Frequently asked questions

J1 program

This is a nonimmigrant visa issued by the United States government. It is a special visa with the aim of carrying out a cultural exchange. To obtain it, a series of requirements and mandatory documentation must be met.

What are the main advantages of the J1 official program??

Living a year in the United States offers total immersion in American culture while allowing the student to show their host family what our country and customs are like. Not only will you perfect the language, but you will also become a student of a High School along with other local and international students and a member of the American family.

This program can only be done during one school year and does not grant a visa if you have previously studied or lived in the USA. with another type of student visa (F-1).

What is the roll of the American Sponsor?

The Department of State grants permission to American organizations to promote the program and provide the necessary visa documentation.

They have to comply with a very strict set of requirements and regulations, and the State Department conducts annual audits of these organizations.

Its function is to get a place in public institutes throughout the country and find host families who want and can participate in the program, complying with the regulations of the Department of State. In addition, they must have a network of local coordinators to carry out all the procedures and attend and follow up on the students throughout the program.

American organizations are responsible for the student during his stay, the proper development of the program, those who decide family changes, disciplinary sanctions, expulsions, etc. Once the student has arrived in the USA, it is the Organization that will make all the decisions about their stay, so they must carefully read all their rules, know them, accept them and comply with them.


We are the company authorized by American organizations to carry out the student selection process, inform in detail of the program and ensure that the student complies with the necessary requirements.

In addition, we take care of preparing the student and their parents before their arrival with workshops and orientations. We are also in communication with parents to inform them of any major incidents that occur during their stay there.

We also take care of the procedure to obtain the visa and the procedures to request the  validation of the course with the Ministry of Education.


The most important requirements are:

• Age: from 15 to 18 years old. (Exceptionally, we can accept students who are not 15 years old before their arrival in the U.S.) USA and always in the Superior program).

• Sufficient level of English. This level is evaluated with a personal interview and an online test (ELTIS, minimum score 675 points)

• Maturity and open-mindedness and flexibility. During the personal interview the student will evaluate their knowledge of the program and their expectations of the program. It is very important that they are convinced that they want to do so, and be aware of the enormous cultural differences they are going to face. 

• Excellent state of health. We will not be able to accept students with significant medical problems, psychological or mental health problems, food or severe allergies.

The American Organization or Sponsor are the ones that communicate the definitive acceptance once the complete student file has been received and reviewed.

What is the conditional acceptance??

In those cases in which the student has a medical issue that may make it difficult to get a place in an institute or get a family, the organization can communicate a conditional acceptance. This means that everything goes ahead but if it is not possible to confirm family and / or school the student will not be able to carry out the program and will have to assume the corresponding management expenses.

What the the limitations and most important rules of the J1 program?

All students and their parents must sign a series of rules in order to participatein the program. The most important to keep in mind are:

• The student will travel directly from Spain to their final destination to join the program on the same day of arrival in the United States.

• The student cannot return to Spain for the duration of the course, except for reasons of force majeure.

• Parents cannot visit the student until the last 30 days of their stay and always with authorization from the American organization.

•The student must maintain an average of C in all their subjects.

•The student must comply with all the rules of his host family, his school, the organization and the country.

•The student cannot stay longer in the U.S. once the course is finished.


What is included in the J1 Program??

Speak and Travel includes in its price all the necessary expenses: selection and preparation of the student, follow-up during the program, transfers at destination at the beginning and end of the program, enrollment in a public High School, accommodation and maintenance in a family, medical and travel insurance, management and processing of the visa, management and processing of the validation of the course.

The price of the plane ticket, cost of vaccines that may be required by American schools, school lunches, school supplies and extracurricular activities are not included.

For personal expenses and pocket money we recommend an amount of $ 350 per month.


The first payment (€ 2,500) is made at the time of acceptance of the student by Speak and Travel and with the signing of the contract.

The following payments are:

As of 15 February 2023: 50%

As of 1 April 2023: 50%


The cancellation fees established in the General and Particular Conditions of the program are:

•Cancellation after being officially accepted into the program:2.500 €

•Cancellation with family and / or school confirmed and in any case after March 31: 5.500 €

•Cancellation in the last 30 days before flight departure: 100% of the program price

In addition, if the student has an appointment with the US Embassy to obtain the visa, € 500 corresponding to the administrative fees must be added.

What kind of medical insurance is included in the program?

The program includes medical insurance with very broad coverage and that has to meet the minimums determined by the Department of State. The student can take additional insurance if desired.

It is important to note that these insurances do not include any pre-existing illness or condition.


When and how do we obtain our Visa?

Speak and Travel is responsible for the application and payment of J-1 visa fees as well as arranging the necessary interview at the Embassy of Madrid to obtain it. The granting of the visa is the exclusive competence and decision of the U.S. Embassy, under the Department of State.

Normally it is done from may and it is not necessary to have family and confirmed school to obtain the visa.

When do we receive our placement information??

From the acceptance of the student in the program by the American Organization begins the process of searching for family and school. This process is slow and you have to be patient. It is done for each student always looking for suitability with the family.

Most families and schools are confirmed during the summer, many at the last minute, with August 31 being the deadline set by the State Department. If on that date the student does not have a family and confirmed school, the J-1 visa is canceled and will not be able to travel. If this happens, Speak and Travel will make a full refund of all fees delivered.

Can we reject a host family or a school?

The American organization does not allow to reject family or school once confirmed since it is a family and school that meets all the necessary requirements according to the Department of State 

Can we choose State, school or a certain host family?

The J-1 program is generally developed in small towns without the possibility of selecting family, school, or destination.

Speak and Travel offers in its Premium and Superior program the selection of zone subject to the confirmation of the place by the American Organization.

Host families can be very diverse, from different backgrounds, given the ethnic richness of the country, different religion, social and economic position. They can be made up of young, middle-aged or older people and can be married couples or families, both with children and without children.

Can we request a change of host family once the student is in the US?

During the stay, problems of coexistence with the family or a bad adaptation may arise. The student should always make an effort to adapt and talk to their host family to resolve the different conflicts. You should also enlist the help of your local coordinator.

It is always the American Organization that will decide a change of family and / or school if it considers it necessary and will carry out all the procedures. Changes are not normally a quick process unless it is an urgent situation, and sometimes the student may be transferred to a temporary family.