1 Welcme Dear Wrk Prgram Participant, Welcme t CCI s Wrk and Travel Prgram! As a Wrk and Travel Prgram participant, yu are sure t have many rewarding experiences. Living and wrking with Americans and ther students frm arund the wrld is yur chance t help us develp new internatinal friendships and crsscultural understanding. We hpe that yu make the mst f yur experience! This handbk will answer many f the questins that yu may have as a participant n the Wrk and Travel Prgram. Please read it carefully, as it cntains very valuable infrmatin! We invite yu t refer t yur CCI hmepage, fr up t date prgram infrmatin! If yu have any questins that this handbk cannt answer, please cntact the Wrk and Travel Prgram tll-free at 866/ We are happy t assist yu in any way we can. Best wishes t yu fr a wnderful adventure in the United States! Gd Luck! Sincerely, CCI Wrk and Travel Department Chicag, Illinis USA Helpful Hints: Read This! VALIDATE YOUR PROGRAM! Yu must validate yur prgram within 7 days f yur DS-2019 start date by reprting where yu are wrking and living in the U.S. CCI must have this infrmatin in WRITING. Yu can validate yur prgram nline at If yu d nt validate yur prgram n time, yu may nt be granted anther visa t return t the U.S. If yu have any prblems validating yur prgram, please cntact CCI! The jb ffer that CCI apprved prir t yur arrival is the jb that yu must wrk during yur entire prgram. If yu leave this jb withut CCI apprval in WRITING, yur visa spnsrship may be terminated. A terminated status means that yu may nt be granted anther visa t return t the U.S. Check yur nline hme page ONCE A WEEK! The nline system will be CCI s main frm f cmmunicatin with yu, s it is imprtant that yu lg n nce a week fr imprtant updates frm CCI. Be respnsible and fllw the law! If yu are caught stealing, drinking alchl if yu are nt at least 21 years ld, drinking and driving, r break U.S. law in any way, yu may have t pay significant fines and/r g t jail. CCI will immediately terminate yur prgram. Make sure that yu have insurance cverage the entire time that yu are here! Yu are already cvered during the dates n yur DS-2019 frm, but if yu wish t travel during yur grace perid, please cntact CCI fr infrmatin n additinal insurance. Remember that the insurance that CCI sets yu up with may NOT cver yu while driving any mtr vehicle!
2 Be psitive and pen minded! We understand that adjusting t yur new envirnment can be verwhelming, but being psitive and pen minded will help make the transitin easier. Cmmunicate! Please let CCI and yur emplyer knw if yu are experiencing any prblems. We are here t help! Remember t CONTACT yur emplyer fr yur exact arrival time, s they knw when t expect yu. CCI Cntact Infrmatin: Wrk and Travel (Mnday Friday, 9 am 5:30 pm CST) Telephne (tll free): Fax: Emergencies and after ffice hurs ONLY: Backgrund Infrmatin: What is CCI? The Center fr Cultural Interchange (CCI) is a nn-prfit rganizatin dedicated t the prmtin f cultural understanding, envirnmental cnsciusness, and wrld peace. CCI is designated by the Department f State as a J-1 exchange visitr prgram spnsr. We have been prviding quality cultural exchange prgrams and have served thusands f participants since CCI is currently granted full listing by the Cuncil n Standards fr Internatinal Educatinal Travel (CSIET). We have been a member f the Wrld Yuth Student and Educatinal Travel Cnfederatin (WYSTC) since Other assciatins include: NAFSA: Assciatin f Internatinal Educatrs, GWEA: Glbal Wrk Experience Assciatin, and The Alliance fr Internatinal Educatinal and Cultural Exchange. Backgrund Infrmatin: Cntacting CCI Telephne: Mnday - Friday, 9 A.M. 5:30 P.M. Central Standard Time: tll free at If it is an emergency, and yu are trying t reach us during nn-ffice hurs, yu may call fr free PLEASE USE THIS NUMBER FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY!!! Sme examples f NON-EMERGENCIES are: calling t check up n yur SEVIS status cnfirming yur arrival lst passprt These are issues that can be dealt with during nrmal business hurs (Mnday - Friday, 9 A.M. 5:30 P.M. Central Standard Time) Fax:
3 If yu are faxing us smething, be sure t call us tll free ( ) during nrmal business hurs t cnfirm that we have received it. Backgrund Infrmatin: What is the Wrk and Travel Prgram? CCI is designated by the U.S. Department f State t act as a spnsr fr internatinal students wh wish t participate in the J-1 Wrk and Travel Exchange Visitr prgram. CCI s Wrk and Travel Prgram ffers university students an exciting way t spend their summer break in the United States. Participants earn mney t cver their living expenses, while wrking fr up t 4 mnths. Participants can remain in the U.S. fr an additinal 30-day travel perid. Mst participants wrk in the hspitality industry and psitins range frm bartender t bkkeeper, ride peratr t sales persn, husekeeper t desk attendant. SELF-PLACED DISCOUNTED OPTION (SP) SP participants find their wn jbs and submit a jb ffer by a deadline. All jbs need t be verified befre a participant begins wrking. JOB BOARD OPTION (JB) JB participants use ur Web site t lcate, apply fr and accept jbs. Participants receive a signed jb agreement frm CCI upn frmal acceptance f the jb nline. EASY PROGRAM OPTION (EZ) (beginning in winter ) EZ prgram participants are placed by CCI prgram crdinatrs with a cperating emplyer. In additin t a full time jb, the emplyer secures and guarantees husing fr the participants. EZ participants may als search fr a jb using CCI's Jb Bard. The fllwing ARE INCLUDED in the CCI Wrk and Travel Prgram: One jb ffer with either husing prvided r husing leads identified (EZ and JB ptins nly) DS-2019 Frm Medical insurance Virtual rientatin (required) 24-hur supprt f the CCI Office If yu indicated n yur applicatin that yu are attending rientatin, the fllwing will als be included: Orientatin sessin upn arrival Overnight accmmdatins the night befre yur scheduled rientatin Dinner at rientatin check-in
