International (Summer Season only)
J1 Work and Travel Employees, F1 University Students and H-2B Visa holders
All J1 visa hires must be hired at a job fair through CIEE or Greenheart Exchange. We do not hire independently. Please contact a local agent for more information. We hire H2B visa holders during the summer as well. If you are a returning J1 employee or returning H2B, please send an email to our International Human Resources Manager, Chelsea at ChelseaD@medora.com. If you are an F1 visa holder (International Student attending University in the United States, and are currently eligible for a CPT or OPT with us, in relation to your major, please review our available internships for more information before you apply.
Frequently Asked Questions from International Employees
- How do I get to Medora / What are my transportation options?
- When can I arrive in Medora?
- How do I arrange to check in for my job and find my housing when I arrive?
- What are the housing arrangements?
- What are the meal options?
- How do I apply for a Social Security Number?
- How do I get a bank account?
- How can I make international phone calls?
- Is the water in Medora safe to drink?
- Can I switch my job once I arrive?
- How can I get to Dickinson to shop at the mall, Wal-Mart, etc.?
- What taxes do you withhold from my paycheck?
- How can I file to get my taxes back?
- What is other helpful information for new International Employees?
- Can I find a second job in Medora?
- I am already hired for the off-season (Winter/Spring dates), how different will my experience in Medora be?
Keep reading for a full list of questions you might have about being an international employee in Medora...
Q: How do I get to Medora / What are my transportation options?
A: Medora is located in the state of North Dakota. The TRMF only provides shuttle pick-ups from Dickinson, ND airport or Bismarck, ND airport, for a fee which is deducted from your paycheck. Please note: There is limited bus service in Dickinson, ND. Please call the bus station about reserving a ticket 3 weeks before arrival to make sure they are still providing bus services (www.jeffersonlines.com) 800-451-5333. The Bismarck airport and bus station are very far away. Do not plan to arrive there, as there is no transportation option from Bismarck to Medora. A taxi could cost $400 or more. (Updated March 2014.)
You must communicate with HR staff at firstname.lastname@example.org about all arrival details at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival as there are no weekend shuttle pick-ups available.
Q: When can I arrive in Medora?
A: Please arrange your final arrival time to Medora on a weekday (not a Saturday or Sunday). Do not arrive on a weekend. If arriving by airplane and you are requesting a shuttle from us, your airport arrival can be no later than 10:00pm or you may be required to reserve a hotel room and stay overnight, until we can arrange to pick you up the next business day.
Q: How do I arrange to check in for my job and find my housing when I arrive?
A: Please email HR staff at email@example.com at least 2 weeks before your travel, with your travel itinerary. If you pay for an airport pick-up through us, the driver will bring you to our office or give you instructions when you arrive and show you to your assigned housing.
Q: What are the housing arrangements?
A: Most employees are assigned to the men's or women's dormitory or our motel-style housing. You will be assigned a roommate of the same gender or you can request a roommate if you know someone who is also working for TRMF. Some employees over 21 will still be placed at the dormitories due to limited rooms. All housing cost the employee $33/week in 2017. Read our general FAQ page for more housing information. We take care in selecting roommates who will be compatible and help each other in achieving their English language learning goals.
Q: What are the meal options?
A: In the summer season, employees may eat at the Life Skills Center Cafeteria. Meals are provided at a cost of $6.00/meal. Deductions for meal charges are taken directly from the employee's paycheck. Employees will only be charged for meals they choose to purchase with their employee meal card. Employee discounts are given at other food service locations in town if employees wish to eat somewhere else as well. In the fall, winter, and spring seasons, lunchtime meal options may be made available. During these seasons, kitchen use will be arranged, as well as trips to the grocery store once a week.
Q: How do I apply for a Social Security Number?
A: If you have not already applied for a Social Security Number (SSN) before arriving in the US, you will need to apply for one when you get here. New employees generally need to be in the US at least 10 days before applying for a SSN. Employees may apply at the Social Security office in Bismarck, North Dakota, located at 1680 E Capitol Avenue. The office is open weekdays only. We will arrange to drive you to Bismarck to apply in groups every few weeks. There is generally a 2-3 week wait to receive your SSN in the mail. You will be able to receive your paycheck even if you have not yet received your SSN.
Q: How do I get a bank account?
