Participants' Favorite Things in America

Alliance Abroad Group’s support service team hosts a quarterly in-country participant contest. We have found this as a great way to learn more about our international participant’s story while in the United States. What was amazing about their stories is that we can all relate to them as Americans. Who doesn’t like snow, shopping, sports, or a day off from work?

We would like to introduce you to our Grand Prize and Runner Up Winners. Congratulations to all that participant and you can see all finalist here:
My Favorite Thing or Place in America

Grand Prize Winner

Participants' Favorite Things in America Contest

AnnaRose A.

Over 975 Likes on Facebook!
Home Country – Philippines
Intern Program – Minneapolis Airport Marriott
“My favorite thing is to travel when I have off so look at my coolest picture.”

Runner Up Winner

Participants' Favorite Things in America Contest

Iris M.

Over 380 Likes on Facebook!
Home Country – Philippines
Summer Work Travel Program – Great Wolf Lodge

“This picture took place in Chicago, wherein you can see the panoramic and breath taking view of the beautiful place. I chose to upload this picture because this marks my significant stay in America as a Work and Travel Participant. Never in my wildest dream that a simple person like me will be given the chance to have my first ever job in America, and with the help of my Domestic agency and sponsor, I AM NOW HERE LIVING MY DREAM!”

Memorial Day 2014

memorial day
Memorial Day is observed as a U.S. federal holiday on the last Monday of May.

It is a day where members of the United States Armed Forces are remembered and honored for their service and ultimately giving their life for our freedoms. Memorial Day is considered one of the most solemn American holidays and also promotes nationwide patriotism. It was formally known as Decoration Day and began shortly after the American Civil War to commemorate the Confederate and Union soldiers that died in the American Civil War. The establishment of a public holiday was meant to unify the country.


Oskar Arevalo - Le Cordon Bleu Alumnus

Oskar Arevalo

My Australian Work Experience

Oskar ArevaloBy Oscar Arevalo

I am loving life in Oz! I live right in the middle of the Central Business District in Sydney, the largest city in Australia cooking food at a five star hotel for the best pay I have ever had by far.

The Work Experience Australia program has given me the opportunity to travel overseas and experience working in a foreign country in a way I could not have done on my own. Furthermore, I have seen the steps required to move to another continent and find employment. As I understand it, the majority of the jobs found for participants in the program are at major brand hotels. Working in a hotel has given me extremely valuable experience, especially in large-scale banquet service. The pay in Australia is so, so good; its very tempting to work the whole time, but the Visa is work and “holiday” and I would urge all participants to travel and have a real holiday for at least a portion of the visit.


Ukraine: A Student's Perspective


By Oleksandr Tereshchuk Ukrainian Student Interning in the United States

There is a most unusual country that stretches across the territory of Eastern Europe. Its name is pleasing to my ear: Ukraine!

It is a country that has a unique nature, the most hardworking people, and unique traditions. I am struck by the beauty of the local landscape which is intimate with my heart. I can’t help but fascinate at the orchards generously giving their fruits to the people. Fields and meadows give birth to the light breeze of purity and freshness and symbolize freedom and tranquility. My heart is overwhelmed with love of the extraordinary and majestic Crimean Mountains and the Carpathians which lead to their hidden secrets and riddles promising to open them. Water of the Black and Azov Seas warms me as fresh milk and bodes serenity.


Ukraine Update

ukraine update
ukraine updateAs of March 22nd, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman traveled to Ukraine to meet with senior Ukrainian officials and representatives of civil society. “Secretary Sherman reaffirmed the United States’ strong support for the Ukrainian people and for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

AAG has been sponsoring students from Ukraine since 2004. We have several valuable partners in J-1 programs based here with whom we have worked very closely over the years. Part of what makes our partnerships strong is open communication and positive relationships. Last week we had the opportunity to candidly discuss the country’s situation first hand with Rustem Ayedinov, Director General of STUDY.UA. (more…)

My First Friend in America Contest

My First Friend in America

AAG’s motto is “We help you write your own story.” Each year over 8,000 J-1 visa holders sponsored by AAG travel to the U.S. to experience cultural exchange in a unique way.