4 The fllwing are NOT INCLUDED in the prgram and are yur respnsibility: Husing Fees Meals Spending mney Internatinal airfare Dmestic transprtatin in the U.S. Airprt transfers Public transprtatin t and frm wrk Abut yur J-1 Wrk and Travel Visa T participate in the Wrk and Travel Prgram, yu need a valid passprt and a J-1visa issued by the American Embassy in yur hme cuntry. CCI will send a DS-2019 frm and ther visa dcuments t yur sending agent when prgram payment is received. When yu are n a J-1 Wrk and Travel Visa, yu are respnsible fr reprting thrugh CCI s Web site (www.ccisevis.cm). Yur arrival t the United States, within 7 days after yur DS-2019 start date. The address and phne number where yu are living. The address and phne number where yu are wrking. Any changes in address and/r emplyer, within 10 days f this change. Yur departure frm the United States. If yu d nt have access t the internet and need t reprt any f the abve items, yu may reprt them via fax at Please be sure t call us tll free at t cnfirm we have received the fax. WE MUST RECEIVE ALL OF THIS INFORMATION IN WRITING; WE CANNOT TAKE IT OVER THE PHONE! If yu d nt infrm CCI f this infrmatin, yur visa spnsrship will be IN JEOPARDY, which means that yu are nt fllwing the rules. In this situatin, it is CCI s bligatin t reprt yu t the United States gvernment, and yu will need t return t yur hme cuntry immediately. This will jepardize yur chances t return t the United States in the future. Pre-Departure Infrmatin
5 What CCI expects frm yu! When yu applied fr the prgram, yu signed the CCI Cde f Cnduct. This dcument can be fund in this handbk and in yur applicatin, where yu signed yur name. Please be sure t read this infrmatin very carefully, as CCI and yur emplyer will expect yu t fllw this Cde f Cnduct! In additin t these terms, we expect yu t be an pen-minded, mature and hardwrking emplyee wh respects the rules and regulatins f yur emplyer and this cuntry. We expect yu t cntact us directly if yu are having any prblems with yur emplyer, surrundings, r jb. We are happy t help yu! Jb Offer Acceptances: If yu cme n the EZ prgram, yur acceptance r decline f the EZ wrk assignment must be received in the CCI ffice within 7 days frm when we send it t the agent in yur hme cuntry. Jb Offers nt cnfirmed within ne week will be cancelled, and yu will be expected t find yur wn jb prir t yur arrival. If yu cme n the JB ptin, CCI expects the signed ffer fr the wrk assignment that yu accepted n the JB in ur ffice within 7 days frm when we send it t the agent in yur hme cuntry Virtual Orientatin: In additin t yur pre-departure rientatin and arrival rientatin in the U.S., CCI als requires that yu cmplete ur "virtual rientatin" prir t yur arrival. Lg nt yur nline accunt t cmplete this rientatin. YOU MUST COMPLETE THIS ORIENTATION BEFORE LEAVING YOUR HOME COUNTRY AND BEFORE VALIDATING YOUR PROGRAM! Pre-Departure Orientatin: Befre yu leave yur hme cuntry, yur sending agent will prvide yu with a "pre-departure" rientatin. It is imprtant that yu attend this rientatin t discuss any questins r cncerns that yu may have prir t leaving fr the U.S. Flight Infrmatin: CCI must receive yur detailed rund-trip flight arrival infrmatin n later than 10 days prir t yur arrival in the United States. Yu shuld give this infrmatin t yur sending agent, and they will ntify CCI. It is als yur respnsibility t infrm yur emplyer when yu will be arriving! Pre-Departure Infrmatin
6 Return t yur hme cuntry n time! It is imprtant that yu bey the rules f the J-1 Wrk and Travel Visa and return hme within 30 days f the end date n yur DS-2019 frm! What if I want t stay lnger? Participants wh verstay their visas are in the U.S. ILLEGALLY and in vilatin f CCI and Department f State rules. This means that yu will be required t leave the cuntry immediately! Participants wh verstay their visas als jepardize the pssibility f any family member visiting the U.S. in the future. Hw can I return t the U.S. again? Obey the rules f yur J-1 Wrk and Travel visa the first time yu cme, and yu be in psitive standing with the U.S. gvernment. This increases yur chances t get anther visa (J-1 r ther) in the future! CCI is happy t spnsr yur visa while here in the U.S., and we hpe yu enjy yur Wrk and Travel experience! Hwever, yu were granted a visa based n yur gd academic standing, and the belief that yu wuld return t yur hme cuntry t finish yur studies. Jepardizing yur visa status has many repercussins that will affect yu fr the rest f yur life! Why yu shuld return hme n time: 1. Yu will remain in gd standing with the U.S. gvernment and CCI 2. Yu will be able t return t the U.S. again next year 3. Getting anther visa is easier the secnd time 4. Yur family will nt have prblems cming t the U.S. Cnsequences if yu d nt: 1. Yu will have an unfavrable recrd in the U.S. 2. Yu will always be wrried abut getting caught 3. Yu may never be able t return t the U.S. 4. Yur family members may nt be granted a visa Many times, peple living in the U.S. will tell yu it is OK t break the rules f yur visa and remain in the U.S. Hwever, this is nt the case. U.S. gvernment regulatins have becme extremely strict, and it is abslutely frbidden t vilate the terms f yur visa. Please cntact yur sending agent r CCI if yu have questins abut these regulatins!
7 Pre-Departure Infrmatin Where are yu ging? The U.S. is a large cuntry cnsisting f many cultures, different lcal custms, and varying attitudes. There are many ways t find ut mre abut the area where yu will be living. Be sure t research the area where yu are ging and be pen minded abut its differences! Be enthusiastic abut embracing the area that will be yur hme fr the next few mnths! Researching where yu will wrk: Internet: There is an abundance f infrmatin n the Internet. Research the Web sites prvided by yur emplyer n yur jb ffer, r cnsult the Useful Web sites sectin f this handbk. Lk fr the cmpany yu will be wrking fr nline! Smaller businesses may nt have a Web site, thugh yu may be surprised. The Lcal Chamber f Cmmerce: Mst areas have Chambers f Cmmerce named fr the city (fr example, the Seattle Chamber f Cmmerce), r fr the cunty (Dr Cunty Chamber f Cmmerce). These Web sites will give yu infrmatin abut the area, activities and scial events. Yu can usually request mre turist infrmatin t be ed! Travel Bureaus: Perhaps there is a lcal turist ffice r a visitr infrmatin center in the area where yu will be living and wrking. They are als usually named fr the city r cunty. Cntact yur emplyer: r call yur emplyer and ask where yu can find infrmatin abut the area. Pre-Departure Infrmatin Packing yur bags Pack Light! Remember that yu will have t carry everything that yu bring with yu. Als, yu will prbably buy many things while in the United States, s it is best t bring the essentials and leave extra space fr yur purchases. Mst airlines will allw yu t check 2 bags and carry n 1 small bag. Please be sure t check yur airline s web site t make sure this is the case. Sme U.S. airlines nw charge a fee fr checked baggage. In case yur luggage is temprarily lst, yu shuld pack a change f clthes in yur carry-n luggage. Yu shuld cntact the airline befre yur departure t cnfirm the exact weight and measurement requirements f yur luggage!
