I spent my summer working on a theme park in Ocean City, Maryland on BUNAC's Work America programme.
There were various different types of jobs available including ride operators, games and retail. You were allocated a position on your first day and I worked as a ticket seller. Shifts were long, usually running from midday to midnight five days a week. You then worked one half day and had the remaining day and a half free. The work involved selling individual tickets, books of tickets and wristbands to customers - the wide variety of bizarre questions I was presented with over the course of the summer helped keep it interesting!
I was lucky enough to be housed on site just above the theme park. I was allocated to a two bedroom, four person apartment and because I signed up for the Work America programme with my best friend I shared a room with her. The other room was occupied by another English student and a student from Romania, both of whom I became very close to. Another 10 or so apartments led off the same corridor so there was plenty of opportunity to meet other employees and with parties or gatherings every night a week - the social aspect of it was great. Not only this, but we were a two minute walk from the beach and a 5 minute bus ride from the outlet stores! Work didn’t start before midday which created the opportunity to take advantage of this.
Nerve racking but fantastic!
I was never entirely sure what to expect. When I left for America, I was both highly excited and absolutely terrified at the same time! But for the most part my fears proved unfounded and I had a fantastic experience! Work America provided a great opportunity to gain some work experience and an understanding of a different culture, earn some money, travel, and meet new friends all at the same time!
The highlight of my trip was getting to visit New York City and Washington. However, my time at Trimper’s was enjoyable in its own right. Having returned to England, I feel a great sense of achievement at having been able to both live and work abroad for a significant period of time. The thing that stands out most though are the people I met whilst I was in Ocean City - students both from the UK and all over the world. I am still in close contact with many of them, and some of them will probably be friends for life.
New York was at the end of our trip, and was a really nice way to say goodbye to some of the friends we made in Ocean City who came with us.
Find out more about how you can work in America next summer!