Hollie's Top Tips for Work America

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Hollies’ shares her top tips for working in the USA on our Work America programme.

I have been to the USA and got the BUNAC T-Shirt (literally!).

I did the Work America programme for the first time in summer 2013, I had no idea what lay ahead of me when I booked onto the programme, but it turned out to be the best summer ever and I returned the following year. 

When I arrived back home people kept asking me how I did the programme and how lucky I was. After talking about the programme to my friends and family there seemed to be some common misconceptions they had about the programme – here’s all the facts from my experience!

Work America Shutters on the Beach Hotel

1. You will make your money back

You will earn this money back within your first month or two of working. The work America programme costs £599 which includes 24/7 support, resume tips and access to the BUNAC job zone.  Additional to this all you need to pay for is your flight which if you book with STA in advance you could get for as little as £350 return to the east coast. Even if you were to stay in the UK the wage is lower here so after the higher expenses of the visa you pretty much earn at least the same but get to live the American dream for a few months! 

2. The USA has thousands of seasonal jobs

The thing I was the most scared about before departing  was,  would I find a job and will I earn enough money to sustain myself. With the BUNAC job portal you will secure a job before you even leave the UK. The biggest bit of advice I can give is to get a job with tips. It will at least double your salary. I managed to secure a job in LA at a 5 star hotel and earned more than enough money. Another bonus about working in a hotel is they often have a canteen with free breakfast lunch and dinner for all staff. I worked as a waitress at the pool so tips were a big part of my income, people really do tip at least 20% every time! A lot of the employers that BUNAC work with offer staff perks!

3. Something to add to your CV

Now a days there are thousands of graduates competing for jobs each year so why not make your self stand out. Through the Work America programme you will gain so many life skills and the trip might even inspire your career. You never know who you will meet and the friends you will make along the way. You can also do a return work America programme at a discount rate of £499 – that’s what I did!

4. This visa is only available as a student

Have you ever thought about moving to the USA, well this is your chance. Every summer while you are a student you can get a J1 visa and move to whatever sate you want. This visa is only available to Full-Time students in the UK so take advantage while you can and go have the best summer of your life! You never know, this could lead to something more permanent when you graduate.

2 girls on Work America Santa Monica

5. This could be the beginning of your gap year

If you are desperate to leave the UK and find some real summer sunshine why not just head out to the USA as soon as you’ve sat your final exam. When I returned for my second work America programme in 2014 I used the summer to save up as much money as possible in 4 months (June-September) and then this funded my travels around the world for a further 6 months. When I landed back in the UK I had broken even.  

Have Hollie's top tips helped you make your decision about Work America next summer?

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