The USA Work and Travel (WAT) Program is a cultural exchange program in the United States of America for currently enrolled university students who want to transcend beyond their comfort zone and break the mold.

This experience of a lifetime exposes the participants to the American lifestyle and American culture by having temporary work at seasonal establishments such as Theme Parks, Hotels, Restaurants, and more in various tourist destinations in the USA. This program is the flagship program of UTP in growing local talents marked by our ability to provide competitively priced and personalized global program and to develop character.

How it Works

The USA Work and Travel Program is for currently enrolled university students aged 18-26years old. Participants can go to the USA for the duration of their summer vacation and will get a chance to travel up to 25 days in the USA.

UTP offers two deployment seasons to match the summer vacation of the universities in the Philippines:


  • SPRING – March to June
  • SUMMER – May to August


UTP offers placement in various host establishments all over the USA and assistance in procuring a visa and round trip ticket to the USA.

*If you are beyond 26 and you satisfy the other eligibility requirements and want to join please contact us for further assessment.


Enrolled non-graduating college students in a 4-year course

Aged 18-26

Good character

Good Academic standing

Can speak conversational English


Have a memorable summer

Travel to the USA for 3-4 months

Recoup your cost of living through a confirmed summer job

Meet lifelong friends

Gain independence and skills




Gift Shops

Theme parks

National Parks

and a lot more!


During your university break

March – June

May – August

Easy Steps

1Attend/Schedule Orientation
2Create your CV
3Pass the Interview
4Settle Payments
5Get your Visa
6Fly to the USA

Our Success Stories

When students are exposed to a new environment and are taken out of their comfort zone, they gain new perspectives, they adapt, they grow. This is what participants of our program has accomplished!

Mariz Reyes, Club Associate, Baltimore Country Club Baltimore, Maryland

I had the wonderful summer in my life as I got to know a lot of people in Baltimore. Being in the USA was not that easy but my newfound friends and family helped me overcome it. Choosing UTP was not a mistake because they supported us all throughout.

EJ Espinosa, Ride Operator, Carowinds Charlotte, North CarolinaEJ Espinosa, Ride Operator, Carowinds Charlotte, North Carolina

I was very happy at work because I got along well with my workmates. Our hardwork has paid off as Carowinds recognized our effort. We were given a badge that signified our good service. After my work, I travelled to Washington DC, New Jersey, Virginia, New York, Colorado, and California. I had the best summer ever!

Llanna Jude Laping, Ride Operator, Morey’s Piers Wildwood, New Jersey

Work and Travel Program is one of the best things that happened to my life. It helped me realize a lot of things in life – like living in the USA was not easy since you are far away from your family. But through this program it helped me become more independent and optimistic in life. No matter how hard the situation is, I realized, you just need to strive hard and in the end you’ll cherish all the hardships you have been through. I also got to travel around the United States with my hard earned money.

Mary Michelle Dabatos, Exhibits Attendant, Wonderworks Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Work and Travel Program is one of the best things that happened to my life. It helped me realize a lot of things in life – like living in the USA was not easy since you are far away from your family but thru this program it helped me become more independent and optimistic in life. No matter how hard the situation is, I realized, you just need to strive hard and in the end you’ll cherish all the hardships you have been through. I also got to travel around the United States with my hard earned money.

James Fajardo, Cashier, Bagger and Stock Clerk, Harris Teeter Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

My Work and Travel experience in the United States had a significant impact in my life. My previous experience helped me learn a lot of things — like how vital customers are for a company to succeed or that we should always make sure to meet our guests’ expectations. Most importantly, I learned about taking care of different responsibilities, how to work with different people, and understanding how a world-class company operates. It not only helped me become more independent but it allowed me to take home so many experiences I can apply to different opportunities that will come my way. Ultimately, these experiences will help me be successful in my career!

Dean Christian Lauricio, Sales Associate, Eagles Beachwear Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

I enjoyed my experience because it totally changed my life! Being a Sales Associate in Eagles Beachwear made me understand how to run a business. I liked our housing because it was a family house that was fully furnished. I loved my days-off because we had the time to wander around the place. We went to the Boardwalk to see the Grand Skywheel and the beach; and shop at the Tanger Outlets. Don’t get me started with the food! It was delicious! And of course, I will not forget the moments spent with other J1 students. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity! Now, I have a lot of travelling memories and photographs with my friends!

