Expectations and the American way of life As a participant in the Summer Work Travel Program, you will have the opportunity to experience life in the United States by sharing in its tradition and culture in a different way:
working and traveling. Having both realistic and practical expectations is one of the most
important aspects of the program in order to ensure the best experience and return
home with many memories.
a- Expectations about culture in the United States
Being a part of an exchange program will result in a series of emotional stages. On one side, there is the excitement of seeing new places, meeting new people and being independent, but on the other side, there is frustration, due to your reaction to language, new culture and a new way of life (time, accommodations, food). In order to ensure an easy adjustment, you must keep in mind that:
- American people are friendly, respectful, direct, flexible and informal
- Communication with others is an efficient way of reducing unpredictability. You must ask questions whenever you think it is necessary
- Lowering your expectations about your new way of life in the United States is essential in adapting easily and responding to a new environment. You do not have to expect to understand and/or agree with everything about the American society and/or culture
- Having an open-mind and a positive attitude is key in an exchange experience. Listen and express yourself with respect
b- Expectations toward employment in the United States
You have received and signed an employment agreement containing specific information about your job in the United States. A job offer has the same value as one of a contract and therefore, signing it means commitment and responsibility toward it.
- The Summer Work Travel job will be a basic, entry-level job, much like one that a United States participant would have during a school break
- The average participant receives the minimum wage or slightly higher depending on the location chosen. It is important to budget your money in order to make sure you cover meals, housing, transportation and any other living expenses
- Overtime, good tips or a second job is not guaranteed
- You must follow through on your employment commitment since the job was reserved for you
- You must be punctual, have a positive attitude and dress appropriately
c- Solving problems
Being a participant in an exchange program is an adventure. All the parties in the program are here to work for your best interest and assure that you have a great experience, but you are also required to show a great sense of responsibility and respect during the entire length of the Summer Work Travel Program.
Most of the participants who come to the United States through the Summer Work Travel Program have a very successful experience. However, there are times, when at some point (mostly at the beginning of the program due to the adjustment process), some of the participants may face different kinds of problems.
If you have a problem, please try to identify what the problem is, and further please try to find possible solutions to solve the problem. Be rational. It is very important not to let your judgment be influenced by emotions or prejudgments about how things should be.
If you have a problem on your Summer Work Travel site, first ask your supervisor for help. The supervisor is a person that is prepared to handle the issues that might occur and knows different procedures in order to solve problematic situations. The supervisor is there, on site, and can talk with you directly. You must talk things over and if you need our assistance, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help, too.
Please keep in mind that some of the problems might not have an immediate solution and therefore, in solving them, you must be patient. If you are placed by Horizon International, Inc., then you are not free to change the job site. You must first give your job site a chance and be responsible toward your employment agreement. In the event of a serious problem, please contact us immediately. If you leave the site without permission, you might be subject to program termination.
In order to avoid any other problems while in the United States, please remember that you must obey all local, state and federal laws. Failure to comply with the law might cause serious problems. You might be forced to return home before the end of the Summer Work Travel Program and might even jeopardize your return to the United States in the future.
Please be responsible during the entire length of your program in the United States.