I worked in the USA with BUNAC in 1969

I worked in the USA with BUNAC in 1969


In this blog, we’re taking a trip down memory lane. At BUNAC, we’re incredibly proud of our long history of creating life-changing adventures for students and young people, so we love it when a throwback story comes our way. Meet Ken, who worked in the States on our iconic Work America program over 50 years ago. Here’s his story.

How did you come to do Work America in 1969?

I was a first year Economics student at Cardiff University. My friend from back home in Newcastle told me about the Work America program and, with dreams of an American summer in our heads, we both signed up immediately! I also became the social secretary for BUNAC in Cardiff, promoting the program around university.

What was the process like back then? 

It was brilliant! Through BUNAC we got £55 return flights with our visa included (ah, the good old days). The team were incredibly helpful, and gave us so much information on jobs, accommodation, places to eat and things to see. 

What did you do after you touched down Stateside? 

We flew into New York and hopped on (quite a long) bus journey to our all-American adventure. Our summer jobs at home had been working as ice cream men, so we were more than happy to find this role was offered in the ‘BUNAC Bible’. 

We met our new boss (and new ice cream vans) and were shown our accommodation. We were living in a shared house with the other ice cream drivers which was great fun. Better still, accommodation was included with our jobs! Lazy evenings at the house and discovering more of our new surroundings (from outside the ice cream truck) were incredible memories I’ll never forget. 

Where did you travel once your work contract came to an end?

We had time to do the road trip we’d all been dreaming of. After renting a car, we drove up to Montreal in Canada, across the Trans-Canada highway to Vancouver, back into America and down the West Coast to San Francisco! It was hands down the best trip I’ve ever done, holding some of my fondest memories. 

What advice would you have for someone thinking about doing Work America?

Why would you not? Although I liked working the ice cream van in Newcastle, it was nothing compared to this experience. BUNAC made the process stress-free, leaving us with the simple task of enjoying ourselves. The freedom to travel at the end is also incomparable!


Been inspired by Ken’s story? Do something iconic with your summer, and walk in the footsteps of thousands of students who’ve worked and travelled in the USA on our legendary 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. Call us today to find out more.

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