To help capture their stories, we sponsored a My First Friend in America participant contest. Participants were asked to share their story in regards to their first friend in the U.S. Our grand prize winner was Alejandra Rita Quiroz Linares, a Summer Work Travel participant working at Attitash Mountain Resort in New Hampshire. You can read her story below. (more…)

Aussies Do Not Drink Fosters

By Ash Jurberg, Australian Native and Beer Connoisseur


Whenever I’m overseas and drinking beer (which is quite often) and people find out I’m Aussie they always ask why I’m not drinking Fosters. I choke on my beer and explain to them that Aussies DO NOT DRINK FOSTERS. I’ve never seen it happen. It doesn’t happen. No true blue dinky di Aussie will ever voluntarily drink a Fosters. If I had been crawling through the desert on hands and knees for a week, severely dehydrated and a Fosters appeared in front of me, I would shake my head and continue on in the hope of another drop. (more…)

My Australian Experience Begins

Australian Experience Begins

Matt Jaggi

Alliance Abroad Work Experience Australia participant Matt Jaggi has left his home in Salt Lake City, Utah and has flown down under. His Australian Experience Begins. He will be checking in with us on a regular basis to share his experiences of living and working in Australia. We are all excited for him! Here is the beginning of his journey.


I FINALLY arrived in Sydney after a long, long 14 hour flight. I have to say though, the plane from LA to Sydney was rather luxurious. I felt like I was high class because of the dinner served. I was given several options. Chicken curry with beans and quinoa was my choice. Then the flight attendant kept swinging by and saying “Are you sure you don’t want some tea? Maybe a bit of Australian coffee? No? Just watah? Alright dear.”

Sleeping on the plane was awful though. At about 3 am a light flicked on behind me and an elderly man shouted for a stewardess. He had somehow shoved the rubber piece of the headphone is his ear, couldn’t get it out and was hollering that his ear was hurting. And of course there were no tweezers in the first aid kit on the plane. That was lovely to listen to as they finally extracted the piece from his ear without tweezers.

The hostel I am staying in is a little on the interesting side… I rode a squishy and cramped shuttle car to Woolloomooloo and was a little nervous for the first few minutes when they were driving down the opposite side of the road. I felt like they were gonna crash! I was then deposited at the Woodducker Backpackers Hostel and stumbled into the lobby with more luggage than I could safely carry at one time. After getting my room key I stepped inside a room much smaller than my bedroom in SLC. There were 6 bunk-beds crammed together and everyone was just beginning to wake up. I gulped and stepped inside.

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I felt like the shiny new toy because everyone was soon really keen to talk to me and see where I was traveling from. I was the only American staying there (most of the group are all in their 20’s and from Germany) and everyone was really impressed when they found out I already had a job. Apparently they are all job-hunting and 2 or 3 of them have lived in the hostel several weeks now. One girl was even kind enough to move a dirty shirt off my pillow, showing me which bed would be mine for the next 4 days.

And now the house-hunting starts. Well, this should be an adventure!!!

Southern Fried Culture

Southern Fried Culture

Cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, often associated with a specific culture. Cuisines are often named after the geographic areas or regions from which they originate. A cuisine is primarily influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade. Religious food laws, such as Islamic dietary laws and Jewish dietary laws, can also exercise a strong influence on cuisine. Regional food preparation traditions, customs and ingredients often combine to create dishes unique to a particular region. Being a country founded by immigrants from other countries, the cuisine in the United States varies greatly, offering a taste of different cultures across the country. In the southern part of the United States, a popular cuisine is known as southern comfort food. Traditionally made up of fried foods that are deliciously bad for you; fried chicken being one of the more popular dishes.

On October 23rd, a small group of Alliance Abroad J-1 internationals were treated to some good ol’ southern comfort food at Lucy’s Fried Chicken in Austin, Texas. On the menu with the buckets of fried chicken: fried deviled eggs, sweet potatoes, Texas caviar, boiled potatoes, and french fries. Nobody dared to try the mountain oysters:)

Here are some pictures of international representatives of Belgium, Brazil, and France enjoying a traditional southern meal with their American colleagues.





The ladies at Lucy's Fired Chicken Internationals at Lucy's Fired Chicken Thiago and Ana Marissa Sanne Thiago and a bucket o chicken fried goodness Southern Fried Culture Southern Fried Culture

What happens when a French girl tries a jalapeno:

Southern Fried Culture Southern Fried Culture Southern Fried Culture Southern Fried Culture Southern Fried Culture Southern Fried Culture Southern Fried Culture

One Voice: A Collaborative International Virtual Choir

This Eric Whitacre production joins voices from all over the world. Each person is recorded singing in their home country and were then digitally mixed to form an international virtual choir.

We think this is an amazing use of technology and speaks to what we work towards here at Alliance Abroad every day; bringing people from all over the world together.

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