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Friendship is More Important than a Salary

By: Ariana Puentes Graham – Greenheart Exchange Senior Employer Services Manager & Shyngys Aimaganbet – Greenheart Exchange 2017 Summer Work Travel Participant

Back in January, Greenheart Exchange jetted around the world with some of our host organizations to host a job fair in Kazakhstan! Ariana, Greenheart Exchange’s Senior Employer Services Manager got the chance to meet some new participants, as well as catch up with some of our alumni.  She sat down with Shyngys, a participant from last summer to hear about how his Summer Work Travel experiences have influenced him.

First and foremost, the program changed Shyngs’ mind about money. Before coming to America, he thought he was going to make a lot of money throughout the summer! But while on the program, he realized that the program wasn’t about your salary or how much you made, instead it was about the experiences you have. He made quite a few international friends and realized it was so much more important to spend time with these friends, try out new activities and see new places.

These international friendships also changed his perspective about the world, and he reflected on the importance and impact of these relationships. He now has people with whom he can share experiences and perspectives on different topics – from politics to culture, and so much more.

For future participants, he explained that it isn’t hard to make American friends! His American co-workers were always willing to help him and answer his questions. The first time they hung out together, they went fishing! Shyngs explained that it was a really good time, and he even caught a fish! He found it interesting that they didn’t keep the fish to eat it – instead, they threw it back into the water! He found it funny that fishing can be a hobby, instead of using it for a meal.  They all laughed together about their different perspectives and customs!

Shyngs and his friends learned so much about one another throughout the summer, and stay in touch via social media. One of his friends, Anthony, even plans to come visit him in Kazakhstan!

Thanks to Shyngys for giving us an update on the friendships he made during the Summer Work Travel program! Do you have a story about how the program has influenced your life? Reach out to Greenheart Exchange, and share it today!