By Kat Kocisky, Work & Travel Administrative Assistant

CCI’s Work and Travel program recently shipped three shiny new Apple gadgets: a 16GB iPad, an 8GB iPod nano, and a 2GB iPod shuffle, to Yevgeniya Yussupova of Kazakhstan; Petr Havlik, of the Czech Republic; and Martin Parimucha of Slovakia, respectively, as a gift to the three Summer 2011 Work and Travel participants for their helpful program experience feedback from CCI’s end of season survey, and their creative, prize winning photos. Their unique shots capture the confidence many Work and Travel participants feel once they successfully complete the challenge of adapting and working in a different country. Congratulations Yevgeniya, Petr, and Martin!

1st Place – Yevgeniya Yussupova of Kazakhstan

Yevgeniya wrote:
“This picture was taken in the Ocean City – an Atlantic Ocean resort town in Worcester County, Maryland. It’s me on the photo, which was made by my good friend – Veronica Lapshina, whom I’ve met this summer through the W&T program.
Me and my friends – Aidar and Veronica have spent wonderful holidays in this town. One of those days we were walking on the boardwalk, and there was some kite-flying show with a lot of bright colored kites and flags – we started to take pictures. And finally the result of our common efforts developed into this picture! =)

My overall W&T experience was amazing – I’ve met a lot of people from all over the world, I’ve got some new skills while I was working, I’ve improved my English while I was traveling – because there was a lot of unexpected situations. Me and my friends – Aidar, Veronica and Kate took a long journey – we visited Washington D.C., Ocean City(MD), Savannah (GA), Orlando (FL), Las-Vegas (NV), Grand Canyon (AR), Los-Angeles (CA), San-Francisco (CA), Chicago (IL) and New York (NY). I’m studying architecture in my hometown and this trip was really helpful! It was amazing – to see American culture and architecture with my own eyes, not only from books and lectures! This summer was full of surprises – most of them were pleasant, and I know exactly – I’ll never forget it!

Thanks CCI for taking part in my best summer ever!”

2nd Place – Petr Havlik of the Czech Republic

Petr wrote:
“Summer 2011 was one of the best times I’ve ever had in my life, and I’m really glad that I decided to go all the way from Czech Republic to United States for the Work&Travel experience. I worked as a lifeguard, which meant spending most of the time at the pool with great people and just enjoying the totally different world. Surviving the heatwaves was something a bit difficult, but compared to the cold weather that we have now in Prague, I would much rather go back instantly 🙂

The best thing about the summer was the opportunity to travel — not only in September once we I was done with work, but also during our days off. I and my friends saw almost everything on the East coast, and those times will stay in our memories forever. Picture that I sent for the photo contest depicts one day in Ohiopyle State Park, where we went white-water rafting. The whole trip took more than 5 hours and we had lot of fun going down all the rapids, falling out of the raft occasionally :-). After the rafting trip was over, we drove to Pittsburgh and did a little bit of sightseeing at night, which was also quite amazing.

The one thing that I know for sure is I’m coming back to USA next year!”
3rd Place – Martin Parimucha of Slovakia

Martin wrote:
“[This] photo was taken in Philadelphia in front of Museum of Art. This picture is specific thanks to movie Rocky Balboa. Me and my friends are staying on the top of the stairs where he trained. Our pose is the same like the famous one from movie.”