International Applicants

SCA has had 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 our programs.

To be considered for a position with SCA, applicants from outside the United States must be able to legally work in the U.S. (international applicants are not allowed to serve in internships on a tourist visa). As an organization, SCA cannot sponsor international applicants. Therefore, we rely on partners to help us meet the interest of international students.

Currently, international applicants are eligible to serve in internships lasting fewer than six months that are hosted by participating National Park Service sites.

Pre-clearance for SCA International Applicants with the National Park Service (NPS):

International interns must have an appropriate visa status to serve with SCA in a national park. For this reason, you must be pre-approved by NPS to participate. Most foreign nationals will need to have J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor do an internship with NPS. (Some F-1 students may also participate if they meet the conditions listed below.)  We regret that State Department restrictions limit who may participate.

The NPS Office of International Affairs is a designated J-1 Visa Sponsor, and as such, they may assist SCA international interns who wish to serve in the national parks.

Before applying for SCA positions, international applicants must:

  1. Make sure you meet these requirements to participate in an SCA international internship in a national park:
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be accepted to or attending a university, or be within one year of graduation


  • Be an experienced professional or graduate student in a natural or cultural resources related field


  • Be an F-1 Student who is approved for CPT- Curricular Practical Training or OPT-Optional Practical Training by their F-1 Responsible Officer. This approval takes several months. Contact your University’s foreign student office.
  1. Fill-out an NPS International Volunteer Application found here and send it to the NPS, International Volunteer Manager: [email protected]
  2. Receive an email from the NPS International Volunteer Manager stating that you are approved to participate. Unless you are approved by NPS, you cannot serve with SCA in a national park.
  3. Apply for SCA position
  4. After you are hired by SCA, NPS will help you to obtain a J-1 visa (If you are an F-1 Student, you will need to submit an updated I-20 form- with approved OPT or CPT status-to the NPS International Volunteer Manager.)