Work & Travel USA: The Best Summer of My Life
Kristína Jašicová from Slovakia spend the summer of 2017 on a work and travel program in America which she arranged through travel agency InterExchange. Here she shares her experience and why it is the best thing she has ever done in her life.
Starting My Application
Last summer, myself and my friend Veronika made a decision to apply to work abroad. Both of us have always had a dream to visit America and see the places on real life rarther than just on television and so we started researching different options which allowed European citizens the chance to spend the summer working in the United States.
As students we had summer free and wanted something flexible that would allow us to make money and also travel to see the best places in the USA. We came across InterExchange, a US based travel agency who offer summer jobs in the USA and their website and positions looked perect for what we were looking for.
We both applied on the InterExchange website and after 2 weeks we were hired by one employer. It was that quick! The job was described as working in a kitchen at a tourist resort in the USA. We both accepted the job offer and we were full of excitment about the journey which was about to happen. My life long dream of working in the USA was about to become a reality. On June the 18th we boarded a flight and left our country behind.
Arrival in Boston
For me it was first experience of going on a plane and i was pretty nervous especially as I had never been so far away from my family, friends and country. We flew direct to Boston on the East Coast of the USA and when we arrived out sponsored employer was waiting to pick us up which was an added benefit of the program.
We were going to be living and working in Massachusetts in a small pretty coastal town called Plymouth. This town is very touristy and local companies hire international staff on flexible working holiday visas over busy periods like summer. I worked in the kitchen at The CabbyShack, a waterfront restaurant in Plymouth, a town near to Boston. I felt in love with this place, it is so beautiful and different to where I live back home.
Settling in and learning about the job was difficult at first but after training and some time we soon picked up the role. There was also lots of other internationals working at the company and so integration and making friends was easier. The job turned out to be really fun, there were some really busy days where we had to work really hard but other days were more relaxed with lots of free time where our staff went out to sang, dance and have memorable times.
When I first arrived in the United States my English comunicative skills were very basic but over time I managed to learn more of the language and the local staff and people really helped me. Living in an English speaking country with friendly people really helped me to improve my knowledge too, they taught me about the American culture, music, foods etc. I felt such warmt from the people in Boston, they made me feel like I was part of their family.
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Exploring the United States
On my last day working in Plymouth our employer (Rob) bought us tickets to a baseball game something which I had never seen before. It was amazing, the atmosphere and crowd. When we got back we had little goodbye party with our friends which was sad to leave but I was also looking forward to travelling. The next morning we packed our bags and started an amazing trip. There is the option to book USA tours but we decided to do everything independently as it was more flexible.
Our first destination was New York which is such an amazing place. It really is a city where nobody sleeps with 24 hours entertainment and things going on. We took a boat around the Statue of Liberty and saw the city skyline from Empire State Building which were two of the highlights. My heart was beating so fast in NYC, this city is so exciting and somewhere I will never forgot. My dreams really did come true.
My next destination was Washington DC which is a pretty city with lots of sights. I would recommend checking out the science museum and art museum which were both great. It was aso amazing to see the Obelix and when i was there it reminded me of the movie Forest Gump. It was such a good feeling sightseeing in this city.
Then we took a flight to the West Coast and arrived in California. Our first stop was San Francisco which was amazing. We did so much . including visiting famous sights like Alcatraz prison on Angel island, China Town, the Golden Gate Bridge and The City Tower. We found local people to be very friendly everywhere we went and the architecture was very similar to Spain.
Next we visited Santa Monica beach which is easily the biggest beach I have ever seen in my life. The promenade was really cool with lots of musicans, art and little shops. Venice beach was very beautiful too.
The next day we made a trip to Hollywood (an essential place for any tourists) and we went in search of our favourite stars on the walk of fame. We must have walked so many kilometers around Hollywood, it was exhausting but worth it. We tried to find the best place to take a picture in front of the Hollywood sign but we got lost, I guess I will have to save that for next time.
I don't have enough words to describe travelling in the USA and my feeling when I was there.
An Incredible Summer Ever
For me? Working in the USA was the best summer ever. I was also very lucky to meet my soulmate there. I was not expecting that I could meet somebody from another country and fall in love, but that is what happened. I would urge anyone with a free summer to apply to work in the USA, you won't regret it!