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Nowadays, university students in Thailand begin to seek their own journey such as Work and Travel. Work and Travel or WAT program is the program of exchange culture aboard by working in the first part and traveling in the second part. The WAT program in Thailand will be held by Thai agencies which co-working with exchange organizations to facilitate the program participant from the start to the end of the program. This program provides enough experiences in life for students such as working with others and traveling on their own, but did the students know that they have to prepare many documents during the process? However, you can receive guide line in the next paragraph

First, every student has to register in each agency they want to join via student’s personal email by paying the registration fee and attach a money transfer slip in the email too. The registration fee will be around 2,000 baths depending on each agency. Then the agency will send their regulation file in pdf format to inform the students about the rules they have to follow while joining the program. Most of the regulation will focus on program fee and the rule of canceling the program contract in different steps. The students must thoroughly read the regulation as it is the students rights for joining the program. Moreover, if the students decide to cancel the program, the fees can be returned as less as the further agency operates the Work and Travel process.

After the registration, the agency will send an appointment email for a language performance test via Zoom Meeting with agency personnel. A language performance test will be an interview in English and Thai mainly focuses on the students’ objective, perspective, and why the students intend to join this program. For English interviews, most of the questions are introducing general information because the interviewer just wants to analyze the students’ communication ability in English such as have you been abroad before, and which food you want to try the most when you stay in the US. Even though the English interview will be a general question, the Thai interview will focus in depth on the students’ perspective. Moreover, Thai interviewing has to inform the right perspective of the program to the students, for example, the students should seek for the experience more than money due to the program vision and goal of giving a chance to discover new experience in the students’ life. If the students pass the language and perspective test, the agency will inform the next step of the program via email.

Next procedure is to transfer the first program fee about 10,000 baht to verify the intention of joining the program before continuing to the following step. Furthermore, the students have to provide a few documents for applying to the exchange organization in the US which is partnered with the agencies in Thailand. The first important document is the students’ passport and it has to expire after the program finishes. The second document is a proof of student document in English, the agency will notify the time the student should request from university because this document has an expiration date within 45 days. According to Thammasat University, a proof of student document will cost 50 baht per one copy in an online document and 50 baht plus the shipping fee per one copy in paper. Beside the following documents, the students have to record a video to present themself including showing the facial expression, general information, and personal goal which they expect to be received from the program then unload it on Youtube. After uploading a video on youtube, the student has to turn the video privacy into public and attach a video link with a document file before sending the email.

As the information has been mentioned before, the student has to apply to the exchange organization website. According to the INTEREXCHANGE organization, the agency will fill in the students’ information as much as they have then the students have to complete the rest by themself. The second payment, 20,000 baht, will be succeeded in this step too. This step is almost the complicated one due to the information accuration before confirming overall of the students profile to apply for employment. After completing all information on the website, students can select job positions, job types, and workplace locations, so the website can generate the employer for the students. The INTEREXCHANGE website has a process of selecting the employer and employee in terms of matching algorithm. The matching will happen when the employer and employee agree to work with each other after scanning the requirement from both sides. In the employer part, they have to provide enough detail of job description, wage rate, overtime wage rate, workplace information, housing, and surrounding facilities in the workplace and housing area. Therefore, employees, the students, can decide to confirm or cancel the job offers after considering the offer information. Additionally, tips for the students is they must consider the offer depending on the wage rate with cost of living and criminal rate around the workplace area. Subsequently, job confirmation will lead to the last payment around 40,000 baht before the visa appointment.

More importantly, the process of visa request which is the main process before going abroad. The agency will request the student to provide documents that can be separated into two parts, main documents and additional documents. The agency will ask the students to send all the documents to the agency before the visa appointment to prevent erroneous and omitted documents on visa interview day. The main documents will be visa appointment confirmation, DS-160 confirmation, DS-2019, SEVIS, Transcription, proof of student, passport, two 2×2 inches of ID pictures, and ID card. Firstly, The VISA appointment confirmation will be applied to verify the VISA appointment interview time and date. Secondly, DS-160 is the online nonimmigrant Visa which the students have completed. Thirdly, DS-2019 is the basic document form for the exchange visitor program known as Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status. Fourthly, SEVIS, The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, is the web-base for maintaining information of the exchange visitor. For transcription and proof of student, the documents have expiration in 45 days as the statement has been mentioned before and it must not expire during the visa appointment day. Finally, the ID picture must be taken within six months in 2×2 inches or 5×5 centimeters size and white background. The recommendation for ID pictures is that students should not take the pictures by themself because of the depth of detail of the picture regulation. Equally important, the additional documents will be proof of parents work, and proof of parents funds or statement. The proof of parents’ work and proof of parents’ funds will contain the credibility of the students, so the US embassy might request it during the interview.

On the visa appointment day, the students must arrive 30 minutes to one hour before appointment time. The US embassy in Bangkok is located on Witthayu road where the visitors can travel with public transport such as MRT and BTS, but who drive personal cars can park in the Sindhorn building with 100 baht per hour of park fee. While the students await in the embassy, the students are not allowed to use any electronic devices and it has to be stored in the first checkpoint. The first checkpoint only allows visitors to store only the visitor’s phone and ID card. After waiting in the queuing line, the students have to interview in separate sections one by one with the consular. According to personal experience, the questions in visa interviews are mostly focused on the workplace in the US, for example, why you choose this state for working. In the same way, wilberforce, the work rights in the US, will be definitely asked to every student because the embassy has to be assured that the students know their rights during staying in the US.

Finally, when the visa has been approved, the students should inform the employer and book the flight as soon as possible. The ticket price will be higher if the book date is close to the flight date. The students must book all the departures and return flights for the easier way when they arrive in the US, so the immigration will gain more assurance that the students will be returned to their country. Moreover, the students should communicate with employers about the route from the arrival airport to housing or workplace.

In summary, the Work and Travel program has plenty of process before going abroad. Therefore, the students have to prepare for the complicated process, documents, and time management. According to the information that has been stated before, the students have to be meticulous in each step because the false in one step can cause another step like domino effect. This blog can provide most of the details that the students have to encounter before going abroad, so the students can receive the guide line by reading this blog.

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