The most frequently asked questions about the program
Who is eligible for the program?

University students, graduates, and non-students between the ages of 18 and 30 are eligible for the program. All applicants must have experience working with kids, leadership experience, and/or skills and experience in a general range of activities offered at summer camps.

What are the program dates?

You must be available for nine weeks, leaving for the U.S. no later than June 20th. Preference is given to applicants who are available at an earlier date and for longer periods of time. For the best chance of placement, applicants should be available between the dates of June 1 and August 25.

What skills or experience do I need to have ?

You must have experience working with kids and/or hold skills relevant to the activities typically offered at U.S. summer camps. You could be a student, teacher, sports instructor, or youth worker.

Can I still apply if I can’t commit to 9 weeks of work?

No, to be eligible for the program, you must be able to commit to the full nine weeks.

Can I still apply if I will not be 18 by 1 June?

Visa regulations state that participants must be 18 at the time they fly to the US. One27 does not accept applications from people who are not 18 by June 1.

When is the application deadline?

The earlier you apply, the earlier you will receive a placement. Applications are accepted mid-August through March 1. Don’t wait until the application deadline to apply!

What does my Insurance cover?

Your insurance covers most medical care within the U.S. Please refer to the “Insurance” section of your participant handbook for full details of coverage.

How long after I apply will I hear about my placement?

We strive to secure you a placement as soon as possible. However, it takes time (sometimes weeks, sometimes months) to find the right placement for you. The earlier you apply, the better your chance for an early placement. Additionally, the more flexible you are about the type of camps you’re willing to work at and your dates of availability, and the more extensive your skills and experience with kids, the better your chances for a quick placement. CIEE begins placing participants in October for the following year.

What is a J-1 Visa?

The J-1 visa provides non-U.S. citizens with the opportunity to share their culture by working in the U.S. for a temporary period. This visa is required to work as a camp counselor or as a member of the support staff through the CIEE Camp Exchange USA program.

When do I leave for camp?

Camps can start at any time between May 25 and June 25. Your departure for camp will depend on your travel availability and your camp contract dates.

Will I have any time off?

While at camp, you will have an average of one day off a week, as well as brief periods of time off during each day and one to two evenings off during the week. Each camp organizes time off differently and it is at their discretion.

Can I smoke or drink at camp?

You are not allowed to smoke or drink at camp or on any camp property, and are not allowed to return to camp intoxicated. Smoking and drinking off camp grounds are both greatly discouraged, and each camp will have their own policy on these issues. Please remember, you are working with kids and should act as a role model for all campers by acting appropriately at all times, even on your days off. If you break any smoking or drinking rules during your time at camp, you may be fired. NOTE: The drinking age throughout the U.S. is 21.

What can I wear at camp?

At camp, you will be working directly with kids and should always act as a role model for the campers. Be sure to always look presentable, meaning no torn or revealing clothes, and no visible tattoos or piercings. Each camp will have its own policy regarding appropriate clothing at camp.

A camp in the USA has agreed to hire me, do I still need to go through the application process?

Yes, please follow the normal application process and include the CIEE Placement Agreement Form your camp has given you with your application materials. If you do not have this form, please get in contact with us. You must make sure your camp is currently a partner of CIEE Camp Exchange USA.

What is a DS-2019 form?

A DS-2019 form is your cultural exchange visa paperwork, which shows your eligibility for a J-1 visa. One27 will provide you with this form.

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS stands for the Student Exchange Visitor Information System used by the U.S. Department of State to track all persons on student and exchange visitor visas in the country. All participants on the CIEE Camp Exchange USA program will be registered in the SEVIS system. There is a $35 SEVIS fee, which is included in your program fees.

I have a problem at camp, who should I ask for help?

You should ask your immediate supervisors or your camp director first, as they are in the best position to provide assistance. Every camp also has trained medical healthcare staff including nurses and doctors. Seek help from these resources and if this doesn’t result in a solution, call CIEE at 1-888-COUNCIL (1-888-268-6245) for assistance. We don’t recommend contacting friends or family in your home country as it can be very difficult for them to help from so far away.

I have to leave camp before the end of my contract, what happens now?

Call CIEE at 1-888-COUNCIL (1-888-268-6245) immediately to explain the situation and why you need to leave camp. You will be responsible for any costs that would have otherwise been paid by your camp. Please refer to the “Summer Contract” section of your participant handbook for more details.

I have a family emergency and need to return home immediately, what do I do?

Call CIEE at 1-888-COUNCIL (1-888-268-6245) immediately for assistance. You will also need to contact One27 in order to assist with rebooking your flight.

How do I file a tax return?

You can file your tax return yourself or you can use a company to file the tax return for you. If you decide to complete the tax returns yourself, you will need the following forms:

  • W-2 Form This form is sent by the employer after the tax year ends and it details the total wages and the amount of each tax that was withheld. Make sure that you give your employer your home address so they can send the W-2 form to you.

At the beginning of the calendar year after your CIEE Camp Exchange USA program, you will receive a W-2 form from your U.S. employer detailing what taxes you paid while under their employment. The W-2 must legally be issued by January 31, and you can expect to receive it in February or March at the latest.

Once you have received the W-2 form, you can fill out the 1040NR-EZ Form. You will also need to fill out state and city tax forms.

  • 1040NR-EZ Form This form is specifically for non-resident aliens. It can be obtained, together with instructions for filling it out, on the US government web site – www.irs.gov (search for “1040NR – EZ form”).

Use the charts found in the 1040NR-EZ instructions to determine the tax refund or the amount of tax owed.

  • State Income Tax Form This form is different for each of the 50 states in the U.S., and you will need to complete the form for the state in which you have worked. A list of state tax sites is available at www.irs.gov.

If you’re going to the U.S. or you’ve just arrived back home, www.taxback.com will take the hassle out of filing your U.S. tax return. Taxback.com provides every customer with innovative services such as FREE online tax refund calculators and online tracking of your tax accounts. Taxback.com makes getting your U.S. tax refund easy and provides customer service in 25 languages.


The earlier you file your tax returns, the sooner you will receive your refund. Remember the standard deadline for filing tax return forms is April 15!