everything you need to know
the first time you are in
A STUDENT'S GUIDE TO SUMMER
WORK TRAVEL PROGRAMS
This guide offers you a list of all the
services you will definitely need
We hope you have a pleasant
experience and get to know the
friendly American people during your
stay in Virginia Beach.
is an independent city located in the
Hampton Roads metropolitan area of
Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the
mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, USA.
Virginia Beach is a resort city with
miles of beaches and hundreds of
hotels, motels, and restaurants along
Every year the city hosts the East
Coast Surfing Championships as well
as the North American Sand Soccer
Championship, a beach soccer
tournament. The city is listed in the
Guinness Book of Records as having
the longest pleasure beach in the
Virginia Beach is 208 miles (about 4
hours by car) from Washington, DC.
FROM THE AIRPORT TO
It takes an hour and twenty minutes
to reach Virginia Beach from the
International Airport (with Hampton
Roads Public transit) or 4 hours
from Dulles International Airport
near Washington DC (by Greyhound
bus or Amtrak train). Richmond
International Airport and Norfolk
International Airport are also nearby,
but your flight will most likely land at
Dulles or Newport News.
You could also rent a car, but car
rentals â especially one-way rentals
- are often quite expensive in the US,
so unless you are sharing the ride
with another person this is not an
economical way to come to Virginia
Beach from the airport.
For groups of 6 or more, a Resort
Express representative will pick you
up at the airport and drive you to
Virginia Beach for $85.
Just call 1-888-959-8907 from any
public phone to get the driverâs
contact information and set a time
and place for pickup. If you reach
an answering machine, please leave
your full name and location, then call
back in 15 minutes. Please be aware
that you may have to wait for other
students to come before leaving for
Virginia Beach. For example, if you
land at 5PM you might have to wait
for others to arrive at 8PM.
DO NOT leave the airport with people
you do not know. For reservations,
please check with your local agency.
Hampton Roads Transit offers 51 bus
routes to just about any place youâll
need to go. If you have questions,
please call their Customer Service
Department at (757) 222-6100.
Three routes of particular interest
to Summer Work Travel participants
Red Route 30
which provides service to the shops,
restaurants, and hotels along Atlantic
Avenue (May 1-Sept. 30);
Yellow Route 31
which goes to the Marine Science
Museum, Ocean Breeze Waterpark,
and other places on the southern end
Blue Route 32
which runs to the Lynnhaven Mall
and the Shops at Hilltop throughout
Single fares are $1.75, and all-day
and multi-day passes are available.
You can buy tickets in one of the
Sunsations beach stores along
Atlantic Avenue and in vending
machines near bus stops. Exact
change is required; drivers do not
Mihai Lungeanu is the person
in charge of helping you find
you can reach him at:
+40 749 333 000
You will be staying in hotels, motels,
or landlord-owned houses that offer
special rates to internationals.
Very few employers offer student
accommodation. If your employer
does provide housing, be sure to
contact him/her to arrange the
For the majority of students in
Virginia Beach, accommodation is
arranged by All Friends. The motel,
hotel, or house in which you will stay
will be equipped with basic American
appliances, including a microwave,
toaster and refrigerator. (If there
is no washing machine at your
residence, there will be a self-service
laundromat nearby, where you can
wash and dry your clothes for about
$2 per load.) Your housing facility
will also include Internet access.
Most of the time, two to four
students will share a room. The
rental contract covers the whole
summer; it will be calculated based
on the work season, not on a weekly
or monthly basis. You will receive
a payment schedule with the lease
agreement when you are assigned
housing in Virginia Beach.
All students must pay a deposit
(up to $200) to their landlord upon
arrival. This deposit will be returned
if you leave the property in the same
condition you found it. If you do not
stay until the end of the season as
you stated in your contract, you will
lose your deposit.
You must check in with your visa
sponsor and register your arrival
in SEVIS within 10 days of arriving.
Please follow the exact instructions
you received from your agency.
For free computer and Internet
access, visit the Virginia Beach
Public Library at 4100 Virginia Beach
Boulevard in Virginia Beach.
For information, call (757) 385-0150.
You must âactivate yourselfâ in SEVIS
or you could be removed from the
program, your DS-2019 form could be
cancelled, and you would be forced
to return home.
After you register in SEVIS you
must apply for a Social Security
Number (SSN) at the Social Security
Administration (SSA) branch located
at 2875 Sabre Street in Virginia
Beach. In some cases your employer
will take you the SSA; if not, you
should go by yourself.
To apply, you will need the following
1. J-1 Visa Stamp in your passport
2. I-94 Number (Visit the DHS
website at https://i94.cbp.dhs.
gov/I94/request.html to retrieve
the number after you arrive in the
States; be sure to print out the
3. DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility
for Exchange Visitors (J-1) Status
After you apply you will receive a
letter that proves you applied. Give a
copy of the letter to your employer;
you can start work before you
receive your SSN. Your employer will
use a temporary number until you
receive the original card.
