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October 9, 2022
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The cultural exchange of young Dominicans who venture into the Summer Work

The cultural exchange of young Dominicans who venture into the Summer Work

Every year there are more young Dominicans looking for a way to travel to the United States for opportunities and experiences. For this reason, thousands of university students enter the program every summer. Summer Workwith a view to new horizons and autonomy of their lives without dying trying.

Saving, getting to know, exploring, improving English, paying bills, getting a down payment on a vehicle or apartment, are some of the motivations of the students, who pointed out to elCaribe, that according to their projections they can generate income equivalent to one year of work in the country.

According to Ramón Alberto Tavarez Frías, Founding CEO of Ace International, the program has had a growth in the last 8 years. In its last seasons, around 10,000 average students have participated, which is estimated at more than 3,000 students each year.

The desire to improve and develop awakens in youth the search for alternatives to improve their future, and this cultural exchange paves the way for that path.

As is the case of Ambar Peña, a social communication student, who has traveled three times to this American program. In 2019 she got her first experience of it in the state of Atlanta. After her return to the country she invested part of her savings in music with the release of her first single.

¨´We see the world differently after we arrived from the United States. Being in contact with the outside world changes everything. Apart from seeing the money that one works,” he said.

Peña, on his second trip, carried out his exchange in the state of Wisconsin, where his coexistence with the various nationalities and the environment was pleasant.

´´With the Bulgarians we always lived fighting for different cultures but we appreciated each other. We cried when he had to say goodbye because we were going to miss each other, since we live on different continents but with the hope of meeting again¨¨, he added.

Another testimony is that of Ornelia Mejía, a student of modern languages, who participated in the program twice and classified it as a unique adventure.

“I liked the work environment, the managers were very good. On the first trip I was able to pay what I owed and save a little… I repeated for 2022 and decided to visit other states. It was a unique experience and better than the first, despite the fact that it has its difficult moments, one lives very beautiful things, ”he expressed.

Mejía emphasized that beyond everything I can go through, meeting Turks, Bulgarians and Jamaicans are things that stay in the heart. It is certainly an experience worth living.

Likewise, Anny Ruíz commented to elCaribe that she obtained more than one job on the two occasions that she did an exchange. And today she keeps an amount of money from the last trip that she intends to invest in the initial of a car, apartment or some business.

However, more than meeting other nationalities, there are unforgettable moments in the minds of these young people.

This happened with Alex Rodríguez, an engineering student motivated by the search for his personal growth and the language, who traveled twice through the program. In one of them he told elCaribe that his most shocking anecdote was rescuing a girl from a river.

´´´Seeing her family and her father how they thanked me made me feel so good and strange,´´ he said.

But not everything is so easy, Rodríguez presented problems to adapt in the coexistence of his group that started from Argentines to Hungarians.

Similarly, Omar Daniel Rodríguez had a bittersweet experience on his first trip, due to the lack of guidance and search. As well as the loneliness that prevailed when he was far from home. After making several trips, Daniel was able to adapt and integrate into the culture.

To this day, due to those savings from the program, he built his house, which he now enjoys with his wife.

not so pink

The cultural experience that young people live is not always loaded with great moments. On some occasions certain events can feel bitter.

Ambar was employed as a waitress on her second trip and verified the prejudices that exist in dark skins.

Another point is the jobs and payments offered, which once the students say when they arrive in the United States, they are involved with another reality.

´´These are things that happen and they do not tell you about them, they paint everything in a pink color, but they have their bad things,´´ added Keyla Garcés


The Summer Work and Travel Bridge USA program was created in 1961 by the United States Department of State.

With the purpose that active university students benefit from the experience of living and working in the USA for a maximum period of 4 months. As well as strengthen the knowledge you already have of the English language.

However, although thousands of young people return to the country with large amounts of money after their savings, the Summer Work and Travel is not a monetary program.

´´The students who apply cannot get the idea that the resources they will receive in the USA will come with large amounts of money´´, said the Founding CEO of Ace International.

He assured that the program allows that the salary received by the students is enough to cover their expenses.

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