Three summers, Cape Cod and me
You know that summer feeling? Sun-kissed and salty-haired, hanging out with new mates and wishing that summer would never end? Well, now you can have your ultimate summer on repeat. You can do BUNAC’s Work America job program every uni summer holidays, up to three times in total!
Which is exactly what our 3x Work America alumni Emily did, returning three times to work at Moby Dick's restaurant in Cape Cod. Here’s her story.
What made you want to return to Cape Cod for three summers?
I continued to return to Cape Cod because it began to feel like home to me. I had lots of friends that kept returning, and in my second summer I actually convinced uni friends to come with me - this made the experience even more fun!
I had adapted to the lifestyle quite nicely and spending time relaxing at the beach before work was a million miles away from what I’m used to at home in England! It was a lovely escape from my regular life and a good break from university.
Cape Cod is such a fun place as it has a chilled and relaxed atmosphere. Plus, it’s only a few hours from Boston and around five-six hours from New York City, so there is always an opportunity to travel before you start your summer or after you finish.
Another reason why I returned was because each time I I learnt more and more skills and became more confident within myself and the workplace!
Run us through a typical day at Moby Dick's.
A typical evening shift would usually start at 3-5pm, which gave me enough time to explore the town in the mornings - we spent a lot of time biking to the beach, doing water sports and swimming in the nearby ponds! We also ate in lovely restaurants and took in the American culture.
Once at work in the restaurant, there were lots of roles from serving, working the register and greeting customers, so the job was different day-to-day. Working in this heavily customer-based environment is hard work but I loved every minute. There is never a dull moment! The best thing is working with people from all over the world who become like a family to you.
What were the highlights of your job?
Highlights were definitely conversations with customers - they had lots of questions about all things Great Britain. And working and making friends with people from around the world!
What did you do in your spare time?
My spare time was spent exploring nearby towns and cities, doing activities and celebrating American holidays such as 4th of July! I mostly enjoyed my time at the beach because it's free and so much fun. The social life was amazing before and after work - friends from work always hang out together, whether it's just chilling or having a bonfire on the beach!
Did you do much travelling around America?
I did loads of travelling during my three summers and I saved the money I made during my summers and it funded my USA travels. One year I did an overland tour from New York to Los Angeles - I had the time of my life and made some amazing friends! It was truly wonderful seeing a huge part of America. Overall I think if you have the opportunity to do a big trip whilst you’re on a BUNAC Work America programme (or at any point, really) it will be the best decision you will ever make!
I also loved New York City, as it has so much excitement and walking in the street makes you feel like you’re in the movies! Nashville is also such an amazing and friendly city! It was boiling hot - I went to the country music museum which was fab. Even if you’re not a fan of country music it’s a place that anyone can enjoy. I did a bit of line dancing and even did a bit of Shania Twain on the Karaoke - bless the ears of everyone who were in the room!
To be honest, all of the music-based places were the most vibrant and stood out to me, such as Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans it’s just a completely different atmosphere in the south in comparison to New England. As for national parks, both Grand Canyon and Zion National Park were magnificently beautiful! Pictures do not do any justice as it really is something to be enjoyed with your own eyes! I also made a spur of the moment decision with my friends, and we did a skydive at Grand Canyon, which as you can imagine was both crazy and unbelievably amazing!
Finally, what advice would you have for someone thinking about doing Work America?
If you’re thinking about doing Work America, stop thinking and do it!! It's life changing! It has given me the confidence for my future and I have memories to last a lifetime! You’re only young once and we only live once. Make the most of it, you will not regret it.
Been inspired by Emily’s story? If you’re 18-30 and a full-time student, sign up for our Work America program. We’ll help match you with a summer job before you go, provide the sponsorship you need to apply for your J-1 visa, and support you throughout the whole process.