As I moved to the US on the Work and Travel program: three completely different stories.

As I moved to the US on the Work and Travel program: three completely different stories.
Every year, the US is flooded with hundreds of thousands of students from all over the world who want to tighten their knowledge of the language, earn money and taste American life
Work and Travel is an international student exchange program that allows students from around the world to spend summer vacations in America, working, traveling and getting to know the local life. The number of seats is determined annually by the US authorities. The maximum duration of one summer program is 5 months, from May to September. Four of them you work, and one more rest and travel around the country.
A participant in the program can become a full-time student at the age of 18 to 26, who at least at a basic level speaks English. In general, there are no formal age limits, but the older you are, the less likely it is that the interview will be successful at the US Embassy.
The first time I went on the program Work and Travel in the summer of 2010. I did not have a working invitation. At first I was looking for a job in New York City, but then I was offered to go to Upstate New York, in a small village of Swan Lake to work in a pizzeria. There was no choice, so I agreed. The employer turned out to be dishonorable, and in the middle of summer I was fired. A friend, whom we met through our agency, invited me to work in the hotel, in the kitchen of which I stayed until the end of the summer.
Photo: from personal archive.
Then he returned to New York City to rest. It was my first trip to America. For one summer I met a lot of people of different cultures, nationalities, religions, etc. The most vivid experience that changed my view of the world!
For one summer I met a lot of people of different cultures, nationalities, religions, etc. The most vivid experience that changed my view of the world!
After that, I could not stay in Russia – there was a feeling that life was just passing by. The 2010/2011 academic year was the last in my university in Togliatti, and upon its completion I returned to the States. For three months I worked in the same hotel to collect some money and move to New York City in September.
Photo: from personal archive.
But at the end of the summer I gave up and bought a motorcycle, I always wanted to master this miracle. Not quite an adult act, considering that I spent most of my savings, but it was worth it – I got a lot of pleasure from the ride.
To go to the US under this program, you need an invitation from the employer (job offer) – a notarized letter from a potential employer in the United States, where it is said that he has a vacancy for you. You can find an employer either independently or by using the agency’s help. Naturally, this will affect the cost of services. After receiving the job offer and registering with the SEVIS system (the database of the US Department of Homeland Security), you will receive the DS-2019 form. Thanks to it, you can take part in the international exchange program in the US and get a J-1 visa. We recommend reading our material student visas.
In September 2011, I moved to New York City and at the beginning I also took up any job: as a loader, a baseball, I held a sign on the street. A few months later I got into the club industry, started working as a barman and promoter.
My trip to the States was organized quite spontaneously and at the last moment. Even in winter I worked in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, talked a lot with foreigners and became fired with the desire to get to the States. Just earned enough money to pay for the program, for pleasure is not cheap. Literally in three weeks I found a job, made a visa and went.
Photo: from personal archive.
I worked in a small town of Wisconsin-Dells housekeeper, then a cashier. With the first contract a little unlucky, threatened and deported, and evicted from the apartments that were rented with a friend. A little stress and running around the city – and voila: a new job. After that, everything went like clockwork!
With the first contract a little unlucky, threatened and deported, and evicted from the apartments …
The most vivid impression of the trip is my travels. At the end of the summer, I decided that I wanted to go to the so-called road trip across America from east to west. And went to a two-day tour from Chicago to Los Angeles, full of new acquaintances and road adventures. The summer ended a couple of days in New York – a city in which I fell in love with my own way. And where I still dream to return.
Photo: from personal archive Photo: from personal archive Photo: from personal archive.
Now I work on a cruise liner and travel a lot around the world, but sometimes I still think about moving to the US or studying there.
If the visa determines the time to which you can enter the US, the DS-2019 form is the period of stay in the country. After the end date indicated there, it is already impossible to work, but it is allowed to be a regular tourist for 30 days (the so-called grace period). Staying in America after Work and Travel on a legal basis is impossible.
My “American” story began in 2010 with the Work and Travel program, which I was told by my sister who visited America twice. She praised the program very much, managed to earn money and travel. I then studied at the Pedagogical University in the first year. My mother and I took money and submitted the necessary documents. I got a job offer in New York. As it turned out later, my offer was linden, and on my arrival I was left alone in a big city, without a job and with $ 400 in my pocket. She searched for work for a long time, got a job as a waitress, where she worked for a long time. Money almost did not work, because New York is a very expensive city, and renting a room “ate” most of the salary.
Photo: from personal archive.
When summer came to an end, I decided to stay in the US after Work and Travel. It was not an easy decision at all, but I never regretted it. Since then, I have changed a lot of work. Of course, for visiting students, restaurants are the most advantageous place. I learned my language and traveled half America. Most of all I love San Francisco. I’ve been there five times already and will try to come back again. In plans even to move.
When summer came to an end, I decided to stay in the US. It was not an easy decision at all, but I never regretted it.
I have been in the country illegally for 4 years, and I must say that there is nothing terrible in this if you are not going to break the law. There were restrictions in the search for work and housing, but in general you can live. I got married, changed my name, I live in Brooklyn. My husband and I raise 2 children from his first marriage. I love New York and I’m happy that I stayed. I recommend everyone at least once to come here. Young must travel and discover new horizons!
Portal “Zagranitsa” wishes you good work and pleasant travel. And do not forget to read our new materials!
Comments (5)
Horror. Two children from the first marriage, the mother left. Live in a terrible Brooklyn? People want to innovate and this is normal, but then the novelty passes, and the lid inspires themselves that the bad is good.
Not a single successful story. and then what’s the point of moving to the US ?!
Agree! No one has a normal profession, they run errands in eateries. This is the beginning, the euphoria of the change of place, and then.
Not a single successful story! Everyone’s “American Dream” began with a violation of the Immigration Act! 🙁
And I know 3 successful stories after this program.My son and 2 of his friend.And our whole family is now here in the US His friend from Peter in Chicago bought a posh apartment. A friend from Minsk is a house near San Francisco, studying in Berkeley. All the computer people.
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