Donna's Work America Journey: Part 3

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Donna headed to the US of A on our Work America programme in 2015! She got in contact with us to update us with how her adventure went... and it went pretty well!

And there we have it! NYC Summer Dorms has closed its doors for 2015!

In the lead up to the final days of working with BNAIP (British National Internship Programme) as a Resident Assistant at NYC Summer Dorms situated at the Long Island University campus in Brooklyn, I could not believe how quickly the summer months had flown by, yet still having that weird feeling as though I had been living and working there forever. In having landed at JFK on the 28th May, what seems like yesterday now, to noting the current month in my diary down as August seems surreal?

One of my biggest highlights working in Brooklyn, unquestionably, has to be those great people I met along the way. The managers, work colleagues and those students, interns, backpackers and J-1 Visa candidates staying in NYC Summer Dorms helped make my summer a memorable and unforgettable experience. Granted! Some of those who stayed within the premises broke the campus rules, but hey ho, haven’t we all done this at some point in our lives!?? Whether or not we wish to admit it is another story!

On the final day when we were saying our goodbyes to many of those we got to know so well, with the vast majority of them having spent the whole of their summer with us, it felt so weird during the hours that followed as walking around campus resembled more like a ghost town than a university campus. Silent halls, empty rooms and no one outside to greet you when you lit up a cigarette certainly brought home that this was really it, the end of a long, happy, yet very exhausting summer.

However, it didn’t stop there as the couple of days that followed were filled with nothing other than sheer mayhem, as having never previously stayed within a dormitory, I had absolutely no idea of the mess that would be awaiting us in almost every single room. The word shocked would be an understatement to say the least at what we witnessed. Mountains of “trash” (think I’ve definitely picked this term up since being out here the US) and the huge amount of discarded personal items left behind was overwhelming and what a relief it was to all of us once when we were able to say we had finished with all the clearing up to make way for the return of the university’s students and tuck into some Chipotle to celebrate!

The things that I will certainly remember from this experience are the fun times I had outside of BNAIP, as well as at work. That moment when I went to Target supermarket to purchase a kettle so I could enjoy a good ol' English cuppa, only to realise when I got back to campus that it was one of those ancient types where you have to fill it with cold water and heat on the stove ha-ha; The time when whilst clarifying my name to a person over the telephone where I said “my name is Donna… as in Donna” and everybody in the office burst out laughing because they couldn’t believe what I had said. I was meant to end the sentence with “as in Donna Kebab”, but that didn’t happen; The evening where I was asked to update someone’s account and after knocking on his door was greeted by just him in a towel wrapped around him. I really didn’t know where to look!; The great nights out we all enjoyed in Manhattan, even if we were a little worse for wear the day after; The 4th July celebrations; and the breath-taking sights of New York City from the windows of the train when taking the metro subway system into Manhattan and the iconic sites such as the 9/11 memorial ground and the newly developed One World Trade Center, The Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, Grand Central Station, Coney Island and The Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, to name but a few.

In the meantime I’ve moved over to our NYC Summer Dorms Queens location at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, right by La Guardia airport, to stay until I move back to Brooklyn tomorrow Thursday 20th August and have to say that I am enjoying every moment of being able to finally kickback, relax and enjoy this final month out here in the US.

Inspired by the beginning of Donna's journey? We don't blame you! Give us a call on 03339997516 or email us now and one of the team will be able to help you begin your very own American adventure!