8 In additin t yur standard clthing and tiletries, we recmmend that yu bring: CALLING CARD fr phne calls This can als be purchased when yu arrive in the U.S. 1 NICE PAIR OF DRESS SHOES 2 OR 3 DRESS SHIRTS OR BLOUSES 1 PAIR OF SNEAKERS/TENNIS SHOES 6 CASUAL/COMFORTABLE SHIRTS 1 PAIR OF SANDALS (Depending n lcatin and time f year) 1 SWEATER 1 SWEATSHIRT 2 PAIRS OF JEANS DRESS SOCKS AND ATHLETIC SOCKS 1 JACKET 1 COAT 6 OR 7 PAIRS OF UNDERWEAR 1 OR 2 PAIRS OF SHORTS PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION ( if applicable) GLASSES OR EXTRA CONTACT LENSES LUGGAGE LOCK AND KEY MONEY BELT - T hld yur imprtant papers and mney while travelling ANY OTHER CLOTHES REQUIRED BY YOUR EMPLOYER, as stated n yur jb ffer. MONEY! As ne f ur spnsrship cnditins, yu are required t have access t $1000 when yu arrive t the U.S., t help yu live and in case f an emergency. Yu dn't have t have this is cash, but yu must be able t have access t it. A credit r debit card r traveler s checks are best. CCI's CONTACT INFORMATION. Once yu arrive t the U.S. yu will be under CCI's spnsrship - make sure yu knw hw t cntact us! 2 COPIES EACH OF YOUR PASSPORT, DS-2019 Frm, J-1 VISA, AND JOB OFFER. Make sure yu keep all riginals, and 1 cpy each f yur dcuments in yur carry n bag! Pack 1 cpy f each in yur suitcase. These dcuments are VERY imprtant, and yu shuld knw where this infrmatin is at all times. Arrival in the United States The Airprt T pass thrugh the airprt, yu will need: Valid Passprt with J-1 visa DS-2019 Frm I-94 card (the white card that yu received n the plane)
9 Be sure yu keep these dcuments tgether in a very secure place at all times, and that yu have these dcuments ready upn arrival. We recmmend that yu make cpies f these dcuments and keep them in a separate place in case they are lst r stlen. Cpies will greatly help yu if yu need t replace these dcuments. What if I Left my DS-2019 Frm back hme? At the prt f entry, the immigratin fficer may tell yu that yur stay in the U.S. is limited t 30 days, and yu will be issued a frm called I-515A. Yu will have 30 days t prduce all f the dcuments required n this frm. Cntact CCI during nrmal business hurs, s that we may assist yu in cmpleting it. All dcumentatin must be MAILED t: Student and Exchange Visitr Prgram (SEVP) ATTN: Frm I-515A Prcessing Team Chester Arthur Building 425 I Street, NW, Suite 6034 Washingtn, DC What if I Lse my DS-2019 Frm? 1. If yu lst yur DS frm while here in the U.S., let CCI knw. 2. Make a mney rder r check fr $20 U.S. payable t the Center fr Cultural Interchange. 3. Include yur name as it appears n yur passprt and prvide the address where yu may receive and sign fr the package. 4. Yu will have t take the DS frm either t the prt f entry (the airprt where yu came in) r t a U.S. immigratin ffice and ask an immigratin fficer t sign it. IMPORTANT! After yu pass thrugh custms, yu are respnsible fr arriving at the rientatin site, if yu chse t attend CCI s rientatin; a CCI representative WILL NOT meet yu at the airprt! Fllw the instructins sent by CCI t yur sending agent. Arrival Orientatin in the U.S. If yu are attending CCI's arrival rientatin: When yu arrive at the rientatin site, yu must check in at the CCI Welcme Table. This table is available n the day befre rientatin. At this table, yu will pick up very imprtant infrmatin abut the rientatin. If yu have any emergencies r get lst n yur way t the rientatin site, please cntact: 1. the hstel where the grup is staying r 2. the CCI Chicag Office at these TOLL FREE numbers: Mnday - Friday (9am - 5:30 pm Central Time) AFTER-HOURS EMERGENCY
10 Sample Orientatin Schedule: Day 1 Day 2 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.: Arrivals t Designated Orientatin Cities Check-In and Registratin (Dinner prvided) Participants receive Welcme Flders 6:00 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. Check Out f Hstel (Breakfast prvided) 7:00 a.m. Orientatin sessin 7:30 a.m. Scial Security Applicatin begins 11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. Participants have the pprtunity t discuss jbs with CCI staff members Afternn Participants travel t wrk assignments as instructed by CCI Overnight Accmmdatins fr Orientatin Please check with yur sending agent fr full rientatin lcatin details. Yur reservatin is fr the night befre the rientatin date nly. The cst f vernight accmmdatins and dinner are included in yur prgram fee. CCI representatives will be at the hstel t welcme yu n the prearranged arrival date. We will prvide yu with a packet f infrmatin. If yu arrive later than 8:00 p.m., r are nt able t lcate a CCI staff member, ask fr assistance frm the attendant and they will help yu get settled in yur rm. If yu d nt check in with a CCI staff member the night befre rientatin, YOU MUST check in the FIRST THING the fllwing mrning! Additinal Nights If yu need t spend an additinal night in yur rientatin city, we recmmend that yu directly cntact the hstel t make a reservatin; CCI des nt pay fr additinal nights Traveling t Wrk Yu will travel t yur wrk assignment after rientatin. Yu are respnsible fr reserving and paying fr the train, bus r airfare. Cmplete details abut yur required transfer t the wrk assignment may be prvided n yur jb ffer. Please review this infrmatin when yu receive it, as many transfers require reservatins! After making yur travel arrangements, cntact yur emplyer t cnfirm yur arrival time and date. If yur jb ffer des NOT indicate travel instructins, be sure t discuss what yu shuld d with yur emplyer befre reserving yur transprtatin! Yur emplyer needs t knw when t expect yu! Als, try nt t arrive at an unreasnable hur, as this is nt plite r prfessinal!
