USA J1 Hospitality Internships


OVC is proud to be working hand in hand with our local and international partners to offer young South Africans the opportunity to work in the USA for 1 year on a hospitality internship program at leading resorts and hotels throughout the USA.

Now is the time to gather valuable international work experience in the field of Culinary, F&B and Rooms Division positions. The program training plans are put together on a rotational basis during the 12 months, so you will work within different departments and roles throughout the resorts to gain as much knowledge and experience in your field. On your return to South Africa, you would be able to include this international work experience and continue to climb the ladder within the industry locally!

Program Objectives:
- Practical hands-on training in your field of study or work experience
- Cultural Exchange – to learn about America and to share your SA culture with America
- Learn the American hospitality industry from a 4 or 5* resort and hotel in the USA and bring this knowledge back to SA
- 12 Month placement only – you will return to SA prior the end of 12 months
- Earn money to pay back your program fee while working!


Status : Program Open
Embassy : Open
Vaccination Required : No
PCR Required to Enter : No

Typical Internship Position Information:

- Culinary/ Food and Beverage/ Front Office and Rotational positions available
- Minimum of 32 working hours per week and more depending on the season
- Minimum of $10 per hour
- 4-5* hotels
- Hotel groups such as Marriott/Hilton/ Ritz Carlton/Omni and many more popular brands
- Placements throughout the USA
- Shared housing close to work - 2 or more interns will share a room while on the program, apartments are charged per person for the room
- Transport, Food, personal items and any other emergencies not covered by insurance are for your own expense
- Deferred payment plan for your program fee available
- This program is not a money-making opportunity and should not be seen as an opportunity to send money back home, you will earn enough money to pay the above expenses each month and possibly save a little extra money at times


1. Must be a current full-time student at a post-secondary ministerially recognized institute outside the USA
2. Must have completed studies and if no valid work experience must enter the US within 12 months of last exam date
3. If graduated more then 12 months ago then the applicant must have a qualification with at least 12 months work experience in their field of study
4. Have at least 5 years of work experience outside the United States in a specific occupation

- 19-35+ years
- Proficient in English
- We accept SA and Namibian passport holders (Other foreign passport holders will be considered on a case by case scenario)
- 2 Payment plans are available to pay for the program costs listed below
- Good budgeting skills
- Hard working, efficient, committed to a 12-month placement

Start/Finish Dates

All year round

Visa Info

12 Month J1 intern/trainee visa program.

Two options are available:
1. Trainee Program
This option is available if you have one of the following:
a) A professional qualification (certificate/degree/diploma and at least 1 year’s professional experience in the same field)
b) At least 5 years experience in a specific field.

2. Internship Program
This option is available to students between 19-35+ years of age who are currently enrolled or are within 12 months of graduation and who would like to gain experience in the same field of study.

Repeat participation is allowed under following conditions:
- In all cases, repeat participation should address the development of more advanced skills or a different field of expertise
- Interns may repeat as interns if they are still a student or recent graduate
- Trainees may repeat after a 2 year period of residency outside the USA.
- Interns who wish to be Trainees may do so after a 2 year period of residency outside the USA


Admin fee R9500
Program fee $2400 - Please see Program Deferment plan for finance assistance
Visa fees $185 Visa & $220 SEVIS, R309 Return Passport via Courier or collect for free from DUR/JNB/CPT DHL office
Travel Insurance Included
Airfare (approx) Approx. R10 000 – R20 000 (One way to accommodate 13 months in the US)
Recommended Spending Money Minimum $1000 - $1500 including initial housing and expenses


- Gather application documents and submit to your OVC office
- Application is sent to the Program Manager for review
- Once approved by the Program Manager - applicant is to pay R9500
- Await interview - you may not be placed on your first interview. We will continue to interview you with employers until placed
- Once placed pay Visa and SEVIS fee
- Once placed applicants will also work hand in hand with OVC to secure and source housing. Rental deposit, 1st 2-4 weeks rent and application fees are payable up front before departure. Housing is basic and interns may require to take some bedding or personal items with or purchase on arrival. Utilities are not included in rent. Average rental ranges from $125 to $200 per week, base on location
- Once placed a finance agreement is signed at OVC for repayment of program fee, during your time in the USA
- OVC Arranges all your travel arrangements
- Applicant partakes in a final preparation meeting with OVC to ensure that you are ready to fly

More Info

Program Fee Deferred Payment Plan
OVC offer applicants the option to pay $800 of the $2400 placement fee in SA, and pay the balance once in the USA ($1600 over a period of 8 months whilst working in the USA)

Mandatory Spending Money
Applicants must take $1000 - $1500 to America to for the fees listed above (Rent, Deposit, Spending and other items)

EXAMPLE MONTHLY EARNINGS & DEDUCTIONS: (Based on 32 hours, on average once works 40 per week over the year)
Minimum wages - $16 per hour x 32 hours/week = $512 x 4 weeks - $2048 per month
Housing Rental from $300 - $600 per month
Program fee repayment (8 months only max) - $200  (On Program deferment plan costing)
Tax approx. 10-15% - $205 - $305

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