J-1 Journeys OCT 2013
Vol 2 Issue 6
Exchange Visitors Share Stories Which is right?
Visa Dates vs. DS-2019 All about the
Columbus Day Holiday
of life in the
! a c i r e m A , e e ates! t s S d I e t i n n ca n the U step i t s r fi y M
opal By Suraj G
and enturous v d a , g nd excitin in to a la n be so p a e t c s t y a e h h W hen t ors in people w uce trem d o t in g n in a k c c re at sho hat we a eirs? Wh t h t w t o o n n k t he which is come to ? What is hen we y r w t n s t u r o a c e our h r home en to eople ali t from ou r p a f p o o t e t c abou ureâ€?! if feren but â€œCult avioral d h g e in b h t l o a n ic ents typ answer is all gar m e h s t p , e e ll e k t of you? W ad that the mids only thre in e r h t e h t is e This ven tog nkind wo a m d e n am nations!
l’s story Suraj Gopa d) (continue
To introduce, I’m from an orthodox Hindu family in India. The heritage of India, which can’t be squeezed into a few words, is what keeps the people of India together. Our Indian tradition teaches many things to us which are widely different from the culture in US. As I walk you through my first time experiences in US, you will discover some surprising and shocking facts about India like how I discovered about US.
work in Eaton technologies located in Pune, Maharashtra. After 5 years of service in the esteemed company, I was gifted with the golden opportunity to visit the United States to undergo training on our products. This was a dream come true to me! I was very excited and thrilled to start my travel process and exchange visitor visa was the best option. I applied for J-1 visa from India and once I received my passport with J-1 visa on it, I was almost set to fly! Let me start with cultural delights in USA. I landed in Detroit international airport on 3rd Aug 2013 and that was my port of entry to USA. I was to stay in a hotel in Marshall, MI. The first delight, pleasant to my eyes that I found was the roads and the traffic in US, flowing as smooth as divine waters in heaven! Seldom did I find people on roads unlike Indian roads where you find lot
of people always! Every vehicle strictly followed the road rules which are not so common in India. To my more delight, I heard that pedestrians have the right of way. I wish these were the road rules in India too! Marshall is a beautiful town which I never saw even in Hollywood movies. The houses in Marshall were probably made by the architect of the gods, if I’m right! Roads were neat and tidy and citizens had good sense of cleanliness. Very few roads in Indian cities you will find this way. My greatest amazement was the sunset! It was hard for me to believe that it gets dark after 9 pm. In India, sun would have set by 7 pm. I’m really impressed by the hospitality of my counterparts. They took utmost care of me, ensuring my comfortable training here.
lâ€™s story a p o G j a r u S nued) (conti
do e s nâ€™t n w o t n a c i n Ame r a n i g n i e b c a . Th i s i s i r e Jus t m A n i I s t aye d t a h t n a a v isi t to e e m k a m o t te d me g ave t h e o g a w h a t te m p c i h C ! indy ci t y w e ve r e h d l t u , o o c g I a c h i c h i C gh t s w h i l e d f o l a u e t to t he e f 0 mo s t v i s 0 3 1 n t up to we r ! ge t a s I we o t s i l l i W t S k yde c k a
’s story l a p o G j a r Su nued) (conti
Suraj Gopal and hi
Colleagues took me to their home for lunch and very often a group lunch or dinner was arranged in a famous restaurant in Marshall. It was very surprising and delighting to see the nature of people here as I had heard from my friends that people in America usually don’t entertain foreigners, don’t bother about hospitality, etc. But this experience was totally amazing, dozens of thanks to my counterparts in Marshall! Stepping into a foreign land will obviously lead to facing a few cultural shocks. First, the time zones in US bothered me a lot! When I flew to Omaha from Detroit, I was taken aback to find that my watch is an hour ahead of a lady passenger’s watch sitting
beside me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. She was kind enough to explain me that we are flying to Omaha which is central time while Detroit is Eastern Time being an hour ahead of central time. Although I managed to understand, it was a shock for me.
Second, I observed the US flag being displayed all over the streets of America. I can understand the patriotism but I was even more astonished to find the US flag modeled as slippers and shoes! India has very strict rules governing the use and display of national flag and this is why I was shocked to find US flags being used so casually.
Third, I found that after schooling, children leave their
s US colleagues
home to earn and pay for their college through this earning! Parents don’t assist their sons to pay college fees! Even daughters are not spared! An ice cream parlor waitress told me that she works here to earn money to pay for her education, despite her father being in a high designation in an esteemed company! This culture of US is extremely opposite to Indian tradition. US culture suits America and Indian culture suits India. All cultural opinions are correct in their own place! Concluding my story, the overall experience of my stay in the US was positive and pleasant. I can never forget the people I met, places I travelled and food I ate.
