Communicating with your hires
How to keep in contact with your J-1 student workers as you prepare for their arrival
Your J-1 participants will typically accept your job offer several months before they are due to start working. The time between the hiring and your participants’ arrival is important for setting the correct expectations. You can use the time to give them more information about working at your company, and also to obtain any further information you need from them. Email is normally the best communication method. This factsheet provides a blueprint for communicating with your J-1 participants. It is simply a general guide; each employer is different and will have different needs for communicating with their participants.
1. Welcome Email
Tip: You will quickly learn the most common questions your participants have after being hired – addressing these questions in email templates, sent to all your hires at once, will greatly reduce the time and effort it takes to properly inform them.
Make contact as soon as possible—ideally within one week of hiring.
- General introduction to the company and what to expect from their summer
- Company standards and expectations, including uniform and grooming standards
- What additional communication is expected between now and arrival
- What to expect when they arrive (first few days)
- Things they will need to bring, such as clothing, linens, etc.
- What to do if they have questions
- Basic travel instructions (you can send a more detailed reminder closer to arrival time)
- How long it will take to receive their first paycheck
2. Housing Information
This could be a separate email or combined with the welcome email, depending on complexity. When it should be sent depends on your specific housing situation.
If you are providing housing:
- Description of housing/options if they exist
- How to sign up for housing/deadlines
- Roommate requests, if permitted
If you are not providing housing:
- Resources, contacts and advice for finding housing
3. Update Emails
Whenever is desired/appropriate
Keep your J-1 participants updated on things that are happening to the company. Include new developments or news that is of interest to your international staff. For example, you may want to tell them how opening weekend went, or that their housing is ready, etc. And of course, mention that you’re excited for their arrival!
4. Detailed Arrival Instructions
Generally 2-4 weeks before arrival
- How to get from airport to your location
- How and when to notify you of their travel plans
- Required days/times to arrive, and what to do if this is not possible
- Where to go and what to do upon arrival
Communicating with CIEE
You can contact CIEE for assistance at any time, but the following are situations where you should definitely contact us:
- Participants do not arrive as expected
- Participants quit before their agreed end date
- You are terminating a participant's employment
- You are having problems with a participant's performance and want to address it before it becomes more serious
Welcome Email: Example
Welcome to Company A! We are very excited for you to join our team this season! Please read the following information carefully; it will help you to be successful during your stay in the United States.
You will be working at one of America’s best amusement parks. With all of our great rides, games, food, and shows, there’s always something fun going on. Being part of our team gives you the chance to see those things firsthand. Our team members always have a great time while working, and are responsible for making sure our guests have the time of their life.
Below is some information you might find useful as you prepare for your summer in the United States:
You will receive an email in the next two weeks that will give you more details about the housing we will be arranging for you. You must live in the company arranged housing throughout your stay with us. Your housing cost will be $70.00 per week. This will be deducted from your weekly paycheck. Your rent includes utilities and high-speed
Internet. It does not include meals. Please bring enough money to pay your $100.00 Housing Deposit upon arrival. You will be sharing your room with one or two other people, of the same gender only. Please note that if you would like to request a specific roommate, you must email me no later than Friday, April 19th. Roommate requests are not guaranteed, and couples will not be permitted to share a room.
The closest airport to us is in Orlando, Florida (MCO). You will probably have to fly into a different U.S. city and then catch another flight to Orlando. You will receive detailed travel instructions about one month before you are due to arrive. Please feel free to contact us if you need any information before that time. As long as you follow the travel instructions, we will be happy to pick you up from Orlando (MCO) airport.
The First Few Days
The day after you arrive, you’ll be free to get settled, and you’ll be able to explore our amusement park if you wish. The next day, you’ll do paperwork, have your orientation, receive your uniform, and then receive your training schedule. Training is paid and will last two to four days.
Things You Need to Bring
We will provide your uniform, but you will need to provide your own all-white or all-black shoes. There is no cost for your uniform, but it must be returned when you leave. Also it could take up to two weeks to receive your first paycheck. Please make sure you bring enough money to survive for those two weeks, including the cost of travel from the airport to Company A.
I hope you have found this information useful. Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions, or are confused by what you are expected to do next. If you have any questions about your program rules or requirements, please remember that you should contact your agency for help. I look forward to having you on our team!