Work&Travel in the U.S. – Status Quo Preserved for Summer 2017
A U.S. Embassy presentation by the U.S. Vice Consul Lauren Johnson was held on Feb. 15 in BAC Auditorium and covered in larger part the positive aspects of the Work and Travel Summer Program(WAT).
Johnson confirmed that there will be no changes in 2017 and the process is exactly the same as last year, regardless of the changes in the US administration.
“Americans can learn from your ideas,” stated the Vice Consul and emphasized on the importance of the cultural exchange aspect and on the dialogue between Americans and their guests. “We’d really like to learn more about your country,” added Johnson.
Johnson also talked about the main points necessary for a successful visa interview:
1. English language proficiency.
2. Full-time enrollment in an accredited university.
3. Valid job offer.
4. Assurance that one will not stay illegally in the U.S.
She explained that it might be more difficult for a graduating student to apply, but as long as they give a reason to return to Bulgaria, this would not be a reason for a rejection of their application.
Guests of the presentation were also Mina Dobreva and Mario Grachenov, participants in the WAT Program and part of its Alumni Association. Dobreva, a third-year AUBG student, shared her memories from Provincetown, Massachessets and the entirely new atmosphere she experienced. According to her, it was strange to live without her friends and family, but this has helped her grow up faster.
Grachenov, a senior student at AUBG, talked about his stay in Nantucket, Massachussets in 2014 and the cultural shock that he experienced at the beginning. He praised the hospitality of his boss, who could not actually hire him upon his arrival, but nevertheless let him stay in her house and helped him find a new job. He shared Dobreva’s view that WAT has made him more mature and responsible. Both of them praised the diverse background in the U.S. and mentioned having worked with Americans, Jamaicans, Serbians, Macedonians, Albanians, Dutchman and people from other nationalities.
Dobreva and Grachenov also talked about the roots of the WAT Alumni Association, that was started in 2015 by five people, who wanted to give back to the program. A WAT Entrepreneurship Academy was later created that already offers examples of successful businesses. The development of the program is growing fast. There are going to be four Academy events in the first half of the year.