Summer is coming to an end, and most U.S. summer businesses are winding down for the year. For Work & Travel USA participants, this means it may be time to start your month-long travel period or perhaps by now, return home. But before you set off on your next adventure, whether it's traveling to the Grand Canyon or starting your next year at university, it's important to take some time and reflect on your experience as a Work & Travel USA participant! Here are a few ways to process and remember your summer in the USA:
1. Journal: Ideally, you've kept some sort of a journal throughout the summer, but if not, it's not too late! Make notes about major events and memories that happened throughout the season, reflect on how you've grown or changed, and compare how you felt at the beginning of the program to how you feel now. By writing things down when they're fresh in your mind, it will be easier to remember the summer just by reading over your notes in the years to come.
2. Scrapbook: Do most of your photos, videos and memories from summer exist only digitally? It can be easy to forget about photos if they're just on your phone, camera memory card, or Facebook. Take time to print them out! Make a scrapbook full of photos, notes, and any memorabilia from your workplace and travels to help you remember the experience. The book will be something you can keep forever and can share with friends and family.
3. Create a "yearbook": There are many ways to do this, but the idea is that you collaborate with your fellow international students and American staff to remember the summer. One way is to have each person create one page. Your page could be a drawing of your favorite moment at work, a list of your favorite memories, or a selection of photos. Then, each person makes a photocopy of their page for every other person in the group. In the end, each person will have a page from every other person— and a book full of memories!
4. Keep in touch! A great way to continue to remember and reflect on your time in the U.S. is to keep in touch with the people you met! Make sure to exchange email addresses or add new friends on Facebook. Keep in touch with InterExchange, too! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ani is a fan of exploring new places through photography and the local cuisine. After earning her BFA in photography from NYU and gaining communications experience at International Planned Parenthood Federation, she joined InterExchange in 2012, and worked as the Marketing Producer until 2016.