Be sure to review all the important information before you depart for your journey to the USA!
The cost of housing will vary depending on your location, time of year and how many people you share an apartment with. In general, you should expect to pay the expenses listed below for a 2 bedroom apartment with 4 people (per person):
- Deposit: One month’s rent - The deposit goes to cover any damages to the apartment during the rental. In general the deposit should be refunded at the end of the lease as long as it is returned in the same condition as it was rented. Some landlords may withhold a certain amount for a cleaning fee regardless of the condition. Be sure to ask beforehand.
- Monthly Rent: $400-600 per person
- Utilities: $50 - $60 per person - Utilities include things like water, gas,
electricity and trash. Some apartments have utilities included in the rent. Be sure to ask beforehand.
- Cable and Internet: Service will typically cost about $50-100 USD/month.
Please remember these are estimations. If your program is in a popular tourist destination, you can expect to pay more. Be sure to research the cost of living in the city where you will be staying.
You are required to have medical insurance in effect for yourself (J-1), your spouse and any dependents (J-2) for the duration of your program. The cost for medical insurance for the duration of your program is covered in your program fees and provided by your sponsor organization.
- Minimum Insurance Coverage
Insurance shall cover:
(1) medical benefits of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness;
(2) repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000; and
(3) expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000.
- Additional Terms
A policy secured to fulfill the insurance requirements shall not have a deductible that exceeds $500 per accident or illness, and must meet other standards specified in the regulations.
- Maintenance of Insurance
Willful failure on your part to maintain the required insurance throughout your stay in the United States will result in the termination of your exchange program.
Please make sure you have budgeted a sufficient amount of money to participate in the program. All HPUSA internships and traineeships are paid, however, you will need access to at least $1,500 USD upon arriving in USA, to cover costs before you receive your first pay check. This money will also be needed in the event that your monthly stipend does not cover all of your expenses.
Airport to Housing
Taxis, public transport
Movies, parks, concerts etc.
Phone plan/phone card
Cleaning, laundry. decorations, kitchen
It is very important to make a good impression and follow hospitality industry standards. A neat, well-groomed, business-like appearance will reflect your concern for quality and attention to detail.
All participants are required to follow the dress and grooming standards. Please take pride and great care in your personal appearance. It is important that you project a polished, well-groomed and professional image in your overall appearance.
When you enter the U.S., you will be seen by a U.S. Customs Official. This person is responsible for ensuring that you are authorized to enter the country. Here are the steps you can expect to follow upon arrival:
Present the U.S. Customs Official with your travel documents (Passport, J-1 Visa and DS-2019 Form). The U.S. Customs Official will stamp your passport.
The Customs Official may ask you some general questions about your visit, the purpose and duration of your program, and where you will stay during your program. Answer clearly and respectfully, they are routine questions.
The Customs Official will ask you to submit digital finger scans and a digital photograph (part of the US-VISIT program, required for most visa holders).
You will then go through a baggage checkpoint. You may be asked to open your luggage and allow another U.S. Customs Official to examine your belongings. The purpose of this search is to ensure that you have not brought any restricted items with you into the U.S.
Finally, you will present the Customs declaration form that you received on the plane.