before you begin your internship search, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for the J-1 Visa.
Allison joined the InterExchange team in 2011 and holds a B.A. in International Affairs and an M.A. in Higher Education. She oversees the daily operations of the Career Training USA program where she has the privilege of working with students and professionals from around the world pursuing U.S. internships and training programs. Allison is originally from Massachusetts and studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina.