I had the most amazing time the previous summer in America and so I decided that once again I would like to go back because there were so many places I hadn’t seen and so many things that I hadn’t done! Then the decision was what to do whilst I was there. I first considered returning to summer camp, as that was both an enjoyable and extremely rewarding experience.
My decision to go back to America and do a different programme, in a different place was not an easy one, but when I asked myself why I like to go abroad during the summer, I realised it was to do things I hadn’t done before, so it became clear I wanted to go and do something else over in the USA. I chose BUNAC’s Work America programme.
Whilst in America, I was working in a position called ‘Family Activity Co-ordinator’ in a water park in New Jersey. My role was to plan, facilitate and manage activities throughout the park every day. I was classed as a guest services role because I was one of the people that many guests directly interacted with. I played games both in the pool and on the deck, I ran activities which were more relaxed and I also did cookouts during the day with guest where they were able to roast marshmallows and make s’mores.
I stayed in different accommodation whilst I was over in America due to some of the people I was working with returning home early etc. The first place I lived was a 3 bedroom condo run by a crazy Italian man who was hilarious, I shared with 4 girls from Glasgow who I met at orientation in New York and made amazing friends with them over the summer. We mainly had barbeques and sunbathed in our garden when we weren’t working. The second condo I stayed in was a smaller 2 bedroom condo which was absolutely stunning and really close to work, we were really well looked after by the owner. Finally I stayed in a massive condo with 8 other people, which was such a fun, and a really good place to stay for the end of the summer
My experiences exceeded my expectations, whilst the work may not have been as hard or rewarding as summer camp seemed, it was so enjoyable and quite relaxing. I have so many happy memories from our day trips on days off and our pilgrimages to the beach!! Also this summer I got to interact with so many Americans and really get a feel for American culture, we were literally immersed in it.
The highlights of my trip have to be, as cheesy as it sounds, making some amazing friends for life and having some experiences with them that I’ll remember forever!! It’s easy to waste your summer just working and earning money back home, but I know when I’m old and grey and I still have the memories of the summers I have spent in America that the people who stayed at home really missed out, because I bet they won’t remember their summer of 2008 like I will. Travelling was a definite highlight because I got to see so many places that most people may not see in a lifetime.
I wouldn’t say this was difficult but, when I finished working and it was time to go travelling, it was very upsetting to leave so many people behind and to admit to myself that I will probably never go back to or see again the place where I spent my whole summer.
I did travel after I was done with work, and went to New York, Arizona and San Francisco. In New York I was selected to be the casted VIP audience for a concert and so got to see Natasha Bedingfield, Keith Urban and Usher front row, and I did nothing for it I was just spotted!! I went to see 2 shows, Hairspray and Legally Blonde, which were both amazing and I’ve now got the soundtracks and I listen to them all the time!! I saw so many sights and exhibitions, and I also walked the Brooklyn Bridge and got some spectacular views. This was not the first time I’d been to New York and so I did some less touristy things as I’d already seen the sights, including watching a production in Central Park and reading a book in Union Square and just taking in New York.
In Arizona I visited a friend and had a much more relaxed time, and just did things like bowling and going to the batting cages. When I was in San Francisco I had the best time, I rented a bike for the day and cycled around fisherman’s whalf, over the golden gate bridge and around the ports of San Fran. I also took a ferry to Alcatraz and went exploring there and took a guided tour with a park ranger and met a former inmate!! I then saw the world’s bend-iest road, which I ran down, FUN TIMES! All in all travelling was amazing!!
Work America is now open! Apply online today.