By Don Southerton, Korea Expert Witness Editor and Chief Blogger
Within the scope of this Blog, I find issues dealing with immigration appropriate. On a broad level, I have taught Immigration and Ethnicity at the university-level. On a more practical level, I have sponsored and assisted Koreans wishing to immigrate to the U.S. More recently, my interns, assistants, and colleagues are in the U.S. under visa programs. Quite frankly, getting a visa to come to the U.S. can be a huge hassle. Getting a Green Card is even more of a challenge–one few achieve. When I found out the U.S. and Korean governments were planning a new program for students and recent graduates, I knew many would benefit. The program is called WEST.
Some Details The WEST (Work, English Study, and Travel) Program will allow qualifying Korean university students and recent university graduates to enter the United States for up to 18 months on J-1 exchange visitor visas. The program required them to study English and participate in a professional-level internships. WEST is under the auspices of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs,and the South Korean government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) . The program will be coordinated through Department of State approved sponsoring organizations.
The first groups of Koreans participating in the WEST (Work, English Study, and Travel) program have arrived in the U.S. Over the next few months they will attend daily language immersion classes in ESL programs across America. By September 2009, they will be well prepared for internships where they will experience first hand American business practices and operations. To support the WEST program, the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) has issued an official letter asking Korean-based firms in America to strongly support the program and offer several internships. (BTW I drafted the letter for MOFAT. )
I have also been asked to recommend top U.S. firms well suited to offer internships to Korean university students. This is a great opportunity to promote goodwill between the U.S. and Korea. The Korean interns will learn about U.S. business and your company will have access to quality interns who are motivated to perform and learn. I was hoping you would offer several internships. The internships can be flexible 3 to 12 months. The interns have English language skills. Concerns such as health insurance, placement costs, and visas are at no cost to your firm.
For additional information, contact me at email@example.com Or, call 310-866-3777
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