Limin’ at the Job Fair

This is a central part of cultural exchange, perhaps even the best part! There are hundreds of Jamaican students coming to the United States beginning in May as a part of the Work and Travel program. When seasonal businesses in America have a difficult time filling their entry level/seasonal positions, or they are simply looking to diversify their staff, they often reach out to visa sponsors such as the Center for Cultural Interchange to aid in filling these positions with university students from around the world.  These international student workers are hired alongside US 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. Aside from “limin’” 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.

CCI hired a group of 100 Jamaican students over the weekend for various jobs from housekeeping to theme park ride attendants. After asking “What are you looking forward to in the US?” CCI staff members Kate Lapinski and Laura Horton heard from several students that they are most excited for “Limin’ with my new American coworkers!” and I’m sure their American coworkers are getting excited for the new arrivals as well!

The work and travel students interviewed are studying a wide variety of subjects in college, from microbiology to law to hospitality. Some students have visited the US, have family in the US, and a large number have never left the island of Jamaica. The students choose to participate in the work and travel program for valuable work experience to add to their resume and to bring home some extra money. Though Jamaican students speak English as their native language, CCI staff members learned over the weekend even people speaking the same language have a lot to teach each other. CCI is gearing up for more travel to Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Turkey, Jordan, China and Taiwan for future job fairs. Who knows what kind of colloquialisms they’ll return with after those trips!