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University Exchange Programs

Under partnership agreements between their universities, American and international students can trade places and experience living in each others countries and studying at each others universities. This study might be part of a degree program in your home country, or you might take just a few courses at a U.S. universityat the undergraduate or graduate levelfor your personal or professional enrichment.

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Advisers at your nearest EducationUSA Advising Center are available to answer questions and provide information about university exchange programs that might be available to you.


Before you apply to a technical or vocational program, be sure that the program, and any certificate or diploma you might earn, will be recognized upon return to your home country and that the institution you are considering holds the appropriate type of U.S. accreditation.


J-1/Professional Exchange Programs include:

        Summer Work/Travel. Permits postsecondary students to work in the United States during summer vacations. Maximum program duration is four months.

        Camp Counselor. Allows foreign participants to work at U.S. summer youth camps for up to four months.

        Intern. Allows current university students and recent graduates to pursue an internship with a U.S. business or non-profit organization for periods of up to 12 months.

        Trainee. Allows eligible foreign participants the opportunity to develop professional skills with a U.S. business or organization for periods as long as 18 months.

        Teacher. Allows qualified, experienced teachers to teach full time in U.S. primary or secondary accredited schools for up to three years.

        Au Pair. Allows foreign participants ages 18-26 to live with an American family and provide up to 45 hours per week of childcare in the home. The program also includes a mandatory educational component conducted outside the home.


Additional Resources

        U.S. Department of State J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

        Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange

Vocational and Technical Exchange Programs

To learn a new skill or update an existing one, consider a short-term program at a two-year community college or junior college, a vocational or technical institution, or a private training center. Programs range from several days to more than a year and are designed to meet specific, practical training requirements that prepare students for employment. Common vocational and technical exchange programs include data processing, culinary arts, construction, automotive mechanics, game design, and secretarial services.

Exchange Programs

Exchange programs offer students the opportunity to explore their personal interests while spending a summer, a semester, or an academic year in the United States.

Professional Exchange Programs

Short-term professional exchange programs vary widely. Some participants are able to accept a wide range of work, while others are restricted to experiences within a chosen career or a specific job.