11 Arrival in the United States Mney Matters Credit Cards: CCI recmmends bringing a credit card t the U.S. Yu will have access t mney in case f emergency, be able t rder things ver the phne and via the Internet (plane tickets and htel reservatins). Yu can als add minutes t yur phne cards with a credit card. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are the mst cmmn in the U.S. Be careful abut verspending. Yu will be required t pay back the mney yu charge! Opening a checking accunt Be sure t pen an accunt that prvides a debit card. Debit cards wrk like credit cards but can be used at stres and restaurants that dn t accept checks. Debit cards use the mney frm yur checking accunt, s be sure that yu have enugh mney in yur accunt t cver yur purchase! They are useable at cash machines (ATM s) all ver the U.S. t get cash at any hur. Yu MUST have enugh mney in yur accunt befre yu write a check! Banks charge fees (usually abut $30) when yu verdraw yur accunt. Keep careful recrds f hw much mney yu are spending; always cmpare yur wn recrds with yur mnthly bank statement. Writing a check is simple. Write the dllar amunt twice: nce in numbers (in the upper right crner), and nce using wrds (in the center). There will be a space fr the date and yur signature. Visit yur lcal bank and ask them what kind f checking accunts they ffer. ABOUT YOUR MONEY Keep yur mney in a safe place! Try t carry small amunts f cash. Keep it in a mney wallet under yur clthes if yu are carrying larger amunts f mney. Keep Receipts and Pay Stubs: CCI recmmends that yu keep ALL yur receipts while in the United States. This especially applies t husing, fd and transprtatin receipts. Yu never knw when yu will need a receipt t prve yur purchase. If yu are nt given a receipt when yu pay rent, please request ne frm yur landlrd. Cashing Paychecks: If yu have a checking accunt, yu can simply take yur paycheck t yur bank r the bank written n yur check and cash it. In additin, sme grcery stres r currency exchanges als cash checks fr a small fee. Be prepared t shw sme frm f identificatin (fr example, a cpy f yur passprt) fr any transactins that yu make. Remember! Yu are NOT paid in cash! Sales Tax: When yu lk at a price tag in the U.S., it is usually the price befre sales tax. Usually sales tax is abut 5-8% (smething with a price marked as $1.00 culd actually cst $1.08 when yu pay!). Be prepared fr this when yu are making purchases! Tipping: It is expected that yu tip yur server abut 18% f the price f yur bill fr lunch and 20% f the price fr dinner. If yu feel that yu were given gd service, yu may tip
12 mre; likewise, if yu feel yu were given pr service, yu may chse t tip less. Similarly, we als tip bartenders, taxi drivers, hair stylists, etc. Budget wisely! Be careful abut verspending. Make sure that yu have enugh mney t cver the essentials (rent, fd, transprtatin) befre yu spend mney n ther things. CCI requires that yu cmplete a budget sheet prir t yur arrival. This will help yu t better plan fr yur expenses during yur stay in the U.S. SEVIS and Validatin SEVIS: Student Exchange Visitr Infrmatinal System As an Exchange Visitr t the U.S., yu are respnsible fr maintaining yur 'visa status.' Failure t fllw these steps will put yur visa status in jepardy. IMPORTANT POINTS Yur spnsr is CCI. Telephne: Yu must infrm CCI f where yu are living and wrking. This must be within seven days after yur DS-2019 start date. Yu shuld d this via nline.cci-exchange.cm. If yu d nt have access t the Internet, yu may update yur infrmatin with CCI via fax at Please call t cnfirm that yur fax was received. If yu change husing, yu MUST ntify CCI via the web site: nline.cci-exchange.cm. It is against CCI plicy t change jbs withut CCI s apprval and ding s may lead t the terminatin f yur visa! If yu want t change yur jb, yu MUST cntact CCI directly befre ding s! If yu are given permissin t change jbs, yu must send a new valid jb ffer and budget sheet t CCI. Yu must cntact CCI via the Web site when yu have yur return ticket infrmatin. This must be dne, regardless if yu are leaving early r nt. Yu must call us befre yur insurance expires (refer t yur insurance card) in rder t avid being reprted t Immigratin. Yu MUST check yur CCI hme page weekly, as this is hw CCI will let yu knw if smething is wrng with yur status in SEVIS. If yu changed yur address, cntact CCI s we can update yur infrmatin. If yu pted fr CCI t als send yu reminders, be sure t check yur and yur junk r SPAM flders, in case CCI s s are being sent there! If yu are unsure f yur status in SEVIS, cntact CCI immediately! A SEVIS DICTIONARY ACTIVE: Participant wh has validated his prgram and adheres t all CCI prcedures. NO SHOW r INVALID: This participant is n lnger spnsred by CCI because the participant fails t reprt his emplyer and husing addresses in WRITING t CCI within 7
13 days after the DS-2019 start date. This may have a negative effect n the participant's future chances f returning t the U.S. n anther visa. INACTIVE: Participant is n lnger spnsred by CCI. This status can mean that the prgram end date has passed. It can als mean that the participant has received permissin t leave the jb befre his DS end date t travel r t return hme because f an emergency. The participant des nt plan n wrking fr the rest f the prgram. There are n negative cnsequences invlved with this status; hwever, the participant will n lnger be allwed t wrk and earn mney. TERMINATED: Participants wh are n lnger spnsred by CCI because the participant breaks U.S. law, vilates Department f State rules gverning the prgram, OR failed t cmply with CCI prgram rules. This may have a negative effect n the participant's future chances f returning t the U.S. n anther visa. TERMINATED PARTICIPANTS MUST RETURN TO THEIR HOME COUNTRY IMMEDIATELY. Validating Yur Prgram Due t new enfrcement prcedures implemented by the U.S. Department f State, J-1 Wrk and Travel participants are nw required t adhere t the fllwing, in rder t be validated in the SEVIS system. Yu will need t first be validated in the SEVIS system BEFORE yur Scial Security applicatin is prcessed! Hw d yu validate yur prgram? 1. Reprt yur "site f activity" (emplyment) address AND yur current husing address at: nline.cci-exchange.cm with yur assigned username and passwrd. THIS PROCESS VALIDATES YOU IN SEVIS, ONLY IF YOUR INFORMATION IS RECEIVED COMPLETE. This must be dne within 7 days after the DS-2019 start date. CCI staff is nt permitted t validate any participant withut written cnfirmatin frm the participant. 2. If the internet is nt accessible, participants are permitted t submit cmplete husing and emplyment addresses via fax by using the CCI Validatin by Fax Frm. 3. If yu have any questins r cncerns, please call during regular business hurs. Fr the user guide t validating yur prgram, please g t yur nline accunt at and click n the Resurces tab. Wrk Placement Where are yu wrking? Wrk and Travel participants receive a jb ffer in entry level psitins. Pssible psitins include: kitchen help, maintenance, custmer service r sales, bussing tables, traveling amusements, fd cncessins, r cashiering. If yu have questins abut the jb ffered t yu, ask yur sending partner befre signing the agreement! Yur signature indicates that yu agree t wrk at yur jb fr the dates listed n yur DS-2019 Frm. It als
