By: Luiza Dos Santos, Work and Travel Program Assistant

The Work and Travel Department is now embracing its summer arrival season and our J-1 participants are rapidly arriving from many countries from throughout globe. No matter where they are coming from, whether it’s Moldova, Ghana, China or Bulgaria, the feeling of adventure and excitement is in the air. Now that the application deadlines have passed and visas have been issued, participants can focus on thoroughly enjoying their time in the United States. However, the preparation period can be as stressful as preparing all that paperwork, and it can be hard to know where to begin, especially as far as packing is concerned.

Summer photo 2013

With that in mind, here is a list of 7 items that participants, employers, and staff should consider during this exciting summer travel season!

  1. Contact information of the nearest embassy/consulate – Traveling to a different country is overwhelming. In other to prepare for any emergency situation, every traveler should have the contact information of the nearest embassy or consulate along with their important documents. A phone number or an address can really make a difference!
  2. Copies of important documents – Passports, DS forms, flight information… there are so many documents to keep track of. It is also a good idea to bring copies of these important documents as another way to prepare for an emergency situation. Preparation is key for a smooth experience!
  3. Travel insurance – J-1 participants are covered by insurance during their DS dates. However, if you’re traveling outside your dates or in general, it is crucial to have travel insurance, especially in countries where health care is expensive. It is better to be safe than sorry!
  4. Camera – In addition to preparing for emergencies, you should also bring a camera! Even the most memorable trip can be forgotten so bring a camera to capture every single moment of your stay. You’ll also be able to share these moments with your friends and family back home. Don’t forget to share these awesome photos with CCI Greenheart (hashtagging #greenheart on Facebook) and you could be eligible for a prize!
  5. Journal – Journaling is also a way to keep your memories alive as well as relieve stress. Bring a notebook and let your thoughts travel!
  6. Open mind – Finally ,all preparation and record keeping will not guarantee a life-changing experience. The only way to do so is to also bring an open mind with you. An open mind will allow you to fully experience this opportunity so make sure to leave a bit of room in your suitcase!
  7. Most importantly – Have Fun!