By Adelina Badea, Career Advancement Program (CAP) Ambassador Scholar

One of the most amazing aspects of the U.S. and American culture is the diversity! Oftentimes called a “Melting Pot” of cultures, Americans come from all over! CAP Ambassador Scholar Adelina Badea experiences this diversity first hand as she participates in her trainee program at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. 

My first meeting with the USA was on 10th of July when I arrived to JFK airport, a crowded airport visited by people from all over the world. I remember it like it was yesterday; how overwhelming it was to see American, Asian, European and African people all in the same place and at the same time. I felt like I was in The Tower of Babel!

I thought “I am in an airport and New York city is a touristic city and it is normal to hear so many languages in the same time.” But my thoughts were wrong, I had the same feelings when I walked on 5th Ave from Central Park to Empire Building and back on

Looking accross the Arizonan dessert

Looking across the Arizonan dessert- a little different than New York!

Broadway to Time Square. I saw people from many different countries, with different cultures and religions but they all had one thing in common, they were all living the dream, the American dream. I was there with them and I felt them, I was beginning to live the dream too!

Three days later I started my internship in Tucson, Arizona at Canyon Ranch Resort. I moved in Sycamore Creek apartments where all the interns live and I met people from Romania, Mexico, Peru, Philippines and Hungary. We are all different but we all have the same purpose, to develop and update hospitality industry knowledge. Now they’re my friends and living with them I started to learn things from each culture. From Mexican friends I learned how to make guacamole and I started to love avocados, from Peruvian friends I learned that they greet with one cheek kiss (in Romania we greet with a kiss on each cheek), Americans greet with hugs, Filipinos always have a big smile on their face and they are very positive. With the Hungarian boy I have many things in common because European cultures are pretty similar. I visited Hungary many times because back home I live like 4 hours driving distance from Budapest and I already know a few things about their country. I was happy to hear that he visited many places from Romania and he really liked it.

Adelina takes a selfie with her fellow interns from all over the world!

Adelina takes a selfie with her fellow interns from all over the world!

We all share the same feelings; we’re home sick, we miss our friends and we all miss our food but we still enjoy the life in Tucson. Even though we have different work  schedule we try to spend time together to share information about our countries.

Last month all the interns went to Mount Lemon and it was a very nice outing. The Filipino boy AJ amazed me because he hadn’t seen snow in his all life, so he is waiting for winter to come to go back up to Mount Lemon to see the snow for the first time in his life. I asked him to come in Romania during the winter because we have a lot of snow and I will be happy to be his hostess.

AJ and Adelina!

Last week I started my server training and I like to interact with people because at Canyon Ranch there are guests from all over the USA and all over the world. On my first day of training I met a lady who had visited Romania many times and when she left she talked to me in my own language, she said “multumesc” (thank you), she really made my day!

Every day I learn something new and I am sure at the end of this internship I will be richer than I was when I came here!