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12-03-2009 05:17 PM CET | Associations & Organizations


Focus on work abroad opportunities in the USA at The Work Experience Travel Market annual conference taking place in Miami Florida from 17-19 March 2010.

Amsterdam – December 1, 2009 – Two leading global trade associations are co-hosting their annual Work Experience Travel Market and IAPA Annual Conference (WETM-IAC Conference) in Miami, Florida in March—marking the first time the event will be held outside of Europe, and emphasizing the increasing importance of the North and South American markets to the cultural exchange market.

“Latin and North America are leading markets for all types of cultural exchange. From developing programmes to sending young people abroad, the region is one of the most established, yet innovative and of course, largest markets for our community,” says Jack Hompes, Chair of the International Au Pair Association, (IAPA). He adds, “Holding the conference in Miami enables the region’s leading players as well as the up and coming organisations that may not have the resources to come to Europe, the opportunity to do business with the two associations’ trusted members as well as professional peers attending from around the world.”

“Cultural exchange has always been an important motivator for young people to travel. Now with the tremendous growth we are seeing in young people wanting to study overseas, they, as well education providers are looking to enhance their programmes with work and life experiences including internships, volunteering and au pairing. This is fuelling growth in our industry,” says Elizabeth O’Neill, Chair of the WYSE Work Abroad Association.

She continues, “Organisations that attend our event specialise in cultural exchange. They are in many cases, members of global trade bodies like WYSE Work Abroad and IAPA that seek and adhere to coherent standards and best practice for the industry. So while our event is as always, essential for providers of cultural exchange to attend, it is rapidly becoming equally critical for organisations working with young people, from higher education institutions, school agents to language travel providers to take advantage of the wealth of know-how and reliable partners the WETM-IAC conference provides.”

Bringing the WETM-IAC Conference to the USA also comes at a time of renewed efforts from the US in building cultural exchange. Recent speeches by President Obama supporting international exchange as well as government increases in resources for educational travel should help stimulate a rise in cultural exchanges throughout the region.

Some 250 plus organisations representing more than 40 countries are expected to attend the two and a half day event, which will take place at the InterContinental Hotel Miami, from March 17-19th 2010. The business trade only conference is devoted exclusively to organisations providing cultural exchange and work abroad programmes such as au pair placements, internships, gap year, work exchange, and volunteer programmes and the industries that support these.

Combining pre-booked business appointments, sector-focused seminar programme with daily networking events, the WETM-IAC Conference is the most important yearly business-trading platform for member organisations of the two global associations and interested cultural exchange organisations.

Organisations interested in attending the Work Experience Travel Market and IAPA Annual Conference can register at

About the International Au Pair Association (IAPA)
The International Au Pair Association (IAPA) was established in 1994 by cultural exchange organisations seeking to improve and protect the rights of au pairs and host families around the world. The association has been responsible for the creation of internationally recognised Guidelines for au pairs and exchange programmes with its 160 plus member organisations agreeing to abide by the IAPA Codes of Conduct: signifying competence, fair dealing and high integrity.

About WYSE Work Abroad Association
WYSE Work Abroad Association is the leading global forum and trade association for organisations involved in work abroad programmes. WYSE Work Abroad Association was formed in October 2006 through the merger of the Global Work Experience Association (GWEA) and the International Association for Educational Work Exchange (IAEWEP). The association’s mission is to facilitate and increase international youth travel and exchange through the promotion of culturally-oriented work abroad and volunteer activities.

Note to editors: Conference organisers IAPA and WYSE Work Abroad Association operate under the umbrella of the WYSE Travel Confederation, a 550 plus member organisation that is the global voice of the youth, student and educational travel community.

WYSE Travel Confederation
Keizersgracht 174-176 | 1016DW Amsterdam | The Netherlands |
Tel: +31 20 521 6731 | Fax: +31 20 421 2810

Media Contact
Deborah Fitzgerald, Marketing Manager
+31 20 421 2800

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