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BUNAC Work America 2012

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    Hi,
    I'm looking into BUNAC work America for summer 2012. I'm wondering whether anyone has any advice or past experiences?
    I did camp America latest year so I'm looking for a slightly different experience. I'm thinking of maybe NYC.. as I would celebrate my 21st over there and thought it could be a lot of fun!

    Is it affordable to work and stay in New York?

    Also how easy is it to find work?

    Is it worth applying now to try and get a good job or should I wait until closer to the time?

    Is it actually worth paying to go through BUNAC?

    Lots of questions!!

    Any replies are much appreciated!
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    NYC is the most expensive city in the US...

    BUNAC advise against staying there since it's so expensive (yet have their summer office there, irony much), but if NY is where you want to go then persevere, cos going to some run down **** hole where it's easy to get a summer job just isn't the same (the southern Jersey shore is a long bus ride away btw). NYC isn't more expensive than London to put it into perspective.

    How easy it is to find work depends on what you're looking for. If you're flexible then it's pretty easy to find something, if you want something specific then it'll take longer. NYC's a big place so there will be loads of jobs going, but there will also be extreme competition for anything good.

    It's not really worth paying BUNAC no. Unfortunately to get a J-1 visa you need them or CCUSA to sponsor you, so you have to pay one of them. You might be able to get an H2B visa (though NYC employers probably have enough applicant to not need them), I briefly looked into it last summer, but just went round in circles with it.
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    Heyyy that sounds fantastic - I actually also spent my 21st in NYC (including gettin a complimentary sundae at Hard Rock in Times Sq and an enthusiastic waiter got everyone to sing happy birthday to me!!) It was absolutely incredible.

    Saying that, I dont recommend working/staying there for a long period of time. As previous poster said its very expensive. Might make sense to work in NY state, or a state nearby, and go to NY just for a few days around your birthday, depending of course on when that is, as if it's too near the beginning of the summer getting days off that early may not be practical.

    I went to America through BUNAC, and I'd really recommend them. You need a sponsor to get a visa anyway, and they were very supportive and have a big job directory etc to help you get work when or before you go over there. I wouldn't have wanted to work in the US without having some kind of support, anyway, so I think it's worth it from that perspective.
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    After being on the fence about this for ages and wasting my summer this year I have finally signed up for this! Being a 3rd year now it would be my last chance to go over to work in America so I thought why not It seems quite a daunting prospect now but I'm really excited, not started applying for jobs yet but I've looked at the directory and some of them sound pretty good, I quite fancy working at a theme park!
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    (Original post by -ally)
    After being on the fence about this for ages and wasting my summer this year I have finally signed up for this! Being a 3rd year now it would be my last chance to go over to work in America so I thought why not It seems quite a daunting prospect now but I'm really excited, not started applying for jobs yet but I've looked at the directory and some of them sound pretty good, I quite fancy working at a theme park!
    Theme parks are amazing places to work! Actually amazing. Go to a proper park rather than the little ones in the job directory though - aside from the rides, the atmosphere is way better and more enjoyable to work in, plus you're much more likely to work with Americans.
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    (Original post by fiona344)
    Theme parks are amazing places to work! Actually amazing. Go to a proper park rather than the little ones in the job directory though - aside from the rides, the atmosphere is way better and more enjoyable to work in, plus you're much more likely to work with Americans.
    Have you done this before? I'm begrudgingly going to pay BUNACs ridiculous fees just to get the J1 visa, but am contemplating their job matching thing. If it's easy enough to get a job on your own I'll just ignore that though (I did a similar thing in Australia and you didn't really need the help there, but I didn't really wanna risk it in the US).

    And do you know of any decent themeparks to work in? Disneyland would have been great but I just missed the cut off point for that. Do you know if any of the other big themeparks have similar schemes where you can live on site with a load of people in the same boat - or possibly near enough to a major city so I'm not living in the middle of nowhere!
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    (Original post by callum9999)
    Have you done this before? I'm begrudgingly going to pay BUNACs ridiculous fees just to get the J1 visa, but am contemplating their job matching thing. If it's easy enough to get a job on your own I'll just ignore that though (I did a similar thing in Australia and you didn't really need the help there, but I didn't really wanna risk it in the US).

    And do you know of any decent themeparks to work in? Disneyland would have been great but I just missed the cut off point for that. Do you know if any of the other big themeparks have similar schemes where you can live on site with a load of people in the same boat - or possibly near enough to a major city so I'm not living in the middle of nowhere!
    I did it twice! First time I knew where I wanted to work and went backwards from there, ending up at BUNAC, aside from paying for the visa felt pressured into taking the overpriced and inconvenient flight package and staying in a horrible hostel in New York on the way out. Things didn't go exactly as planned my second year, so I turned to the BUNAC job directory, working in an "amusement park" they advertised, which was just a seaside funfair. Hated it. The jobs and towns in the job directory are places with where it's easy to get summer work- cos the Americans don't want to be there!

