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Ask a Participant!

Got a question? We're sure you do! We've come up with a list of common questions from interested applicants. And we have gotten our experienced past participants to answer them! This will allow you to have a glimpse of what it is like to go on our programs.



Question 1: As an undergraduate, why should I participate on such programs?


Tan Xiuli, Seaworld WAT 2008: I think it was an incredibly enriching experience. You get a sheltered experience of living in another country, you get PAID, you get to travel, and you'd have a ton of fun! You learn what kind of work attitudes Americans have, the adults, minors, people your age. You interact with allllllll sorts of people. It's really interesting.


Ge Yuchen, Cedar Point WAT 2010: It’s a great way to explore and experience culture and style of life of the other country as it’s quite different from simply traveling.


Anisah Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: It is a fantastic opportunity to live, work and play in a whole new environment. You have 3 – 4 months of holiday in summer, why don’t you make good use of that vacation to gain overseas working experience (which would look good on your resume) while making lots of friends from other countries and enjoying yourself to the fullest? It is America, after all.  smile


Amalina Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: Being an undergraduate, I think it is the best time to participate on such programs because of the long semester break. Furthermore, you are able to earn while having fun in a foreign country. The experience to immerse in a total different culture is really worthwhile. Not only that, you can really know how independent you are outside your comfort zone. I would strongly recommend you to sign up for this program for a once (or maybe more) in a lifetime experience.


Lee Sihui Joy, WAT 2011 Morey’s Piers: It helps broaden your perspective of the world beyond what your school can teach you. You meet people you often read about but never really get to meet and understand. I had colleagues from all around the world ie. Russia, Egypt, Jordan, Bulgaria etc.


There are also a lot of skills that you can pick up that can only be learnt on site ie. handling difficult and in-your-face customers.




Question 2: I am considering between a local internship and a Speedwing program. I am torn! Are there any supporting factors as to why I should go on the program instead?


Amalina Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: The similarities of both programs will be dealing with different types of people and having a working experience. However, going on Speedwing’s program, not only would you deal with different types of people and having a work experience, you would have fun! Seriously, when else can you work in a theme park in the USA? I am sure you will start job hunting after graduation. And you won’t even think of having this type of fun when you already want a stable job. Take this opportunity to work, have fun and travel!


Xing Xiao Yang, Jenkinsons South WAT 2010: I can go for a local internship anytime, but undergraduate summers are the only chances for Work & Travel USA!


Anisah Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: ’4-month OVERSEAS working experience’ would triumph over ’4-month internship in Serangoon’ anyday!


Ge Yuchen, Cedar Point WAT 2010: Work and Travel broadens your horizons, allows you to experience the culture differences, learn to be independent on your own since you’re far from your parents.


Png Xiang Yuan, Six Flags The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom WAT 2010: You will never be able to have an opportunity to work in a theme park again in the future. And it is a different and worthwhile experience!


Lee Sihui Joy, WAT 2011 Morey’s Piers: While this program broadens your perspective through the people you meet, you also learn a lot about yourself being placed in a fully independent environment. You learn to fend for yourself, take care of yourself and even of others at times. It there gives you confidence in working and traveling alone in a foreign environment in the future, which is very likely in a globalized economy.




Question 3: I have no idea how I should select where to work at. Any tips for a better choice? What factors should I consider when making my decision?


Amalina Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: Look at the pay-rate (this is really really important!) and also the housing rent. Look at the facilities they provide (I died without Internet in my room!). Consider the job scopes the employers offer – don’t do something you won’t like. Search for places which you can travel around the work area during any consecutive off-days. Research on the length of stay the employer expects of you (make sure it doesn’t clash with your academic timetable of the next semester).


Ge Yuchen, Cedar Point WAT 2010: There are basically two kinds of working places for Work & Travel USA. One is working at amusement parks, the other is working in national nature parks. Consider which you prefer before selecting your employer. Also, you should consider where will you travel to after working. Pick a place which is convenient for your trip.


Anisah Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: Consider the amount of money you’d be making/losing (wage rate versus housing rent). Consider the climate: Some people cannot take the freezing weather at night! Consider the facilities around the place where you work and stay. You might not want to travel an hour or two just to watch a movie.


Pricycia Goh Mong Sei, WAT 2011 Mission Point Resort: The selection of employer should be based on the nature of the job that you are most interested in. If you like working outdoors and interacting with people, amusement park positions would be more suitable for you. It also depends on the place that you plan to be traveling after your employment, ie East Coast, West Coast, this will also be more economical for your trip.




Question 4: Help! I'm going for this program alone! What should I do?


Anisah Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: That’s totally fine! You will make lots of friends over there, trust me! Even though I went on the program with my sister, I went to the USA a few weeks before her. By the time she came to join me, I had already known a lot of people. smile


Xing Xiao Yang, Jenkinsons’ South WAT 2010: You can contact Speedwing to see who is going to the same employer as you. They can help to link you up with your future co-workers.


Ge Yuchen, Cedar Point WAT 2010: It could be a little troublesome at the beginning since you don’t know anybody else. But you’ll get to know other people at the orientation session organized by Speedwing before you leave for the program. And anyway, there’s little chance that you’ll be alone because you’ll make friends there sooner or later!


Tan Shing Yi Keslyn, Six Flags The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom WAT 2010: Try and make new friends with those that are choosing to work in the same place. Do not be shy but open yourself up to others and be proactive!




