How an Internship Abroad Impacts the Way We View the World Around Us

Mariana, CICD J1 Trainee
Oct 25 2019

To pursue career aspirations while also traveling the world is a unique opportunity! The J-1 visa allows just that and more.

J-1 visa programs are a unique opportunity that allows participants from around the world to not only gain meaningful insights and understanding of American business practices, but to experience a whole new culture and society. This combination of wanderlust and career enhancement allows participants to return home with a whole new perspective on the world around them and equips them with insights that will bolster their career back home.

Mariana, a current architecture trainee from Argentina, encapsulates her experience as a J-1 visa participant in the U.S. and why she decided to take the leap with CICD as her sponsor:

“I wanted to have the opportunity to compare different cultures and work environments. Living in a foreign country focuses attention on issues taken for granted in familiar surroundings. I believe that research and travel activities enhance global awareness.”

While on her program, not only was Mariana able to study American architecture in Dallas, TX, but she was also able to traverse some of the most architecturally and culturally enriched cities in the U.S. such as Los Angeles, CA, Chicago, IL, and Miami, FL.

Read more about Mariana’s experience as an architecture trainee:

What was the most useful thing you learned in the United States or abroad on your program?

“Being part of an extremely talented team that always look to test the boundaries of design, innovation and technology. All of my colleagues have previously worked in larger firms. I haven’t had that opportunity yet. In consequence, their professionalism, mentorism and experience was a learning curve for me.”

What aspects of your program have impacted you the most?

“The cross-disciplinary and collaborative nature of the design process. Different disciplines involved, companies, and professionals all giving their best specialized opinion. More industrialized way of approaching things which lead to more efficient results.”

Did you know? CICD works with each U.S. Host Company to customize the Training Plan (DS-7002) that our participants and supervisors carefully follow? This leads to excellent program outcomes!

Which local customs will you bring home with you?

“I believe people here say thank you and excuse me all the time. I love this respectful and polite approach and would like to maintain that. Also, I would keep having dinner early.”

Mariana visiting the Stahl House in Los Angeles, CA

Mariana visiting the Stahl House in Los Angeles, CA

Explain how your program abroad has influenced your current role.

“This program has helped me to understand more about what kind of professional architect I want to be. Also, it made me feel valued and appreciated by my colleagues. Sometimes Architecture can get very competitive but that is in the past and we are now in a world where collaboration is success.”

What are your future goals?

“My future goal is to found a collaborative platform where I can keep in contact with North American colleagues while at the same time South American ones. These practices can be very different [in regards to] context and cultures and that is why a close conversation between them can be enriching.”


 Mariana at the Willis tower sky deck in Chicago, IL “The best city in USA”

Mariana at the Willis tower sky deck in Chicago, IL “The best city in USA”

Increasingly, international students rely on internship opportunities to strengthen their resumes by showcasing hands-on, professional experience. International students seeking experience in the USA face the challenging task of finding both an internship opportunity and a visa to support them.

CICD’s mission is to promote the exchange of culture, ideas, and relevant experience worldwide through quality training, internship, work-abroad, teacher and volunteer programs for qualified and diverse international interns, trainees, teachers, Work and Travel students, volunteers, and great host companies. Providing excellence in cultural exchange programs is our passion.

After all, CICD Coordinators are world travelers — just like you!



Ready to get started?

Watch this video to learn how to apply!

Are you looking for more J-1 Visa tips? Check out our other blog posts!

Once you have secured an internship or training position at a U.S. Company, please register online to begin your application. If you have not found a program yet, consider a full placement opportunity with CICD.