    A J-1 visa is the easiest to get, but Six Flags hire people with H2B visas. I'm not sure how you get one, as the sites see to be aimed at non-english speaking countries and basically I went round in circles trying to apply for it!

    Most of the parks hire lots of internationals to fill their staffing needs. I worked at Cedar Point, which is the biggest and best amusement park in the world! It's in a smallish town about 1hr from Cleveland, so in some ways is in the middle of nowhere, but it really didn't matter. What made it great was that pretty much everyone (mostly American students) lived in the same housing block. It was basic but it's own little community and the people you worked with became you're best friends. Going on the rides is a pretty fun way to spend your days off too.

    Some Six Flags parks also have employee accommodation and transport, and would be good places to work. They have parks dotted all over the US, so you can choose where you want to be.

    Apparently Universal Studios has an international scheme, but it's not one I looked into. Generally any Six Flags, Cedar Fair, Busch Gardens, Seaworld, Legoland, universal studios, Disneyland (did you check California?) are good. There's also Holiday World, HersheyPark, Silverdollar City, Dollywood, Kennywood which are on my "acceptable" list lol. It's america, so transports more of an issue than accommodation.
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    (Original post by fiona344)
    I did it twice! First time I knew where I wanted to work and went backwards from there, ending up at BUNAC, aside from paying for the visa felt pressured into taking the overpriced and inconvenient flight package and staying in a horrible hostel in New York on the way out. Things didn't go exactly as planned my second year, so I turned to the BUNAC job directory, working in an "amusement park" they advertised, which was just a seaside funfair. Hated it. The jobs and towns in the job directory are places with where it's easy to get summer work- cos the Americans don't want to be there!

    A J-1 visa is the easiest to get, but Six Flags hire people with H2B visas. I'm not sure how you get one, as the sites see to be aimed at non-english speaking countries and basically I went round in circles trying to apply for it!

    Most of the parks hire lots of internationals to fill their staffing needs. I worked at Cedar Point, which is the biggest and best amusement park in the world! It's in a smallish town about 1hr from Cleveland, so in some ways is in the middle of nowhere, but it really didn't matter. What made it great was that pretty much everyone (mostly American students) lived in the same housing block. It was basic but it's own little community and the people you worked with became you're best friends. Going on the rides is a pretty fun way to spend your days off too.

    Some Six Flags parks also have employee accommodation and transport, and would be good places to work. They have parks dotted all over the US, so you can choose where you want to be.

    Apparently Universal Studios has an international scheme, but it's not one I looked into. Generally any Six Flags, Cedar Fair, Busch Gardens, Seaworld, Legoland, universal studios, Disneyland (did you check California?) are good. There's also Holiday World, HersheyPark, Silverdollar City, Dollywood, Kennywood which are on my "acceptable" list lol. It's america, so transports more of an issue than accommodation.
    Thanks that's really helpful. Yeah, that flight package looks a complete rip off - hugely more expensive than getting your own!

    Those parks sound great - I'll definitely look into Cedar Point. It doesn't bother me being out of the city if you'll be with other students in an accommodation block, I imagine them to be a bit like hostels/halls of residences (though obviously a bit stricter due to the working environment). Plus I'll have time to go and visit them when I finish working any way.

    I'm hoping my summer working in an American Summer camp in the kitchen will really help.
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    Fiona thankyou so much for that information it's so helpful!
    There was a 'theme park' job advertised in Maryland but thinking about it it does sound like a glorified funfair, Ocean City has been referred to as the Blackpool of America apparently haha.
    Gonna look into finding a job at one of the places you mentioned now, it would be amazing to work in Cali or Florida, thank you again!!
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    (Original post by Bramble88)
    Heyyy that sounds fantastic - I actually also spent my 21st in NYC (including gettin a complimentary sundae at Hard Rock in Times Sq and an enthusiastic waiter got everyone to sing happy birthday to me!!) It was absolutely incredible.

    Saying that, I dont recommend working/staying there for a long period of time. As previous poster said its very expensive. Might make sense to work in NY state, or a state nearby, and go to NY just for a few days around your birthday, depending of course on when that is, as if it's too near the beginning of the summer getting days off that early may not be practical.

    I went to America through BUNAC, and I'd really recommend them. You need a sponsor to get a visa anyway, and they were very supportive and have a big job directory etc to help you get work when or before you go over there. I wouldn't have wanted to work in the US without having some kind of support, anyway, so I think it's worth it from that perspective.
    My birthday is actually at the end of July, so taking time off shouldn't be a problem to go to NYC..
    I do have something that could be a problem, if I were to fail any of my uni exams (which I wouldn't find out until the end of June) I would have to go home and resit them... does anyone know if you are able to quit a job if there's a problem or does bunac ask for money.. I remember there being a clause within camp America about quitting or leaving early?