Jean Claude Vargas, Cashier/Line Attendant/Utility, Hmshost South Kennebunk, Maine

I didn’t expect that I was going to love the people and the place! Every single day that we spent in the USA was interesting. My employer was understanding and they provided everything that we needed. It was nice to work with the people at Hmshost. I have learned that in every culture there are similarities and differences. All we have to do is respect one another to have a peaceful interaction with everyone. I like my job because it taught me numerous skills. I learned how to be patient towards difficult customers. I experienced a lot of things that I’ve never done before. I will never regret grabbing this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Angelica Buyet, Steward, The Broadmoor Hotel Colorado Springs, Colorado

The people and employees were nice. They treated me good even if I were not of high position. I never felt tired or sleepy because they always made me laugh and it helped my work so much easier to accomplish.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to the US Department of State, the USA Work and Travel Program gives any College and University students enrolled full time and pursuing studies at post-secondary accredited academic institutions located outside the United States a chance to come to the United States to share their culture and ideas with people of the United States through temporary work and travel opportunities.

Using a J1 Visa (Student Exchange Visitor Visa) a USA Work and Travel Participant may work in the companies across the United States who passed the requirements to host a Cultural Exchange Participant, checked by the US Department of State. The participants are supervised by their hosts who are responsible for their work and weekly salary. They will enter USA with a J1 Visa (Student Exchange Visitor Visa) which allows them to work and travel in the USA for up to 5 months.

As a company rule, United Towers accepts any currently enrolled non-graduating college students aged 18-26 years old to take part in this program for up to 5 months provided that it coincides with the University Vacation dates. The Philippine dates for this program is from March 5 to August 15.

  • It is NOT an income generating program
  • It is NOT an OFW job
  • It is NOT an OJT (it is a cultural exchange program not an On the Job Training. It is a prerogative of the school whether to credit the working hours spent by the participant in the USA as part of the training required in the curriculum. This shall be agreed between the participant and the school).


  • The participant gets to experience a different culture not just with Americans but with other nationalities who are joining the program
  • Exposure to international training and work force while you’re in college (this program only happens once in your college life).
  • Gain an international work experience that can be added to your resume. You will have an edge against other graduates.
  • Travel with friends around USA: Travel is the best teacher in life
  • Make a lot of lifetime international friends
  • Gain confidence and improve conversational English
  • Develop professional and personal maturity

This program has been on-going for more than 50 years (since 1947) participated by at least 106 countries all over the world. In the Philippines, its been offered to college students for the past 10 years. In the Philippines alone, more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide have participated in this program.

The USA Work and Travel Program is governed and accredited by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). To assure safety and legality of the program, no participant is allowed to leave Philippines without attending the mandatory Pre Departure Orientation by the Commission of Filipinos Overseas (CFO) at UN Avenue, Manila. A completion sticker will be pasted on the participants passport as proof of the PDOS completion, prior to leaving the country.

Currently enrolled college students either 2nd year, 3rd yr or 4th Yr Octoberian. Must be within 18-26 years old. With good character and academic standing. Can speak conversational English. Easy to work with.

The Participants shall need to secure a  J1 Visa (Student Exchange Visitor Visa) through personal appearance at the US Embassy. This Visa is issued by the United States to those participating in the programs that promote cultural exchange.

Yes. The J1 Visa allows the holder to work and travel in the USA within a specific period (from Start to End Date as specified in the VISA) with positions provided by the agency which are issued by the US Visa Sponsors. A Certificate of Eligibility (DS 2019) will be released by the US Department of State to the US Visa Sponsors. The US Visa Sponsors will approve these positions based on credibility and safety of  job positions in relation to the participants, before relaying these job positions the Agencies.  The J1 Visa has an expiration of up to four 4 months.

We are the trusted partner of the largest and oldest running credible US Visa Sponsors who have yearly updates with the US Department of State. Most of our partners have been in the business for minimum 30 years.

The USA Work and Travel program deploys participants to carefully selected companies and job positions in the Hospitality Industry like Hotels, Restaurants, Gift Shops, Theme Parks, Sandwich Stores, National Parks. Job positions vary in the field of Marketing, Sales and Merchandising, Hospitality, Tourism and Criminology.

All Host Organizations (The Company) provide a compensation per hour of work at the legal minimum wage which varies per state. On an average, minimum compensation is $7.25 for non-tipped positions while for tip-based positions it is $2.13 per hour. Expected work hours is 32 to 40 hours per week.

