This year is Spirit’s 20th anniversary as a designated BridgeUSA J-1 visa sponsor. To celebrate, Spirit is sharing inspiring alumni stories submitted to our “Spirit Alumni: Where Are They Now?” contest, demonstrating first-hand how our participant exchange experiences contribute to a “spirit” of international understanding in the world. This story was submitted by Jose M. from Ecuador, who shared his story about his 2018 J-1 Work & Travel experience in the USA. Jose met people from all over the world and will soon be graduating college as a Computer Engineer. Here’s what he had to say:
My Work & Travel Experience in the USA
My name is Jose, and I am from Guayaquil, Ecuador. I am going to talk about my Spirit experience. I went with Spirit as a Sponsor for the Spring Work and Travel program in 2018. My destination was Chula Vista Resort at Wisconsin Dells. I started working on February 21st and ended the program on May 2nd. My position was a Housekeeper/Main Lodge which meant that I oversaw keeping each bathroom and other type of rooms clean. Even though the first weeks were kind of hard I got used to it quickly, and I loved my job.
This program helped me meeting new kinds of people from all over the world because as it was a cultural exchange program. Many students from different countries participated. Also, I got to see more of the American culture which by the time I had only seen in movies and books.
After the program ended, I decided to take a trip to Orlando and visit Universal Studios which was a first to me, and I got to say that it was even more amazing than what I expected.
What Am I Doing Now?
Once I got back to Ecuador I continued with my studies and now I am 1 year away from graduating college as a Computer Engineer. This was one of my favorite experiences and I am hoping that I could repeat it again one last time before graduating.
This is the last photo that we took in 2021. Because of the pandemic each class is now online, and we can’t go to the University. In that picture we are at the protected forest at ESPOL.
Thank you, Jose!
We think it’s awesome that you got to experience American culture and want to return to the United States. Thanks for sharing with us!
If you are a Spirit Alumni with an inspiring story to tell, please consider sharing your experience with us. Learn more about the “Spirit Alumni: Where Are They Now?” contest.