International Couselor Exchange Program  


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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I participate in the program?
What do I need to do to obtain a visa?
What does the insurance cover?
How do I organize my trip to the United States?
How will I be placed at camp?
How will I find out more about MY camp?
What about my vacation and time off?
How can I find the right people to tell me about camp?
What qualifications does ICEP look for in a prospective camp counselor?

How can I participate in the program?

Contact the representative from your country. Your representative can give you more information and details about the summer camp program and the necessary application forms that you must fill out to apply. If you there is currently no representative in your country, please Contact us in New York and we will be happy to assist you on an individual basis. In your e-mail, please be sure to tell us why you are interested in the summer camp program and what experience and skills you will be bringing with you. If you would like us to mail you a brochure and application package, please include your current mailing address!

See the how to apply section to read about ICEP qualifications and download application instructions and forms.

What do I need to do to obtain a visa ?

Once you have been accepted to the program and we have arranged for your placement at camp, we will send you the necessary forms which you must complete and submit to the US consulate in your country. You will need to submit the following documents and information to the US Consulate:

~ A valid passport with at least 1 year remaining until its expiration ~

~ both copies of Form DS-2019 issued to you by ICEP ~

~ Proof of return trip to your home country ~
(e.g., airline ticket, official itinerary)

~ Non-immigrant Visa Application Forms DS-156 and DS-158 ~
(and DS-157 for male applicants)

~ $100 MRV fee ~
(check with the local US Consulate to determine the method for paying this fee)

Please be aware that the US Consulate in each country maintains its own procedures and policies for visa applications. You should contact your local US Consulate for specific instructions.

What does the insurance cover ?

The mandatory ICEP Health Insurance covers medical benefits for accidents and illness, medical evacuation expenses, repatriation, and a $100 deductible. For more detailed information, please refer to Rules/Finances Page. All program participants will also receive detailed information published by the insurance provider prior to arrival in the US, and all insurance procedures will be reviewed during the Orientation Conference.

Counselors who wish to have travel or dental insurance must make their own arrangements.

How do I organize my trip to the United States?

Counselors are responsible for making all travel arrangements and covering airfare costs between their home countries and New York or Los Angeles. Once accepted to the program, you should arrange to arrive in either New York or Los Angeles by June 15 at the LATEST. Once you receive your camp placement we will notify you of the date you are expected to arrive at camp and the date when you will be free to leave. Plan to spend two nights in New York or Los Angeles before departing for camp in order to attend the mandatory orientation conference, and give yourself at least two or three days after camp to return for the post-camp evaluation conference. You must purchase a return ticket to your home country in order to receive your visa, and you must return to your home country before the expiry date on your DS-2019 form!

Some tips for getting low airfares:
Plan your trip as far in advance as possible.
Shop around: Call local travel agents and student travel agencies, and check airfares on travel and airline websites.
Ask your ICEP representative to recommend a travel agent
Check out our recommended budget travel sites [CLICK HERE]

How will I be placed at camp?

Once you have submitted your application, it is reviewed by the ICEP staff and you will be notified within one month of our decision. If you are accepted to the program, your application will be circulated among participating camps.

You will be placed at a camp based on a number of factors. We try to match your skills, talents, preferences, and personality with a camp that is looking for counselors like you. We base this placement on the information you provide in your application and interviews, as well as the requests of each participating camp. In order to create an ideal arrangement for each camp and counselor, we carefully assess each application (especially the autobiographical essay and skills) and conduct phone interviews with each applicant. We also review the brochures and materials of every camp and work with each camp director individually to gain a strong understanding of each camp's program and philosophy.

How will I find out more about MY camp?

Once you have been placed at camp, the camp will send you their information and staff materials, including a brochure, important dates, and what to bring to camp. We will also send you their website address so you can learn more about camp while you wait for their information to arrive. At this point, any specific questions you have about camp should be directed towards the camp director or other key staff.

Your camp will arrange for payment of your travel between New York or Los Angeles and camp (both arrival and departure). At the orientation conference, we will provide travel information to help you make the arrangements for arrival at camp for pre-camp staff training.

What about my vacation and time off?

You will receive time off from camp depending on your camp's schedule and policies. Some camps give counselors one day off per week, others allow time off in 1-2 day blocks between camp sessions. Most camps will also allow for counselors to have certain nights off during the week, and will grant free time during the daily schedule as well. However, expect to be at camp and on duty for the majority of your time at camp - being a camp counselor is like a 24 hour job!

When the camp season ends in August, you are free to complete any long-term travel or vacation that you have planned while in the US. You must plan to be in New York or Los Angeles for the evaluation conference either before, during or after your personal travels. Remember that you only receive your travel allowance by attending the ICEP post-camp evaluation conference. Be sure to plan all travel so that you depart the US before your DS-2019 form expires.

Even though your time off is your personal time, your camp may ask that you inform them of your plans, or require that you sign in and out when leaving camp grounds. Camp and the ICEP may also ask you to inform us of your post-camp travel itinerary. These requests and policies are out of concern for your personal safety, and we ask that you honor these requests for your own well being.

How can I find the right people to tell me about camp?

The best resources available are former counselors from your country. Contact your country representative (who is probably a former counselor him/herself) to find out who you can contact. You may also contact our New York office, and we would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about camp or the ICEP program, or put you in contact with a veteran counselor from your country.

What qualifications does ICEP look for in a prospective camp counselor?

We are looking for young people from around the world with experience, interest, and enthusiasm for working with children and engaging in an international exchange. Counselors should be strong role models with a commitment to informal education and a desire to share their culture with American children and other counselors from around the US and the world. In addition, camps seek individuals with strong skills in the activities they instruct, such as athletics, wilderness and camping, arts and crafts, waterfront activities, drama, music, and leadership programs. All ICEP counselors must demonstrate proficiency in English at the start of the program, and must be able to arrive in New York in early June and stay until late August. Please see the complete list of qualifications for more details.



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