    Guys who have paid for BUNAC's program already are there a lot of jobs already on their directory? I'm not sure whether to wait a while.. before paying.
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    (Original post by Emmie1234)
    My birthday is actually at the end of July, so taking time off shouldn't be a problem to go to NYC..
    I do have something that could be a problem, if I were to fail any of my uni exams (which I wouldn't find out until the end of June) I would have to go home and resit them... does anyone know if you are able to quit a job if there's a problem or does bunac ask for money.. I remember there being a clause within camp America about quitting or leaving early?

    Guys who have paid for BUNAC's program already are there a lot of jobs already on their directory? I'm not sure whether to wait a while.. before paying.
    I haven't done it yet so I can't guarantee I'm right, but the impression I get is that Bunac is just responsible for getting your visa and providing help in finding a job - whereas Camp America actually place you. The difference being, Camp America gets it's payment from the camp withdrawn if you leave - hence the penalties. I don't think BUNAC care either way if you manage to get a job and it will be up to your individual employer what the sanction would be. I would imagine they want some kind of contract if they are providing you with accommodation so I'd check with them individually.
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    Someone on my group flight was going to that place in Maryland. Trimpers rides I think it's called. Never spoke to them after checking out of the hostel so no idea what it's like, but sounds like the place I went to in Jersey so I wouldn't go there myself ha. Suppose it depends what you want - if you're only looking for something to fund beach time and aren't interested in the job then the BUNAC jobs are probably great. I found the staff at large parks have a work hard, play hard attitude. As fun as it was, a working holiday involves work, and you will spend a large chunk of you're time doing so.

    (Original post by Emmie1234)
    does anyone know if you are able to quit a job if there's a problem or does bunac ask for money.. I remember there being a clause within camp America about quitting or leaving early?
    BUNAC don't care, you won't get anything back if you quit, but you won't be charged anything. You're employer may not be too pleased though! but what can they do... speaking of which a J-1 visa allows you to change jobs/ do more than one, so don't believe any employer who tries to tell you otherwise or that they can void it.
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    Hey there, a friend of mine and I are thinking about doing the BUNAC program this summer. We're both finishing off our 3rd/final year at uni and graduate this summer. We'd still be eligible to apply right? I think that's what it said on the website but it wasn't 100% clear.

    Any help would be great. Thanks guys.

    Also, where does everyone plan on going? I'm thinking of either Chicago or Los Angeles.
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    Hey mdanie,
    You can still go - this is your last chance (unless you go to uni again!) so definitely do it now!
    And Chicago is amazing, probably my favourite city in the world. There's loads of free festivals and stuff in the park over summer. I went to a jazz one one evening, it was brilliant. And there are public art sculptures just dotted around the place, including a Picasso. It's a lovely city.
    Hope you find something and good luck!
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    (Original post by fiona344)
    I did it twice! First time I knew where I wanted to work and went backwards from there, ending up at BUNAC, aside from paying for the visa felt pressured into taking the overpriced and inconvenient flight package and staying in a horrible hostel in New York on the way out. Things didn't go exactly as planned my second year, so I turned to the BUNAC job directory, working in an "amusement park" they advertised, which was just a seaside funfair. Hated it. The jobs and towns in the job directory are places with where it's easy to get summer work- cos the Americans don't want to be there!

    A J-1 visa is the easiest to get, but Six Flags hire people with H2B visas. I'm not sure how you get one, as the sites see to be aimed at non-english speaking countries and basically I went round in circles trying to apply for it!

    Most of the parks hire lots of internationals to fill their staffing needs. I worked at Cedar Point, which is the biggest and best amusement park in the world! It's in a smallish town about 1hr from Cleveland, so in some ways is in the middle of nowhere, but it really didn't matter. What made it great was that pretty much everyone (mostly American students) lived in the same housing block. It was basic but it's own little community and the people you worked with became you're best friends. Going on the rides is a pretty fun way to spend your days off too.

    Some Six Flags parks also have employee accommodation and transport, and would be good places to work. They have parks dotted all over the US, so you can choose where you want to be.

