International Exchange of North America (IENA)

International Exchange of North America (IENA)


IENA (International Exchange of North America) provides affordable, fully supportive work, travel and internship abroad opportunities to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Colombia and Thailand for US Citizens and Residents. Our overseas resource centers provide full on-the-spot assistance with jobs, accommodation, banking, taxes, social events and much more. Gain independence and experience personal growth by doing something different - step outside of your comfort zone! IENA is your safety net while abroad so you don't have to go it alone!



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Yes, I recommend this program

Great white north

I believe one of the most unique experience was finding love. I found love in a country with such a warm embrace, and never in a million years would think to meet someone in such a cold country like Canada. The United States and Canada have shared common interest for centuries. We attract the best and inspire the greatest. Canada, much like the United States has incredible landscapes. Every day in Canada is an adventure. Every corner your turn is just stunning. Nature brings communities together and that makes for a great picture. The diversity and cultures here in Canada shine a light on how we as humans can come from all over the world to find a middle ground and share what we love about our home lands. I’m excited to have gone on this trip thru Canada to learn and to grow and to hopefully bring people together and find love and happiness like I have.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Interning in Montreal

From January to April 2018 of my second semester of my junior year I studied abroad in Montreal and interned at EyeSteelFilm. Working at a documentary production company made me appreciate that style of film more, and have a better understanding. I got to work with many unique people in the film industry there. I even got to pitch my own idea of a film I would like Eyesteel to produce for me. I learned how to transcribe audio, make subtitles for English, French and Hungarian. And I also learned how to use different softwares such as DVD Studio Pro and Neofinder. Towards the end I didn't have the best time because they were running out of things for me to do, and my mentor was very busy. Looking back, I really enjoyed the experience overall; it was good to see what it's like working in the film industry. This experience helped me to realize for my future job I don't want to sit in front a computer all day, but I do want to be creative and be involved. I also developed a close friendship with one of my co-workers by pushing myself to talk to people within the first few weeks. And having already left Montreal I still keep in contact with him.

What would you improve about this program?
I think the internship was great and living in Montreal good as well as the housing. But the Champlain Program and classes were awful. A lot of discrimination and unfair grading policies with no rubrics, and a lot things were in the air but never actually happened. So I think the program needs a lot of work when comparing to 3rd party programs.
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Yes, I recommend this program


I found out about the Working Holiday program in New Zealand from Deborah Kahn (IENA). She was my point of contact the whole time, and she was great! She was very clear about the steps and process, and made sure she provided me everything I needed. Whenever I had questions or concerns before and during my travel, she was prompt in responding to me, and making sure my experience was as smooth as possible. I really recommend this program to others because many people are afraid of travelling and living abroad, but IENA makes it so easy and seamless. You can forget the hassles, and just focus on the travel experience!

What would you improve about this program?
I don’t think anything needs improvement, but IENA should try and create more exchange programs for US citizens.
Read my full story
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Yes, I recommend this program

IEC Canada!! Amazing!!

The agents made the application process easy and stress free!! I actually got an email from one of them yesterday just wanting to check in and make sure I was doing okay. And living in Canada... It's freaking amazing!! I cannot think of a better place to learn about the natural beauty and history of Canada than Banff. I got to go on hikes, go white water rafting, ride around on wildlife safaries, eat poutine, and spend my time with Canadians and travelers who want to make the most of their time in the world's first National Park. The adventures, the history, the culture; I could not be happier with the choices I made or the program that made it all happen.

What would you improve about this program?
The application process was a bit tedious but the staff really helps you get through it.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Joining the Gaming Industry

IENA helped put me on the path of the gaming industry not long after I had finished up my schooling in the states and Canada. It's a wonderful program full of helpful people who want young adults like myself succeed in the workplace and life!

I stayed in Vancouver for the duration of my work visa, and soon after arriving obtained a contract with a gaming company. Not only have I met and held on to such wonderful friends around the city, but I also have made many new friends who I can tell will be great people to know in the industry and a great support network for years to come.

What would you improve about this program?
While I didn't need to stay at a hostel, having some support for housing outside of that would be great. Additionally, assistance for Permanent Residency and/or additional work permits would be greatly appreciated!


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Shaswath Natarajan


Why did you choose this program?

Deborah Kahn from IENA recruited through the career center at my University and had a few different work travel program opportunities. I was very interested in the New Zealand one because I had seen how stunning New Zealand was in photos and thought it would be pretty amazing to live amidst those landscapes.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

IENA helped as much as I needed or asked for. Initially, I relied on them a lot for help with logistics, visa application, accommodation, job support, etc. but once I got my bearings in New Zealand, I did most things independently. If I had any questions or needed any assistance with anything though, I could always email, and IENA would get back to me promptly. They were fantastic to have as a support organization, which is why I am currently on my third program with them!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Just do it! Honestly, I had a lot of doubts initially and was a bit uncertain because I didn't think it would be a good choice for my career. Most of my friends who graduated from University with me were taking jobs related to their majors.

This is your chance to be different, broaden your horizons, and create meaning in your life. You will grow so much during the process, while assimilating into a new environment and culture.

You will definitely not regret the decision! Plus, it is a great resume booster and will help you stand out from others in interviews in the future.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

There is no average day or week in this program. Everyone has a completely unique experience based on their choices and the kind of people they meet along the way. Some people choose to work for a short period at a time, save money quickly, and travel along. Others, like me, worked in one place for a longer period of time, immersed myself into a community, and took time off in between to travel. You can decide how you want to proceed, and just go with the flow.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was that I wasn't making a right choice for my career and was doing something different than what everyone else was doing. None of my friends had done something like this.

I overcame that fear quickly because once you are abroad, you meet so many like-minded backpackers who are doing the same thing! Also, you see so many amazing places, meet incredible people, and make long-lasting friendships. So many people I know are frustrated with their jobs back home, and wish they could do what I am doing. I think there is nothing to fear from taking on this adventure!

What motivates you when abroad to not feel homesick?

Initially, you feel a bit homesick, but when you build a connection with people in a community, that environment becomes like a second home. They become your family, and you really enjoy. Home is where the heart is, and if you fall in love with a place, a piece of your heart will always be there. For me, that place would be Fox Glacier, New Zealand. I always say about that place, you come for the scenery but stay for the people.

Professional Associations

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