2017 Work & Travel Wrap-Up!


By Emily Reppun, Work & Travel Program Director

Our 342 ERDT Work & Travel students from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Jamaica, China, Poland and Thailand worked all over the U.S.A. in seasonal jobs, using the funds they earned to support themselves during their stay and to travel around the U.S. They learned a ton about U.S. culture, especially workplace culture and tourism, had fun, and returned to college this fall with an eye-opening experience under their belts.

Asked to provide advice for future students, they replied: I would tell them that if they choose my employer they will have the best summer ever. To prepare for a cool summer. The job is perfect. You meet a lot of people from around the world. Be organized, calm, and focused, are 3 keys for a successful communication between you and the other people working with you. Just do your best, work hard, obey rules, follow instructions, be a leader not a follower, ask questions, team work is the key. Get sunscreen and a lot of aloe-vera (to deal with sunburns). Arrange the working time reasonably, don't be eccentric. Just enjoy! Be nice to everyone and work hard. Don't eat such a lot like me :) Do everything with a smile :) To be grateful to be in such a great place and enjoy your time working there.

Check out some of their photos in our album ERDT Work & Travel 2017! and be sure to introduce yourself the next time you're traveling and come across some of these international J1 exchange student workers... mostly in the summer, but a group also comes in the winter to work at ski resorts and other areas with winter tourism.

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SHARE! the Gratitude!

By Patty Chung

Try to recall a time when someone gave you an unexpected present.  Did you just take it and go away or react by saying, “Pfff, what do I want with this?”?  Mostly likely not!  You were probably delighted to have been given something, gushed, “For me?” and thanked them for having thought of you.

It is said that “gratitude is an attitude”, an awareness of not having deserved or earned a gift.  And the giving of the gift is due to the attitude of the giver’s heart.  Now there are also situations when gifts are expected to be given or there are ulterior motives behind the gifting.  These might be considered social practices or even bribes.  With a true gift, there are no expectations attached.

But what if you have that ugly disease, the opposite attitude of gratitude called “entitlement”?  We typically think of it as striking teenagers, but it can hit us at any age.  “I deserve this” or “It’s my right” and instead of it being about the gift and its giver, it’s “all about me”.

Not all “gifts” are wrapped in pretty bows but are cloaked in suffering, tragedy, and loss.  You might know the pain of losing a loved one, the fear of a hurricane, the helplessness of illness.  But having lived through these sorrows, you might also know you are not alone, that there is help and encouragement from people who care about you.  The gift?  Being strengthened through adversity and equipped to give the same comfort that you received.

Probably the best gift of all is the blessing that comes when you are the giver.  Whether the gift is a material item, a kind word, or a soothing smile, there’s no greater joy than to put someone’s needs first and uplifting them.  

So whether you are a student enjoying the hospitality of your host mom or dad, or if you’re a host making a difference in a young person’s life, live generously, express gratitude and be blessed.

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What's this I hear about a free trip for SHARE! Coordinators?!

What's this I hear about a free trip for SHARE! Coordinators?!   Yes, our SHARE! Incentive Trips are 5-day, 4-night overseas adventures that EPCs earn by placing students with host families! Our latest trip was an incredible adventure to Oaxaca, Mexico!

Check out the photos below of the beautiful day spent at Heirve el Agua (Mexican continental divide) hiking around the petrified waterfalls and going for a dip in the mineral springs. Then lunch (including worms and grasshoppers) mezcal process, tasting and on to Santa Ana del Valle for demonstration in wool rug creation from sheep to natural dyes to looms. Beautiful!

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What a fun trip full of adventure and awesome people. Viva Mexico! Viva SHARE! ❤️🇲🇽😍

Become a SHARE! coordinator and join us for the next trip! 

Visit our website for more information, or contact info@erdtshare.org