YMCA Summer Work & Travel USA (2009)

Work & Travel (WAT) program

- travel program for tertiary students to do a job in the country, and travel at the same time.
- up to 4 months, during summer vacation (around Apr - Aug).

Organised by external party (i.e. not a school initiative, like exchange or internship).

some companies:
- http://edvocation.com.sg/ is a new company that provides flexibility and
cheaper alternative for Work and Travel USA program.

- YMCA: http://www.internationalymca.org/SWT/Home.shtml (not able to choose which employer u want, and not able to choose which time period)
- know which state you wanna work in
- know which area of job scope you wanna work in
- know when you wanna work for

***** plan your destinations and locations u wish to visit early to save money on travelling.

Preparation Timeline (Pre-trip):

Apply for Non-immigrant visa (US Embassy)
Apply for Leave of Absence (LOA)
Book air-ticket.
- consider the shortest time period (lesser transit stops)
- mid-week flight is cheaper (plan to leave/return on Tue/Wed/Thur)
- book btw 7-14 days in advance
- accept non-direct flights with one/two stops
- any in-flight entertainment?
- shop ard for the best deals (check two/three travel websites)
for student fare - STA Travel (www.statravel.com.sg)
- booked Return trip air-ticket: SIN to JFK (NY), S$1878 (include air tax S$455).
- have to simultaneously Apply for International Student Card
Other kind of International Student Card:

booked domestic one-way air-ticket: JFK (NY) to destination, S$254 (include S$20 booking fee).
Notify Overseas Travel
- NS (www.ns.sg)

SMU Travel Declaration (in view of recent Swine Flu situation)

at least 14 days before departure,
- confirm with US employer
- confirm accommodation, address
- confirm who will pick you up at airport, and what time.

:: Standard Packing list ::
A checklist of what to bring when travelling. Things to bring:
  • T-shirts (quantity depends on # of days). e.g. 3 days = 4 T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Undergarments
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, bathing gel, facial wash, shaver, comb, hair wax)
    note - Toiletries, perfume, liquid stuff - put in sealable bag (must check-in)
  • Bathing towel
  • Socks
  • Sports shoes
  • Sandals/slippers
  • Jacket/wind-breaker
  • Water-bottle
  • Ziplock or Plastic bags (for keeping used clothes)
  • Torch-light with batteries
  • Small bag for travelling
  • Writing materials: pen, notebook
  • Cash or EZ-link card (for transportation)
  • Mobile phone, with charger
  • Lock
  • Traveller's adapter
  • Multi-plug power extension cable
  • Credit cards and foreign currencies
  • Copy of credit card # and contact # of issuing companies
  • List of things in check-in baggage, in case need to fill out a claim form
  • Travel documents: Passport, airline tickets
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun-block lotion
  • Sun-glasses
  • Body powder
  • Clothes hangers
  • Mug
  • Plates, fork and spoon
  • Rags (for cleaning)
  • Shoe polish and shoe brush (for black leather shoes)
  • Poncho or small Umbrella
  • Cap
  • Swimming attire
  • MP3 player
  • Digital camera
  • Sleeping bag
  • Travel pillow
  • Travel guide book or phrase book
Check luggage criteria for different airlines
Laptop - carry-on to the cabin (don't check-in with luggages)
* Put some cash and basic "survival stuff" in carry-on luggage, in case check-in luggage is missing.

Luggage Tag - Name, Phone #, Address
also place contact infor inside the luggage.
* When doing the luggage check-in, double-check the airline's luggage tag (correct city, flight #, airport code).
* upon arrival at accomodation place, check for any existing damages (take pic as evidence).

Check flight status repeatedly before the flight - know your flight number and time.
Check in early if you wish to request window, aisle or other preferred seats.

Check in early - 
With baggage: 2.5 hours before departure
No baggage: 1.5 hours before departure
Board early - 
60 mins to departure: Proceed for boarding
40 mins to departure: Check-in will be closed
10 mins to departure: Boarding gate will be closed

Pick up your luggage first, before heading to the duty-free shops.

- Air-ticket
- Vaccination
- Insurance
- Visa
- Accommodation
- Transportation
- Meals (mostly not included - US$5-7)
if wanna cook-in, bring your own utensils.

Make friends with people of the trip.
- get to know more people to travel together.

:: Make the most out of this experience! ::

Travel Plan:
- Orlando (Florida): Disney's World (theme park)
~ Epcot Center (space launch experience)
~ Lilliputian (Honey! I shrunk the kids)
~ World Showcase (country pavillions, man-made lagoon)
Universal Studios (theme park)
~ thrill rides (movie-themed)
Chelsea Premium Outlets (designer stores)

- Bahamas - idyllic beach getaway.
(half-hr flight from Flordia)
- Boston - home of Harvard and MIT.
- New York
Rockefeller Centre - overlook NY city, esp. the skyline, with Empire State Building.
Metropolitan Museum of Arts (pay any amt u like)
- Income tax (rem. to apply for rebate).

fodors.com (travel guide)
Bus infor - mta.info

:: New York ::

MetroCard (5-ride): USD10
Unlimited (1-day): USD7
Unlimited (7-day): USD24 (have to wait for 18 mins, for next trip)

WhereNY.com (events happenings)
Pay-As-U-Roam (additional 20% surcharge)
USA Roaming Rates

Voice Call (Per Min)



Outgoing Local

Calling Singapore








(Source: http://home.singtel.com/consumer/roaming/default.asp?ctry=USA&network=gsm%20900%20autoroam)

List of networks that support GlobalDial 121, Prepaid Roaming, Roaming Virtual Top-Up & Safe Arrival SMS

Country Network Network Display
USA AT&T Wireless# AT&T Wireless / USA38 / 31038
T-Mobile USA# T-Mobile / TMO / Vstream / Omnipoint / Aerial

- e.g. *135*6591111111#

Your friend will then receive the following message:

"I have arrived safely in (country). Contact me via SMS as I can send & receive SMS."

> SingTel Mobile postpaid customers (including Pay-As-U-Roam customers) are charged $0.15 per Safe Arrival SMS sent

GlobalDial 121
Dial: * 121 * (country code) (mobile number) #
Singtel Internet SMS Chat (free): http://sms.singtel.com/internetsms/
SingTel myBill: https://mybill.singtel.com/login/login.asp

FXCheatSheet® US Dollar (USD) to Singapore Dollar (SGD)

FXHistory®: historical currency exchange rates

Current Time in the USA (Florida)

Video: "Guy Walks Across America" uploaded by walkUSA on Jul 20, 2010.


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