Travel Journal

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Reasons to Believe - Thato’s Journey

Thato Khasuli’s story reminds us why we do what we do and why we believe in the higher purpose of our work. Though Thato’s tale is his own, in many ways he represents hundreds of thousands of young people around the globe – people with high hopes and taller obstacles. His is a story of perseverance and a testament to the power of the human spirit. His journey from a small township in South Africa to a resort town in New Hampshire gives us all reasons to believe that dreams can and do come true. One leap of faith and years of hard work set Thato on an incredible journey half way around the world that has been marked by lessons, friendships, insights and self-discovery.

In his own words, Thato tells his tale in this video about wanting, working, believing, praying and ultimately achieving.

Follow Thato on our blog as we continue to follow his journey that he hopes will serve as an inspiration for countless youths and businesses around the world.

Thato’s story will be shared at the World Youth Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) in Belgrade Serbia, September 20-23. We think his tale is remarkable enough to be recognized by the WYSE as Most Extraordinary Experience and it’s made the short list of contenders.

Watch the video and let us know what you think.

Regulations Highlights - Summer Work Travel (SWT) Key Employer Responsibilities

1 Dec

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As we head into the arrival season for our winter season SWT program, host companies should remember that the J-1 regulations include specific Employer responsibilities for the arrival period and duration of each J1 program.  Ensuring these are met requires timely and accurate communication between host companies and sponsors.

For Summer Work Travel, the regulations require the host employers notify sponsors when:

·        Participants arrive at the work site (“site of activity”) to begin their J-1 programs.

·        There are changes or deviations in the actual job placement during the program.

·        Participants are not meeting the requirements of their job placement and thus are at risk of being let go.

·        Participants leave their placement before their planned departure or DS-2019 Program End Date.

Host Employers are also required to contact sponsors in the event of any emergency that impacts the health, safety and welfare of J1 participants.

December: month of multi-cultural Celebration!

23 Nov

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December is a month rich in cultural holidays, with many opportunities to learn and share our world’s diversity, present right here in the United States. Here are a few highlights from our global cultures:

Hanukkah For eight days each November or December, Jewish people light a special candleholder called a menorah, to remember an ancient miracle in which one day’s worth of oil burned for eight days in their temple. On Hanukkah, many Jewish people also eat special potato pancakes called latkes, sing songs, and spin a top called a dreidel to win chocolate coins, nuts, or raisins. This year, Hanukkah is celebrated December 6 – 14.

St. Lucia Day is on December 13, in Advent. Her feast once coincided with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year before calendar reforms, so her feast day has become a festival of light. St. Lucy’s Day is celebrated most commonly in Scandinavia, with their long dark winters, where it is a major feast day, and in Italy, with each emphasizing a different aspect of the story. Many girls in Sweden dress up as “Lucia brides” in long white gowns with red sashes, and a wreath of burning candles on their heads. They wake up their families by singing songs and bringing them coffee and twisted saffron buns called “Lucia cats.”

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on December 25th as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. People celebrate this Christian holiday by going to church, giving gifts, and sharing the day with their families. In some parts of Europe, “star singers” go caroling — singing special Christmas songs — as they walk behind a huge star on a pole.

Prophet Muhammed’d Birthday Eid Milad ul-Nabi (Mawlid, Milad-un-Nabi) celebrates the Prophet Muhammad’s life. It falls on the 12th or 17th day of the Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal. Some Muslims in the United States mark this occasion by fasting or holding communal meals, special prayers or outdoor celebrations.

Kwanzaa which means “First Fruits,” is based on ancient African harvest festivals and celebrates ideals such as family life and unity. During this spiritual holiday, celebrated from December 26 to January 1, millions of African Americans dress in special clothes, decorate their homes with fruits and vegetables, and light a candleholder called a kinara.

WYSTC 2015 – Cape Town, South Africa

31 Oct

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IMG_5232Entering into its 25th year, the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) is the leading trade event for the global youth, student and educational travel industry. Since its inception in 1992 as the annual event of WYSE Travel Confederation youth and student travel professionals have been gathering annually to trade, network and take part in seminars and workshops.

This year, in Cape Town, South Africa, Alliance Abroad Group was named one of the best work experience providers in the industry! While at the conference, we also initiated an incentive to youth volunteers working the event, offering a free internship program to support their future career development.

We are honored to have selected Thato as the award receipient! Thato will begin his internship with the Omni Mt. Washington in December of 2015.

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