About Us

Home » About
who are we...
Our Story

Hospitality Placements (HPUSA) was created in 2004 and has locations in both Australia and the United States. For more than 10 years, Hospitality Placements USA has provided successful international cultural exchange programs.

Partnering with renowned brand hotels, Hospitality Placements USA is one of the largest providers of J-1 luxury hospitality programs in the United States. We strive to ensure each participant will gain practical experience to help reinforce their academic studies and enhance their career through a structured and paid work-based program, and experience American culture.

what matters to us...
our mission and values


Our mission is to provide cultural exchange experiences and world-class hospitality training to students, graduates and young professionals from around the world. We are fully dedicated to providing a professional and enjoyable experience throughout the entire process!


Our team provide individual attention for each participant, nurture our valuable host employee relationships and are passionate for the continued success of Cultural Exchange programs in the United States.

We believe that enrolling in an international cultural exchange program is the beginning of a journey that can impact your life both professionally and personally.

We invite you to begin your J-1 journey to the United States with us!

hyatt regency logo
four seasons
sheraton logo
RitzCarlton Logo
hyatt regency logo
four seasons
sheraton logo
RitzCarlton Logo

A great journey indeed!

“We are all interns from a different state. A great journey indeed! Thank you so much HPUSA for helping mold us to be who we are today! It has been a roller coaster journey but it all started with a decision to challenge myself to join the HPUSA Cultural Exchange Program. It has helped me build strength and character.”

Allynna T., Sheraton

A journey of self-discovery and personal growth

A journey of self-discovery and personal growth filled with unforgettable memories is what foreign exchange all about. I am so truly thankful for this experience; it has changed me forever. Living in a different country has opened my eyes. I learned to accept, and to be respected. I learned to be responsible, and to be careful. I learned to be friendly, and to be polite. Most of all, I learned how to live and realized that adventure was the best way to learn. An Exchange is an experience, never to be forgotten.

Kristal Joy Unico

I was awarded Employee of the month and so happy to be here in the US!

Dear Ms Emma,
I was awarded Employee of the month and so happy to be here in the US!. Thank you so much for all your support it making this happen. Thank you for your assistance. God Bless

Rheynacris Batingbakal

I really enjoyed celebrating 4th of July in NYC

“I really enjoyed celebrating 4th of July in NYC and watching the beautiful fireworks. I also had the opportunity to play in a baseball game. It was so much fun! I am learning so many new things and developing my skills in the hospitality industry thanks to the HPUSA Cultural Exchange Visitors program.”

Veronika S.

Thank you for everything!

Thank you for everything! I appreciate all of your help throughout my HPUSA J1 Cultural Exchange Program! This was an awesome experience in the USA! I had a great host company and learned so much from training at this hotel. Thank you Hospitality Placements for this opportunity, I really appreciate it!"

Dave M.
who we are..
Our Staff

Emma Stephens

Growing up in multicultural Sydney, Australia, Emma learnt the importance of education, connecting cultures and inspiring others. With degrees in both Communications and Law and a solid marketing background, she created HPUSA in 2004 with locations in both Australia and the United States.  She shares the enthusiasm of her participants and host hotels to deliver a successful and rewarding J-1 Cultural exchange program in USA. Her young daughter and travelling between continents keep her on the go, not to mention a little jetlagged.

Giselle Smith 
Program Manager

Born in Arizona and raised with southern hospitality in Atlanta, Georgia, Giselle has compassion for each of our participants coming to the US. Her grandmother came from El Salvador to the US at the age of 16 and started a company from the ground up. Her grandfather came from Ireland and became an international pilot. She has an educational background in Human Resources Management and is dedicated to helping others gain cultural exchange experience and further their career in the hospitality industry!

Angela Williams
Program Coordinator

Angela was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles football fan. She is outgoing, fun loving and enjoys traveling, spending time with family and staying physically fit. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, with a major in Human Resource Management. As the Program Coordinator, she enjoys connecting the participants with our hotel partners and feels honored to be a part of the HPUSA team.

Corinne Poulios
Recruitment Coordinator

Recruitment is Corinne’s middle name. She loves meeting our new applicants on skype and is honored to be able to assist them make their dreams a reality. She has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and is proud of her Greek heritage. When she’s not recruiting young applicants from around the world, she is spending time with her daughter Ella, son Niko and their little dog Lulu Lemon.

Kelly Mendoza
Administration Coordinator

With 15 years customer service experience and a Degree in Business Administration, Kelly is primed for her role at HPUSA. She enjoys helping our participants every step of the way as they prepare for their journey to the USA. Kelly lives in Georgia with her daughter Alana, son Keon and their naughty cat Miley. Although her father is Mexican/ Cuban, “Taco” is the extent of her Spanish language skills.