I worked in the USA with BUNAC in 1969 on their Work America programme

BUNAC’s Work America alumnus Ken shares his experiences of working an all-American summer in the states on their iconic programme… back in 1969!

Ken first heard about the programme during his first year at university and went from Cardiff to ice cream man in the USA. Ken truly embodies the iconic Work America experience, and we felt it necessary to showcase his experiences and delve into the most ultimate of throwbacks – his BUNAC adventure almost 50 years ago.

Hey Ken! Tell us more about how you first heard of BUNAC?

I was a first year Economics student at Cardiff University. My friend from back home in Newcastle told me about the Work America programme 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 programme around university.

What was the process of booking the programme like?

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.

What did you do 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 would you say to someone thinking of doing BUNAC’s Work America programme?

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!

Fancy having your own adventure in the USA just like Ken? Our iconic Work America programme is OPEN! We have loads of all-American jobs for you to choose from – our Ultimate programme includes return flights to the USA and your accommodation costs (just like Ken’s summer!). Go on, grab a bite of this American pie and get in touch with the BUNAC team.