J-1 Testimonials: Sofia Francesca Lucero

December 3, 2022 By Experience Abroad

Sofia Francesca Lucero had a smooth and speedy application process. Read more about her successful J-1 application story.

Hello! I am Sofia Francesca Lucero, and I will be having my internship program at Four Seasons Jackson Hole in Wyoming as a line cook intern.

I applied for the J-1 program through Experience Abroad last May of 2022, just a few months ago. I was actually encouraged by my classmates to apply with them, and it feels great knowing that the three of us were successfully granted a J-1 visa.

I remember attending the orientation and being introduced to Four Seasons Jackson Hole. I knew I wanted to accomplish my program with them, so I immediately sent my J-1 application documents. After such, I had my initial interview with Mr. Ariel Cinco, the business development and recruitment specialist, which I successfully passed. 


Host Company Interview

I was then endorsed to Four Seasons Jackson Hole as a culinary intern, and my interview date was scheduled. Before the final interview, I felt nervous since it was my first interview with a foreign company. Despite this, I aced the interview, and my contract with the hotel was released in June.


Visa Application

Things were going well until we had to process my training plan. The host company’s task force will be closed for two weeks, affecting the details and planned activities in my training plan. This caused my application process to be halted for a short period. Nevertheless, we were able to resolve the issue and process the rest of my visa sponsor documents, and I scheduled my visa interview appointment not long after. 

A week before my visa interview date, I already felt nervous and anxious. The uncertainty of being granted a J-1 visa made me doubt myself and my future, as I had multiple sleepless nights. However, all these negative thoughts and feelings disappeared when I attended the visa coaching session with Experience Abroad. After we met, I felt more prepared and ready to conquer my interview.


Visa Interview

On the day itself, November 7, 2022, my fellow applicants and I went to the US embassy with high hopes. During the interview, the consul asked me about my educational background, program details, and what I plan to do after I finish my J-1 program. I said that I will go back to the Philippines, bringing all my learnings during the training, apply under a well-known hotel, and open my own after a few years. Just like that, I was granted a J-1 visa!

My program starts on November 21, 2022, and once I arrive in the United States, I’ll be visiting the famous tourist spots in the area and partake in several cultural activities, especially now during the winter season. I also look forward to enhancing my culinary skills, especially in kitchen fundamentals in kitchen and hotel operations through their excellent training program.

I am now waiting for my CFO sticker, in order to be cleared to fly out of the Philippines. I feel very overwhelmed, but, at the same time, happy and excited. I’ll be missing my friends and family, as I’ll be away from them for a year, but I know that I am working towards my lifelong dream which makes me excited for my future.


Sofia Francesca Lucero Recommendation


For my fellow applicants, I recommend Experience Abroad as an excellent J-1 agency. They have been very helpful during the application process, and I wouldn’t be here without their service. I wish everyone good luck, and I hope to read more successful J-1 application stories in the future.


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