Camp Counselor Program

The Camp Counselor Program is a great opportunity for post-secondary students, youth workers and teachers to share their culture and ideas with the people of the United States in camp settings throughout the country.

Camp Counselor Program

What Malini Chopra did this summer at the camp under the Camp Counselor Program

Malini Chopra began working with autistic children after finishing her graduation in the education of special needs at the school of social work in Mumbai. She was completely dedicated to her job and enjoyed every moment of it. She found autistic children to be extraordinary in many ways and felt enriched by her interactions with them.

From time to time, she would take them out on class picnics, usually to the Elephanta Caves or perhaps to one of the hill stations around Mumbai, like Matheran. And then one day, her cousin in Boston, USA, sent her an advert announcing a 11-week camp for autistic children. Apparently, there was a way Malini could participate in as a camp counselor — and be paid for it.

She quickly asked around, did some research online about US Immigration rules, and learned about something called the United States Exchange Visitor Program (EVP), designed to give non-US students, academics and professionals numerous pathways to enter the United States on a so-called J-1 Visa and experience its life and culture while meeting their study or professional goals. Working as a camp counselor, it seemed, was one of those pathways.

The Camp Counselor Program sounded like it had been made to order for Malini’s special skills and interests.

Under the Campus Counselor Program, one of 15 categories under the EVP, Malini could enter the United States on a J-1 Visa, and work with children in the camp where she had been given a placement. The first step was to find a sponsor. She found an online list of 25 sponsor agencies that had been approved by the US Department of State. After an efficient process of interviews and paperwork, she was accepted.

She discussed with them the possibility of working at the camp for autistic children. The sponsor came back with good news and more good news. The camp she’d requested was willing to accept her, but they found two other camps for autistic children in other parts of the United States. She would be given free food and lodgings as well as wages on par with a US citizen working in a similar position.

Malini’s summer was totally made. The sponsor helped her through every step of the application and preparation process. Malini is back now but is planning on a repeat visit next year.

You can get more information on how to apply for the Camp Counselor Program and the J-1 Visa for the United States, including how to find the best sponsors, from the detailed, user-friendly visa guides you get when you buy one of our Visa Plans

If you have questions or would like clarifications about the Camp Counselor Program, please send us an email and we’ll do our best to get back to you within 24 hours with an answer.