J Exchange Visitors Program

Valencia's International College Program with Academic Training
at the Walt Disney World© Resort

Pre-Arrival Information

Visa Application & Interview
Housing
What to Pack
Travel and Entry into the United States
Orlando International Airport
Transportation
Embassy Interview Checklist_VCC


Visa Application & Interview

Please review the steps below for details on applying for a visa. Once you are done reviewing the information below, please refer to the Embassy Interview Checklist to help prepare for your interview.

Students interested in Valencia's International College Program will need to apply for the nonimmigrant Exchange Visitor (J-1) visa (College/University Student category). Even if you already have a tourist visa, you will still need a J-1 visa to participate in this program. 

  1. Read the U. S. Department of State Exchange Visitor Program Welcome Brochure to learn more about the Exchange Visitor program and the J-1 visa rules that will apply to you during your stay in the United States.  
  2. Review the Form DS-2019 (this form is also known as the “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status.") 
    • Check your name, date of birth, and all other personal information for accuracy.  If there are any errors, let us know immediately.
    • Sign at the bottom where it says your name and date.
    • Make a copy of this for your records to leave at home with a family member along with a copy of your passport.
  3. Pay the SEVIS fee.  SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) is a computer system that collects and maintains information on the current status of nonimmigrant exchange visitors during their stay in the United States.  You must have your DS-2019 before you can pay the SEVIS fee. You may schedule your visa interview before you pay the SEVIS fee. However, the SEVIS fee payment must be processed at least three business days before your visa interview takes place.
    • The easiest way to pay the SEVIS fee is online with a credit card.  You must have your DS-2019 form with you in order to do this. 
    • Be sure to enter your personal information exactly as it appears on your DS-2019. 
    • The Valencia College Program Number is located on your DS-2019.
    • Your SEVIS ID number is printed at the top right of the DS-2019 above the bar code.  It starts with the letter “N”. 
    • When paying the fee online, be sure to have your printer ready before you start the payment process.  Do not exit the receipt page until you have successfully printed the receipt, because you will need it to present at the U. S. Consulate to prove that you paid the SEVIS fee.  You will not be able to return to the receipt page after you exit it.
  4. Complete the Form DS-160 (which is your visa application). It is best to make your visa application at the American embassy or consulate that has jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence. Although you are allowed to apply at any U.S. consular office, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside your country of permanent residence. Each consular office has its own specific process, so make sure to check its web site carefully and follow all the rules.

Instructions for Completing the Form DS-160

Purpose of Your Trip:

Student/Exchange Visa (F, J, M, Q)

Intended Date of Arrival:

Refer to DS-2019

Intend Length of Stay in the U. S.:

6 months

Address Where You Will Stay in the U. S. :

8050 Gables Commons Drive                  Orlando, Florida 32821

(Your exact apartment number is not known yet, but your mail will reach you at this address.)

Person/Entity Paying for Your Trip:

Self

Contact Person or Organization in the United States

Alexandra Cordero Miles

Organization Name:

Valencia College

Relationship to You:

School Official

Address and Phone Number of Point of Contact:

1800 S Kirkman Road, Building 10, Orlando, FL 32811; Business Phone:  407-582-6607

SEVIS Information Page:

Refer to the DS-2019 for SEVIS ID # and institution information

Important:  If the U. S. consular official denies your J-1 visa, inform the coordinator at your university immediately.  He or she will communicate this information to Valencia.  If you decide to withdraw from the program prior to arrival, notify your university’scoordinator, who will inform Valencia.  In either case, any fees paid to the U.S. government are nonrefundable.

Housing

Upon your arrival at Disney’s Vista Way Welcome Center, you will be assigned to an apartment in one of Disney’s student housing complexes.Apartment Interior  Full information about Disney housing facilities, furnishings and policies is available at https://www.disneyinternationalprograms.com/j1/living_intro.html.    

What to Pack

Disney will provide you with a list of things to bring.  Here are additional suggestions:

  • Medical records:  If you have any chronic medical problems or have had serious illnesses or surgeries in the past, bring a letter from your doctor that explains your diagnoses and treatments, in case a doctor in the U. S. needs to know about them.  Make sure the letter is translated into English, if necessary.  It is also helpful to have a written list of any medications that you take regularly.

  • Medications:  All of your prescription medications should be in their original containers.  If you take regular medication, it is best to bring enough to last you throughout your program, if possible.  If you need to get a prescription from home refilled while in the U. S., the pharmacy may require you to present the original prescription from your doctor.  This should be translated into English.  Note that some medications that are sold without restriction in other countries require a doctor’s prescription in the United States.  Therefore, it makes sense to bring a supply of your favorite medications for pain, cough, allergies, etc.  However, be aware that certain drugs with a high potential for abuse may not be brought into the U. S. and there are severe penalties for trying to do so.  You can find the latest information about this at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/prohibited_restricted.xml#Medication .