Thank you for sharing your story, Suraj!
I’m a J-1 Law Intern in Washington, DC
I am an intern at a big law firm in Washington, DC. I was quite nervous on my first day and arrived about 15 minutes early, but was welcomed with open arms. Because I arrived at the beginning of August a lot of people were on vacation. That did not prevent the friendly Human Resources lady from introducing me to what felt like 3000 people. It was only after the first week that I had memorized all of the names of the team that I am now part of. The nicest surprise upon arrival at the oﬃce was that I had been assigned my own oﬃce! I could not believe it and thought that co-‐workers were pulling a prank on me, to welcome me to the ﬁrm, so to speak. But no, it was my oﬃce alright, and they had already set it up with everything you need. From pens and pencils to computer and telephone – I was equipped like a pro. Early on my ﬁrst day, I received my ﬁrst assignment. People in the US do not waste Gme – Gme is money. I was slowly but surely introduced in the subject maIer. My internship is in a ﬁeld of law that I had not yet had too much contact with. This internship gives me the opportunity to focus on an enGrely new subject for me. I feel like I can learn so much more here about it than I could have ever learned in law school back at home. I am even thinking about taking some classes about this area of law when I come back and maybe even specializing in it. Who knows what the future holds…
Everybody I have met so far has been extremely friendly. I know that Americans are generally easier to get along with than Europeans when you ﬁrst meet them, but the extent of the cordiality was surprising. Okay, geRng along with people your age and "lower-‐level" employees is not that astonishing, but the partners, the "big bosses", everybody welcomed me. I would have never thought that a ﬁrm this big (bear in mind we have a couple of hundred people working here) would spread such a "family feeling." People work extremely hard in the US. Out of, say, an 8 hour work day, they actually work 7 hours and 50 minutes, as compared to Europeans who do like to chat by the coﬀee maker for about an hour a day. Most of the people bring their lunch from home and eat it at their desks. Only a few take the opportunity to go up to the roof deck and enjoy their lunch there. What a shame… Overall, I am very glad I decided to come here. Even though it is quite the procedure to obtain a J1 visa, in the end it's all worth it and I'm glad I didn’t drop out. That being said, I hope you have an experience comparable to mine – maybe even beIer. I hope you enjoy your stay and get to know lots of new, fun people and explore new ciGes. -‐Philipp
What’s the difference between the dates on my visa and my DS-2019? J-1 Visa This is the visa that the Consulate places in your passport. This document gives you permission to seek entry to the United States at any port of entry whether it is by land or air. The dates listed under “Issue Date” and “Expiration Date” are the dates between which you are allowed to seek entry to the U.S. These dates do not need to match the program dates listed on the DS-2019 form, and the dates on the visa do not limit how long you are permitted to stay in the US.
DS-2019 This is the Certificate of Eligibility. This form lets a visa officer at the consulate know that the bearer has been granted visa sponsorship by a designated sponsor, such as the American Immigration Council. This form is required to be presented at the time of entry. The program dates listed in box 3 are the dates between which training or interning can take place. There is a 30-day grace period before and after the dates listed in box 3, during which the holder may visit friends, travel the country, get settled or wrap things up. There may not be any training or interning during these grace periods.
In summary, you can stay in the US for 30 days before and after the grace period listed on your DS-2019. If you changed your program dates, go by the new dates on the amended DS-2019 we sent you in the mail.
In 1492, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set sail westward from Spain in search of a westward marine route to Asia. He found America instead. His discovery led to an era of European colonization of the continent. The legacy of Columbus is tainted by the suffering of Native Americans, but he is remembered for starting a new chapter in the history of the continent. So what can you expect on October 14? Itâ€™s a federal holiday, so you might have the day off, and if you live in an area with many Italians, you might see a parade!
Sebastian del Piomboâ€™s 1520 portrait of Christopher Columbus
Write about your J-1 Journey!
An Excerpt from Columbus’s Journal in 1492: Tuesday, 25 September. At sunset Martin Alonzo called out with great joy from his vessel that he saw land, and demanded of
the Admiral a reward for his intelligence. The Admiral says,
when he heard him declare this, he fell on his knees and returned
thanks to God, and Martin Alonzo with his crew repeated Gloria
in excelsis Deo, as did the crew of the Admiral. Those on board the Nina ascended the rigging, and all declared they saw land.
Are you keeping a journal of your experiences in the US? What’s the most beautiful place you’ve visited in the US? What do you find most surprising about American culture? Has volunteering helped you to learn more about the community? How have you shared your own culture with Americans? What have you found interesting about US history?
Submit your US travel story to firstname.lastname@example.org to be published in J-1 Journeys.
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Columbus Before the Queen, Emanuel Leutze (1816-1868)