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 Tony P. from the Dominican Republic, who shared his story about his J-1 Work & Travel experience in the USA. Tony toured Madison, WI with Spirit and currently works as a Concierge while he finishes university. Here’s what he had to say:
My Work & Travel Experience in the USA
I participated in the summer of 2018 and I want to share my experience being sponsored by Spirit Cultural Exchange.
In my experience, I can say that I just can’t imagine a better sponsor. They always were asking about my experience in American territory and making sure that I was having a great time there, and coordinating activities with other students, trips to places like University of Wisconsin in Madison.
What Am I Doing Now?
After my summer experience in the United States, I understood why America is America, how is life in the United States, and the way that just by following the rules we can make a better world. Also I learned that “be on time” means 10 minutes before. It is awesome that since 2018 to 2022 most of the friends that I made there we keep our relationship, friends from the United States, Philippines, Jamaica, Colombia, Spain and Ecuador.
Now I’m working at one of the best and most complete resorts on the Caribbean (Casa de Campo Resort and Villas) as a Concierge coordinating vacations for people from all over around the world. For the position it is very important to understand and speak English fluently and I could get that thanks to the time that I spent in the United States. I’m very glad that I could have this experience because now I’m growing up in my career (Hotel Management Administration), and once I get done with university I will be closer to my goals and with a lot more experience to share and better customer service skills.
Thank you, Tony!
We think it’s awesome that the Work and Travel Program brought you closer to your career goals. We wish you luck as you finish university!