Ciara Kavanagh on her experience as part of BUNAC’s Work America program
St Augustine once said “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”, and as time flew by I began to realise that I had yet to move from the first chapter of the world, having never left Europe.
I heard about the Work America program with BUNAC through a friend who completed the program in summer 2012. After seeing photographs of all his new friends and places he was visiting splashed all over Facebook, I knew I wanted to go to America too. Work America offered a great opportunity for me, to go to America alone and meet like-minded people, whilst earning money for travelling and experiencing American culture.
It took a lot for me to work up the courage to do it all by myself- travelling to America alone for the first time was a daunting experience- but looking back I don’t know what I was worried about. After applying to a range of jobs on the Job Zone, I was offered employment at Trimper’s Rides of Ocean City, an amusement park in a tourist town on the east coast. I willingly accepted and couldn’t wait for summer to begin.
I met and worked alongside lots of people; a mixture of Americans, Eastern Europeans, British and Irish Students. I first worked as a Games Cashier and then moved on to the Photo Emporium dressing people in old time clothing and photographing them. Living right above work was perfect and we all became really close really quickly, which meant I had a great social life outside of work.
Before I knew it the summer was nearly over. A group of us arranged to go travelling and we did a road trip down the east coast through the Blue Ridge Mountains and finished in Miami, then flying to New Orleans. I had the best time travelling and looking back, I loved every second of my summer; the only downside was that it all went by in the blink of an eye.
The best thing to have come out of the whole experience was meeting like-minded people who wanted to travel and do new things, but I’ve also added to my CV, improved my confidence, saw a different culture and travelled. All I can say is: what are you waiting for? Don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime – to travel, experience diverse places, find new friends and make memories you’ll never want to forget.
Visit www.bunac.org for more information on Summer Camps, Work America, Internships USA and other work abroad programs.