How US Students Can Go Abroad for Summer at No Cost
Are you a student in the USA looking to spend summer doing something exciting overseas but you are on a budget? Would you also like to receive college credit? Does this sound too good to be true? Read an experience of how US college student Alecia Weaver spent her summer living overseas at no cost and she explains how you can too...
Taking the First Step
As a freshman in college, I was the definition of young and free and poor. Between classes at the end of my first semester, I glanced at the bulletin boards. Amid the “Roommate Wanted” and “Car for Sale” postings, I saw a flyer that read, “Do You Want to Live Abroad for the Summer at No Cost?” Yes! Any other obvious questions? Where do I sign up?
My First Summer Abroad
The next summer, I lived for eight weeks in Japan as a lifeguard and water safety instructor. I spent my weekends having more adventures than many college students would dream. In Kyoto, I watched Geishas in traditional Japanese attire glide past glorious temples. In Hiroshima, I explored the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and gorged myself on ¥100 ($1) sushi. In Tokyo, I danced at pulsing clubs in the Roppongi district until I could hardly stand and then crashed at a capsule hotel.
How I Arranged the Program
But let me back up to how I was able to have these amazing experiences in the first place: Camp Adventure. Camp Adventure is a program that trains college undergraduates and graduates as camp counselors or water safety instructors for their children’s camps. Summer camps last 8 to 12 weeks and are found at American embassies and on military bases at over 150 locations in 19 countries around the world.
Some camps specialize in soccer, cheerleading, art, and more. If you have a particular skill, you could be teaching it for the summer! If you really enjoy the program, there are also camps available during both the fall and spring semesters lasting 12 to 17 weeks. Camp Adventure pays for your flights, your lodging and provides a living stipend. College students also receive 12 hours of university credit including an internship credit.
After passing an interview at a designated Leadership Assessment Center, Camp Adventure’s training program is a thorough 60 hours. My training was spread out over six weekends during my spring semester. Training consists of learning children’s games and songs, conflict management, properly handling blood borne pathogens, and transitioning children from one activity to the next. Needless to say, you learn a wide array of valuable skills. Additional requirements include owning a valid passport, passing a background check and becoming Red Cross First Aid, CPR and Lifeguard certified.
What are You Waiting For?
So what are you waiting for? Let Camp Adventure fly you across the globe for the summer! Have adventures you never imagined. Earn college credit. Live in a foreign country. Make new friends. Learn about a unique culture. Then put it all on your resume. Trust me, it looks good.
Camp Adventure Youth Services students from over 80 colleges and universities participate in this service learning program that allows them to gain skills and experience related to youth services and program management. Check out Camp Adventure online at www.uni.edu/campadv/index.html and request an application today to begin your journey abroad!
By Alecia Weaver