Okoboji Orientation 2019

June 25, 2019

Spirit and the Okoboji ISOP teamed up to lead an orientation session for all Summer Work Travel participants in the Okoboji area! You can read more about this successful event below.

Spirit Representative Austin recently returned from his June trip to Okoboji, Iowa. While he was there, he helped to host the area’s Summer 2019 orientation along with Sheila, a representative from the Okoboji ISOP. This year’s orientation was held at Majestic Pavilion in Arnolds Park.

It was great to see how local community organizations and J-1 sponsors came together to make the event a success for the Summer Work Travel participants. Marshall from Arnolds Park provided the space, Godfather’s Pizza donated pizzas, J-1 sponsor Intrax purchased vegetable platters, and Spirit purchased assorted fruit and candy. The orientation was attended by 66 participants overall!

Austin gave his presentation from the sponsor perspective, highlighting rules, a summary of U.S. laws, and advice about having a successful program. Sheila then presented about the Okoboji area, bike safety, and activities available throughout the summer. Attendees were engaged as they listened to stories of past participants and learned what made their programs successful.

J-1 Participants at the Okoboji Orientation

Attendance was strong, and we look forward to participation from even more local organizations in the future.

As Austin met with the participants, many of them commented on the kindness of the American people. One participant even told Austin that he was surprised by how late in the day the sun went down in the U.S., which lead to a discussion about daylight savings time!

Overall, it was fun to chat with our participants and to learn about their first impressions of life in the U.S. while they get settled into their programs.

Thank you to the Okoboji ISOP, Arnolds Park, Godfather’s Pizza, and Intrax for helping to put this event together!

Check out more photos from the event below: