Student Portal

You would like to boost your career

and would love to work at a famous 5 star hotel and/or restaurant in the United States?
Great! You have come to the right place.

Here you will find all the information you need:

What do we do?

We are the number -1  placement agency for South African Hospitality and Culinary Students/ Graduates to work at 4 and 5 star hotels and restaurants in the United States of America. We help you to get a 12 month paid traineeship at the best hotels in the United States .

How do we do this?

With our international partner HRC International and our visa partner HTP

  • You will be working at 1 of our  circa 100 trainee and/or internship positions in the United States of America
  • in Rooms Division/ Food & Beverage,  Culinary or Combination programs
  • Via the USA J1- Cultural Exchange Visa

Why do we do this?

As a young  South African Hospitality professional you deserve overseas experience, a chance at better pay and to BOOST YOUR Hospitality CAREER!

What are the benefits for me?

  • Pimp your career – gain valuable international experience
  • 12 month trainee programs at hotels such as the Hilton/Intercontinental/Ritz Carlton/Radison Blu/Marriot and many more
  • A buddy program (you are never alone) and  working with an agency with over 20 years’ experience
  • Rotational programs in either: Culinary/Kitchen, Food & Beverage, Rooms Division , Management , Housekeeping or Combinations of
  • Traineeship guidance and assistance
  • Great packages (Medical Aid, Insurance, Meals, Tips, Variable salaries)
  • Assistance from A_Z by Students at Work and its partners
  • No recruitment Costs

What’s in it for our partners?

  • International cultural exchange and diversity of having workforce from all over the world
  • Having highly motivated and skilled South African employees from international reputable hospitality and culinary schools
  • Having South African employees that are familiar with diversity, cultural differences and that are fluent in the English language.

What’s in it for us “Students at work”?

  • As passionate South African based hospitality professionals, we like to provide South Africans  the opportunity to go and see the world,  enhance their career and get paid way more than the South African labour market gives them
  • As per South African labour and recruitment regulations, (and as part of our vision) we do not charge our candidates any recruitment fees.  all the fees you pay are regulated fees as determined by our partners and the US government
  • Students at Work solely receives it’s income through a kickback fee  paid as a commission per successfully placed  South African candidate, by its partners and not it’s candidates

When can I apply?

Always, but please expect 2 to 3 months for the application procedure.

The Process:

1: Check this website for the  Vacancies   and see if you are eligible
2:If you are eligible- Contact us and send us your CV + Professional photo and copy of your diploma’s.
3: If you have potential we will schedule an informal interview with you (1st interview)
4: If successful we will need to get all the paperwork done as soon as possible
5: We will introduce you to our partner HRC International  for a 2nd interview and all the info you need
6: You will receive an username,  USA employers can now see and find your profile
7: A 3rd and final interview will take place between you and the employer in the USA
8: If successful you will receive an offer for one or more placements
9: If you accept the offer the visa application can start and  only then, the first  mandatory payments need to be made (VISA/FLIGHT/Insurance) 10:Book your flight and you are ready for take off

You can start your dream job and start earning  US-dollars


For the fortunate few top candidates there are scholarships available – although this is rare. The employer is willing to cover your flights and or visa which could save you up to $3500 (USD)

Costs or Investment?

Students at Work charges no fees  for the work that they do. You will not be charged any upfront recruitment fees by students at work or our partners.

As you will be earning a very decent salary for the work that you do (especially by South African standards), and on average all your costs are being recovered after 3 months of work, we would like to rather speak of an investment rather than of costs.

All the fees that are charged are legitimate fees as stated by the US Government for Insurances and visa’s.

What is my investment?

(Your investment in the program is usually earned back within the first 3 months)

  • Mandatory  government related-Visa costs
  • Monthly Program & Medical Insurance fees(Health/injury etc)
  • Flight costs
  • Accommodation costs , Your employer usually offers you 2 weeks of free accommodation. Enough money to survive the 1st month ($2500 (USD) recommended) prior to your 1st paycheck

Please use the following link for currency conversion rates –


Students at Work and our partners assist you with all the above, finding you the most affordable rates based on our 20 years + experience.

Investment  1:  Pre-departure in South Africa

This option is – After I have signed my contract with my employer and prior to my departure to the USA
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Investment 2: During my stay in USA

This option is – Pay during my 12 month stay in the United States of America
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Who can apply?

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Educational Requirements

J-1 visa regulations require that applicants are currently or previously enrolled in foreign academic institutions.

  • An academic institution is any publicly or privately operated post-secondary institution that offers primarily academic programs. By contrast, vocational institutions prepare learners for jobs that are based in manual or practical, rather than academic, activities related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation
  • For the purpose of the J-1 visa regulations, an institution that offers primarily vocational or technical programs is not an academic institution and students and graduates of primarily vocational, rather than academic, institutions are not eligible to participate in intern and trainee programs.