Myths about Work and Travel USA program

After dealing with reviews of our clients (those who call or visit our office) we’ve came up with the idea that some companies of Work and Travel are misleading students on purpose. It’s not the question why do they do this, it’s much better to find out the truth. Let’s look at some myths about Work and Travel.


Myth 1. Work and Travel is a company which sends students to the USA.


“Work and Travel” – it’s a program of cooperation between USA and other countries connected with cultural exchange. For realizing this program there are mediators (sponsors) – in the USA and partner – countries (now we talk about Ukraine). It means, student can’t go on Work and Travel alone, only with the help of mediators. Actually, there is not just one mediator in Ukraine; there are few tens of such companies. The whole list you may see using the links on our group-site – the list of accredited companies in the USA embassy. But there is still the question about the quality and conditions of work of these companies.


Myth 2. You can’t go to the USA in summer if you are 17.


There is no difference to the USA embassy whether you are 17 or 18 years. If you do have a passport – you can go to USA. A lot of our clients receive a passport in their 17 without any problems. If you still don’t have any information about how can you manage to do this – contact us for help.


Myth 3. You can’t go on Work and Travel if you are not a full-time day student.


We’ve already written about it. Last year USA Embassy in Ukraine permitted to go on Work and Travel for such kind of students.  Lots of companies simply didn’t want to risk working with these students. They were not just rejecting them, but also telling that it’s impossible for them to go through the program. We do have an experience of positive answers from the embassy for such students. We consider it quite unethical to tell students it’s impossible. The desire is very important.


Myth 4. It’s better to work with a big company.


On the one hand, big company – it is a certain stereotype, status, reviews etc. On the other hand, the process of working (preparing all the required documents) with clients is quite standard and companies don’t have actually a possibility to change it. It nearly looks like:

1.      Registration, filling in the application forms.

2.      Job searching.

3.      Getting the job permission. (DS-2019)

4.      Preparing documents for the embassy.

5.      Interview in the embassy.

6.      Getting the tickets for the flight.


During the process on every step different questions may appear. For sure, it would be difficult to get in touch with the manager, because there too few of them comparing to the hundreds or even thousands of students. In small companies attitude to the clients is much better, more friendly. You always know whom you can ask for help.


You also need to understand that you can work with any company, but it should definitely have some standard criteria and documents:

  1. Certificate of the registration of legal entity.
  2. License from Department of Labor and Social Policy.
  3. A company should be in a list of accredit companies provided by the USA Embassy.
  4. A company should have an office.
  5. A company should have an internet site.

Do not make mistake while choosing a company – it matters a lot!


Myth 5. The price of the program is not cheaper than «$хххх».


Bellow are prices of our company:

1.   Registration - $100.

  1. Job searching - $200.
  1. The price of the program itself  (DS-2019) - $600.
  2. Medical insurance  ($35 per month, in average 3 months) - $100
  3. Embassy’s fees (140+35+12) - $190
  4. Flight Kyiv-NY  NY-Kyiv - $700-$800.


Total: about 1900-2000 USD together with flight.


You need to realize that items 2,4,5 – can’t be changed. This is money which company need to pay in any case, the amount of money can’t be either higher or lower.

But items 1 (registration) and 3 (price of the program) may differ from company to company. This is the main factor of the price difference among the companies. Big companies should pay for big office, staff etc.  That is why the price reflects all these costs.


If the company can’t tell you exactly the required sum of money – it’s often means that during

the process different new costs will appear.


Myth6. Your English has to be perfect.


Some our clients come to our office sure that their English is too poor. But often after the test we find out that they are at least Upper Intermediate or even Advanced level students. But still clients might think it’s not enough.


