Rights and Legal Protections

As a participant of Research Scholar USA, Short-Term Scholar USA, Professor USA, or Specialist USA, you have many of the same rights as your American colleagues. However, job benefits that you may be accustomed to in your home country may not be guaranteed by U.S. law. Whether you get vacation days, sick leave, or other benefits will vary from host organization to host organization. Ask your supervisor either when you agree to your project or early in your program if you are entitled to any additional benefits. This will avoid any misunderstanding as your program progresses.


Sexual harassment and racial discrimination are serious matters in the U.S. If you feel that you have been the victim of either sexual harassment or racial discrimination in the workplace, please contact CIEE right away at 1-888-268-6245. We can provide advice and assistance.


All host organizations are required to provide international participants with a workplace free of recognized hazards that may cause serious illness or death as per the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). Participants must comply with all applicable safety and health regulations. If you ever feel something about your workplace is unsafe, tell your supervisor. If your host organization is asking you to take on tasks that you consider to be unsafe, please contact CIEE for advice.


Host organizations may request that participants take a drug test. You may be tested before you start your project or at any point throughout your program. You may also be required to take a drug test if you are involved in an accident at the workplace. If you test positive for a controlled substance, you should expect to lose your position and to return to your home country immediately.