14 means that yu knw and accept the details f yur placement. Once yu sign yur wrk agreement, yur emplyer will depend n yu t fulfill yur wrk cntract! AVERAGE: Yur wrk hurs shuld even ut t at least 30 hurs per week, even if yu d nt wrk 30 hurs every week. Fr example, if yu wrk 20 hurs ne week and 40 hurs the next, yur average number f hurs is 30. Sme weeks may be slwer than thers. Yu shuld talk t yur supervisr if yu are cncerned. Yu are expected t wrk an average f 30 hurs per week. Althugh special requests will be cnsidered, yur final placement may r may nt be in yur riginal field f interest. This is a cultural exchange prgram. TRANSPORTATION TO WORK In mst cases, yu will be able t walk t wrk r take public transprtatin. Many participants als buy/rent a bicycle. If yu chse, yu may purchase a car t use fr the duratin f the prgram, but yu must purchase special aut insurance. CCI INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU WHILE DRIVING! Wrk Placement What yur emplyer expects frm yu HARD WORK: Yur emplyer expects yu t wrk hard and d all f the wrk requested f yu. BE PUNCTUAL: Always arrive t wrk 10 minutes early! BE RESPECTFUL: Always treat yur cwrkers and managers with respect. Yu shuld always listen carefully t what they say. Accept new challenges with a smile! LOOK PRESENTABLE: Yur clthes fr wrk shuld be clean and presentable and s shuld yu! Yur emplyer will expect yu t have gd hygiene and lk nice fr wrk. COMMUNICATE: Always ask questins when yu dn't understand. If yu are having a prblem at wrk, discuss it with yur emplyer. If yu are nt cmfrtable ding this, cntact CCI, and we will help yu. SPEAK ENGLISH: Always speak English while wrking. It is yur respnsibility t make the mst f yur prgram. Yur emplyer is nt respnsible fr imprving yur spken English. Opprtunities t practice are all arund yu! SMILE: Be friendly and make an effrt t get t knw the peple arund yu. HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE: Respect ur culture and the peple yu are wrking with. Cnsider yur prgram an adventure, nt a chre! BE RESOURCEFUL: Research the area where yu are wrking and see what it has t ffer. Wrk Placement Yur expectatins What yu shuld expect frm yur emplyer:
15 FAIR WAGES: Yur emplyer shuld pay yu as indicated n yur jb ffer. Yu shuld be paid an hurly wage r a salary, whatever yu agreed t. See belw fr mre infrmatin. HOUSING: If yu are an EZ prgram r JB participant, yur emplyer guarantees husing r will identify husing leads fr yu, and yu must make the arrangements fr where yu will live. If yu are a SELF PLACED participant, yur emplyer MAY prvide husing fr yu, as agreed n yur Self Arranged Jb Offer. TO PAY TAXES: When yu start wrking, yu will have t cmplete a W-4 frm. All J-1 Wrk and Travel participants shuld pay taxes. Yu will get mst f this mney back the fllwing year. Fr mre tax infrmatin, see the Taxes sectin. SUPPORT: Yur emplyer shuld supprt yu with advice and assistance when yu need it. If yu are having a prblem, let them knw. They are usually happy t help. Wages: Yu shuld earn at least minimum wage fr yur wrk. See Appendix A fr minimum wage requirements by state. Sme emplyers prvide lw-cst husing, which may be deducted frm yur check. Other emplyers may ffer yu a bnus at the end f a seasn t cmmend a jb well dne! Be sure t carefully review yur jb ffer s yu knw what wages yu will be paid. If yu are wrking as a server, yu will receive a lwer hurly wage, but be cmpensated in tips. Yu are nt paid in cash! Yu will be paid by check weekly, every tw weeks, r mnthly. DO NOT expect t be paid everyday! MORE THAN ONE EMPLOYER Yu are permitted t have mre than ne jb, if yu chse. Hwever, yur CCI-apprved jb is yur pririty. Be sure t cnfirm that yur jb schedules d NOT verlap; yu need t fulfill bth jb respnsibilities. Yu shuld discuss yur interest in a secnd jb with yur main emplyer; many times they will have extra hurs fr yu t wrk. CHANGING JOBS Yu must arrive in the U.S. fully cmmitted t yur riginal jb, which has been verified by CCI staff. If yu are having prblems at yur place f emplyment, yu are required t CONTACT CCI. Participants wh leave their jb may have their visa spnsrships terminated. Yu must cntact CCI befre leaving yur jb! Husing Where are yu living? EZ AND JB PARTICIPANTS: Husing may be identified and arranged fr yu, r yu will have husing leads identified. This means yu must cnfirm yur wn husing; yur emplyer des nt guarantee it!
16 SELF PLACED PARTICIPANTS: If yu fund yur wn jb r chse nt t live in the husing listed n yur jb ffer, yu are respnsible fr finding and securing yur wn husing. Husing is ultimately the respnsibility f the participant and shuld be secured BEFORE arrival t the U.S. Yu have many ptins when lking fr husing, including renting a furnished apartment r finding smene that is lking fr a rmmate. Mst participants will stay in drmitry-style husing, RV/trailer hmes, shared apartments, r htel rms. It is imprtant that yu thrughly review the husing details utlined n yur jb ffer, as sme ptins require that yu send a husing depsit frm yur hme cuntry. Husing Using Husing Leads WHAT ARE THEY? If yu receive a jb ffer with husing leads it means yu must d the research BEFORE YOU ARRIVE TO THE U.S. t secure yur wn place t live; yur emplyer des nt secure it fr yu! Husing leads are a great help. All leads (Web sites, agencies, and peple) have been cntacted and are great resurces fr CCI J-1 participants lking fr temprary, shrt-term husing. HOW DO I USE THEM? If it's a Web site, g t the cmputer and check ut what's available. If it's a phne number r , prepare a list f questins s yu can make the mst f yur phne call. If husing has nt been lcated and guaranteed fr yu, BE CERTAIN t make arrangements at a hstel r htel fr yur first week in the U.S. It is t difficult t find husing the day yu arrive. D it befre yu leave hme! Nrmal husing depsits in the U.S. are 2 mnths' rent. Things t cnsider when deciding where t live: 1. Hw far is it frm my jb? 2. Hw will I get t wrk? 3. Is there public transprtatin? 4. Hw much will my utilities cst? 5. Hw many rmmates d I need t affrd living here? 6. Hw many rmmates can I have? 7. Is the area safe? Husing - Changing Husing and Rmmates