A: We want all employees to have a bank account in the United States for direct deposit of your paychecks. We will make arrangements for opening an account at either a local bank or a bank within 35 miles from Medora. You will be required to close this account upon leaving Medora at the end of your visa. We currently offer trips to 'WellsFargo' if you would like to research information about this bank before arriving, All information will be available at the bank at the time of opening.
Q: How can I make international phone calls?
A: Most international employees purchase calling cards in their country before they arrive in the US. You can also purchase calling cards at Wal-Mart or other stores in the area. Another suggestion for employees with a laptop is to use Skype online to talk to your family at home, as there will be wireless internet available throughout town. We have found this is the least expensive option for International contact. For very special circumstances of emergencies, we can arrange for immediate contact to family via Skype in the private office of our International Employee Coordinator.
Q: Is the water in Medora safe to drink?
A: Yes, our water is safe to drink from faucets/taps. Water filters or bottled water will be available for purchase around town and at the local supermarket if preferred.
Q: Can I switch my job once I arrive?
A: Generally we do not switch employee job assignments. Both H2B and J1 visa holders are hired specifically to cover jobs in the location they are hired for in town; example: if you were hired to be a housekeeper or dishwasher, please plan that this will likely be your job all summer.
Q: How can I get to Dickinson (35 miles from Medora) to shop at the mall, Wal-Mart, etc.?
A: We will offer an employee shuttle to Dickinson at least once per week. There is a $5 fee to ride the shuttle which will be deducted from your paycheck. Time and day of shuttle will be posted at the LSC bulletin board and in the employee newsletter.
Q: What taxes do you withhold from my paycheck?
A: H2B visa holders are taxed the same as US Citizens. J1 visa holders are taxed according to the IRS Publication 15 (Circular E). J1 visa holders are not taxed for Medicare or Social Security. However, an additional amount is added to J1 visa holders' gross wages each payroll in order to calculate the appropriate tax. The additional amount is then deducted once the tax is calculated - it will not be added to your wages.
Q: How can I file to get my taxes back?
A: W-2 tax statements will be available to all employees between January 20 and January 31 every year. Employees will be emailed with the option to access their forms online first. If the employee does not access their W-2 form within 1 week, the form will be mailed to you by post.
TRMF does not send you a monetary tax return from the taxes you paid in the calendar year; we only prepare a W-2 form stating wages earned and taxes paid. You are responsible to file for that monetary tax return with both the Federal and the North Dakota State governments.
Here is a link with information about filing your Federal Return online - http://www.irs.gov/efile.
Here is a link with information about filing your North Dakota State Return online once you have filed your Federal Return: https://www.nd.gov/tax/user/individuals/e-file.
Q: What is other helpful information for new International Employees?
A: Medora is a chance for you to improve English, make new friends, gain great work experience, and learn about the unique culture of the Midwest region of the United States (as well as cultures from around the world.) Many friendly people are willing to help you as you learn "how things work". Don't be afraid to ask questions, but also challenge yourself to try to figure some things out on your own. As the period of your employment progresses, we want you to become more confident and self-sufficient!
Q: Can I find a second job in Medora?
A: Yes and No!
Yes, if you are a J1 visa holder, you can file for a second job with the correct paperwork through CIEE or CCI Greenheart (depending on your visa sponsor.) You must have your second job approved with that visa sponsor before your first day of work. As long as your second job employer is willing to schedule you outside of the hours that TRMF schedules you for, we are happy to approve these second jobs. TRMF must remain your priority between your two positions, especially during our peak business periods.
No, unfortunately, if you are an H2B visa holder, you are only included on the TRMF petition and cannot have a second job outside of the foundation. Please budget ahead of time that you will work about 40 hours/week with TRMF. Some weeks may be less, and some may be more. All hours worked after 40 hours between Sunday-Saturday are paid time+half (overtime).
Q: I am already hired for off-season (Winter/Spring dates), how different will my experience in Medora be?
A: We are excited to have you as a part of our spring staff. Medora is a lot less busy this time of year and it is very cold. We suggest that you bring warmer clothes, but also some to wear when the weather starts to turn to summer. You will have the opportunity of being a part of Medora when it becomes very busy as well. Please be prepared that it is harder for J1 students to find a second job during this time of year than in the summer time.
To all International Employees: Please come to Medora prepared with your full home address, as accepted by the postal service, in English. Thank you!