The three major institutions involved in the safety, credibility, and protection of this program are:

Accredited Agency by the US Visa Sponsor – MAIN POINT OF CONTACT HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES (BEFORE GOING TO THE US AND AFTER ARRIVING FROM THE US). UTP is partnered with at least 80 colleges and universities nationwide. We the local agency here in the Philippines. We assist the participant to secure a position, get a VISA, and finally fly to the USA. UTP also monitors the participant all throughout the program.

  1. US Visa Sponsors MAIN POINT OF CONTACT ONCE THE PARTICIPANT IS IN THE US – They are responsible for protecting the participants while they are in the USA. They directly work with the US Department of State in protecting the rights of the participants at the same time sanction the erring participants which may lead to program cancellation and termination. UTP partners with the biggest and credible visa sponsors. In the past we have sent through CIEE, Greenheart, CHI, Interexchange, CSB, and many more.
  2. Host Organizations– THE COMPANY. They are the host companies of the participants. They are the ones hosting the participants and making sure that they are treated well and will have fun during their program. They release allowance and remuneration to the participants on a mostly bi-weekly basis. The Host Organizations are monitored by the US Visa Sponsors and the US Department of State.
  • To US VISA Sponsor – Reply promptly to all their emails. Submit monthly reports BEFORE the deadline. Register in SEVIS before the deadline. Failure to activate SEVIS and submit monthly reports may lead to the termination of the participant’s program.
  • To UTP – Submit weekly updates to UTP all throughout the program.
  • To Host Organization – Abide by their rules and regulations. Perform tasks as stipulated in the Job Profile.

Once the participants have stepped into the US soil, they are required to register in the SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System). This is an online monitoring devise by the US Department of State of all the participants arriving in the USA (which declares their housing address, employer info, contact details, program period, etc). They are also required to inform UTP upon checking in their housing. Before they will start their temporary work they shall attend the Program Orientation and onboarding with their host companies. Should they have any complaints about work, they shall directly address it with their supervisor. If the concern is not resolved by their host company, they can escalate it to their US Visa Sponsor. UTP shall be on the loop the whole time. All participants are required to submit a Monthly Survey to UTP and US Visa Sponsor. Failure to submit this monthly survey may result to termination from the program.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is the web-based system that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information on Department of State designated exchange visitor program sponsors and J-1 visa exchange visitor program participants. SEVIS is a critical tool to protect national security while supporting the legal entry of the more than one million participants of the cultural exchange.

The participant needs to activate this SEVIS either through phone call or an online system within 3-10 days of arrival in the USA (depending on the US VISA Sponsor’s requirements as stated in their online orientation and agreement).

The participant can be terminated from the program. This means that the US VISA Sponsor no longer supports the participant. The participant may even be sent back home!

All participants MUST have housing PRIOR to departure to the USA. There are 3 types of housing. The Participants may only live in the approved housing addresses approved and vetted by the US Visa Sponsor and UTP. The list has been reviewed, checked, and visited by the US Visa Sponsors for safety of the participants. Housing rent ranges from $70-160 per week payable directly to their landlord or deducted from the paycheck.

  • COMPANY ARRANGED – the housing is already provided by the host organization and the participant will just be paying the necessary fees. (Please check the job profile description)
  • SPONSOR-ASSISTED – the sponsor may assist with the housing by providing leads and sometimes the sponsor will be connecting with these housing leads. (Please check the job profile description)
  • PARTICIPANT-ARRANGED – the participant is solely responsible to secure the housing prior to departure from contacting the landlord, signing the contract, and paying the deposit. UTP may assist by helping the participant understand the housing contract or by providing some housing leads. Housing leads can be found in the job profile description. Please check that.

It is highly encouraged to get the ticket through UTP. This way, if there are any concerns such as rebooking or cancelling flights, UTP may be of  immediate help. However, the participant should SEND the itinerary to UTP for ticket quotation. This transaction is best done through E-mail, not call nor text.

Yes. The participant is insured during the dates found on their US VISA. They are covered a minimum of US$100,000.  Please note that participants’ insurance coverage and instructions is found in the kit that the sponsor has provided and it may also be found online. It is also discussed in the SPONSOR’S VIRTUAL ORIENTATION.

Yes. The participant is required visit the UTP office during office hours for a program debriefing and program clearance upon returning to the Philippines.

These temporary jobs are seasonal in nature and usually are situated in tourist destinations. You can be placed in hotels, restaurants, national parks, theme parks, souvenir stores, and a lot more.

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