17 CHANGING HOUSING: If yu change where yu are living yu must infrm CCI. This infrmatin can be reprted n the Web site: Failure t d this is a vilatin f yur J-1 visa, and will result in the terminatin f yur visa. If yu decide t change yur husing, CCI requires that yu pay yur landlrd fr any utstanding phne bills, damages, r rent. Failure t d s can result in the terminatin f yur visa. All husing changes MUST be reprted t CCI! If yu chse t quit yur jb r if yu are fired, yur husing may n lnger be available. Depending n the pwers f yur emplyer r landlrd, yu may nt be able t get yur husing depsit back. ROOMMATES IN THE U.S.: Apartments in the U.S. can be expensive, especially in cities r resrt areas. Yu can save mney by sharing an apartment with rmmates. It is ften easier t find smene that wuld like t rent ut a rm f their existing apartment than t rent an entire apartment yurself. This way yu d nt have t wrry abut all f the start up csts that g int renting an empty apartment. We advise yu t be cautius. Make sure that yu are cmfrtable living with an individual befre yu accept an ffer. Rmmates and apartments fr rent can ften be fund in the lcal newspaper r ther lcal publicatins. Imprtant questins t ask when cnsidering a rmmate: 1. Why d yu want a rmmate? 2. What is yur nrmal wrk schedule? 3. Hw d yu feel abut having guests in the apartment? 4. Hw lng d yu want a rmmate? 5. Have yu ever lived with anyne? 6. D yu have any references? Scial Security Administratin Applying and getting yur card If yu d nt attend CCI's Arrival Orientatin, yu are respnsible fr applying fr the card n yur wn; yur emplyer is nt respnsible t take yu! Directins and details n hw t apply fr a Scial Security Card can be fund n the CCI Wrk and Travel prgram Web site. Yu can btain an applicatin fr a scial security card at
18 Finding a Lcal Scial Security Office Yu can find the nearest Scial Security Office at: https://s044a90.ssa.gv/apps6z/folo/f001.jsp Just type in yur ZIP cde! What yu need t apply Yu must have the riginals f all dcuments AND make cpies! 2 cpies f yur passprt 2 cpies f yur visa 2 cpies f yur DS-2019 frm 2 cpies f yur 1-94 card (frnt and back) 2 cpies f yur signed jb ffer. Please nte: Infrmatin n yur Scial Security applicatin MUST MATCH yur passprt infrmatin! What if I d nt receive my card after 8 weeks? Because f new gvernment regulatins, there is a lnger waiting prcess fr Scial Security. If yur card des nt arrive in 8 weeks, yu can call Scial Security directly at: Yur Scial Security card is CONFIDENTIAL infrmatin. N ne else can call fr yur number; YOU MUST DO IT! Make sure yu print yur cmplete mailing address n the applicatin. The Scial Security card will be sent t this address. If Scial Security des nt have any recrd f yur applicatin, yu shuld re-apply at yur lcal ffice (Scial Security can tell yu where the clsest agency is lcated). If yu have any prblems, please cntact CCI r refer t Unfrtunately there isn't much that yu, yur emplyer, r CCI can d t expedite this prcess. Be sure t cmplete yur applicatin CLEARLY and cnfirm that yur U.S. address and cntact infrmatin is printed CORRECTLY. Finally, please get a receipt frm the attendant that yu applied with; yur emplyer may need it! Fr Scial Security questins after yu return hme, please see: Scial Security Administratin Sample Frm and Explanatin Fllw the instructins n the first and secnd pages f the applicatin. The third page f the frm describes the dcuments that yu will need t submit with yur applicatin.
19 The last page is the applicatin frm itself, as seen belw. Dwnlad a Scial Security Applicatin frm here:
20 Insurance Medical Insurance This infrmatin is subject t change. Please cntact the CCI ffice fr mre infrmatin! YOU ARE LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO HAVE MEDICAL AND ACCIDENT INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR THE ENTIRE DURATION OF YOUR STAY IN THE UNITED STATES. IF YOU DO NOT, YOU WILL BE IN VIOLATION OF THE J-1 WORK AND TRAVEL VISA. All participants have insurance cverage fr the dates listed n the DS-2019 Frm. Be sure yu are als cvered during the travel perid after the last date listed n yur DS-2019, if yu intend t travel within the U.S. after yur DS end date. Yur valid insurance cverage dates are reflected n the medical insurance card. CCI insurance des nt cver yu while driving. If yu chse t buy r rent a car, yu must buy yur wn aut insurance. Plicy If yu are cvered under CCI s insurance, yur plicy number is FR 32/ (subject t change). This number will als be n yur insurance card. In an emergency situatin, DIAL 911. T reprt an emergency t the insurance cmpany*, call: r Fr Medical questins that are NOT emergencies, please cntact r * In a nn-emergency situatin, make an appintment with a dctr and send the claim frm, signed by yur physician, t the address listed in the insurance bklet. A blank claim frm can als be fund in the Resurces page f yur nline accunt. *This infrmatin is subject t change. Please cntact the CCI ffice fr mre infrmatin. EXTENDING YOUR INSURANCE: If yu wish t extend yur insurance after yur arrival t the U.S. t cver yur travel perid, fllw these instructins: 1. Make a check r mney rder payable t the Center fr Cultural Interchange. DO NOT SEND CASH! 2. Insurance csts $15 per week r $60 fr 30 days 3. On the check r mney rder, include: Yur name as it appears n yur DS frm and the number f weeks fr which yu wish t purchase cverage 4. Yur insurance card will be updated and can be btained thrugh yur nline accunt 5. Address the envelpe t: CCI Wrk and Travel
21 746 Nrth LaSalle Drive Chicag, IL Yu shuld mail this at least 2 weeks befre yur riginal cverage ends. Insurance Aut Insurance This infrmatin is subject t change. Please cntact the CCI ffice fr mre infrmatin! IMPORTANT REMINDERS: Carry yur health insurance card with yu at all times. Yur spnsring rganizatin is CCI, the Center fr Cultural Interchange. Yur health prvider can cntact us if they have any questins. Yur health care prvider understands that it can be frightening and cnfusing t be sick r injured in a freign cuntry. Speak slwly and let the prvider knw when yu d nt understand. Try t bring a recrd f yur immunizatins with yu t the U.S. Get all necessary and updated immunizatins befre yu cme, (especially Tuberculsis, Chicken Px, and Measles). Give yur emplyer a cpy f yur insurance card and claim frm. Make sure they knw yur spnsring agency is CCI and verify they have all CCI cntact infrmatin. (We prvide the emplyer with this infrmatin but in case f an emergency, it is helpful t have all the CCI insurance and cntact infrmatin in ne lcatin). It may help t give this infrmatin t a friend r rmmate as well. If yu receive medical attentin, cmplete the insurance claim frm; that is hw the hspital r dctr gets paid fr the services yu receive. DO NOT SEND THESE DOCUMENTS TO CCI! When the bill cmes, yu must pay it in FULL. Please fill ut yur claim frm and send the frm with yur riginal medical bills/receipts t yur insurance cmpany, and they will reimburse yu. Make cpies f these dcuments fr yur recrd. Preventin is the key t a safe and successful prgram in the U.S. Take care f yurself! Eat healthy and get enugh sleep. It is cmmn fr participants t wrk mre than ne jb and have irregular sleeping cycles. AUTO INSURANCE: If yu chse t drive, yu must have aut insurance. The plan yu chse must include persnal injury cverage s they will pay yur medical bills, if yu have any. HUNTING INSURANCE: CCI insurance des nt cver yu while hunting.
