December 2018 Summer Work and Travel Arrivals
This December we welcomed Summer Work and Travel participants to various locations across America, and we were lucky enough to meet the majority of our participants in person!
Key West, Florida
In the idyllic beach town of Key West off of mainland Florida, we welcomed participants from Argentina and Peru! During their Week of Welcome, we arranged a bank appointment, visited cell phone providers, presented an Arrival Orientation, played a trivia game with Christmas themed cupcakes as a prize, teamed up with the Key West Police Department to ensure their safety while on the program, and rode a Christmas music playing trolley around Key West to see all the decorated homes. We enjoyed sharing our tradition of decorating houses with lights (although generally not as elaborate!) as our participants do not have this tradition in their home country.
Orlando is one of our biggest program locations every season, every year. We arrange housing for our participants to ensure they are in a good environment and have easy access to their employer. To make the adjustment into American life as smooth as possible, our arrival orientation included representatives from TD Bank and T-Mobile who opened participant’s new accounts on site. Our arrival orientation offers insight into complicated American systems (like health insurance) and walks through a Social Security application. All of this is essential, but we want to have fun with our participants too! As a cultural activity, we brought the participants to University of Central Florida’s “Light Up UCF” event which included ice skating, a light show, Ferris wheel, and more. In addition, our participants were given a mini-tour of the campus to better understand the American college culture.
Chilly weather greeted our participants in “the biggest little city in the world” - Reno, Nevada. We embraced the cold weather as we spent an evening ice skating at Reno’s outdoor skating rink. The participants were a little apprehensive at first but were flying around the ice by the end! As part of the arrival we planned for the participants, we partnered with Hospitality Services Group to host an orientation for program information and employer information. Our trivia game, which follows the orientation, covers American culture, American history, and program regulations. Our winners received holiday themed cake pops!
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Our participants in Lake Charles, Louisiana will be surrounded by style each day as they come to work with Hospitality Services Group at Golden Nugget Hotel and L’Auberge Hotel. Outside of work, they will be immersed in Louisiana culture - alligators, po’ boys, and Mardi Gras (Lake Charles has the largest display of Mardi Grad costumes). When they want to experience a change of pace, they can venture across the state to New Orleans or Texas is located only 40 miles east. Our arrival orientation informed them about program regulations, safety information, and gave tips for their time here in the USA. Our lucky trivia winners received delicious, giant cookies! We always love seeing the participant’s guesses - we are still waiting for someone to name Candy Corn from a photo. For our cultural event, we spent the evening bowling. Many of our participants had never played the game or only played once as it doesn’t have the same prevalence in their culture as it does ours. There were no 300s, but we all still had fun!