By Jizell Dionisio, Work and Travel Ambassador Scholar 

Jizell Dionisio is a Work and Travel participant from the Philippines, working at Euro Snack in California. Below, she shares with CCI Greenheart her first perceptions of America, experiences working with other international students, and her optimistic outlook of her program so far. 

After sitting down on a flight that almost took a day, and crossing the opposite side of the earth, I finally arrived to California. Feeling the cold breeze on my skin and seeing the clear white snow covering the precious land of California, I felt how close I am to reaching my dreams. This program in the USA is one of the best and most remarkable moments in my life.

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I really had fun when I arrived in the U.S., because it is so different than from where I came from, which is the Philippines. Imagine, after spending twenty years of my life in my home country, as early as now, I am able to experience living in this beautiful country even just for a short period of time. I’m sure everyone who joins the Work and Travel program is feeling the same way as I do.

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Being able to step into the USA is an amazing experience, but I have also found that getting involved in the community through service as a volunteer or as a worker is an achievement that I am very proud of.

It is very usual to experience hardships and difficulties especially if you are new to the task you are assigned to do. I work as a Food Associate at Euro Snack located in Northstar Resort, California. This includes preparing food, working as a cashier, cleaning, doing inventory and balancing the total sales at the end of the day.

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Everything is difficult at first, but being guided by some my Peruvian, Mexican, and my fellow Filipinos co-workers, I have found that things are getting a lot easier. We should not be afraid to make mistakes. We should not be ashamed to ask. We must remember that there will always be somebody who is going to be there, willing to help us in times of hardship. I am grateful to work with my co-workers because as time goes by, we learn from each other’s culture. Mexican and Peruvians are very helpful and friendly, and the Americans I have met are very fun to be with. They are very approachable, friendly and very welcoming.  I am also lucky because I am also able to make friends with other people, including the customers I interact with every single day. Working might not have been this fun if I had not made friends with these people. 

Every single day is an amazing experience and I will truly cherish it forever

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