Living In The U.S.

Get familiar with some challenges you may face during your time in the U.S. - from Social Security info to traveling home for Christmas.
The Architect-US J1 and Job+J1 Visa programs are a great opportunity for international architects to pursue an internship or trainee position in some of the top architectural firms in the United States. If you have been dreaming about an opportunity to work in the U.S., this program is a great opportunity for you to do so in the least amount possible and with all the help you can get so that all of the aspects of a difficult visa process essentially become stress-free and easy to accomplish. The team at Architect-US will guide you along the way, and in this post has outlined just five of the many ways in which they know you will benefit from this exchange program:1. Learn about U.S. history and culturePossibly one of the most important aspects of this program -apart from the offered position- is that it will give you the opportunity to integrate yourself into the local culture of that city. You will be able to experience first hand what people in the city are like, the vast variety of cultures in metropolitan cities of the U.S., local and international foods, and learn from the different cultures activities that will teach you all about the history of the city and the U.S.2. WageAll positions offered to candidates participating in the Architect-US program are compensated according to the set minimum wages of each State and according to your academic background and years of experience. It will also give you an opportunity to earn money that you will be able to save for your future endeavors and travels.3. Friendships and NetworkingBig cities in the U.S. are heavily populated and have a wide variety of different cultures and people that you can learn from. During this experience you will be able to meet locals and people from different parts of the world giving you the opportunity to form strong bonds and hopefully future career opportunities. You will be able to attend different networking events offered by your Host Company and ones organized by the city that will grow your personal and professional connections.4. Professional and Personal DevelopmentThis opportunity will boost your career in many ways as it will give you a platform to enhance your Portfolio and CV. You will also be able to learn from some of the world’s most prestigious organizations and top leading companies and apply that knowledge into your future in the profession. As you will go to the U.S on your own, you will also have to find ways to tackle daily aspects of your life independently, helping you build self-confidence and self-esteem.Architect-US offers you access to one of the most competitive markets out there and will provide you with an experience and values that will impulse your international career. This will become a truly memorable, and life changing experience, so what are you waiting for?
This are some examples of projects I was working here in the US:HOSPITALITY:I worked on the Hyatt Hotel, a big project , all the architecture part and interior design part of 2 building with 8 floors.Is one of the bigger projects I was working on in the US. At the beginning I was doing the design part for all the common spaces. All the concepts and ideas for the host desk, business center, restaurant, bar, meeting and gathering room. The theme of the concept was Seattle/ pacific northwest/ Natural beauty. I worked also in the carpet design, really interesting too! COMMERCIAL:Dong Ting Chun Restaurant, is a Chinese restaurant. I worked on all the design of the restaurant. The design reflects the love of good design and passion for food. Took cue for their interiors from the Dongting Lake landscape, colors and textures from a fishing zone.Casual noodle shop that specializes in traditional Hunan noodles cuisine with industrial style.
The industrial metal look and concrete finish allows the restaurant to blend harmoniously with its surrounding neighborhood.
RESIDENCIALCascade Key 88 house
Color and texture inspirations are taken from NORTHWEST REGIONAL STYLE, intentional design choices that best suit the environment of the house being constructed to taking advantage of phenomenal views of all of the natural beauty that the this property offer. Use of locally harvested wood, stone, natural materials and soft color palette helps the
home meld into its environment.
On the website of the Studio 19 you can see the projects!
We encourage you to live out your American Dream to the fullest, but ending the program is not a problem as long as you have a good reason for doing so. You will have to sign a early program termination letter (which we will send you) and you have to let your Host Company know of your decision at least two weeks in advance.
The participants need to contact straight away their national embassy or consulate in the U.S. to request scheduling an appointment in order to get issued a new passport. The J1 Visa stamp has to be renewed only if the participant will travel internationally and will need to re-enter the United States of America. Please contact us if this is the case, so we can help you.
The Intern / Trainee has to apply for the Social Security Number at the nearest Social Security Office with their passport, DS-2019 form  and an the Employer Letter (which we will send you). However you will get more detailed information on the steps to doing it right before going to the U.S. in the Pre-Departure Orientation Session by Architect-US and ASSE.
Yes. If you have taken part in a J1 Visa program before (or have an SSN from before for another reason), the Social Security Number you were was issued has a lifetime validity. Therefore, there is no need to apply for a new card.
There is no issue to change addresses during the Program but you must report any change of address within 3 days. Further instructions will be included in the Pre-Departure Orientation Session that we will provide you with before your arrival in the USA.
It is mandatory to keep your contact information up-to-date and accurate as this is Department of State law and you risk immediate repatriation and other penalties if you do not comply. Therefore, it is a requirement for all participants to complete a monthly check-in every 30 days during the Program.
One of the biggest challenges finding an affordable place to live in U.S., but it is not imposible. You can search on the Internet, you can ask your Host Company for suggestions or you can contact an Agency. We will add you to the Architect-US participants chat so the rest of the community can give you some advise as well. Either way, you need to take into consideration factors such as safety, price, convenient transportation to the office and distance from it. We provide helpful information on this and other topics in our BLOG.
If you wish to travel outside of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada during your Internship / Training, you must obtain a travel validation through our partner ASSE and you cannot be out of the country for more than two weeks (in total) for the duration of the Program. For more information, please write your Program Advisor.
Yes, if your Host Company proposes you stay longer than the originally established end date, you may apply for J1 visa extension, which will be approved up to the maximum length permitted for your category (J1 Intern - 12 months, J1 Trainee - 18 months). For example, if you are a YTainee and got an offer from an American company for a 6-month program but after starting there they like you and ask you to stay for as long as possible, you could extend the program for an additional year (so the final program length is 18 months).
You must leave the U.S. within 30 days of the end of your Internship / Training  Exchange Visitor Program. It is not recommended to travel outside of US (including Mexico and Canada) during the 30-day Grace Period (read more about it HERE).
No, you are forbidden to have any other source of income in the USA while on your J1 Exchange Visitor Program. The J1 Visa is issued only and specifically for your approved Internship / Training Program. If you have any other working activities besides your sponsored Internship / Training, you are violating the visa regulations, which means immediate visa and program termination, along with other penalties applied.
We do not encourage Host Company Transfers and allow them only in extreme cases. You may change Host Company only if there are serious reasons for it (if you are not getting paid as established in the Training/Internship Placement Plan, the environment is unsafe, the agreed learn goals are violated, etc). In this case, the participant must contact their Program Advisor at Architect-US immediately, and the case will be reviewed in detail.