Now you can contact your employer
to put you on the schedule and let
you know the types of assignments
youâll have during the summer.
IMPORTANT: You can get a second
job as long as it does not interfere
with your principle SWT placement.
Your initial job offer takes priority;
your employer is printed on your DS-
2019. If you do not fulfill the terms
of your initial obligation, your
employer can have the sponsor
cancel your visa.
CONTACT YOUR SPONSORS AND APPLY
FOR A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD (SSN)
Your sponsor organization helped
you get a visa and is responsible for
your safety and wellbeing during
the Summer Work Travel program.
The sponsor can also cancel your
program and your visa if you fail to
comply with requests.
Remember that your exchange
program is tied to your primary job
placement. You may get a second
job, but you may not begin the
second job until your sponsor has
checked out the employer and
approved the job. You also may not
quit any job before alerting your
sponsor - while under U.S. law
you cannot be forced to stay in a
particular position, to participate in
a j-visa exchange program you
MUST remain in your primary
placement unless, under extreme
circumstances, your sponsor
approves a change and updates your
Be sure to check your e-mail
regularly; your sponsors are
required to contact you at least
once a month and report back to the
State Department on how you are
doing. They will also ask you about
the cultural activities in which you
have taken part during the previous
month; be sure to save ticket stubs
and take pictures of the interesting
things you do outside of work.
Getting to know the people and
culture of the United States is an
important â AND MANDATORY â part
of the Summer Work Travel program,
and sponsors are required to cancel
your program if you fail to provide
proof of having taken part in some
form of cultural activity each month.
It is very easy to respond to e-mail
requests from your sponsor. If your
program is cancelled, it will NOT be
easy to explain to your employer why
you need to leave the country or to a
consular officer during a future visa
STAY IN TOUCh WITh YOUR SPONSOR
ThROUGhOUT ThE SUMMER.
PROTECT yOuR MONEy!
OPEN A BANk ACCOuNT!
Many employers pay students via
wire transfer, so having a bank
account is not only advisable, but
essential. We recommend that
you open an account at the bank in
which you will cash your paychecks.
You should also check with your
employer which bank s/he uses to
issue checks to be sure that you
can cash them where you have your
Do not keep large amounts of money
with you or at home. If you own a
debit card, do not give the PIN code
to anyone, and be sure you keep the
card in a safe place!
In order to identify yourself, always
carry your passport or other photo ID.
Do not give your passport to other
No one has the right to retain your
passport or other ID, for any reason.
Make copies of your documentation
and keep them in a safe place.
PROTECT yOuR IDENTITy!
Know your email and Facebook
logins/passwords (as well as the
answers to your security questions).
The U.S. Internet Protocol is different,
and you will need to re-enter all of
your information into your devices
once you arrive in the States.
Knowing this information ensures
that you can access your accounts
and not get locked out so far away
from home. Never share your
Internet logins or passwords with
Drinking alcohol is forbidden for
those under 21. You must be more
than 21 years old to enter bars and
clubs, or to buy alcohol. If you are
over 21 you need a picture ID to prove
your age when buying alcohol or
entering a bar.
Drinking or having an open container
of alcohol are both forbidden in
public places. âPublic placeâ refers
to every street, boardwalk, beach,
parking lot, and alley, or any vehicle
found in one of these places.
Disturbing the peace is forbidden;
you must not partake in any activity
that bothers other neighbors or
tourists, or refuse to obey orders
from a police officer.
Sleeping on the beach between
10 pm and 6 am is forbidden; and
sleeping in a vehicle is forbidden at
any time of day.
Extremely loud noise is forbidden.
Loud noise is forbidden between
12 am and 7 am; this includes loud
music and screaming.
Nudism is forbidden in public areas.
Ride on the right-hand side of the
road, in the same direction as traffic.
Don't ever move in the opposite
direction of the traffic.
Respect traffic rules.
Bikers and scooter riders must
respect the same traffic rules as
drivers. You can get traffic tickets
if you donât respect these rules, for
example if you donât stop at a STOP
sign or red light.
At night you must have a headlight
on the front of your bike and a
reflective sign on the back.
The use of bikes and scooters is
not permitted on roads where the
minimum speed limit is 50 miles per
Always wear a protective helmet.
Wear reflective clothes at night. Use
hand signs to signal that you are
turning or stopping.
Donât carry passengers on your bike
unless the bike is especially made for
more than one rider. Stop and make
sure that every direction is clear
when you enter or leave a street.