  • Eye glasses and contact lenses:  Bring a copy of these prescriptions.  It is helpful to have a spare pair of prescription glasses.  Even if you only wear contact lenses, you may need glasses if you develop an eye problem that prevents you from wearing contacts for a while.

  • Laptop computer:  Even though the Disney housing complexes have computer labs, they are often crowded and they close early in the evening.  We highly recommend that you bring your own laptop to use in your apartment or you might want to check prices on the Internet to see if it would be less expensive to buy one after you arrive in the U. S. instead of in your home country.

  • Things that represent your home country:  Bring music, photographs, cultural dress, maps, posters, snacks and other items that will help you remain connected to your home culture and help you to teach your new friends about it. 

  • Cooking items:  Even if you have not cooked much before, you will need to start in Orlando.  Restaurant food is expensive and often not very healthy.  Bring your favorite recipes.  If your favorite foods call for special spices or ingredients, consider bringing them from home as they may be difficult or impossible to get in the U. S.  Food is generally allowed by U.S. Customs as long as it is dry.  Do not bring meat, fresh fruits or vegetables as they are prohibited and will be confiscated by U. S. Customs when you enter the U. S.
Appropriate clothing for Disney classes:
  • Go to https://www.disneyinternationalprograms.com/j1/look_intro.html to see all of the requirements for “The Disney Look.”  You are expected to be fully compliant with the appearance requirements when you arrive in Orlando.  To know what you can and can’t wear during your Disney classes, click on “All Female Cast Members” or “All Male Cast Members” and scroll down to the sections called “Non-Costumed Females” or “Non-Costumed Males.”

  • Warm clothing:  Many people don’t realize that Florida can be cold in the winter, especially for people who live in countries near the equator and are not used to cooler temperatures.  You can find monthly average temperature charts online.  If you will be arriving in January, you will want to bring or plan to buy a medium-weight jacket or coat.  Also, Florida buildings are always air conditioned and often feel quite cold, especially to people who are not used to air conditioning.  So you will want to have some sweaters or a light jacket to wear inside at any time of the year.  

Travel and Entry into the United States

Entry Point/Arrival in Orlando

If you enter the U. S. at any city other than Orlando, you are responsible for getting yourself to Orlando on your program start date.  Please refer to Box 3 on your DS-2019 form for your program start and end dates.  You are responsible for purchasing a round-trip airline ticket to the United States.  You may wish to leave your return date open ended in case your program should end early for any reason, or if you should decide to stay longer to take advantage of the 30-day grace period for travel in the U. S.

You are allowed to arrive in the U. S. up to 30 days before the program start date.  However, you cannot check into housing complex at the Walt Disney World Resort until your program start date, so you will need to arrange for other lodging if you arrive before then.  If possible, we recommend that you enter the U. S. at least one day before your program start date. This will allow for any flight delays and give you time to rest from your travels before the busy orientation period begins. Also, by arriving at least a day early, you can check in to Disney’s housing promptly on the morning of your program start date. You will then have the rest of the day to shop for necessities and settle in to your apartment. After that, the next several days and evenings will be full with mandatory meetings.

Arriving after the program start date listed on your DS-2019 could present problems at the U. S. border.  A late arrival also would mean missing some of your required orientation sessions.  If for any reason you need to arrive in the U. S. after your program start date, please tell your school’s Valencia Disney coordinator, who will contact us.

I-94 Card

During your flight to the U. S., the flight attendant will ask you to complete an arrival card called Form I-94.  When filling out the I-94 and all official documents, always use your official name and other information exactly as they appear on your passport.

Immigration Inspection upon Arrival

Upon arrival in the U. S., your documents will be inspected by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security.  Have your passport, original DS-2019 (not a photocopy) and Form I-94 ready.  The small white I-94 card will be stapled into your passport.  Examine your documents immediately after they are returned to you to make sure that the officials did not make any errors (for example, your visa classification – it should say J-1/DS.)  If you find an error, tell an official and get it corrected before you leave the airport.

Your DS-2019 and I-94 are important documents!  Keep them in a safe place with your passport at all times.  During your first day of orientation, Valencia staff will make copies of your documents for our records.

Orlando International Airport

 

Students will arrive to the Orlando International Airport.  Going through customs can add an additional hour on to your arrival time, so be prepared.  After you go through customs, you will be required to pass through another security and baggage check point.  Here are some useful links to help you:

Transportation

 

Due to college policy, Valencia cannot provide airport pick up. You can take a Taxi Cab to your accommodations if you do not have someone meeting you.  Taxis use metered rates in Orlando. There are many rental car companies in Orlando, but you must be at least 21 years old to rent a car with most companies. Check the latest Orlando Travel Reports to see current delays.