In this post, Serbian Work and Travel Partner, Karavan Travel, takes time to share how participants make their final preparations for their trip to the United States.

The time before participants travel to U.S. is always a combination of excitement, thorough preparation and a feeling of an adventure waiting just around the corner. Before participants pack up and head to the airports, we provide them relevant information that will guide them through all phases of their stay in the U.S., while on the Work and Travel program.

To prepare is to have a successful program.

During pre-departure orientations, via emails, consultations and so on, participants are given detailed instructions on requirements such as SEVIS database validation, important documents, health insurance, procedures to apply for Social Security Number, tips to travel safely and last, but not least, the Greenheart Club. With almost 20 years of Work and Travel program implementation on our side, and based on rich experience, Karavan has developed its own brochure with essential information needed for a successful stay in the U.S.

Here are some of the most important topics covered in the pre-departure phase:

  • SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) – Procedures and schedules.
  • DS-2019 FORM – Supplement to the J-1 visa. We tell participants that this document is as important as their visa and that they must bring it with them to U.S.
  • PASSPORTS
  • CCI GREENHEART ONLINE IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS & RESOURCES – The foundation and guides to which participants can always turn to and find everything they are searching for and much more.
  • KNOW YOUR RIGHTS – Should participants encounter any problems, they have rights and they can get help. Participants have been introduced to this pamphlet before their visa interview. However, we stress the importance of it – not only during the visa application process, but during their whole stay in U.S.
  • HEALTH INSURANCE – Participants’ cards, valuable information on procedures, coverage, expenses and brochures – participants are instructed to collect this information and have it ready before their departures to U.S.
  • TRAVEL DIRECTIONS – Our participants are given travel directions upon obtaining a job offer in the U.S. and instructed to contact their employer to brief about the travel plans.
  • GREENHEART CLUB – Opportunities to engage in volunteering activities, as a means of culture exchange and meaningful projects that benefit the society, environment etc.

Considering the nature of the Work and Travel program, it is important to ensure the welfare and safety of our participants, and a fun summer in the U.S. Sometimes, pre-departure information is a lot to take in at once. Having this in mind, all participants receive emails and information they can access any time they need it.

It is not always easy to spend a summer in a whole new world, with new customs, habits and culture, but we ease this transition to an American way of life and we do it in a pre-departure stage.

And now, FINALLY, it is time to travel! Get ready for the USA!