If you are a student you are able to apply to a lot of different activities and projects available. One of them is Work and Travel. Some of you may have heard of it and some didn’t. Work and travel is an exchange programme that allows you to work 3 month and gives you an extra 4th month to travel around. It is a project dedicated mostly to students from all around the world. It is an exciting and challenging experience that will open your vision of the world and will open you a lot of doors. Moreover, this will help you grow, develop your skills, find yourself and become more confident. How should you apply? What are the steps? Is it worth it? Let’s get straight into details and see more about this topic and find the answers you need.
Requirements and eligibility for Work and travel
You may have heard that this program is made only for students. That being said, it is required for you to study at an eligible university in your country. It does not matter what you study, the most important thing is to have proof you study there that can be taken from the secretary of the entity you study at.
You have to be less than 30 years old. The age may vary but in general, you can’t participate in the programme if you are over 30 years old.
You need to be in a good and healthy position when it comes to your medical record. Make sure you have all the good signs to go to another continent. The medical system in the United States is expensive. You don’t want to find out.
Jobs for work and travel
The jobs are mostly in the hospitality area. So the most jobs you will find will be the following: busser, food runner, expo, server, hostess, bartender, pool attendant, housekeeper, lifeguard.
Server- usually makes the most of the money, it is very challenging and active, you basically take the orders of the customers.
Busser – you clean the tables and set them properly
Food runner – you bring the food to the table, careful, you need to know all the table numbers. Don’t messed it up.
Expo – you are the one that makes the job get done. You organize how and where the food runner goes with the tray.
Hostess – You are the face of the restaurant. You show people where they should sit in the restaurant, provide them menus and water.
Bartender – making all the good parts of the restaurant. You are making the drinks for servers and for your own clients.
Pool attendant – very similar to a server but at the pool or in other cases on the beach. You run the food and drinks and take orders.
Housekeeper – you are cleaning the rooms for either a hotel, motel, resort making sure the room is clean before the new customers get in.
Lifeguard – you need a certificate for this and means you have to take care of people that don’t know how to swim and are in danger.
The jobs that require you to be over 21 are: Bartending, serving and pool attending. The rest of them do not require you to be over 21 if you do not work with alcohol.
Depending on what kind of job you have and state you work in you may have between 8 to 24$ per hour with or without tips. So the tips are usually received in restaurants. The jobs that are based on this are server, expo, food runners, hostess and busser.
Barely will you find tips at housekeeping. In this case, to cover the differences made by tips, the housekeepers have better hourly payments. So let’s say a server makes 15$ hour + tips, a housekeeper can make 24$ per hour.
Usually the students are paid with the minimum wage which can vary from state to state. In California there is a minimum of 15$ per hour. In Wisconsin it is a minimum of 7.25$ per hour and in New York it is a minimum of 14.20$ per hour. Those are just a couple of examples.
Places to work
You have a great variety of states where you can work. Don’t expect to work in bg cities because it is not an advantageous thing to do. Firstly, you will most probably work in a tourist place or area such as Ocean city, park city or salt lake, tahoe lake etc.
The living is not that expensive and the season is full with customers and tourists. Very few people work and live in big cities such as San Francisco or New York. I wouldn’t recommend working in those big cities. The exposure is high and it can be a little bit dangerous and also you may not gain as much money as you wish.
After the 3 months you work, you will be able to create your own dream trip in America. Try not to spend a lot of money because America is expensive and has a lot of stores where you can spend your money in. Apple and clothing brands are just a couple of examples that tell you to keep your money and spend a little bit less. The must you have to visit are the national parks and the big cities of course.Try to make a good plan in order to visit everything you planned. Some places may take more time to visit than others. Take a few days for national parks and a little bit less for big cities.
California is calling and sounds good but make sure you also see New York and the east coast.
If you are well aware you are going, choose your agency you are going with wisely. Why? Because some of them just don’t help students at all and you want a great experience there not a traumatizing one. Make sure your agency will take care of you from the beginning of the program until the very end. There may be difficult or unexpected situations when you have to talk to someone from the agency. They need to be there for you whenever you write them. Also you need guidance through all the process. You can’t do it on your own. Read the contract you sign for 2-3 times. Search for jobs exactly where you want, don’t wait for them to tell you where to go. Be in touch with them constantly.