News

COVID-19 Urgent Update for Current Participants

Mar 20, 2020

At Spirit, our number one priority is the health, safety, and welfare of every participant, and we are working with each to develop a plan that best achieves that as we navigate the current unprecedented crisis.

Following are Spirit’s current recommendations to our participants in the USA:

  • Spirit Advises Immediate Return of all Active Participants
    Considering the increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections worldwide and in the USA, Spirit participants currently in the USA are advised to return immediately to their home countries unless travel restrictions prevent it. Participants who have not yet been in touch with their Spirit representative to discuss return travel home should call Spirit at 1 800 390 0978 or email support@spiritexchange.com.
     
  • Staying Safe
    All participants currently in the USA are advised to follow the guidance of their local authorities and that of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), particularly with regards to hand washing and social distancing measures. Participants should not be congregating in groups and should try to distance themselves as much as possible from others to ensure their health, safety, and welfare until they can return home.

Any participants in need of assistance should contact Spirit at 1 800 390 0978 or support@spiritexchange.com.

Winter Photo Contest Winners - Week 9

Mar 13, 2020

From exploring new towns to enjoying new experiences, this has certainly been a summer that our participants will remember for a lifetime. For the final week of our Summer Photo Contest, we wanted our participants to share the highlight of their Summer Work Travel experience. The category was "Your Favorite Memory," and we received a wide range of memories showcasing the best of what the United States has to offer. Check out our winning photos below!

 

1st Place - Maria L., Argentina

Winter Park Mountain Lodge in Winter Park, CO

Spirit Participant Maria L.

 

2nd Place - Abhay J., India

The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV

"Meet me in Times Square"

Spirit Participant Abhay J.

 

3rd Place - Justina A., Argentina

Island Ventures in Avalon, CA

"The most beautiful day on the planet"

Spirit Participant Justina A.

 

Winter Photo Contest Winners - Week 8

Mar 6, 2020

During their time on our Summer Work Travel and Internship programs, many of our participants make their closest friends while working and interning at their host companies. Coworkers and managers have the potential to become family, as well as lifelong friends. Our theme for Week 8 was "Your Boss and Coworkers," and this week's entries certainly proved the power of international bonds. Check out our top three photos below!

 

1st Place - Patricia G., Philippines

YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO

"My 1st time, and I scored! Woohoo! Played Broomball game with my Front Desk/Conference team vs. Programs team!"

Spirit Participant Patricia G.

 

2nd Place - Maria G., Argentina

Winter Park Mountain Lodge in Winter Park, CO

Spirit Participant Maria G.

 

3rd Place - Mary C., Philippines

The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA

Spirit Participant Mary C.

Winter Photo Contest Winners - Week 7

Feb 27, 2020

This week's theme was "Cultural Activities," and our participants sent us some great photos ranging from famous landmarks to popular American restaurants! Below are our top three photos from Week 7.

 

1st Place - Jeanne F., Brazil

Wilderness Hotel and Golf Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI

"My friends and I visiting the Statue of Liberty in NYC."

Spirit Participant Jeanne F.

 

2nd Place - Antonio B., Brazil

Mountain Creek Resort in Vernon, NJ

"Me and 2 friends went to the American Museum of Natural History in New York. There we learned more about the history of ancient civilizations of the continents of the world, about animal life and also endangered species."

Spirit Participant Antonio B.

 

3rd Place - Maria S., Argentina

Island Ventures in Avalon, CA

"My place in the world"

Spirit Participant Maria S.

 

Be sure to check out our other finalists from Week 7:

Winter Photo Contest Winners - Week 6

Feb 21, 2020

This week we asked for "Keeping Warm" photos, so we can what our participants are doing to stay warm during their winter in the United States. You can see our top three winners for Week 6 below.

 

1st Place - Marina P., Brazil

YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO

"I’m lucky for having beautiful eyes because just they are the only thing visible with all these clothes."

Spirit Participant Marina P.

 

2nd Place - Patricia G., Philippines

YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO

"Miami hits my skin from the freezing weather of Colorado!"

Spirit Participant Patricia G.

 

2nd Place - Samuel D., Brazil

YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO

Spirit Participant Samuel D.

Winter Photo Contest Winners - Week 5

Feb 14, 2020

This week's theme was "Your Town/Local Landmarks," and we received some great photos of our participants exploring everything that their communities have to offer! From tourist attractions to natural landscapes, each state has something to discover. You can see our top three picks below.

 

1st Place - Alejandro R., Mexico

ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America in Poway, CA

"Making new friends at Borrego Springs, San Diego, California."

Spirit Participant Alejandro R.

 

2nd Place - Palash D., India

The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV

"Escape the ordinary!!"

Spirit Participant Palash D.

