Beginning this May you may notice something new in Ithaca, NY.  Besides the first signs of summer, the staff at the Courtyard by Marriott will also be welcoming a very excited group of university students from the Republic of Moldova. The international students are participating on the J1 Summer Work and Travel Program, which allows them to gain valuable work experience, while learning about American culture during their summer break.

Moldovan Students at a previous Job Fair

When seasonal businesses in America have a difficult time filling their entry level, seasonal positions, or they are simply looking to add diversity in their workplaces, they often reach out to visa sponsors such as the Chicago-based Center for Cultural Interchange to aid in filling these positions with students from around the world.  These international student workers are hired alongside U.S. college students, not in lieu of.  The internationals are typically able to work longer durations than their American counterparts, due to later university semester start dates overseas.  There are countless other benefits in hiring international students, not the least of which is filling your entry-level positions with the best and brightest citizens from their home country.  The exchange of cultures this program provides is an amazing experience that aids in international relations for generations to come.

This group of Moldovan students, arriving in May, have been hired by a CCI representative for Courtyard by Marriott.  The interviewing and hiring took place at an international job fair in Moldova.  All of the students can speak at least three languages, and have work experience in jobs ranging from customer service to marketing and there’s even a student who works as a loan officer at a bank in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau.  All of the students have taken an interest in American culture and look forward to learning about the history, significant landmarks and customs of their host community in Ithaca.

Olga Muntean studies Foreign Languages and Literature in Moldova and can already speak 5 languages, not to mention she has international work experience on her resume after working in Moscow last summer.  She is excited to discover new American traditions and make new friends.  Doina Lipovan is studying Math in Moldova and has work experience as a waitress in Chisinau.  She is known amongst her friends as a great listener who they can rely on for support!  Valeria Taranu is a dancer studying Biomedicine and Ecology, not to mention she plays basketball for the university and works as a waitress. She has been looking forward to her trip to the United States for many years. Two students coming to Ithaca already have a year of professional work experience and are traveling as part of their Master’s Degree programs.  Raisa Casadjic and Vladimir Domentii are studying Finance and have worked in marketing and finance since 2009.  Both students received “Staff Member of the Week” while working at a water park in Texas on their previous work and travel programs.  Known for their sociable and pleasant personalities, they hope to meet many new friends during their time in Ithaca.  They are anxious to meet new people and practice their English.  If you happen to see one, be sure to introduce yourself and welcome them to your beautiful city!