International Applicants

SCA accepts applications from all over the world, and international applicants are given the same consideration for positions as US citizens. We have seen young people come from countries as diverse as Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Spain, and the Netherlands to participate in SCA programs.

All foreign citizens are required to obtain US visas before applying for an SCA internship (J-1 visas for National Park Service and US Forest Service sites, or B-1 visas for all other agencies and organizations). SCA will provide up to $650 in travel reimbursement, round-trip, between the intern’s home country and the site where the intern serves.

While SCA accepts international applications, some of our positions cannot select volunteers who are not US citizens or permanent residents, including all positions which last six months or longer and any positions with the US Department of Defense including Air Force, Army, Army Corps of Engineers, Marine Corps, and Navy. International applicants must complete additional requirements during the application and selection process.
English Language Requirement
Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must submit a TOEFL score taken within the last two years with their SCA application.
  • To be considered for a position applicants must score above 213 on the computer exam, a 550 on the paper exam or a 79 on the TOEFL iBT web-based exam.
  • Non-native speakers who hold degrees or diplomas from postsecondary institutions in English-speaking countries, e.g., the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, are excluded from this requirement as long as they submit copies of their degrees or diplomas with their applications.
  • SCA recognizes that this requirement may be burdensome for some of you, but is required so that the agencies you may be working with will have confidence in an applicant’s ability to speak and write in English.


Applicants from outside the US must possess a valid Visa and Social Security Number to be considered for a position with the SCA. International applicants are not allowed to serve internships on a tourist visa. If you are selected for an internship, SCA will send you materials for your visa interview at a US Embassy or Consulate, and we will endorse your visa application. But it is your responsibility to secure the proper visa.
  • Internships within the National Park Service system require a J-1 (Training) visa. J-1 visa recipients must return home for two years after their internship, before they are allowed to re-enter the US on another J-1 Visa
  • Internships at all other agencies and NGOs require a B-1 (Business Visitors) visa.
  • Unfortunately, both J-1 and B-1 visas can be difficult or nearly impossible to obtain in certain countries, including many parts of Africa and Asia. Visit the US State Department website for an explanation of why the US denies some visa applications.
  • Securing a visa may take as long as three months from the date you apply, so please begin the process well in advance of the date that you plan to submit your SCA application. General information about the US visa process can be found at