By Nicoleta Ionela Brinza, Work and Travel participant 2013

Nicoleta worked at a popular restaurant in the Chicago area during the Summer 2013 season. She shares her experiences on CCI Greenheart’s Work and Travel program in a series of blog posts. This is the fourth and final blog post on her adventures. Be sure to read more to see what Nicoleta learned while in the “Second City,” hometown to CCI Greenheart!

I want to say that my experience in Chicago changed me and provided me with a lot of memories. I went to the beach; I went to Lincoln Park Zoo; I bought an iPad; I ate Subway and Dunkin Donuts for the first time; and I made good friends. A part of my heart is still in Chicago. I pray that one day I will go back there, at least once, to see the city of my heart, and to explore and discover more. I am sure that Chicago has a lot to offer for second time visitors. Americans are kind and very open-minded. They are interesting because they are always nice and relaxed. That is my opinion, and I like it.

How am I different since the Work and Travel program?

I am stronger and more ambitious. I became self-confident and wishful that I will travel more. Exploring America made me hope that I will be able to discover other places, write about them, and convince others to do the same! I learned not to judge people and not to care what people say about me. Before my summer in America I was weak, shy, and always worried about what people were saying about me, or my choices. Now, I am well organized, and I don’t like to waste my time. I spend my time doing useful and important things. This is the big impact that my experience in the United States had on me, and I am extremely happy. Thanks to this, I consider myself a fighter who is completely satisfied.

I prepare the end of story hoping that these posts excited you and made you believe that every student should experience life in America. Why don’t you try to go next summer? I am telling you, since I said it for the first time, it became my motto in life: Don’t be sorry for what you did, be sorry for what you didn’t do! So think about it and make a visit to a Work and Travel agency. You can see thousands of pictures, recordings, and movies, but nothing compares to the real life experience. It is good to cross the ocean and see a different and amazing world. You can visit Europe or other continents, but the Work and Travel program must be an experience that you have. Don’t forget that you can practice and improve your English in America. You will go back to your home country, not only with memories, but also with a better understanding of English. Go to the USA and I can 100% guarantee that you will want to relive your experience or go back again.

Future plans?

Oh, yes! I wonder what Miami, Hawaii, Texas, Ocean City, and Boston are like. Once again, thank you so much CCI Greenheart and the U.S. government.  You made me very happy. You do a great job, and I will always be delighted to hear from you. Hugs from Romania for the best teamwork in Chicago!