WHO WE ARE

Our Values:

Odyssey International Exchange is a cultural exchange organization headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. We are designated by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor foreign university students, recent graduates and young professionals through the J-1 Intern and Trainee exchange programs. Every year we sponsor thousands of students and young professionals to study visit the United States and participate in internships and management training programs with American host companies.

Odyssey International Exchange has been at the forefront of the J-1 cultural exchange industry for over a decade. Along with our partners at the International Trainee Network, we sponsor more participants in internships and Management Training programs in the luxury hospitality industry than any other organization. Our vast network of partner universities, host companies and staff have helped tens of thousands of participants to experience American culture and business practices first hand, all with constant support backed by over a decade of experience. We facilitate experiences so our participants can define their own journey.

Our Experience:

Odyssey International is a cultural exchange organization headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. We are designated by the US Department of State to sponsor foreign university students, recent graduates and young professionals through the J-1 Intern and Trainee exchange programs. Every year we assist thousands of participants to advance their careers through work based learning and training programs in their fields of study.

Participants gain not only knowledge of methodologies and business practices from top industry professionals but also a deep understanding of American culture through daily interactions with American colleagues, participation in cultural activities and lasting friendships.

WHAT WE DO

What is a J-1 Visa?

All participants must receive a J-1 visa in order to participate in an Odyssey sponsored Internship or Management Training program. The J-1 Visa was created by the U.S. government to offer foreign university students and young professionals the opportunity to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States for a limited period of time.

These structured and guided work-based cultural exchange programs offer the chance for cultural immersion in the United States and professional development in the Intern's or Trainee's specific academic or occupational field. The J-1 Visa, or Exchange Visitor Program, is a non-immigrant visa overseen by the U.S. Department of State. More information is available on the U.S. Department of State website http://j1visa.state.gov.


Our Services:

Odyssey International Exchange is a designated sponsor in the J-1 Intern and Trainee exchange visitor program categories. We assist university students, recent graduates and young professionals to secure internships and management training programs as well as the necessary documents, insurance and support to successfully complete a J-1 internship or management training.

All our programs include the following resources and services:

  1. Review of applicant eligibility per Department of State guidelines
  1. Review of all application documents
  2. Confirmation of host company eligibility
  3. Development of the training and internship placement plan (Form DS-7002)
  4. Issuance of form DS-2019 (prerequisite to obtain a J-1 visa)
  5. Medical insurance for the duration of the program
  6. Housing support
  7. Organized cultural activities and events
  8. 24/7 support and access to Odyssey staff

Please refer to the Odyssey Terms and Conditions for a full overview of the services, terms and conditions of our programs. (link to T&C)


FAQ

Why do I need a J-1 Sponsor?

The J-1 exchange program is a highly structured, highly monitored non-immigrant visa program which allows students and young professionals to visit America to further the goals of mutual understanding between cultures via person-to-person diplomacy. Unlike immigrant visas which allow relative autonomy after arriving in the U.S., a J-1 visa requires constant monitoring and proof that program goals (ie. cultural exchange) are being satisfied. The United States government designates sponsor organizations to screen, select and monitor J-1 exchanging visitors during their stay in the United States. Sponsors are legally required to uphold the rules and regulations of the J-1 program and ensure participant safety and satisfaction.

Can I apply if I have received a J-1 visa in the past?

There are several scenarios where you may be eligible to receive another J-1 visa even if you have already participated in the past. Please refer to the table below:

Current Situation: Minimum waiting period between programs:
You completed a program as an Intern and you still qualify as an Intern You must wait 90 days before beginning a new program
You completed a program as an Intern and you now qualify as a Trainee You must wait 2 years before beginning a new program
You completed a program as a Trainee and you wish to do another Trainee program You must wait 2 years before beginning a new program
You completed a program as a Trainee and you now qualify as an Intern (returned to university to continue education) You must wait 90 days before beginning a new program
Why do I have to pay fees to participate in the program?
  • Gathering, reviewing and processing all of your registration documents.
  • Generating a tailored training and internship placement plan (DS-7002) for your specific program.
  • Issuing your DS-2019 document.
  • Medical insurance for the duration of your program.
  • Detailed pre-departure orientation.
  • Comprehensive handbooks, guides and resources to facilitate the arrival and orientation process.
  • 24 hour/7 days a week support from Odyssey staff
  • Constant monitoring, evaluating and follow-ups during your program.
  • Cultural events and activities sponsored by Odyssey.
How long does the process take?

In general, we recommend interested candidates apply at least 4 months before the date they would like to begin their program. This is to allow ample time to secure an internship or training offer, gather and submit all of the necessary documents, receive the DS-2019 and apply for the visa in your home country.

What if I found my own host company?

If you found your own host company, we can assist you in securing the necessary DS-2019 and other resources. This is our "Filing Only" service. Please contact Odyssey for more information.

What is rule 212(e) and does it apply to me?

