Olivia is from Argentina and is in the US on her second SWT program with IENA. She is working in Colorado at the Vail Ski and Snowboard School as a ski instructor.
Tell us about your experience with American culture and what you learned while in the US.
Even if I’ve already done this a couple times, you never fully get used to the American way of living just from almost four months of seasonal work in a place that looks like a gingerbread town. Although I’ve said this is quite a short time here for the Argentinians who come with a J1 visa, I’ve learned a lot more than I can even think about. Everything moves so fast and too many things happen at the same time. You don’t even realize all the things you’ve done or all you’ve been through until its happened already. I believe this experience has taught me a lot. I have tools that I would have never had before. I’d never traveled alone before, I’d never worked before. There were many things I’d never done by myself before I came to Vail on my own. I am happy with everything I’ve learned so far and that I’ll keep learning. Hopefully, this won’t be the last time.
Did you gain any skills that will help you in your future career?
Absolutely! I am an English teacher; therefore, this is great practice for me in every way. I am developing both my language and teaching skills every single day, and this is priceless. I can now apply what I’ve learned from both sides in both places.
What is your favorite memory from last winter?
I have plenty of memories from last winter. But if I have to choose one or two, it definitely has to be both my trip to Las Vegas for my birthday with one of my best friends and the Burton opening during the first week of March. Especially the last concert and the awesome after party. That was the most amazing week I had all season.
What are you looking forward to this winter?
Snow!!!! Please (LOL) But in all seriousness, I want to become a great ski instructor and pass my Level 1 Alpine certification, to be a certified level one instructor now and possibly next season.
What advice would you give to someone considering the Summer Work Travel program?
Find something fun in whatever job you have. If you’re not happy, change what you’re doing. And if you’ve never done ski or snowboard before, then please give it a chance! You will not regret it.
Thanks to Olivia for participating in the IENA spotlight and sharing her experience!