New J-1 Housing Coordinator Ready for Summer

HYANNIS – As the busy summer season looms, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce has brought on Christina Arabadzhieva as its new J-1 Housing Coordinator to help bolster the Cape’s diminished workforce.

She says the cultural exchange program now requires employers to guarantee housing for the students; a significant hurdle for the Cape given low affordable housing inventory. 

“The tourism economy here on the cape could not function without J-1 students. They account for about 31% of the seasonal workforce,” said Arabadzhieva.

As a former J-1 student herself, Arabadzhieva says it’s an excellent opportunity to learn about other cultures.

“In 2019 roughly about 5,100 students came to the Cape to work from different countries. Places in Eastern Europe from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Croatia, and Serbia,” said Arabadzhieva. 

“With that new requirement, a lot of students have to be cut from the program. All the sponsoring organizations had to direct their students to other places across the nation.”

She added that the program attracts students from over 50 different countries annually. 

Last summer, there were only about 2,000 J-1 students on Cape Cod.  Those interested in hosting J-1 students are being urged by the Chamber to contact them.

The Chamber’s J-1 Housing Program webpage can be found here.

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce general webpage can be found here.

Updated: March 29, 2023 to reflect more information from Arabadzhieva as well as the new J-1 Housing Program webpage.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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