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Sometimes, plans change

When plans change – and sometimes they do – CIEE Internship USA will do everything possible to accommodate you. If your program is going great, and your host organization is able to continue to provide training, you may want to consider extending your internship. Or it occasionally happens that there isn’t a good fit, or life circumstances interfere. It is possible to change host organizations or end the program early when warranted. Whatever the situation, CIEE is here to help.

Program extensions: making a good thing last longer

Any extension must be a minimum of three weeks in duration. It must take place with the original host organization, and the total duration of the program cannot exceed 12 months.

Extending an internship program is a bit like creating a new position. Since both the DS-7002 training plan and DS-2019 cover only the original arrangement, you’ll need to repeat the process for an extension.

The key part is a new DS-7002, filled out by the host organization. This is a great opportunity to add value to a program by expanding the internship into new areas of skill development, with new responsibilities. And since you and your host organization already know each other, this program extension can be fine-tuned to build on your individual strengths and preferences. You and your supervisor should meet to discuss what new skills you’d like to acquire and what opportunities exist. If all is going very well, don’t be shy about asking for an extension!

Applying for an extension

Applying for an extension is as easy as applying for the original program. To start the process, contact your CIEE international representative four to six weeks in advance of your end date. Your CIEE international representative will help you assemble your extension application and submit it to CIEE for review. Once CIEE receives the application for extension, the review takes about 15 business days. After an extension application and fresh training plan are approved, CIEE will send a new DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status to your host organization.

Here is what you’ll need to apply for an extension:

  • A completed CIEE Application for Program Extension
  • Copies of the original DS-2019, J-1 Visa, and passport
  • A new DS-7002, outlining the proposed additional training

It is important that the extension training continues to build upon skills you have already obtained; it cannot be duplicative of training you’ve already completed. The extension should be different from the original training and needs to provide justification that more time at your host organization will result in a more enriching experience.

Download the Extension Application

Switching host organizations if the fit isn’t right

We understand that sometimes, despite the best intentions, things just don’t work out. It is possible to move from one host organization to another if this happens. However, please note that this type of change is granted only in very rare cases. This can happen after a full evaluation concludes that the program participant and host organization cannot continue together.

It’s very important that participants not leave their host organization without approval, and they should contact CIEE at 1-888-268-6245 if they’re considering leaving.

While extremely rare, there are valid reasons for requesting a change of host organization. These include:

  • Financial difficulties at the host organization
  • Unwillingness or inability of the host organization to follow the training plan or provide appropriate support and supervision
  • Conflict between the intern and host organization that cannot be resolved
  • Physical or emotional abuse, or harassment by colleagues or management

Please note that CIEE is not allowed to change a host organization for participants who have less than 25% of their program duration remaining.

If a serious problem arises, contact CIEE’s Customer Service department. We’ll work with the host organization to address the issue and, hopefully, resolve it. If a change is still desired after this is done, the participant will be asked to submit a personal statement describing why the change is being requested and whether a new host organization has been identified.

If a change is granted, the new host organization must complete a new DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan, and a site visit may be required.

Ending a program early – when life gets in the way

Occasionally, unexpected circumstances or events require a program participant to leave the United States before his or her program ends. Any intern who needs to withdraw for any reason should talk to his or her supervisor and contact CIEE as soon as possible to discuss the next steps.

The early-withdrawal process generally includes the following:

  • The participant and host organization agree to a last day of training. Depending on the situation, this can be immediate, but there should be at least two weeks’ notice, if possible. Host organizations should use this time to plan the end of the training.
  • The participant’s DS-2019 will be shortened to reflect the last day at the host organization.
  • CIEE insurance will be canceled one day after departure from the U.S.

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