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Dylan's Takeaways from America: Surprises and Lessons Learned

By Dylan Lo, CIEE Work & Travel USA participant from Malaysia

Click here to read Part 1 of Dylan's story.

 Participating in this Work and Travel program really benefited me. I improved my English and communication skills a lot through this program and this aspect alone will allow me to have better chances to secure jobs. The next thing I learned is leadership skills. American managers have good leadership skills. They are role models and do the tasks to lead the team instead of asking someone else to do it or being demanding, like Asian managers. Lastly, being independent is another important lesson I have learned. Being so far away from my family means that I have to do everything on my own, especially because I was traveling alone, too.

Independence Day celebration in Yellowstone

The most shocking part of living in America is that you can drink water directly from the tap!! When I first arrived in America, drinking tap water was a huge surprise for me. I was skeptical about drinking the tap water for the first month. Do that in Malaysia and you will get sick on the very next day.

A campfire night with my fellow coworkers and a mini farewell party

The biggest revelation and life-changing experience in the USA is that I can actually survive without internet! As someone who is so attached to technology, internet is a crucial part of my life. Being able to survive without internet is really a big change of perspective for me, as I can read some books or go hiking instead of spending the whole day looking at my phone or laptop.  When we do not have internet access or the internet is way too slow to be able to do anything, we gather and decide what to do together. Most of the time we go hiking together when it’s morning and play some games at night.

A normal day in Yellowstone with my friends