 

3rd Place - Santiago P., Argentina

Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole in Teton Village, WY

"Snow King is one of the most important places in Jackson Hole. In this picture you can appreciate the beautiful town in the background!"

Spirit Participant Santiago P.

 

Be sure to check out our other finalists from Week 5:

Winter Photo Contest Winners - Week 4

Feb 10, 2020

This week's theme was "Winter Fun," and our participants sent us some great photos of them enjoying the abundant snow this season! Below are our top three photos from Week 4.

 

1st Place - Maria C., Peru

Safeway in Vail, CO

Spirit Participant Maria C.

 

2nd Place - Julia S., Brazil

Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI

Spirit Participant Julia S.

 

3rd Place - Valeria P., Peru

Safeway in Frisco, CO

"Go far away... Live!"

Spirit Participant Valeria P.

Monthly Cultural Almanac: February 2020

Feb 4, 2020
February in the U.S. is an exciting month filled with cultural events.
 
Black History Month
 
Feburary 1-29 - All month long, we celebrate the contributions that African-Americans have made for our country. Black History Month is an annual observance in the United States in February. It began as a way for remembering important people and events in the history of African culture. You can celebrate by going to local museums or colleges to see Black History Month lectures and exhibits!
 
Academy Awards
 
February 9 - Are you a movie fan? The Academy Awards, more popularly known as “the Oscars,” are awards for achievement in the film industry. It is the oldest of four major annual American entertainment awards, which include the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theater, and the Grammy Awards for music. The Academy Awards gathers billions of viewers throughout the world. This year’s nominees include movies from Brazil, France, Macedonia, Poland, South Korea, and Spain!
 
Valentine's Day
 
February 14 - Love is in the air! Valentine's Day is celebrated annually on February 14 and is a celebration of love and lovers. Across the United States, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. Many school children exchange valentines with one another on this day. You can join in the fun too, by making cards or giving candy to your friends!
 
Presidents' Day
 
February 17 - Washington’s Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States, who was born on February 22, 1732. The day is also now widely known as Presidents’ Day and is often an occasion to honor all who have served as president, not just George Washington. Most businesses remain open with many offering sales and other promotions.

Winter Photo Contest Winners - Week 3

Jan 31, 2020

Our participants have been working and training in a variety of fun and interesting positions this season. This week's theme was "At Work," and we received photos from chefs and lifeguards all across the country! You can see our top three picks for Week 3 below.

 

1st Place - Sarvesh J., India

The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV

"I love becoming family with my colleagues. It gives me pleasure, and I enjoy preparing different food with them."

Spirit Participant Sarvesh J.

 

2nd Place - Eduardo L., Peru

Split Rock Resort and Golf Club in Lake Harmony, PA

"My masterpiece shining in the United States."

Spirit Participant Eduardo L.

 

3rd Place - Heloisa D., Brazil

Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, WI

"The people I met here are incredible. No words to describe my supervisor so far. Everyone in the waterpark management has been really attentive and kind with the J-1s."

Spirit Participant Heloisa D.

Spirit Visits Turkey for 2020 Job Fair

Jan 30, 2020
Earlier this month, we traveled to Ankara, Turkey for an exciting week of cultural activities, Summer Work Travel preparation, and incredible Turkish hospitality. We began our week with meetings with representatives from two of our important Turkish agents, EDEX Overseas Education and Success International. Then we took part in a special service project coordinated by our partners at Yero International Exchange.
 
Two Yero representatives accompanied us to an apartment in Ankara, where a woman has been serving asylum seekers to Turkey for the past thirteen years with the Ankara Refugee Lunch Support Group. That day, there were a total of 25 international activists who came to make food for the asylum seekers waiting at UNHCR Turkey. We made soup and around 320 sandwiches, as well as sorted clothing donations.
 
Spirit Staff Making Food for UNHCR Turkey
 
We then walked over to the UNHCR offices where the food and clothes were distributed. Our efforts were appreciated, as Christina learned from a woman who traveled eight hours to get to the office and needed new shoes. Afterward, the volunteers got lunch together and learned they were made up of grad students, spouses of government workers, and exchange students from all over the world, and that some volunteered weekly. It was a meaningful and exciting day of service to the international community.
 
Along with representatives from Noah’s Ark Waterpark and Wilderness Resort, the staff from Yero showed us around to some of the most interesting spots in Ankara, including a beautiful mosque and Anitkabir – the mausoleum of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Our Yero partners were wonderful hosts, and every night we had fun going out to dinner and celebrating cultural exchange together.
 
Spirit Staff at the Yero Job Fair
 
When the two days of job fair came, our Host Employers were impressed with the students and their level of English. Almost every attendee was hired, and even more participants were hired than anticipated! Thank you to Yero International Exchange for being an amazing and accommodating host. We look forward to welcoming our Turkish participants this summer!
Meet Anna Marie!Meet Christina!

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