By: Kaitlyn Peters – Greenheart Exchange Employer Services Coordinator & Natthaporn Seangrakvong “Fern” – Greenheart Exchange 2017 Summer Work Travel Participant
In January, Greenheart Exchange Employer Services Coordinator, Kaitlyn, embarked on a Job Fair in Thailand. While there, she was able to catch up with some of our past Work and Travel participants! Natthaporn, or Fern, shared a bit about what she learned in the United States, the skills the Summer Work Travel program has given her, and her future goals!
Summer 2017 was Fern’s third time in the United States on the Summer Work Travel program. As a seasoned veteran, however, she still found herself learning new things about the United States! For example, this summer gave her more experience with some common American social practices and customs, such as saying “bless you” after sneezing! She also shared some of her insights about American food customs. This summer, Fern worked in a kitchen and learned how to cook some unique American cuisines. She gained experience mass producing new recipes and learned them very well. She even realized that ground meat is not something in her own culture, and found it to be a funny American thing!
Since this was not Fern’s first experience on the program, she was lucky enough to feel as though she did not face very many challenges while abroad. She commented that any challenges she did face, she knew how to fix. This was one of the biggest skills she’s gained from Summer Work Travel – she’s an expert problem solver! Any challenge or obstacle is easy to fix, once you learn the best way to approach it.
With three summers of experience in the United States, Fern has also honed her English skills. This has helped her in her current role, as she works as an English tutor for students K-12 in Thailand! While it is a very rewarding job, she already dreams of traveling again! She is considering the Career Advancement Programs, traveling to Europe, or going back to school to get a master’s degree. Wherever she decides to go next, the Summer Work Travel program has given her the problem-solving skills, confidence, and independence to take the world by storm!
We love getting our alumni’s insight and learning about their future plans. The Summer Work Travel program has an influence far beyond the few months we share together! Do you have a story about how the program shaped your life? Reach out to Greenheart Exchange, and share it today!