When you agree to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program and your program falls under the conditions explained below, you will be subject to the two-year home-country physical presence (foreign residence) requirement. This means you will be required to return to your home country for two years at the end of your exchange visitor program. This requirement under immigration law is based on Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Two-year Home-country Physical Presence Requirement Conditions - An exchange visitor is subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement if the following conditions exist:

  • Government funded exchange program - The program in which the exchange visitor was participating was financed in whole or in part directly or indirectly by the U.S. government or the government of the exchange visitor's nationality or last residence;
  • Graduate medical education or training - The exchange visitor entered the United States to receive graduate medical education or training;
  • Specialized knowledge or skill: Skills List - The exchange visitor is a national or permanent resident of a country which has deemed the field of specialized knowledge or skill necessary to the development of the country, as shown on the Exchange Visitor Skills List. Review the Exchange Visitor Skills List 2009. Restrictions - When you, as an exchange visitor are subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement, you must return to your home country for a cumulative total period of at least two years before you can do any of the following:
  • Change status while in the United States to the non-immigrant categories of temporary worker (H) or intracompany transferee (L);
  • Adjust status Detailed participant handbook and orientation.
  • Receive an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate; or
  • Receive a temporary worker (H), intracompany transferee (L), or fiancè (K) visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
When can I buy my plane ticket and start making travel plans?

Odyssey recommends you do not purchase any non-refundable items (plane tickets, accommodations) until after you have received your J-1 visa from the US Consulate in your home country. While rare, delays and visa denials do occur unexpectedly. We understand that purchasing tickets and accommodations early can save you money. However, please be aware that Odyssey will not be responsible for any additional expenses due to delays or visa denials.

Can I extend my program?

There may be opportunities to extend your program. However, extensions are not guaranteed. In general, extensions are only possible if your original program was less than 8 months in length. If you are enjoying your J-1 program and would like to extend your program at your current host company or a different host company, please contact Odyssey to confirm options.

IS IT FOR ME?

J-1 Intern:

J-1 Internship programs are designed to allow foreign university students or recent graduates to visit the United States in order to gain exposure to American culture and to receive hands-on experience in American business practices in their chosen occupational field.

To qualify as a J-1 Intern you must:

  • Be a foreign national who is currently enrolled at a degree granting post-secondary academic institution from outside the United States
    OR
    have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to your program start date.
  • Possess sufficient understanding of English to participate in your specific program.
  • Be between the ages of 18 - 32

These are only the prerequisites for qualifying as a J-1 intern. For a full list of required documentation, please click here.


J-1 Trainee:

J-1 Training programs are designed to allow foreign professionals to come to the United States to gain exposure to American culture and to receive training in American business practices in their chosen occupational field.

To qualify as a Trainee you must:

  • Be a foreign national who has a degree from a foreign post-secondary academic institution and at least one year of work experience in your occupational field acquired outside the United States
    OR
    Possess at least five years of work experience in your occupational field acquired outside the United States..
  • Possess sufficient understanding of English to participate in your specific program.
  • Be between the ages of 18 - 32

These are only the prerequisites for qualifying as a J-1 Trainee. For a full list of required documentation, please click here.


Program Fees:

There are a multitude of services and monitoring which Odyssey as your program sponsor must provide to you in order to remain compliant with the regulations of the J-1 program and to ensure your health, safety and welfare during your time in the United States. Here is a breakdown of where your fees go:

  • Gathering, reviewing and processing all of your registration documents.
  • Generating a tailored training and internship placement plan (DS-7002) for your specific program.
  • Producing and sending your DS-2019 document (required to apply for the J-1 Visa)
  • Medical insurance for the duration of your program.
  • Detailed pre-departure orientation.
  • Comprehensive handbooks, guides and resources to facilitate the arrival and orientation process.
  • 24 hour/7 days a week support from Odyssey staff.
  • Constant monitoring, evaluating and follow-ups during your program.
  • Cultural events and activities sponsored by Odyssey.

Please refer to the Odyssey Fee Disclosure Sheet which includes an itemized breakdown of all fees charged by Odyssey and its partners, please click here.

Below are the fees charged by Odyssey for our various programs and services. Please remember that these are only the fees charged by Odyssey and there may be additional fees to participate in the program. For a list of additional costs and fees you should expect to incur, please refer here.

Odyssey International Exchange Fees - 2017
Program Length/Service Description Price Notes
12.1 - 18 Months $2,075 Includes all services listed in Odyssey Candidate Agreement
8.1 - 12 Months $1,675 Includes all services listed in Odyssey Candidate Agreement
5.1 - 8 Months $1,325 Includes all services listed in Odyssey Candidate Agreement
Up to 5 Months $1,190 Includes all services listed in Odyssey Candidate Agreement
Extension of program Starting at $870 Up to maximum time allowed per program and by host.
Change of Employer due to candidate $550 Termination due to disciplinary reasons, request for transfer without valid reason.
Change of Employer not due to candidate $0 Reasons related to health/safety/well-being, issues from host company, mutual reasons between EV and host.
DS-2019 Reprint $150 In the event of a lost or damaged DS-2019
Reinstatement $375 Reactivate SEVIS in the event of cancellation
Site Visit $275 When required
Terms and conditions of programs listed in Odyssey Candidate Agreement and Fee Disclosure document

Start the Journey


LET'S START

Before Applying

Important documents and things to consider before you apply for program with Odyssey

Prepare for Your Program

Be sure to review all the important information provided here below you depart.

Arrival

One you arrive in the United State, don't forgot to take care of these important steps.

After Your Program

Don't forget to finish your program right and keep in touch.