22 Emergencies T reach the plice, fire department r ambulance, dial 911 frm any phne and answer all the questins asked. It is imprtant t knw yur lcatin. The CCI Chicag Office is available t assist yu if yu have an emergency while n the prgram. Yu may reach the CCI Chicag Office during nrmal business hurs f 9:00 am 5:30 pm CST at (tll free) T cntact the EMERGENCY CENTER fr the insurance cmpany, dial * In an EMERGENCY after nrmal business hurs, yu can als cntact CCI's 24-hur phne number: Emergency (24 hurs): (tll free). Please d nt call the Emergency number fr nn-emergency situatins. This number is fr URGENT EMERGENCIES ONLY! *This infrmatin is subject t change. Please cntact the CCI ffice fr mre infrmatin. Emergencies Car Accidents If yu are invlved in a car accident, dial 911 immediately if anyne is injured. Yu shuld nt mve any part f the accident scene, s the plice can reprt everything. If yu are nt injured, yu shuld exchange imprtant infrmatin with the driver f the ther car. Be sure t get the fllwing infrmatin: Full name f the ther persn Telephne number f the ther persn Car infrmatin: license plate number, mdel, year and registratin Name f insurance cmpany Insurance plicy number Cntact infrmatin fr any witnesses that may have seen the accident Even if yu are nt injured, yu shuld still file a plice reprt. If yu d nt leave any cntact infrmatin fr "hit and run" accidents, it is cnsidered a crime!
23 Please d nt drive if yu d NOT have a valid driver's license r aut insurance! Be sure t cntact CCI as sn as yu have taken care f immediate cncerns! Safety DRINKING AND DRIVING-DON'T DO IT! The legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21. This means that yu are abslutely frbidden t cnsume any alchlic drinks if yu are less than 21 years f age while yu are in the U.S. If yu are 21 and chse t drink, NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE!!! The U.S. has very strict laws that arrest peple wh drive when they have been drinking. If yu are driving under the influence f alchl and are caught, yu will pay huge fines and prbably g t JAIL! If yu injure r kill smene, r even damage any prperty while yu have been drinking, yu will be charged with a felny and will DEFINITELY g t jail fr a lng time, maybe fr the rest f yur life! Driving Safety Tips: NEVER GET INTO THE CAR WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN DRINKING! Have a designated driver! This means that ut f yur grup f peple that are drinking, there will be ne persn that will NOT drink and will therefre be the driver f the grup. Designated drivers save thusands f lives every year. ALWAYS wear a seatbelt. If CCI finds ut that yu have been driving under the influence f alchl, yur visa spnsrship will be terminated immediately. Safety Bicycle Safety Many f yu will mst likely use buses r bicycles (bikes) as yur main mde f transprtatin. If yu chse t use bikes r even drive a car, yu must read this page! Cyclists and drivers need t respect each ther while n the rad. Here are sme tips fr each while sharing the rad. Cyclists: Always bey all traffic cntrl signs and lights. ALWAYS wear a prperly fitting helmet, even if yu are nt ging far. Always ride in the same directin as traffic. Always ride in a straight line. D NOT swerve between cars! Always BE VISIBLE! Wear bright clthes and use a reflectr r reflectr tape r clthing.
24 Always use hand signals accrdingly. Always ride far enugh away frm parked cars. Drivers: Reduce speed when yu see a cyclist. Scan fr cyclists in traffic and at intersectins. When passing, leave 4 feet f space between yur vehicle and the cyclist. D nt use yur hrn when yu are clse t a cyclist. Lk fr cyclists when pening yur dr. Always wear a seatbelt. Fr mre tips n bike safety maintenance, please visit these Web sites: Adjusting t the United States Mney Matters Bring mney with yu! Yu are expected t bring enugh mney t supprt yurself during the FIRST MONTH f yur prgram. Mst emplyers have specific pay perids, and will NOT give advances t their emplyees. Exchanging mney/using ATMs: Mst banks and airprts will change freign mney fr a small fee. T check the current cnversin rates, visit: ATMs are lcated in all airprts and several restaurants and shps. Traveler's Checks: cnvenient and insured! One f the safest ways fr yu t travel with mney are traveler's checks. If they are lst r stlen, they can be replaced. Be sure that they are printed in U.S. denminatins! Mst businesses will accept traveler's checks; hwever, taxi drivers and ther public transprtatin persnnel d nt. Checking accunts: Visit yur lcal bank and ask them what kind f checking accunts they ffer. Yu will need identificatin t pen a checking accunt. Yu can use yur Scial Security Card and passprt.
25 Questins t ask when pening a checking r savings accunt: D yu charge a fee if I d nt maintain a minimum balance? Is there a mnthly service fee? Can I access my bank accunt nline? Hw much d checks cst? Hw much is an verdraft fee? What ther kinds f fees apply t my accunt? Getting mney frm hme: Western Unin: This cmpany will transfer mney verseas fr a small fee. Call (tllfree) r g t t find Western Unin ffices clsest t yu and check when yur mney will be cming. Wiring Mney: If yu have a U.S. bank accunt, mney can be wired frm yur hme cuntry int yur accunt. Check with yur bank t learn their plicies and fees fr wiring mney, especially in airprts. Taking mney hme: It is strngly discuraged t carry large sums f cash with yu. Pickpckets lve t prey n turists. Cnsider sending yur mney hme via Western Unin. Althugh there is a fee, it's wrth it! Adjusting t the United States American Systems The American system f measures and weights is different frm the Metric System. Be careful, cnversins can be cnfusing! Temperatures Temperatures in the U.S. are usually given in Fahrenheit! 0 Celsius = 32 F 20 Celsius = 68 F 37 Celsius = 98 F T calculate Fahrenheit t Celsius: *SUBTRACT 32 frm the F number, (98F-32 = 66) *DIVIDE the answer by 9, (66 / 9 = 7.33) *MULTIPLY by 5 (7.33 x 5 = 36.6 C)
26 Height and length 1 centimeter =.39 inches 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters 1 meter = 3.28 feet 1 ft (12 inches) =.3 meters (r 30.5 cm) 1 kilmeter =.62 miles 1 mile = 1.6 kilmeters Weight 1 gram =.035 unces 1 unce = grams 1 kilgram = 2.2 punds 1 pund (16 unces) =.45 kg Vlume 1 liter =.26 gallns 1 galln = 3.8 liters 1 quart (4 cups) =.95 liters 1 cup =.4 liters Adjusting t the United States Legal Rights If yu are accused f a crime in the United States, sme f yur legal rights include: The right t remain silent and t refuse t answer any questins, if yu chse. N persn accused f a crime may be frced t cnfess r give evidence against him r her. The right t be represented by a lawyer, and t be prvided with a lawyer if yu cannt affrd ne. Entitled t be released frm jail upn psting f a bail bnd (mney t ensure that the persn reprts fr trial) set by the curt. Entitled t a fair trial cnducted accrding t all the rules f evidence and curt prcedures. Yu are presumed inncent until prven guilty in a curt f law. Yu dn't have t prve inncence; rather the prsecutin must prve yur guilt beynd a reasnable dubt. If yu get int truble, infrm CCI immediately. We will d ur best t assist yu; hwever, yu are required t accept respnsibility fr any crimes that yu cmmit. Yu are subject t all f the laws and regulatins in the U.S., even thugh yu are nt a citizen. Ignrance f the law is n excuse! If yu are invlved in illegal activities and fund guilty, yu culd ptentially serve jail time r be deprted withut hpe f entering the U.S. in the future. It is imprtant t be aware f any law that might affect yu while in the U.S. Avid getting int truble! D nt drink alchlic beverages if yu are under 21 years f age. D nt drive a car while intxicated r withut prper authrizatin and insurance.
