Thursday, 13 September 2018

Tips to pass your Visa Interview

By Christiaan Haasbroek

It is September and we are approaching the end of the recruitment season.  Completing the medical process and filling in the lengthy DS-160 form can build much anticipation – but that Visa to America is totally worth it!

Workaway sorts and organises the paperwork for the interview, assisting their candidates all the way and providing much relief, in the aim to ensure that your visa pack is in tip top shape for the consulate officer.

Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself, emotionally and mentally, for the interview with the immigration officer at the Consulate:
     The most important part of the interview would be the first 1 - 2 minutes of your interview – remember, first impressions matter. Always be concise with your answers, as the consulate goes through a high volume of applicants and your first and initial impression will help them make their decision quickly.

2      Your intentions for travelling to the USA should be work - that is the main purpose. You must be able to clearly articulate your plan after you completed your term with Workaway International, should it be for work or studies.

3   Lastly, always reflect positivity! Accept the decisions made by the consular officer and do not engage in any arguments. If your visa gets denied stay positive and ask the consular for a list of documents that they would suggest for you to bring, to overcome the refusal. Always try to get the denial in writing but the main objective is staying positive - be respectful and professional.

Try to ensure that you are dressed to impress! Presentation is of utmost importance to the consular officer – so make sure to be dressed in a formal and professional style.
These tips will hopefully make the last stretch of the recruitment process a bit easier, and help you stand out from the crowd.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

My tips on saving abroad

By Robyn May

We are drawing closer to the end of the recruitment process and I am getting more excited about going back to Florida for my fourth season.

As much as this is an exciting adventure and journey for my career; my goal this season is to SAVE MONEY! Here are some tips I can give you, from my own experience, which might help you as well 😊.

SAVINGS ACCOUNT: Speak to a consultant at the bank and ask if they can open an account linked to your Cheque account, where you can transfer cash that can only be withdrawn at a certain date. If you can save $20-$50 every time you get paid, you can go on that holiday you have been planning in your head from the time the season began.

SALES: We all love clothes and shoes (especially the ladies) but they can become expensive. Shop in the sales department. Trust me there are so many items you can find on these racks. What may have been $20 can be marked down to just $5. Places like Forever 21 and H&M are where you can find these deals. Happy shopping!

HAPPY HOUR: What I have discovered, while being in Florida, is that there are so many restaurants that have happy hour. From sushi, to tacos and even three-course meals… keep an eye out for these deals. Usually when going out with a group of friends, we order 4 to 5 items which we all enjoy, and of course we split the bill at the end of the night.

DISCOUNTED DEALS: There are so many attractions to see in Florida and they come at a price. There is a way to still see all these attractions without hurting your pocket: Groupon! It is an app you can go onto and purchase deals at a lower price. You can purchase anything from an Air Boat Ride, to a Ski-diving experience and holiday destinations. Give it a try!

I hope these tips can help you once you are in the United States of America... Happy Saving!

Monday, 27 August 2018

Floridian Bucket List

By Tara Clampett

Many of us can breathe a sigh of relief now that our country club interviews are over, and we can now look forward to the next leg of the journey and start planning how we want to spend our time in the USA...when we are not working of course!
While I have ticked off some bucket list items over the past few seasons in the USA, there are still many items left on the list...

First and foremost is a cruise to the Bahamas with its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters where your biggest worry should be which bikini to wear the next day. A top tip for new recruits: be sure to use sites such as Expedia to get the best vacation deals. You can take a two-day cruise, which is not only super affordable but also means you will not need to request a lot of time off work.

Next up is an Everglades airboat tour. While I have seen my fair share of alligators from a distance while driving the bev cart in Florida, I have always wanted to do an official swamp tour for a true adrenalin rush. After all, they say you are not a true “Floridian” until you have done a swamp tour.

While the USA does not have anything on South Africa when it comes to sport (because nothing beats the feeling at a live rugby match right?) there are two sports that I do want to experience in the states...namely, a college football game and a NASCAR race. The Daytona International Speedway hosts NASCAR races throughout the year and I will be sure to be a spectator at one of them!

Of course, a trip to Miami will be on the cards again and this time I plan visit the Wynwood district, which is known for its colourful murals. While it was previously a gritty area filled with abandoned warehouses, these warehouses have now been transformed and Wynwood is now one of Miami’s most exciting neighbourhoods when it comes to art and entertainment.

The list could go on and on...Key West, Mexico, Devil’s Den, a Chainsmokers concert. My ultimate goal is to make the most of my off days and go on adventures as often as possible. Is it time to pack my bags already?

