Hannah & Emily take on Catalina Island

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Travel Intern Elena, hopped onto a ferry after landing in LA and headed straight to Catalina Island to catch-up with Hannah and Emily who are out there working and living as part of the Work America programme. Check out how they're finding their experience so far...

What job role are you doing on the island?

Emily: Working as shop assistants in different clothes shops.

Why did you pick this particular role?

Emily, For me, it was the fact that it was in California.

Hannah: Same for me, but it’s not typical California, it’s kind of it’s own little world.

What made you want to travel?

Emily: I’ve never been a home bird personally so I wanted to go and experience something different. The fact that I can work at the same time is great because you don’t use up all your money so you can do stuff whilst you’re here.

How easy was the process from initialing finding a job to actually getting here?

Emily: It was pretty last minute for me, I’d done it the year before and so knew a little bit about the process. I went through self placement and found a job quite easily, was interviewed that week and paid my deposit straight away, so all in all pretty simple but happened quickly.

Hannah: It was short notice for me too, I would advise people to get sorted in advance because it can be a bit stressful trying to sort paperwork last minute. You also get a lot of support when you’re here from BUNAC and CIEE so if you need anything there’s someone to contact. 

How have you found the actual role and travelling to and from work?

Emily: We can literally walk to work in about ten minutes so it’s really easy to get to. The work has been fine, some days are more busy than others like any other job. It’s really all about the location.

Hannah: Exactly, I could be doing this job at home or this job here on the island and I know where I’d rather spend my summer. 

How have you found the actual role and travelling to and from work?

Emily: We can literally walk to work in about ten minutes so it’s really easy to get to. The work has been fine, some days are more busy than others like any other job. It’s really all about the location.

Hannah: Exactly, I could be doing this job at home or this job here on the island and I know where I’d rather spend my summer. 

How do you think this experience will benefit you in the future?

Hannah: to be honest it looks great on your CV to say you’ve worked abroad and shown you’re independent. 

Emily: Yeah and it’s a great experience just for yourself too, the fact that you’ve lived abroad and been thrown into a unique situation is a good way to learn a lot about yourself.

What do you get up to on your days off?

Emily: Mainly the beach, why wouldn’t you when it’s on your doorstep, also the staff get Island Venture perks so you can do some of the water sports and things for free so that you can recommend them to customers. 

How have you found your accommodation?

Emily :Our house is really lovely, there’s seven of us and I’m not sure how, but we never argue or have any issues, it’s a really well suited bunch of people.

Hannah: I think that’s the thing, it’s a certain type of person who is going to come here so you’re bound to get along with like-minded people. 

Is there anything you wish you’d known before departing?

Emily: The only thing I can think of is the fee for the ferry is $75 return so if you want to head into LA or go into California, then you need to plan ahead.

Hannah: I’d just let people know that it’s not a party island, there’s no major nightlife it’s more bars and pubs so if you like that then it’s a great place to be. 

I can think of worse ways to spend the summer, check out BUNAC's Work America programme and check out how you could be working in the States next year! To see more of Catalina Island check out my video which is a quick look at this beautiful place!