a- Employment Duration Dates
Participants may take work placements during their main school holiday, which corresponds to May 15 through October 1st for the Northern Hemisphere, and November 1 to March 15 for the Southern Hemisphere. The participants may legally work in the United States for a maximum of 4 months, plus an optional month of travel, also known as the “grace period.” Students must make a work commitment of least 2 full months. Students must choose a work placement duration on the enrollment form.
b- The Placement Location
If applicants opt for Job Assistance, they may choose from the job offers sent to the agency by Horizon international. Agencies may communicate to Horizon international any special requests students may have. Horizon international will do its best to cater to applicants’ preferences and requests, such as working in a specific region or working with a friend. However, applicants should be advised to be flexible and consider all options. The earlier applicants enroll, the better their chances to have their requests met.
c- Employment Requirements Upon Arrival
Horizon wat participants are required to go to their pre-assigned job. Participants who do not report to the original employer will be reported to the Department of State. His/her visa will be cancelled and he/she will be subject to deportation. The partner agency will be notified by Horizon int about the status (“NO SHOW”) of a participant prior to the cancellation. Upon cancellation students will be notified by Horizon int, about his/her status via email. After cancellation participant must return to his/her home country immediately.
d- Work Placements
Participants will work in entry-level positions, much like an American student would during a school holiday. Although a secure placement will be offered, specific job duties may be determined by the employer upon arrival. The following jobs provide a general description of the most common types of work placements.
• Front Desk: Includes answering phones, assisting guests, and checking reservations.
• Housekeeping: Includes cleaning guest rooms and bathrooms, doing laundry, making beds, and taking out garbage.
• Kitchen Help: Includes washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, assisting the cook and taking
out the garbage.
• Wait staff: Includes serving guests, cleaning tables, and busing dishes.
• Sales: Includes preparing and selling food, using cash register, helping customers, working
with retail and mopping floors.
• Ski Services: May include working as a lift operator, checking lift tickets, working in a ski
shop, shoveling snow and helping skiers.
• Maintenance: Includes mowing lawns, mopping floors, cleaning pools and some light repair work.
Students are not permitted to work as: camp counselors, nannies/au pairs, servants/maids in a private home, crew members on a ship or plane, medical/health related staff.
e- Working Hours and Days Off
The participant will work on average between 30 and 40 hours per week. Some weeks the participant can work less (e.g.25 hours) and some weeks more (e.g. 45 hours), depending on tourist activity and weather conditions. Participants can expect a 6-8 hour work day and a 5-6 day work week.
Participants can expect to earn at least the national minimum wage, which is currently set at $5.15 per hour for non- tipped positions. However, as the minimum wage is set individually in each Federal State, the participants are paid whichever is higher. We simply say that students will earn anywhere between USD$5.15 - USD$10.00 an hour. Participants with better English skills have a better chance of working extra hours, getting tips and finding a second job. A good attitude and flexibility also contribute to better financial opportunities.
Employers usually pay on either a weekly or biweekly basis, but participants can expect to wait 3-4 weeks to receive their first paycheck. Students should be prepared to financially support themselves until they receive their first paycheck. Students should also make arrangements for their receiving their final paychecks in advance from their departure from the U.S. Students should arrange to stop working at least two weeks before departing from the U.S. or have the paycheck sent via mail to their home country.
g- Second Part-Time Jobs
Students entering the country on J-1 visas are allowed to find second part-time jobs, as long as they do not interfere in any way with their main work placement. Students must arrange their own second jobs without assistance. Students should be aware some areas are very remote and do not have opportunities for second jobs. They should also be aware the primary employer has no obligation to rearrange work schedules to accommodate second jobs.