27 D nt steal frm yur emplyer r "brrw" cash frm the cmpany expecting t return it at a later date. D nt steal even "little" things frm anywhere (including frm yur wrkplace). D nt have relatins with minrs (under the age f 18). Cnfirm that yu satisfy all requirements by yur apartment cmplex s yu d nt we mney t them after yu leave. D nt destry r harm the prperty f thers. Return t yur hme cuntry n later than 30 days past the last date n yur DS-2019 frm. Petty "minr" theft: Keep yur valuables (passprt, DS-2019 Frm, mney, credit cards, etc.) in a safe, lcked place at all times! Travel with a "mney belt" that yu can wear under yur clthing. It is smart t pen up a bank accunt t keep yur earnings safe and away frm the hands f pssible thieves. Vilent crime: It is nt likely that yu will encunter vilent crime while in the U.S. Hwever, preventin is an imprtant element in aviding an attack. When traveling t large cities, it is gd t take a taxi and nt t walk alne at night. Always knw where yu are ging and exactly hw t get there. Try t travel with a friend there is safety in numbers! Adjusting t the United States U.S. Culture Meet peple and scialize s that yu can practice yur English and learn abut the American way f life! The U.S. is full f diversity: languages, religins, ideas, fd, music, EVERYTHING! We want yu t EXPLORE this diversity! Adjusting t yur new envirnment can be exciting, verwhelming and challenging! This is nrmal - yu have been taken ut f yur familiar envirnment and placed in an entirely new setting! Dealing with new custms can get exhausting. Here are sme tips t help yu adjust: BE PATIENT: It gets easier as time ges by! MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE YOU ARE HERE TO LEARN AND HAVE FUN KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOR (even when under stress) ALWAYS HAVE AN OPEN MIND PARTICIPATE IN CONVERSATIONS AND GROUP ACTIVITIES: Many Americans will want t learn abut yur cuntry and culture! REMEMBER: English is nt the native language f all Americans!
28 If yu are having a difficult time adjusting, call CCI! We are happy t help! Typical American Custms and Habits Americans have custms and traditins that may seem unusual t yu, but remember that certain gestures and expressins may nt mean the same thing as in yur cuntry! SPACE: Observe thers arund yu. Give peple a cmfrtable distance when yu are standing in line r having a cnversatin. STANDING IN LINE: Americans can be very territrial abut their place in line. Please respect this and wait yur turn! SILENCE: Americans ften try t fill silences with simple cnversatin (we call this "small talk"). TIME: Generally, Americans feel that time is a cmmdity. Many Americans hurry thrugh many things t get t the next thing n their agenda. Smetimes it may seem like everyne in the U.S. is in a rush. Waiters may hurry yu and peple may push past yu; d nt take this persnally! EATING OUT WITH AMERICANS: If an American invites yu ut t eat, they are nt necessarily paying fr it! It is typical (especially with cllege-age students) fr everyne t pay their part f the bill. TIPPING: Yu shuld tip 18-20% in restaurants and after every rund f drinks in a bar! GREETINGS: Americans usually shake hands when greeting each ther (bth men and wmen). It is unusual fr peple t kiss hell unless they knw each ther well. Hugs are cmmn and less persnal than a kiss. Americans als use infrmal expressins t say hell ( Hw are yu? Hey! What's ging n? ) EXCUSE ME, PLEASE, THANK YOU: Are expressins used very freely in the U.S., regardless if the persn is a friend, clleague r stranger! HYGIENE: Americans are very sensitive t bdy dr. If in dubt, wash! FRIENDLINESS: Yu will find that mst Americans are warm and friendly tward yu, and that they are genuinely interested in what yu have t say. This is ne f the best aspects f ur culture - take advantage f it! Mst Americans will greet yu with a smile, even if they dn't knw yu! WORK: In many wrk envirnments, Americans are n a first name basis, smething that peple frm ther cuntries find difficult t get used t. Als, Americans can wrk lng hurs, but they generally have a wrk hard, play hard attitude. It is cmmn t g ut fr a drink after wrk! IDENTIFICATION: It is custmary t always have identificatin n yu, especially t enter a bar! Hwever, yu shuld leave yur passprts at hme; just carry a cpy! FOOD and DRINKS "TO GO": Cffee n the g is very ppular in the U.S., a trend that is catching n in ther cuntries as well. Many American restaurants are pen all day and dining times are very flexible. Yu can usually eat breakfast all day; have late lunch r early dinner. SIZE: Mst participants find that things in the U.S. are n a larger scale (cars, fd prtins, rads, buildings, peple...everything!) CARS: Althugh public transprtatin is usually gd, mst peple in the U.S. have cars. Taxes
29 What is the W-4? When yu begin wrking, yu will be asked t cmplete a W-4 Frm. This frm tells yur emplyer hw much tax t take ut f yur check during each pay perid. The W-4 is designed fr resident U.S. wrkers; since yu are a Nn-Resident U.S. Alien, yu shuld fill ut the frm slightly differently. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO FILL OUT YOUR W-4 FORM EXACTLY AS DETAILED BELOW: Tax infrmatin is subject t change. If yu have any dubt, verify this infrmatin with TaxBack, the IRS r at the U.S. Embassy in yur hme cuntry (if tax service is available) Dwnlad a W-4 frm here:
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