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For Michael Shamblen working with summer work-travel students has been an added bonus to his job as the business manager of a recreational resort in Maryland.

“Our international students have brought an added value to our organization,” Shamblen said. “They are very charming kids to be around and they bring a willingness and eagerness to please that is always exciting to have at the resort.”

The WISP Resort has employed summer-work travel students for the past four years in such diverse categories as food preparers, cashiers and outdoor instructors. “Our students typically come from Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile,” he noted. “Their period of availability makes Latin American students the ideal participants for our resort.”

Shamblen advises future employers to spend some time doing advanced planning for housing and transportation.” Make sure you have a good housing partner and set up a contract before the kids arrive. Be flexible,” he advised. “As an employer of international kids, keep your door open and be very proactive in solving their issues and it will be a breeze.”

Shamblen takes pride in knowing that many of the students who have participated in the program together form lifelong friendships from their experience.

“The kids don’t know each other before they come here and now year after year they get together in their home countries. They make friends for life through our program.”