Coronavirus Update

Update July 27, 2020 

Greenheart has closely monitored the spread of COVID-19 and followed the advice and actions taken by the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State, and government officials around the world.

As COVID-19 quickly escalated to a global pandemic in March 2020, Greenheart did everything in our power to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our participants. All participants were advised to return to their home countries.

Many of our participants chose to remain in the U.S. As their visa sponsor, we are responsible for their health, safety, and welfare. We have continued to monitor their health and well-being and provide them with ample resources and guidance on recommended safety measures for daily life and travel during a pandemic, especially those participants living in areas designated as COVID “hotspots”.

In the interest of health and safety, many Greenheart programs were deferred, and our 2020 Greenheart Odyssey program and Impact Grants were canceled.

The Proclamation & J1 Visa suspension

In June 2020, President Trump announced the expansion of his April 22nd Proclamation 10014—suspending J-1 visas through the end of 2020. This has been devastating to our Work and Travel, Career Advancement, and Teach USA programs. Today, only a fraction of Greenheart programs are running. However, we evaluate the situation daily, and we are committed to running as many cultural exchange programs as allowed.

For more information on the proclamation, please visit:

U.S. Department of State / J1 Visas

U.S. Department of State / Consular Affairs FAQ

For more information specific to Greenheart programs, please click here to reach your Greenheart contact.

High School Programs

Greenheart will be welcoming international exchange high school students this Fall.

We are working closely with participants, host families and host schools to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. Incoming students will be asked to follow all local, state, and national policies concerning COVID-19 prevention, including social-distancing guidelines, wearing masks, and sheltering-in-place orders. They will be prepared for potential disruptions in schooling that may increase the student’s time at home, including a delayed start, periods of e-learning, or a rotating attendance schedule.

While this year presents additional challenges, for many students this is the only time in which they can fulfill their lifelong dream of studying in the U.S. If you are interested in helping to make that dream come true, please see our Host Family Overview page to learn more and fill out an inquiry form to be contacted by a Greenheart representative.

If you are interested in hosting an international high school exchange student, please click here to apply.

Greenheart Travel

Greenheart Travel is hoping to send participants abroad this Fall, but will be evaluating programs 3-6 weeks prior to the program start date. Decisions will depend on if the border is open, if it’s safe, if consulates are issuing visas, etc. More information can be found on the Greenheart Travel website.

The Power of Travel

This remains an uncertain time, and there is uneasiness about the continued spread of the virus. Greenheart believes in the power of travel, in its ability to change lives, to transform our perspectives, and to better understand each other and the world around us.  We also believe in looking out for one another during difficult times such as these.

Greenheart is looking forward to the time when the pandemic is behind us. We are preparing new programs, in exciting places, and with many opportunities to learn and to grow through the power of cultural exchange.  Until then, stay healthy, be safe, read some good travel books, and keep in touch. We will see you soon!

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Read a letter from Greenheart International’s CEO to Program Participants impacted by COVID-19