Escape the British summer with ‘Work America’

– Joanna Keeton contributed to this report.

Pouring rain floods the streets, whilst grey skies blur the horizon. A brave ray of light slips past an unsuspecting cloud, halting the downpour. A frenzy ensues.

Jackets are thrown to the floor, t-shirts whipped overhead and suddenly the high street is a hustle and bustle of glowing white flesh and excited chatter, only for a single crack of thunder to plunge the city back into darkness as the sun retreats behind its dense cover.


The "Work America" programme is only available to students at UK universities. Photo: Martin de Witte

We’re all familiar with the British summer by now. We might be optimistic that, this year the blue skies will outnumber the black, or that we’ll have an excuse for those oversized sunnies but, more often than not, we’ll spend the summer awaiting those stolen rays. Let’s face it, a summer in good ol’ blighty just isn’t what it used to be.

International business student, Megan Mills spoke to The Linc about what we’ve been missing and describes her “summer of a lifetime” jetting off to the States.

So what motivated you to spend the summer in America?

A friend of mine had joined BUNAC’s work America programme and, though I initially thought she was a little crazy for taking it all on, she explained the process as simple as ABC and she was so excited. I soon caught the bug and, seeing it for the dual opportunity that it presented for work experience and a summer abroad, I had applied by Christmas.

What did you choose to do?

As I had contacts in Florida, I decided it would make a great start and stayed in Englewood, very near to the infamous (and beautiful) Boca Beach. Well known for its great climate and easy-going lifestyle, I found it very easy to feel at home.

I got a local waitressing job at the Waterside Grill through a friend of a friend, and rented out a nearby house, which even had its own pool, gym and tennis courts!

What did you think of your job?

Waitressing was never a career aim for me but I found it a great way to earn an easy living, meet friends in the area and get experience for my CV. I needed to ensure I was polite to even the rudest of customers, remembered lists of details and kept everything under control – great skills in the job market. I’m never short of talking points at interviews.

On top of that the tips were great. One time I received a 152% tip! They soon added up, though they were equally quickly spent in New York!

So you went travelling?

Yes! After spending three months working, I took a month to explore the surrounding area in Florida and to see New York. It was like being in a movie. Travelling was definitely the highlight of my trip and I made sure I saw every tourist attraction in the Big Apple. It was massive and amazing. I’d certainly go again!

How did you feel coming back to the UK?

I was really sad to leave Florida. As silly as it sounds, I could actually picture my future there. Thankfully, I’m still in touch with all the friends I made and so another visit should definitely be on the cards.

What would you say to other students thinking of joining the “Work America” programme?

Do it! They made it so easy to apply and I’d go again in a heartbeat. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

The Work America programme is only available to students at UK universities and is one of the only visa types of this kind, allowing you to work for up to 3 months anywhere in the States, and an additional 30 days of travel.

For more information contact BUNAC directly or drop in to the University of Lincoln Job Shop.

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