During my first year at my university, the routine started killing me. I knew that it was high time to do something for myself. I didn't have any other option - I had to go somewhere. I decied to take part in "Work and Travel" program (you can find some information about it here). Everything after happened so quickly - my application, visa (meanwhile my friend joined me) and suddenly I was sitting on a plane to the USA. I can admit that this trip was like a breakthrough for me, because I got a lot more out of it than I expected.
1. I improved my English skills
I can't tell that my English was really bad before my trip. It was pretty good, but at a typical "school" level - lots of grammar, not enough practise. I had a big problem to start speaking freely, without difficult grammar constructions, which, let's say, doesn't matter in daily language. I also had a complex because of my accent. In USA I HAD TO speak English. Sometimes for better, sometimes for the worse, but I was speaking. After two months of using this language every day all my fears had gone. I still make mistakes, some really silly, but is it really so important? The most important thing is communication.
2. I met a lot of people.
The place are the people, that's the fact. I met incredible friends on Cape Cod and they made my summer unforgetable.
3. I became more open.
I was rather shy and kept distance before my trip. Meeting new people and being in a new area made me stressed a lot. I've never been any type of activist. Ever since I came back from the USA I've started looking for new experiences - I started by being a mentor for an Erasmus student. I also recently became a volunteer.
4. I have more respect for money.
Maybe I'm not wasteful and I never spend my parent's money so easily. I always try to save money for my needs and I'm responsible with it. Anyways, I have to admit that when I was cleaning toilets and removing a mess from the oven, I realized that making money is a REALLY difficult thing to do.
5. I got to know American culture
American optimism infects. You can think whatever you want about it, but isn't it nicer when people are smiling, start talking with you without any reason or even lend you an umbrella during a rainstorm? Taking part in lots of parties and American events helped me to know the culture better.
I had a lot of fears going to USA - I was stressed about being alone, not being able to manage everything... Bullshit! This program was one of the best things in my life so far. Was it worth? Of course it was!
Have you ever thought about talking part in "Work and Travel" program?