Leave the roadbed completely
when you stop to rest or talk on the
Beware of unexpected situations:
automobiles exiting garages, drivers
opening their car doors, unprotected
sewers, or dogs that are not on a
leash. When riding behind a local bus
remember that they tend to stop
every few blocks.
Always use a safety chain and/or
lock. Bike theft is common.
If you get caught breaking the law,
you will be arrested. If the case goes
to court and you are found guilty, you
will be fined or incarcerated for a few
days, weeks or more.
SHOPLIFTING is against the law, and
you will be arrested if you commit
this illegal act.
Trust the police officers. They are
civil servants, and their duty is to
maintain the law and order and to
help citizens and visitors when they
Ask them for help every single time
you need it.
Cross the streets legally, only at the
places marked for pedestrians. When
you cross the highway, push the
button and wait for the green light.
Virginia law requires pedestrians
to use sidewalks when they are
Jogging is not permitted in the bus
lane or on the Highway. If there is
a sidewalk, you may not jog on the
Hitchhiking is forbidden in the United
States. It is very dangerous, and you
must not do it!
YOUR SAFETY IS VERY
IMPORTANT, AND YOU MUST
BE AWARE THAT YOU ARE IN A
COUNTRY WHERE RULES ARE
If it's not an emergency, you can
the First Colonial Family Practice
and Urgent Care Center at
1120 First Colonial Road (Suite 100)
For information call
Get in touch with your insurance
company for details about coverage.
If you need to pay for the visit with
cash or credit card, keep the receipt.
You will have to fill in a form to
be reimbursed by the insurance
company. Contact your sponsor or
your agency if you donât know the
If itâs an emergency, grab a taxi,
or ask a friend or your employer to
escort you to
5320 Providence Road
call (757) 413-7900.â
alwaYS KeeP YouR PaSSPoRt
and inSuRanCe inFoRMation
with You. iF You donât haVe
thiS inFoRMation, giVe the
hoSPital YouR SPonSoR'S naMe.
The hospital will complete the
necessary paperwork so you donât
have to pay for your treatment
If you get injured during work hours,
tell your superiors immediately so
they can help you use the employer's
insurance. They will provide
transportation to a medical office.
Your employer is responsible for
paying all bills for medical treatment
needed because of an accident on
KeeP a CoPY oF YouR MediCal
inSuRanCe CaRd with You at
TAXES yOu DONÂ´T HAVE
When you receive your first
paycheck, make sure that these
three taxes havenât been withheld
from you. If you see any amount of
money in the line for âFICA,â âSSâ or
âSoc Sec,â âMedicareâ or âMed,â or
âFUTA,â your employer has made
a mistake. You should alert your
employer to the fact that the law is
different for students with j-1 visas.
To find out more about these taxes,
When you start working your
employer will ask you to fill out the
W-4 Form (Employerâs Withholding
Allowance Certificate) to assure that
you will not be overtaxed. If you
do not fill out this form correctly
you might pay higher taxes. The
following instructions for completing
the W-4 Form were taken from IRS
Publication 515: Withholding of Tax
on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign
Check only the box for âsingleâ
marital status on Line 3 (even if you
are married or divorced).
Write only 1 at the withholding
allowance at Line 5.
Write âNonresident Alienâ or âNRAâ
on the dotted line at Line 6.
Do not check âExemptâ on Line 7.
Everyone who has an income in the
United States is required to fill out a
form at the end of the calendar year
in order to have any amount they
overpaid in taxes returned. The tax
return reflects earnings from the
following year, total fees paid, and
the sum of unpaid taxes.
To request that your taxes be
returned, you will first need a W-2
Form, which your employer will
send you early in the year after you
complete Summer Work Travel.
(Employers are required by law to
mail W-2s before February 15.) Make
sure you give your employer your
correct address before leaving so
that you can receive this form.
ReMeMBeR, You will File YouR
taX RetuRn and aPPlY FoR a
ReFund aFteR You RetuRn to
YouR hoMe CountRY.
WhAT YOU ShOULD KNOW AbOUT TAxES
All participants in Summer Work
and Travel must pay state, federal
and local taxes (approx. 10-14%).
However, most of these taxes will be
returned to you after one calendar
year, when you request them.
Tipping or giving gratuities is very
common. Here are some examples of
services that use it:
15-20% on bill amount
15% on bill amount
10 â 15% on the amount
No more than 1$
Never try to tip police officers, civil
servants or university employees.
This can be misinterpreted as a bribe,
which is illegal. Donât leave tips for
bus drivers, theater ticket agents,
museum tour guides, restaurant
staff, or hotel receptionists.
Virginia Beach is located on the
Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton
Roads metropolitan area of Virginia.
