Have you ever noticed all of the culturally diverse employees working at the Wilderness? This is partially because since 2002, our resort has been utilizing the Summer Work and Travel J1 Visa program which allows high-achieving college students from foreign countries the opportunity to secure a VISA and experience America’s culture by working in the United States for a brief period of time.

The resort is currently in the process of welcoming 137 students from Ecuador, the Philippines and Thailand who will be working the spring months as slide attendants, housekeepers and in various food & beverage outlets. At different times in the year we also get students from other countries in Central America, South America, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

According to Mariano, a 26 year-old, pre-med, J1-student from Argentina who arrived this past December and who will leave in April, “The four months I have worked at the Wilderness have been an amazing! I’ve loved the experience, and learned so much about providing great customer service that I think will be very useful to my family’s business and my future career as a doctor.”

“The people here are so nice. The culture is so different but it has been neat to experience it, and to meet other J1-students from all over the world.”

Mariano who speaks English, Spanish, Norwegian and Italian says in addition to sharpening his customer service skills, he will be taking home many friendships with people who are very different from him. He has met fellow J1-students studying Human Resources, Economics, Public Relations, Physical Education and Tourism.

“We’ve shared a lot, how we feel about life and what we want from our lives, and through our conversations we’ve grown to have a greater appreciation for each other, our cultures and unique perspectives.”