Friday, 17 August 2018

Getting ready to head back to the USA

By Christiaan Haasbroek

I cannot believe that we are nearing the end of our recruitment season in South Africa.  It has been such a great journey meeting all the new recruits that dressed up for the Country Club interviews over the past two weeks.

A popular question I have been asked is “what do I take with?” And “how much should I pack?” so here are a few tips:

·       Do not overpack: You do not need to pack a lot as clothing in the USA is fairly cheap and earning dollars will definitely make buying clothes more feasible. From my experience going to the USA for my first season, I packed too much clothes and personal items that I realised that I have too many suitcases to return to South Africa.

·       Pack light: take light clothes as the winter season in Florida is still very hot, you will have one or two weeks where the nights are a bit chilli so take a blazer or “hoodie”. Pack your flip flops, swimwear and towels as you will be spending lots of time on the beach and buy sunscreen there as it can get messy in your bag.

·        Bring your camera: You will be making lots of memories, ones that you will want to cherish for a lifetime.

·       Take some formal clothes:  Your country club will most likely have a formal Christmas party for the staff and you will need something to wear.

·       Take something that reminds you of home: Pictures of your loved ones or something personal, is always good to keep. The time in Florida can make you miss your friends and family and having some pictures to remind you of them is always good and helps when you are feeling homesick.

Lastly, go with an open mind and be open to experience a different culture and lifestyle other than what you are used to. The best part of the Workaway adventure is to learn about other cultures, travel and experience what the USA has to offer.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Workaway International programme gave me an opportunity of a lifetime!

By Lindani Nzama

All the way from South Africa and now living in Florida - where the sun is always shining, and the people are always smiling!

I got the opportunity to work for one of the most amazing country clubs in Florida, Admirals Cove. Admirals Cove is a very busy, private club in Jupiter Florida and has over 900 residences. 

My time at Admirals Cove has been truly amazing. Working with so many wonderful people from all around the world not only helped me gain valuable hospitality experience it has also allowed me the opportunity to meet amazing people who have turned into very close friends; making Florida even more pleasant.

I am so grateful for all I have learned throughout my time and I am so thankful for how much Admirals Cove believed in me as I grew in my role as a Chef. 

Being part of the Workaway International programme has allowed me to gain experience as a hospitality professional, as well as the opportunity to explore the beauty and adventure the state of Florida has to offer. I have been to Miami, Orlando and Key West, to name a few stunning destinations.

Workaway International has also helped me get a job up North, in New York, at the end of the winter season. I have met some very special people along the way and I am excited for the future ahead. 

Thank you to Workaway for the opportunity of a lifetime. The Workaway experience created amazing memories that will stay with me forever.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Ace Your Interview

By Tara Clampett

I cannot believe that we are just a few days away from the start of the Country Club interviews! Over the past few months, I have spent a lot of time screening and interviewing applicants and through this process I have come to realize what the key points are that everyone, including myself, should remember when it comes to the interview process.

Firstly, the way you present yourself says a thousand words. Being well-presented does not only mean dressing professionally but also professional body language; so, sit up straight, shake your interviewer's hand and smile!

Secondly, do not be scared to sell yourself, after all it is YOUR interview. If you are asked to rate your customer service for example, do not be hesitant to say 10 out of 10, if you truly believe your customer service is excellent. This shows that you are confident!

Thirdly, do your research. The more you know about the country clubs, the better, as it will give you more confidence going into the interview knowing about the clubs’ part of the programme. Your knowledge about the Workaway country clubs will surely impress your interviewer. With my own interview coming up soon, I am feeling slightly anxious, however I cannot wait to be back in sunny Florida! I am looking forward to continuing my travels and adventures around the United States of America!

Finally, I would like to say good luck to all the recruits, with their final interviews. You have made it this far – keep believing in yourself and you will succeed!

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Adventure is Worthwhile

By Christiaan Haasbroek

I got great news this past month: I will be going back to Florida for another season!

It has been the journey of a lifetime these past 3 months. I have been home and working as the Johannesburg representative for Workaway international South Africa.

I have met so many new people and they all share the same dream: to gain international experience, to travel and explore the world. Once you have traveled and experienced different parts of the world you realize what a small space you occupy.

I truly cannot wait to experience this amazing journey with all the new recruits. Going back, after working for Workaway as a recruiter, will be a different experience on its own, but definitely one I am looking forward to.

There is a quote by Ibn Battuta: " Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a

I have never really understood the magnitude of this quote until recently… One Sunday in July, we were celebrating my father’s birthday with family and friends, I was talking to so many family members about my journeys and experiences that took place over the last 5 years, and that was when I realized that my traveling has truly turned me into a storyteller.

Like Tim Cahill said, "A Journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles."