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What's included .   BENEFITS  
Visa Information
Medical Insurance

All applicants to AWE, regardless of program, will receive the following benefits:

  • Your choice of a variety of programs depending on your skills and background
  • Professional and comprehensive support from a team of experienced professionals both during the application process and during your time in the U.S.
  • Access to an ‘On-line status check’ through which you can check your personal details, application, placement and visa status through your personal identification number (AWEID)
  • The possibility to apply as a couple or with a friend to be placed at the same location
  • Access to recruitment events in certain countries where you can meet potential employers in person and arrange for your own job
  • Detailed job offer/placement and travel information for your place of employment or camp
  • Support in verifying validity of job offers and quality of working conditions
  • Comprehensive visa documentation and support from your local representative in applying for your visa
  • Comprehensive pre-departure orientation in your home country
  • Comprehensive Participant Handbook
  • Full comprehensive medical coverage for the duration of your stay
  • Access to 24-hour emergency support throughout the duration of your time in the U.S.
  • The opportunity to travel and see the U.S. after your contract is completed

In addition, SWT applicants will have the following benefits:
  • An hourly wage-many SWT participants managed to earn over US$3500 towards their school fees
  • The freedom to find your own employment or have AWE arrange a placement for you with one of our hand-picked pre-screened employers
  • Housing will either be provided at cost or you will have assistance in locating housing
In addition, Summer Camp applicants will have the following benefits:
  • All meals and accommodation, free of charge, for the duration of your contract (minimum nine weeks)
  • Placement at a variety accredited/inspected summer camps
  • A background check, at our expense, for those from the UK/Ireland applying to the counselor program
  • Free transfer to your placement once in the U.S.



What's included .   VISA INFORMATION  
Visa Information
Medical Insurance
J-1 Visa - for Exchange Visitors

The following information is part of that posted on the U.S. Embassy website. You are advised to check with your AWE Representative and/or your local U.S. Embassy about current regulations, restrictions or other information before you make your application. The success of your visa application will depend on you providing the required documents and supportive information that is required.

"Anyone wishing to take up pre-arranged employment, training or research in the United States under an officially approved program sponsored by an educational or other non-profit institution requires an exchange visitor (J-1) visa."


"Persons covered by these programs include post graduate students, medical students coming to the United States as residents or interns, foreign scholars sponsored by universities as temporary faculty, and some business trainees. In addition, there are several exchange visitor programs for young people, including summer employment programs, intern programs for university students, and au-pair programs.

Please Note: No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued."


"Application Procedure"

The first step is to obtain from the sponsor of the exchange visitor program the Form DS-2019, entitled "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status." An exchange visitor visa cannot be processed without this form."


In order to participate on the AWE program and work in the U.S., you must be issued with J-1 visa. Upon acceptance to the program and after meeting the requirements, you will be issued a DS-2019 form by AWE. The form officially recognizes AWE as your program sponsor, explains the program, and shows the exact four month period during which you are allowed to work.

You must present this form to the U.S. Embassy in your country with the following:

You must not alter any of the printed information. If any of the details printed on the DS-2019 that you receive from AWE are incorrect - you must contact AWE immediately.
  • A passport or other travel document valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the United States with at least two blank pages (the six month requirements does not apply to United Kingdom passports)
  • A completed visa application form DS-156 for each person traveling - you should ask your local AWE Representative and/or the U.S. Embassy if this form is required in your Country
  • Male participants must also submit a completed DS-157 for each person traveling - you should ask your local AWE Representative and/or the U.S. Embassy if this form is required in your Country
  • A completed DS-158 for each person traveling - you should ask your local AWE Representative and/or the U.S. Embassy if this form is required in your Country
  • One color type photograph 50 mm x 50 mm  (You should contact the U.S. Embassy for the details of the size of this photograph)
  • The Embassy copy of the visa application fee receipt (as described in the form DS-156) - you should ask your local AWE Representative and/or the US Embassy about the current charge in your Country and how the fee (if any) has to be paid
  • SEVIS fee receipt /$35 for SWT participants paid directly to the U.S. DOS/
  • Evidence to show that you have sufficient funds to cover all expenses including tuition while in the United States. If the terms of the exchange visitor grant will cover the living expenses and other costs, the fully completed DS-2019 will be sufficient - the information that AWE prints on the DS-2019 is sufficient to meet this requirement
  • Evidence to show that you have a residence in your Home Country to which you intend to return at the end of the stay in the United States. This is generally established by evidence of family, professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to some country other than the United States sufficient to cause you to return there at the conclusion of your exchange program - your AWE Representative will be able to provide you with details of the documents and evidence that your local U.S. Embassy require. Some require proof of good school grades, parents income, status and employment.
  • If you are a student, you will be required to submit proof. This can be in the form of a letter / document from your University / College that you are a full-time student on a particular course. If you are entering University in the Autumn, you will need to show proof of your confirmed / guaranteed place at a specific University. Experience has shown that students in the FIRST or FINAL year of study are unlikely to be granted a visa and are not accepted by AWE. You will need to take written documentation of your registration for the current semester. This does not normally apply to residents of the UK or Eire who have been more fortunate in having their visa granted!
  • If you are not a student you must have a letter / document that confirms that you have employment that you will commence in the Autumn of your return from the US to your Home Country
Your ability to communicate easily in English, your knowledge of the USA and your reasons for wishing to take part in the Cultural Exchange Program are all part of the assessment of your application that is made by the U.S. Embassy. You are recommended to gain a reasonable knowledge of current events in the U.S. and details of any special events or places that you might like to visit to enhance your studies. Your command of English and your behavior are important factors in their assessment and if thought to be poor, your visa application will be denied. Another important area that you will be asked relates to your intention to return home after your summer placement. You will need to prove that you have strong links to your home country and that you have a genuine and verifiable reason to return.

If you are refused a visa, please ensure that you ask the U.S. Embassy to return the DS-2019 to you, as AWE will require this before any refund of fees can be considered.

If you are granted a visa, please make sure that you take the DS-2019 with you to the U.S. Your employer will not be able to allow you to work unless you can produce it. Keep it safe, as when you return, you may be required to give it back to your AWE Representative as proof of your return home.


What's included .   MEDICAL INSURANCE  
Visa Information
Medical Insurance
All participants are covered by the AWE compulsory Medical Insurance for the validity of the J-1 visa, ending at midnight on the expiry date.

If you are arriving before or staying longer than the dates on the J-1 visa - you will need to arrange additional cover. AWE reviews the actual medical insurance cover each year. The cover provided for 2013 meets the requirements of the U.S. State Department.

Please see the AWE Terms and Conditions regarding the activation of your insurance

All AWE partťicipants are insured by CISI. They have a 24/7 on-line portal of information and resources for AWE participants (called the myCISI Participant Portal).  This includes the ability to download personalized ID cards, insurance confirmation letters and the coverage brochure with claim form.  It also includes direct access to U.S. Provider Network tool where participants can find medical providers in their area that have agreed to send bills directly to CISI and have agreed to charge prices which are reasonable and customary for that location and treatment. 

We are sending a “Welcome E-mail Package” to each of our participants upon enrollment.  The e-mail package includes their:  personalized ID card, insurance confirmation letter, the coverage brochure with claim form and links to the myCISI participant portal

*Please note: If you are taking any type of prescription medication (including the contraceptive pill), try to take enough to last you the summer. If you have diabetes or any allergies or a physical condition that may require emergency treatment, take a note from your doctor. You might want to consider purchasing your own additional insurance, since AWE's medical insurance package does not cover the cost of medication or treatment for pre-existing conditions.

The insurance does not cover nervous/mental treatment, pregnancy/maternity, drug/alcohol related injuries and dental care (except as the result of injury to natural teeth caused by an accident).

Please, click here to view the instructions for enrolled participants to use to create an account and login MyCISI participant Portal Overview and to download Policy Brochure and Medical Claim form

You can also  click here to access the myCISI Participant Portal


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