By: Ariana Puentes Graham – Greenheart Exchange Senior Employer Services Manager & Dinara Seidakhmetova – Greenheart Exchange 2017 Summer Work Travel Participant

Last summer, Dinara embarked on the Summer Work Travel program for the first time! She sat down with Greenheart Exchange Senior Employer Service manager, Ariana, to talk a little bit about the challenges the program contained, as well as how it has influenced her future.

The Summer Work Travel program is full of lessons and learning experiences! One of the biggest challenges Dinara faced while in the United States was the difference in language. Though she knew English before coming on the program, she found it very challenging to speak English on a daily basis! Reflecting on the experience, she explains that it might have been a little bit of culture shock, but it was definitely hard to make the adjustment. She also realized that American people are super friendly and like to smile a lot. This was a bit different than her home country too, and something she wasn’t used to! However, before long, she found herself smiling more often, and this helped her to be less nervous!

The Summer Work Travel program has influenced Dinara’s professional career today, as she currently teaches English! She didn’t expect to like teaching, but she finds it to be a lot of fun. After attending an English course at OSL herself, she realized that she wanted others to have the same opportunity that she had to go on the program and practice their language skills.  She loves helping potential participants, letting them know it’s going to be ok and to not be afraid to participate. She has discovered that she is passionate about this program and these experiences, and she wants to continue to help others to have their own cultural exchange experience!  Not to mention, she hopes to one day make it back to the United States, too!

We love catching up with alumni and learning how the Summer Work Travel program propels them to future success! How has Summer Work Travel influenced you? Reach out to Greenheart Exchange, and share it today!