Work & Travel USA: Will Covid-19 affect the programme?

The programme was created in 1961, reaching Slovakia after the Velvet Revolution.

Slovak student Mária Šišková spent her summer 2019 by the ocean in North Carolina. Slovak student Mária Šišková spent her summer 2019 by the ocean in North Carolina. (Source: Mária Šišková)

A glossary of words is also published online.

Whether or not hopeful Slovak students will be able to work and travel in the USA this year remains uncertain due to the coronavirus.

US President Donald Trump suspended the entry of all EU citizens to the USA on March 11, and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has paused international exchange programmes for 60 days. It plans to review its decision every 30 days thereafter.

“There are currently no changes to the Summer Work and Travel programme due to COVID-19,” the US Embassy in Bratislava said.

This is because the programme, in which 2,300 students participated in 2019, is not part of ECA-funded initiatives.

Popular places

Slovak students can work in the USA from May 15 to September 15. Most work in hotel resorts, national parks, camps, and amusement parks.

Read alsoSlovak student in Alaska: I was fishing for salmon next to a grizzly Read more 

“Every student must have a job before they leave for the USA,” Michal Baran of CCUSA Slovakia & Austria said. Other agencies confirmed.

Marcela Rebrová of CKM 2000 Travel said Virginia Beach, Ocean City, Myrtle Beach, and Santa Cruz are popular spots among beach-loving students. Nature lovers prefer Utah, Idaho and Nevada. The agency offers about 3,500 vacancies in 11 American regions.

To ensure the safety and welfare of participants, they are not sent, for instance, to central parts of Chicago or NYC.

The sooner, the cheaper

There are few conditions for students to meet: everyone has to be a university student no older than 29 years and speak English. Slovak students can apply through a Slovak agency such as CCUSA, Campleaders Slovakia, or CKM, which help students obtain the Work & Travel J-1 visa and provide further assistance.

“It all cost me about €1,200 to €1,500,” Slovak student Patrícia Prašovská said. “Everything depends on when you sign a contract, but also on the ticket and insurance.”

In addition, the price depends on whether students seek jobs themselves or an agency does it for them. Agencies agreed the sooner students apply, the cheaper it is.

The Spectator College is a programme designed to support the study and teaching of English in Slovakia, as well as to inspire interest in important public issues among young people.

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