Work USA


Why find your own job at home, when we can find you one in America! From California to North Carolina, our Work USA program sets you up with a summer job before you go.

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What jobs can I do on a J-1 visa?

Every year, our tried-and-trusted US employers recruit international students from our program to help them during their busy summer period. Mostly based in hospitality and tourism, think the summer jobs you see in the movies: working as a server, pool attendant or retail assistant in country clubs, beach resorts and ice cream parlours. Depending on your employer, contracts usually run from mid-June to early September, and jobs are filled on a first come first applied for basis – so join our program early to secure your preferred job and location.

Rather find your own job? If you don’t want to use one of our approved employers, you may still be able to go through our Work USA program. We’ll just need to get your job and employer approved by our US visa sponsor, CIEE. Talk to our team.


Jobs in USA How it works

Get in the zone! Having a pre-arranged summer job is a condition of your J-1 visa, so once you’ve paid your deposit, you’ll get access to our Job Zone – BUNAC’s exclusive database full of US employers actively recruiting from our program. Don’t worry, we’ll be with you the whole way – with CV help, interview prep and virtual handholding. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Our placement team will help match you with a job.

What you’ll earn

All jobs advertised on our Job Zone pay the state minimum wage, usually between USD $7-15 per hour, plus tips if specified in the job description. With tips, some of our Work USA participants have earned over USD $8,000* over the summer. Find out how.

Where you'll live

Many of our employers include free or subsidised staff housing (usually costing between USD $50-$125 per week). If accommodation isn’t included, they’ll usually be able to recommend local accommodation nearby or we can help with your search.

Where to go

What you’ll do

Here are just a few of the summer jobs up for grabs on our Work USA program. Not your dream job? Check out more of our employers in California, Massachusetts, Maine, New York State, New Jersey and South Carolina here.


What you’ll learn

As a student, your dream job might not be to work in an ice-cream shop (bad example, that’s surely everyone’s dream), but you have your whole career ahead of you to do the 9-5 thing. Take this opportunity to do a fun job in a new country with a different culture to your own. It will look great on your CV, showing employers you’re motivated to try new things. Plus, you’ll learn a heap of transferrable skills.

Flying solo?

Flying solo?

85% of our Work USA participants are solo travellers. Our employers are used to taking on large numbers of international students, so it’s a great way to meet other people and recruit travel buds for the 30 days after your contact end to travel around the States.

Travelling with friends?

Travelling with friends?

While it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be placed together, we’d recommend applying with the bigger employers such as country clubs who take on the largest numbers of staff members. Don’t forget to mention in your application the name of the person you’re travelling with.


A typical day On the job

All the fun of the fair, Oli worked at an amusement park in Ocean City. A seaside town in Maryland (like the cookies), here's how a typical day goes down for him and his new mates – working, exploring on days off and planning their end of summer road trip.

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*All figures are based on the available jobs, advertised salary and accommodation costs for our Work USA 2022 program. This example is based on working 40 hours a week over the 12-week summer period. To see how this figure is calculated and what you can earn in other roles, please visit our cost and inclusions page. BUNAC is not liable for any differences in these salaries, directly or indirectly related to your performance. This should be used as a guide only.

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The BUNAC® logo and many of the programme names on this website are registered trademarks in the USA, the United Kingdom and in other jurisdictions. Company registration number: 1391030. Trading as BUNAC Travel Services Limited, 5 Richbell Place, London, WC1N 3LA, United Kingdom.