On June 1 the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) will launch a new J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program website. The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is a work and study exchange program created to further mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries. More than 350,000 J-1 visa visitors come to the United States each year, including high school and university students, researchers, physicians, and summer work travelers.
The new site (http://j1visa.state.gov) will greatly improve the online application experience. Everything potential applicants need to know, from how to participate in a program to what the program is like can be found on the new site.
The look and navigation of the new site reflects state-of-the-art web design and plain-language instructions on how to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program. The site features descriptions of each Exchange Visitor program category, so that individuals can find which category is right for them, and testimonials from exchange participants. The site also provides clear instructions on how to apply. Videos and interactive content have been developed to extend the site’s reach into social media. It will give users a faster, easier, and more efficient web experience.
The site is designed to perform well in either low or high bandwidth environments. The site also features an interactive map of the United States for individuals interested in finding out, state by state, how many participants and sponsors are involved in the Exchange Visitor Program.
The new site reflects the Department of State’s commitment to a revitalized Web presence that connects international audiences with the information they need to take part in valuable cultural exchanges, and is the first step in a comprehensive re-design of ECA’s web presence aimed at organizing websites according to how users access ECA information. ECA’s existing J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program website receives the highest volume of user traffic and represents the most popular search item on the ECA website.