Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley

Overview of Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is a region in the southern San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California, referring to the Santa Clara Valley, which serves as the global center for high technology, innovation and social media. San Jose is the Valley’s largest city, the third largest in California, and the tenth largest in the United States.
The word “silicon” originally referred to a large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers in the region, but the area is now the home to many of the world’s largest high-tech corporations, including the headquarters of 39 businesses in the Fortune 1000, and thousands of startup companies. Silicon Valley also accounts for one-third of all of the venture capital investment in the United States, which has helped it to become a leading hub and startup ecosystem for high-tech innovation and scientific development. It was in the Valley that the silicon-based integrated circuit, the microprocessor, and the microcomputer, among other key technologies, were developed. As of 2013, the region employed about a quarter of a million information technology workers.
As more high-tech companies were established across San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley, and then north towards the Bay Area’s two other major cities, San Francisco and Oakland, the “Silicon Valley” has come to have two definitions: a geographic one, referring to Santa Clara County, and a metonymical one, referring to all high-tech businesses in the Bay Area. The term is now generally used as a figure of speech for the American high-technology economic sector. The name also became a global synonym for leading high-tech research and enterprises, and thus inspired similar named locations, as well as research parks and technology centers with a comparable structure all around the world.

Visa Requirements for Silicon Valley

The J-1 visa is required for international students to participate in the 16-week academic/work experience program.  Accordingly, international students must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be enrolled as a full time student at a tertiary educational institute or have graduated within 12 months.
  • Be studying towards/have obtained a degree.
  • Secure a U.S internship that is related to your field of study and submit a Training Plan as completed by your Host Company in the USA. We will arrange all of this.
  • All applicants must have sufficient return evidence in order to be approved by the US Embassy. Return evidence can be a letter from your University/College stating that you will return to resume or continue your studies after your internship in the USA. For applicants not intending to return to study, this should be a letter from an employer stating that when you return from the US there will be a job available for you. If you hold a property deed for a property this will also be accepted in some cases.
  • Proof of funds. You must show proof that you will have access to at least $750 for every month during your internship in the USA. This can be in the form of original bank statements and/or a Guarantor’s letter. You must submit your proof of funds with your application and at your US Embassy interview.
  • Be prepared to leave the US 30 days after completion. These days can only be used for the departure and for traveling.
  • The estimated cost of the sponsored J-1 visa is 1,135 USD. Please note that this could vary slightly depending on your specific embassy or consulate’s fee.
  • You will also need to purchase insurance.

Current Volunteer Opportunities in Silicon Valley

No intern or EIR opportunities available at this time. Please check back periodically.

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