Friday, 28 September 2018

Before you start packing...

By Tara Clampett

With consulate appointments around the corner, the time has come for everyone to start preparing for the exciting journey ahead!

One stress (especially for the ladies) is always what to pack: do you take the plain black bikini or the one with the floral print? Or maybe one bikini and one full piece? How many pairs of heels should you take? Do you really need the short and long sleeved little black dress?

Packing can be a nightmare, especially for first time travelers, however as all the returners say: pack as lightly as you can because you are going to buy a lot of clothes, shoes and accessories while you are in the USA. Plus, you do not want to pay an additional $100 - $400 for an extra suitcase when you return home.

Below are my top travel hacks that have saved me a lot of money and stress:

1) The best investment is a decent handheld luggage scale. This allows you to weigh your bags without the struggle of trying to position your case on a body weight scale. It is also much more accurate.

2) Roll all your clothes instead of folding them as this takes up less space. I also put all tops that I have rolled into Ziploc bags to save even more space and keep my suitcase organised.

3) Ensure that your hand luggage does not contain any liquids over the 100ml rule. I made this mistake my first season and had to throw a lot of toiletries away.

4) Remember to pack enough toiletries in your check-in luggage bag to get you through your first few weeks, as toiletries are expensive in the USA.

5) Always remember to take travel adaptor plugs so that you can still use your electronics in the USA.

6) Buy a neck pillow for the plane - trust me, this will save your neck and back.

7) Remember to check your luggage in to your final destination for example, Fort Lauderdale. HOWEVER, you still need to collect your luggage at the first point of entry into the USA; for example, JFK Airport.

8) Lastly, stick with the returners throughout your journey, from South Africa to the United States. It can be very stressful and confusing; however, the returners have been through it all and can offer guidance.

I hope these tips will help and I look forward to seeing all the excited faces on the plane - to the USA!

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!