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Becoming a Host Company

IAESTE is a reciprocal exchange program for engineering, technology, science, and architecture students from across the globe. IAESTE host employers provide training experiences to top STEM students from around the world. Host employers have the opportunity to diversify their workforce and develop new international business opportunities by hosting highly-skilled university students through the IAESTE program. Keep reading for more information about hosting an intern through IAESTE.

Why Become an IAESTE Host Company?

    • These students are talented! IAESTE interns come from top universities around the world, are highly motivated to provide value and improve their skills, and possess excellent English skills. IAESTE students come from all STEM and Applied Arts disciplines, including:
      • Computer Science & Software Development
      • Engineering (Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Environmental, Mechatronics, Industrial)
      • Architecture
      • Applied Arts (Product Design, Graphic Design, etc.)
    • We find the best candidate based on your needs! IAESTE interns range from undergraduate through Master’s and PhD-level. Whether it is knowledge of specific programming languages, laboratory techniques, or software packages, IAESTE’s access to a large pool of talented students ensures that your candidate will possess the skillset required to succeed.
    • Our hosts love it! IAESTE host companies provide over 3,000 traineeships to STEM students across the world each year. Host companies range from university research groups and multinational corporations, to startups and small private firms. IAESTE interns can help your company:
      • Develop cross-cultural communication skills
      • Learn about a potential new market
      • Recruit talent for an international office
      • Connect with international universities, companies, and students
      • Bolster your team
      • Gain the competitive edge: train future engineering, technology, science, and architecture leaders who can advance your company’s goals on a global scale.
    • International hosting without the hassle! In addition to J-1 visa sponsorship once you have found the perfect candidate, IAESTE will manage the evaluation and selection process (including coordinating Skype interviews), enroll your intern in health insurance coverage, assist your intern with the housing search, and more.
  • Send U.S. students abroad: Since IAESTE is a reciprocal exchange program, each placement in the U.S. allows one U.S. student to obtain an international internship.

What does the hosting process look like?

Cultural Vistas is recognized by the U.S. State Department as a designated sponsor for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program in the intern and trainee categories. Cultural Vistas administers J-1 exchange programs for over 5,000 students and professionals from more than 100 different countries each year. Cultural Vistas will assist IAESTE participants in completing all paperwork and procedures associated with coming to the United States. Click here to let us know what type of student you are looking for..

Program Timeline

    1. Submit Intern Request: As a host company, you will submit a description of the internship position and what type of student you are searching for.
    1. Review: IAESTE United States will send you the application received from our international counterparts for your review.
    1. Selection: IAESTE United States can assist in coordinating a Skype/telephone interview with the candidate. The host employer can approve the candidate for an internship or request a different candidate.
  1. Internship: IAESTE United States provides bureaucratic support throughout the visa application process and during the intern’s time in the United States. Most internships take place during the summer, but please contact us if you have internships available at other times as well.


In general, host employers are required to pay the program fee and a stipend for the intern, which should cover the cost of living in the host city (housing, transportation, and food). The program fee covers the administrative costs of J-1 visa sponsorship, including issuing the DS-2019 form (Certificate of Eligibility).

The intern must be insured under Cultural Vistas’ health insurance policy (currently $70 per month). Some employers offer to cover this fee on behalf of their intern.

Length of Program Program Fee
3 Months $775
6 Months $975
12 Months $1275

Placement Fee: $1500
We can find a candidate based on your needs.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the administrator of IAESTE United States, Cultural Vistas depends on program fees to offset the costs of administering programs. All interns must be paid by the employer. On the Offer of Training form, please state the salary offered, which should cover living expenses in the host city.


    • The host must be an established business in operation for at least one year and provide their Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). Cultural Vistas may consider the number of staff, incorporation date, company history, current business activities, and financials in determining whether the host organization meets our requirements for sponsorship.
    • The host must not use the intern/trainee program for ordinary employment or staffing and must not displace American workers with international interns/trainees.
    • The host must not intend to assist the participant in remaining in the United States beyond the authorized program dates or change status to another type of visa.
    • The host must be able to prove they have a valid workers compensation insurance policy. If exempted by law from having insurance, proof of exemption must be submitted to Cultural Vistas.
    • All participant applicants must be interviewed by either the US host or the sponsor. For the purposes of the J-1 visa, such interviews must be documented and be performed via web cam, videoconference, phone, or in-person. Hosts will confirm these details in the Host Company Application.
    • The J-1 intern’s training must take place for at least 32 hours per week.
    • The host must provide continuous on-site supervision of participants and their program activities and provide feedback to facilitate the participant’s development. Cultural Vistas requires a staff to participant ratio of 10-1 in most cases.
    • The host is expected to provide the participant with a “real life” experience in his or her career field as normally practiced in the United States, including exposure to various aspects of the business or occupation. Activities should be designed with the participant’s career level, field of study, and interests in mind. Programs should be clearly defined and correspond with the expectations, requirements, and activities specified in the training plan. Program elements should not be changed without approval from Cultural Vistas.
    • The host must abide by all federal, state, and local labor and wage laws, including those relating to withholding taxes. J-1 interns are responsible for federal, state, and local taxes, but not FICA (Social Security/Medicare) and FUTA (Unemployment). J-1 interns are required to obtain a Social Security Number in order to be paid wages. Participants should not be considered independent contractors and compensation cannot be based on tips.
    • The host should provide or make available opportunities for the participant to learn about American culture both through office related events and activities outside the office.
    • The host must ensure participants notify us of their arrival and complete all required evaluation forms.
    • The host should provide orientation upon arrival to ensure the participant is prepared for participation in the program and clearly explain company rules, policies, and any benefits to which the participant is entitled.

Additional Fees + Services – these may be required

New Host Company: $300

All companies who have either never worked with Cultural Vistas or who have not yet completed a successful training program through our organization within the past three (3) years will be required to pay a one-time registration fee. (A successful program is defined as a program during which both the mid-term and final evaluations were completed as required). This fee covers the research Cultural Vistas does to ensure your company is reputable; to make certain your company meets the standards that are outlined by U.S. Department of State for all J-1 Visa host companies; and to guarantee that you understand your responsibilities as a U.S. host company to a J-1 Visa holder (this includes training, supervision, evaluations to be completed by trainee and supervisor, etc). Once your company has hosted a successful training program, your registration is considered complete and you will not have to pay the new company fee again. This fee is non-refundable and cannot be paid by the participant.

Travel Validation: $30

All participants who plan to travel outside of the United States (not required for travel to Canada or Mexico) during their programs must send their DS-2019 Form to Cultural Vistas to be approved for travel.

DS-2019 Replacement: $100

This fee applies whenever we need to replace or amend your DS-2019 Form.

Program Extension: varies

This fee applies if you request to extend the length of an active program.

Program Extension Length Fee
Up to 3 additional months $550
3 to 6 additional months $650
over 6 additional months $750

Expedited program extension: If an program extension application is submitted fewer than 10 business days prior to the original program end date, an additional $750 expedited fee will be incurred.

J-2 Fee: $750

This is the application fee for issuance of the DS-2019 Form for dependents of J-1 applicants. Extensions are available on a case by case basis.

J-2 Health Insurance (family): $510/month

This fee applies if the J-2 dependents wish to purchase insurance through Cultural Vistas and plan to arrive within 2 months of the J-1. This plan covers the J-1 participant and their J-2 dependents.

Please note that all J-1 Visa applicants must pay a fee of $160 to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where they interview for the visa. Canadian citizens are exempt from scheduling an interview and paying this fee.

Expedited Fees + Services – if applicable

All complete applications are processed in 20 business days or less. Need it done faster? Our expedited service guarantees that a completed application is evaluated within five business days. To take advantage of this service, check the box next to ‘expedited service’ on the participant or host company application form.

Expedited Service: $1,350

Five business day processing for complete applications.

Expedited Site Visit: $1,350

This fee applies to any new company that requests the required site visit to take place within five business days of application submission.

Refund Policy

Refunds will be issued only to the party who paid the fee. Cultural Vistas reserves the right to withhold additional monies or refuse a refund request.

Fee Type Refund—
Cultural Vistas rejection, or withdrawal prior to approval decision
Embassy denial or program cancellation post-approval decision
Program Fee 50% $0
SEVIS Fee 100% $0
Insurance Fee 100% (minus admin fee)** varies**
New Employer Fee* 0% $0
Expedited Application Review* 0% $0
Expedited Site Visit* 0% $0
Dependent 100% $0
Dependent Insurance 100% (minus admin fee)** varies**
Extension 0% 0%
Forms Replacement N/A N/A

*If the expedited review, site visit, or new employer vetting has not been completed a partial refund may be possible. **Insurance may only be refunded prior to entering the United States.