Question 5: How do I cope with homesickness?


Tan Xiuli, Seaworld WAT 2008: Skype, msn, bring family photos along, buy calling cards and call back often smile You might be having too much fun that your mum emails you with the title "missing" because you hadn't emailed her in weeks. Yes it happened to me.


Ong Jie Yan, Six Flags The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom WAT 2010: Use webcam and email regularly!


Png Xiang Yuan, Six Flags The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom WAT 2010: Try to adapt and focus on the brighter side of the whole experience such as the new friends and places to explore.


Ge Yuchen, Cedar Point WAT 2010: Well, this is the condition everybody faces. At first, everything you meet will be brand new. But after 2 – 3 weeks, you’ll get bored of the work and start to feel homesick. At this time, friends are the best solution to turn to. Have frequent get-togethers after work and have a nice chat. You can start planning your coming trip and make a trip schedule. Then you’ll naturally get through the homesickness.


Xing Xiao Yang, Jenkinsons’ South WAT 2010: Just make new friends lah!smile



Tan Shi Hui, WAT 2011 Cedar Point: Call home regularly. Take advantage of social networking platforms; set up a family group on Facebook and stay connected via the Internet.


Lee Sihui Joy, WAT 2011 Morey’s Piers: Think about the here and now. It may be difficult to adopt at first because you don’t have enough friends. It’s always best to surround yourself with people and friends no matter where they’re from. At the end of the day, everyone’s equally ‘lost’ as you are in a foreign land, so you’re not really that alone after all.




Question 6: Will it be easy to get along with the locals and other participants around the world?


Anisah Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: Absolutely! Just keep an open mind. Just like you, the locals and other participants probably have the same thinking as you: to work and to play. The people are really warm and friendly, so all you have to do is to get over your shyness and start being friendly!


Ge Yuchen, Cedar Point WAT 2010: Yes! Even though the culture might be different but the manners will be the same around the world. If problems exist, talk to them rationally and it will be solved.


Png Xiang Yuan, Six Flags The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom WAT 2010: Yes! Most of the locals and other participants from around the world are very friendly and easy-going.


Tan Shi Hui, WAT 2011 Cedar Point: Yes of course, since the participants here and over there join this program for cultural exchange and to gain more new friends.




Question 7: Will I be able to recover my initial payments?


Tan Xiuli, Seaworld WAT 2008: Depends heavily on how you spend your money. If you don't travel and shop, it’s highly likely! But I mean, you're already all the way there! Go to New York! Washington DC! LA! I went to the Bahamas! It was awesome. And obviously I didn't recover my initial payments at all. But I didn't need to pay any further debts either. It was like the initial payments were all I spent for the 3 months. Money well-spent, I'd say.


Amalina Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: Yes. Provided you don’t shop as much as I did! Haha!


Anisah Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: Umm.... If you are careful with your money (ie don’t shop and eat as much as I did!), you can actually get a little profit.


Ong Jie Yan, Six Flags The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom WAT 2010: It depends on your working hours and how much you work.




Question 8: Would you recommend getting a second job?


Xing Xiao Yang, Jenkinsons’ South WAT 2010: Yes, if you get less than average working hours like me.


Tan Xiuli, Seaworld WAT 2008: I am a travelholic so I need more time to travel, it's a balance between working for money and travel for me. Shopping requires less time, more money so you'd have more time to work for it.

Ge Yuchen, Cedar Point WAT 2010: It really depends on your purpose of joining the program. If you want earn enough money, it’s not impossible to get a second job (unless said so by your employer). If you need traveling and your aim is just to experience, then I would advise against finding a second job.


Amalina Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: ?If you are planning to travel a lot after you complete your work (therefore needing cash), I would recommend it. However, it takes much effort and time to hold two jobs. I survived with one job, shopped a lot, traveled enough and still had fun.




Question 9: Is the program safe?


Tan Xiuli, Seaworld WAT 2008: I thought so! After all, I'm back safe and sound! Just, be alert like you would in Singapore I guess and everything should be fine!


Ge Yuchen, Cedar Point WAT 2010: It’s much safer than most people think!




Question 10: What can I gain from this program?


Png Xiang Yuan, Six Flags The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom WAT 2010: Appreciation for Singapore, new friends, understanding of new cultures and lifestyles and an eye-opening experience


Tan Xiuli, Seaworld WAT 2008: Work experience, travel experience, friends from different countries! I am still in close contact with my thai and Taiwanese and American friends made from my WAT 2 summers ago. I would like to return to Seaworld one day to visit. It's a dream smile


Ge Yuchen, Cedar Point WAT 2010: Maturity, the ability to solve problems all by yourself, toughness, friendship, adaptability to new societies, knowledge and culture throughout the trip.


Anisah Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: A new perspective, friends from all over the world, overseas working experience, a whole new wardrobe and an angmoh boyfriend maybe??


Amalina Binte Mat Hamid, Santa Cruz WAT 2010: Money – If you are a really good saver, you can save up a lot.? Friends – People from all over the world. I met some from Bulgaria, Serbia, Mexico, Jamaica, Czech Republic etc. I love them all! Experience, Experience, Experience! – Nothing can be compared to the experience I had.


Lee Sihui Joy, WAT 2011 Morey’s Piers: A lot!: A lot! International friends, a broadened perspective and confidence in my independence were the biggest gains I had!smile