Here are the distances between
Virginia Beach and the closest major
4 hours by car
1 hour by car
Ocean City, MD
2 Â¾ hours by car
The USA has a decimal monetary
system. The dollar, $, is the basic
unit. $1, $5, $10, $20 are the most
used dollar bills. You can occasionally
see $2, $50, or $100 dollar bills. Every
dollar is divided into 100 cents. These
are the coins: 1 cent (penny), 5 cents
(nickel), 10 cents (dime) and 25 cents
VALuE OF THE uS DOLLAR
Here is a list of average prices:
A cup of coffee $1
Hamburger, fries and a drink $3 - $7
Lunch at restaurant $8 - $15
Stamped envelopes $0.49
Weekly rent $80 - $95
The United States does not have a
VAT, or Value Added Tax. Instead,
most states charge a tax for goods
and services, which varies by state.
This fee can vary; it is 6% in Virginia.
Taxes will be added at the cash
register and will not appear on the
label. Be ready to pay more than is
written on the label. (The state of
Delaware has no sales tax.)
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
THE VIRGINIA BEACH PARkS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT AT (757) 385 - 1100
CaPe henRY lighthouSe
Enjoy beautiful views of the Atlantic
Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay.
Mount Trashmore is a 165-acre park
made from solid waste and clean soil.
Famous example of putting waste to
State PaRKS and national
Virginia Beach has more than 18,000
acres of state parks and national
wildlife refuges where you can enjoy
camping, hiking, and biking during
your time off.
The waves in Virginia Beach are
sometimes small, but usually
rideable. Former professional surfers
offer classes and camps to visitors
of all ages.
ViRginia BeaCh aMPhitheateR
Outdoor concert venue with seating
for 20,000 â you can sit under the
stars on the lawn.
KaYaKing and Canoeing
Virginia Beach has 121 miles of
navigable waterways, channels, bays,
and lagoons. Learn to kayak or canoe
and take a tour of coastal Virginia,
complete with dolphin spotting!
to Sign uP FoR eXCuRSionS,
get helP and adViCe on the
Swt PRogRaM, oR juSt to Meet
loadS oF new FRiendS, ViSit uS
at all FRiendS:
CoMMunitY CenteR FoR Youth
516 19th St
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
at all FRiendS You Can alSo Find:
â¢Free Internet access, a telephone,
and SIM cards with U.S. mobile
â¢Free support to register on the SEVIS
â¢Deals on overseas phone calls
â¢Electrical plug adaptors and cheap
â¢Help booking an affordable ride to
the airport when you leave
ViRginia BeaCh nightliFe
Virginia Beach is a great place for
students. You can choose your
party destination from a list of
bars, nightclubs, live music venues,
comedy clubs, dance clubs, and
even karaoke bars! If you are looking
for something new and exciting,
Peabodyâs has a different theme
ViRginia aquaRiuM & MaRine
One of the most-visited aquariums in
the nation, with more than 700,000
gallons of aquariums and live animal
habitats. It also has a nature trail and
Just an hour away from Virginia
Beach - known for its amusement
park, colonial village, and one of
the oldest universities in the United
Virginia Beach Area Transport 757-385-3111
Virginia Beach Transport - Bus 757-222-6100
Virginia Beach Taxi Service 757-353-4365
The Fresh Market 744 Hilltop North Shopping Ctr 757-491-0904
Farm Fresh Supermarket 1615 General Booth Blvd 757-721-3200
Farm Fresh Supermarket 2129 General Booth Blvd 757-427-6220
Food Lion 880 S.Military&Indian Riv 757-523-0217
CVS Pharmacy 1688 Laskin Rd 757-417-3943
Virginia Beach Public Library 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd 757-385-0150
Free Wifi Hotspots http://www.openwifispots.com/
Virginia Convention &
Visitors Bureau 201 Penniman Road 757-253-0192
POLICE, FIRE & EMERGENCy SERVICES
Emergency Telephone Number 911
Virginia Beach Police Department 757-385-4141
Virginia Beach City Fire Department 757-385-4228
Virginia State Police 804-674-2000
Poison Control Center 800-222-1222
Building Inspections 757-385-4211
Virginia Department of Emergency Management 866-782-3470
Storm Preparations 757-575-3737
CLOSEST COMMuNITy HEALTH CENTER
Sentara Virginia Beach Regional Medical Center
1060 First Colonial Road 757-395-8890
Post Office 320 33rd St 757-486-8655
Post Office 2509 George Mason Dr 757-427-2705
NAME PHONE E-MAIL/ID
All Friends edited this guide for
all those who visit Virginia Beach
with the Summer Work Travel program.
All prices and information shown
in this booklet are indicative only.
All rights reserved.
All Friends Community Centers for Youth
203 S. Baltimore Ave.
Ocean City MD 21842
21 Broadway Avenue
Wisconsin Dells WI 53965
516 19th Street
Virginia Beach VA 23451