    Apparently Universal Studios has an international scheme, but it's not one I looked into. Generally any Six Flags, Cedar Fair, Busch Gardens, Seaworld, Legoland, universal studios, Disneyland (did you check California?) are good. There's also Holiday World, HersheyPark, Silverdollar City, Dollywood, Kennywood which are on my "acceptable" list lol. It's america, so transports more of an issue than accommodation.
    Hey Fiona, I've been on the websites for Cedar Fair and Six Flags, and they're saying that I can only apply if I'm on certain international programmes (none of them are BUNAC) did you work there whilst you were on BUNAC? I'm so confused haha help!
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    Yeah I worked at Cedar Point (I actually found BUNAC cos it was mentioned on their website). Try emailing them (and harassing them until they reply!), saying you've got a J-1 visa, which allows you to work for any employer is the US. The six flags website really doesn't want you to apply! I got no response from Six Flags from emails but then called and they seemed fine about hiring people with that visa type. Really if you have the right to work in the US then they shouldn't treat you differently from a US applicant. Also good to mention that you'll stay until at least Labor day, the longer the better in their eyes.
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    (Original post by Emmie1234)
    Hi,
    I'm looking into BUNAC work America for summer 2012. I'm wondering whether anyone has any advice or past experiences?
    I did camp America latest year so I'm looking for a slightly different experience. I'm thinking of maybe NYC.. as I would celebrate my 21st over there and thought it could be a lot of fun!

    Is it affordable to work and stay in New York?

    Also how easy is it to find work?

    Is it worth applying now to try and get a good job or should I wait until closer to the time?

    Is it actually worth paying to go through BUNAC?

    Lots of questions!!

    Any replies are much appreciated!
    Hi!

    I did Work America 2011 and stayed in NYC!

    Despite BUNAC recommending not to stay in NYC and just visit it, I really wanted to live there for a while, and yes I had an amazing time and really go to know the city!

    Honestly, it is pretty expensive. Unless you find a really good share, student share or student halls, you will not live in Manhattan! Brooklyn and Queens are really lovely places to stay however (I stayed in Brooklyn) and are a lot cheaper, but are still really close to Manhattan. I would recommend looking at sublet.com as they have some good places to stay. Also look at Craigslist, just be careful as there are scams, though a lot are very obvious.

    I went out there with my first nights’ accommodation (through BUNAC) and a week in a hotel near Times Square booked, so had to look for somewhere more permanent when I got there. I also had to look for a job, which took longer than an apartment, but was manageable. I'd say before you go, like the week before, search loads through Craigslist and email away because the more you email the more chance you get. Give your email as your reply method because you wouldn't have a US number yet (it’s easier once you have this) I chose to look for work out there instead of through the BUNAC listings and worked in a boutique clothing store. I would recommend apply to as many as possible through BUNAC though.

    If you have any questions, ask away. I'm very jealous; thinking about NYC makes me want to go back right now!!

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    I would definitely recommend going to the States to work this Summer, I went last Summer and was amazed at how different things are compared to the UK.

    Unfortunetly you have to have a sponsor like BUNAC, for what they charge they really should do more. E.g. when I was looking for a place to live they just referred me to Craigslist.

    I am doing it again this year, going back to where I was last year- Cape Cod, MA. Afterwards I am going to travel the West Coast which I am really excited for, especially as this year, like you, I am in my final year, so I don't have to rush back for the beginning of Uni....I can just stay will my visa expires.
    A word of warning, I believe the BUNAC group flight packaging come back at the latest of beginning of October, your visa will last you till early November.

    I got a job within three days of being there, so it worked out well for me.

    If you work in a service job, the Americans will love your accent = big tips $$$.

    So, do it. But be prepared to put in a lot of work yourself and don't expect too much from BUNAC.
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    Cool. My friend did "Swap" (Canadian version of Bunac) in Cape Cod, MA. She loved it. Actually she's still out there working on Nantucket.

    I'm definitely going to do it this summer. I'm wondering if I should pay for a 4 month visa, or if I should just go to Los Angeles for a month and find an internship. (Either way i'm assuming I won't save any money) as i'll need a car while i'm out there.

    Anyway, thanks for the response. Chicago is definitely a cool city. I've visited many times. It's very similar to where I'm from (Toronto), which is the only reason i'm not TOO keen on going...but it is a great place.
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    (Original post by Emmie1234)
    Hi,
    I'm looking into BUNAC work America for summer 2012. I'm wondering whether anyone has any advice or past experiences?
    I did camp America latest year so I'm looking for a slightly different experience. I'm thinking of maybe NYC.. as I would celebrate my 21st over there and thought it could be a lot of fun!

    Is it affordable to work and stay in New York?

    Also how easy is it to find work?

    Is it worth applying now to try and get a good job or should I wait until closer to the time?

    Is it actually worth paying to go through BUNAC?

    Lots of questions!!

    Any replies are much appreciated!
    NYC is extremely expensive and the housing market is insane. And this especially applies if you decide to live in Manhattan (which is where most of the tourist spots are). Unfortunately, I can't help on much else. I don't really know much about the job market down there, though I think as long as you're not going for skilled labour sorts of stuff and stick to the service industry, you'll be fine.

    Good luck! NYC is really a gorgeous city and I love the shopping and all of the sights down there. Annoying expensive, though.

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