Katie McCormack, 19 from Nottingham, spent summer 2010 having the time of her life in New Hampshire on Work America. She shares her story of new friends, roadtrips and a uniquely European experience in the States!
My summer was one of the most exciting summers I have ever had. Flying to New York JFK airport with a group of 27 like-minded students was an experience I will never forget. I will always remember sitting in a little pizza place near Central Park with a group of people who were practically strangers, toasting to an amazing summer!
And what a summer it was!
When I first booked my place on Work America, I was very apprehensive about actually working in America. After applying to one post in the Jobs Directory and receiving news I had got the job within a few weeks, I was shocked that I was actually going to the States!
Arriving at Heathrow airport alone, I was nervously having second thoughts about the whole thing but after checking in and quickly meeting the other 27 BUNAC members on my flight, the nerves soon turned to excitement! I think that arriving in New York with 27 other like-minded students preparing for an adventurous summer started my experience off excellently.
My job for the summer was in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire. The town is ultimately a summer vacation place which closes during the winter. My jobs involved working in a pizza place, arcades, gift shop, motel and bumper cars! I felt like I had a real old fashioned American experience working in these places and got to fully appreciate the American culture. Not only did the variety of jobs prevent me getting bored during the summer, but it also supplied me with many hospitality skills and experiences that look great on my CV.
Despite being in America and working with other American citizens, the best part of my experience had to be the fact that I also worked and lived with 22 other European students.
My house, which was 5 minutes walk from where I worked AND across from an amazing beach and lake, consisted of students from 9 different countries. These included; England, Scotland, Macedonia, Lithuania, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Turkey.
The experience I had living with such a mixed bunch of people was amazing. We had so many parties, fun and laughs during the summer, as well as earning a decent amount of money working!
Also, on my days off I managed to visit Boston, other nearby cities and also got to see my sister who was on holiday in New York. Not only did I do all this during the summer, I decided to extend my stay and changed my flight so I could go travelling with the friends I met there. 14 of us flew together to Denver and then rented mini vans and drove through Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, onto Vegas, San Diego and Los Angeles. This road trip was probably one of the most exciting and incredible experiences I have ever had, with the most amazing group of people I have ever met!!
I got to experience American life for three months but I also got to enjoy the cultures of different European countries. In my eyes, my summer provided me with the best of both worlds as I now have friends I can visit all over the globe.
Words can’t even describe how much fun I had during the two weeks I travelled. During the last few weeks of working I was ready to come home, but now I’m back I miss the summer so much – I just want it all to start over again!
Do you want to have a summer of a lifetime just like Jade? Get involved in our Work America programme for an experience you will not forget. Request a brochure for more information and other programmes that are available.