It’s a big mistake. Generally, questions during the interview are somehow similar to the questions bellow:

1.      What’s your name? Where are you from?

2.      Where do you study, your speciality, faculty?

3.      You hobbies?

4.      What are you going to do while staying at the USA? Where are going to work?

5.      Why are going to the USA? What are your intensions? How can it be useful in your future?

And that’s really all! If you can answer these questions in English (even with grammar mistakes) – you can go to the USA without problems. Of course, there are some possible exceptions, some tricky questions, but it as not special just for USA visa, but all the visas. 


Myth7. The percentage of getting the visa.


Lots of the companies don’t want work with problematic clients. We mean not full-time students, people with some special diseases, foreigners (if they are studying in Ukraine), students older that 23, graduate year students etc. They reject such students without any doubts.

We consider it not right. Work and Travel – is the only chance for 90% of youth to visit the USA and spend wonderful summer there. Of course, the chance of getting visa for such students is not 95-99%, but it’s also not 10%. It depends on the great amount of factors. Each client – is a separate special case.

If you have a strong desire to visit the USA, you can try getting more documents to ensure embassy, you can even cross the mountains. J

It’s worth risk, because after your student years you may not get one more such an opportunity!


Myth 8. If a company doesn’t have a department in your city – it’s not worth dealing with it.


The process of work with students consists of telephone calls and e-mail letters by 99%. The only thing you need to do is to come to Kyiv for the interview in the Embassy. All the applications are generally filled in on-line or may be sent to the office. That’s why there is no difference where is the office of your company. If are satisfied with the price and the quality of work of company, and everything is all right with it’s documents, then you can cooperate with it in distance even.


Myth 9. You have to go exactly to the place, where company sends you.


Any company MUST give you a choice at least out of few items. If the company pushes you to go the particular place – something is wrong. Maybe company gets a gain from this, or maybe there are no more other free places, or they simply don’t want to make a search. We were told that some companies offer just Alaska, some of them – just housekeeping. You have the choice!



Myth 10. Tickets for the flight and their price.


You don’t have to buy tickets BEFORE the interview - that is how you won’t risk almost 1000 USD. (You may lose it in the case of rejection). The company can’t insist on buying tickets with their help. If they do, it also means their own interests, and the price of the tickets will definitely be higher. The company can just offer their help. The tickets’ price depends on the date of their purchasing.



Myth 11.  The guarantee of getting visa.


Nobody can provide you with guarantee of getting visa. Despite the documents which person has prepared, despite the company, job etc. he (she) still may be rejected in the embassy. During every interview there is a matter of luckiness and the matter of human attitude. You may just simply make not that good impact on the consul – and he would ask you 5 additional questions. He might think that he doesn’t need to send you to the USA and that’s all! We tell you the truth as it is.


The influence of luckiness in questions related to getting visa – is not vital, but still is very important.


Myth 12. You can’t apply for registration until you don’t have a passport.


It’s a completely wrong formulation of the problem. Indeed, passport you need to have for the embassy. Ok, maximum 1-2 months before. If you wait until you get the passport (and only than you are going to apply for registration in Work and Travel), you’ll lose the opportunity to choose best job-offers or even the opportunity to go to the USA.  That’s why we strongly recommend applying for registration exactly when you decide to travel to the USA. At the same time you may continue to issue your passport. It will be necessary for you in any case.


Myth 13. First-year students should finish their Summer exams before going to the Embassy.


All that things are companies issues. Officially, there is no such rule. Yes, sometimes it happens that visa officer could say something like "I give you the visa, but, please, finish your exams, come with passport and book with marks and your visa would be posted into the passport" during the visa interview. Obviously, it happens with students whose age does not correspond with their 1st year of study. Of course, in such case next question appears in mind "What are your doing on 1st course in 20 years, for example?". It could be thought, you intentionally entered the university to go to USA and stay there. There could be other prejudice. That is not a problem. Recevied such an answer, finishes you exams, went to the Embassy with passport and book with marks without paying Embassy fee (!) - got your passport with visa! )))

None of our students during Summer 2012 were asked to finish exams before getting the visa. All of them received visas without any problems.