The adventure of a lifetime in the United States
You spent the summer holidays in the United States thanks to the Camp Leaders programme. How did this opportunity come?
I heard about it from friends and at the school. After a selection process, young people from all over the world are picked to work in the most diverse camps of the United States. I thought I had to give it a try, since it is not every day that you come across an opportunity like this!
What kind of camp did you work at?
I worked at the private camp of the University of Michigan as a waiter. It is a sort of a family camp that attracts people who are connected to the university in one way or another, for example ex-students and their families. There are various programmes for the guests: kayaking, horse riding, rope-way, which we could also try. Moreover, we had the opportunity to explore Northern Michigan during the duration of the camp. It was an amazing experience!
Weren’t you scared to work so far away from your family and friends?
I was not scared at all, since there were a lot of Hungarians participating in the programme. I heard only good things about the Camp Leader programme and my friends had good experiences as well. I felt that I was going to be in a protected environment.
How hard was it to communicate with local people?
People are a lot more friendly, smiley and patient in Northern Michigan. I had some problems with my colleagues, but it is normal and occurs at every workplace. New York and Chicago are a bit different, there are lots of different kinds of people there, but in general, they are more helpful than people in Hungary. One of the girls who travelled with us asked at the metro ticket booth whether she could buy a season ticket for less than a week, because she stayed only for two days and the lady gave her her own ticket for free which was still valid for three days.
How did you end up in New York and Chicago?
Upon finishing work at the camp, there is the opportunity to explore the country. There were people who went to see the West Coast as well, but I stayed on the East Coast. I really wanted to see New York and Chicago. We rented a car with four other boys and among other things we visited the Millenium Park in Chicago and the Empire State Building and the Time Square in New York.
How much did these three months cost you?
I earned 1780 dollars altogether. Before leaving, I planned to pay all the costs of the camp back to my parents, but unfortunately it did not happen this way. The travelling after the camp upset my budget, there were some extra expenses that I did not calculate in. Despite all this, it was worth it, it was the experience of a lifetime!
What would you advice to those who would like to work in the United States next summer?
Be positive and open! Be ready to work and the knowledge of English is important. Organise the trip after the camp carefully, get information on everything! If I can, I will go back to work there next summer as well!
Translated by Judit Molnár