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Author Topic: Work Abroad (in America) Programs  (Read 4770 times)

fullricebowl

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Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« on: September 01, 2011, 11:34:26 AM »
Every year in (seemingly) every Chinese college campus signs coated in American flags pop-up advertising the opportunity of a lifetime- to work for the summer in AMERICA- not only an opportunity to experience American culture first hand, but also pad your resume and make an impressive amount of cash to bring home.

I wanted to start this topic after a brief online conversation with one of my former students who is doing this program in Minnesota. Basically, she asked when I would be coming back to the states followed by telling me she's been crying basically every night. She works 6-7 days a week in a small town with very limited transportation anywhere. Her experience- and every other student I've talked to in this program's experience of American culture has been one of being exploited for cheap labor and limited opportunities to do anything but work.

Other students I've talked to have been blatantly lied to- told they would be doing an internship directly related to their major in a large city. After they have paid an exorbitant fee, they are told that for (insert excuse) that position is no longer available so they will have to be a housekeeper in some remote town 500 miles from the nearest form of public transportation. I find it so upsetting that so many people are out of work right now, and seasonal employers are able to import cheap, naive, labor. Because they pay them a stipend instead of an hourly wage and seem to include housing (e.g. 4 girls living in a hotel room) they save a lot by not having to follow those stupid "minimum wage laws". It makes me upset that this is what these students are seeing of my country- capitalism/exploitation at its finest. Especially since the kids that go over there are probably the ones who are so excited to see the US that they will disregard any warnings they hear about how crappy these programs are.

Alright, I just wanted to get that out. If anyone has ever had a student with a positive experience from one of these programs I would love to hear it!

Borkya

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 11:39:50 AM »
I've also heard bad things. Like "work in New York City," but it turns out to be a rest stop on the new jersey turnpike, long shifts because they don't have their own transportation and have to rely on the "programs" driver and small crappy apartments shared by many.

In fact, the only legit opportunity I looked into with a student was the Disney one. (Where they hire young people to work in the China Pavilion at Epcot.) Would love to hear if anyone knows someone who did that. Disney treats all their workers like slaves, but maybe it is not so bad for the students.

dragonsaver

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 01:15:50 PM »
There was a huge uproar on the news last week about Hershey. Students all walked off the job and the news got wind of it.

Hershey farmed the hiring out to another company that farmed it out to another company so of course Hershey knew nothing about the abuse.    llllllllll llllllllll

http://rt.com/usa/news/students-protest-exchange-hersheys/

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20110901_Lessons_from_Hershey_fiasco.html
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mlaeux

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 10:28:21 PM »
I really don't have anything good to say about what some corporations get away with, but I think it is best for these students to not even step foot in the US unless they can go live with relatives and then start from there...


Mimi

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2011, 04:12:34 PM »
I had a student who knew someone in one of these programs.  Apparently, the friend worked as a waitress and came back with lots of stories denigrating black people for whatever reason (which prompted a lesson plan, actually).

Despite all of that, my student was heartbroken when she wasn't chosen for the same program.  I'll look into the Disney one for her.

fullricebowl

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2011, 04:53:29 AM »
DS- I think I'd heard about that story before, but it certainly was a depressing read. I wonder if CETUSA is the biggest of these companies. At least that situation was big enough to garner some attention, but it seems like the same thing is playing out everywhere on a smaller scale.

I also love that Hershey is totally free of responsibility seeing as they can't control anything their vendors do... ffffffffff

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2011, 10:31:04 AM »
I think the Hershey thing concerned their amusement park, not their actual factories. A friend of a friend is interning with Hershey corporate and it seems to be OK.

Meanwhile, companies here LOVE Chinese workers. They're used to working for abusively low wages. They're punctual and they don't mouth off to the boss, and they haven't yet learned to be alienated and disgruntled the way American workers are.

Once we've fully trained them to be alienated and disgruntled, we can send them back to China to help get things straightened out over there...while a fresh new batch comes over here to start the cycle all over again.

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The Local Dialect

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2011, 12:56:22 PM »
I was talking to my husband about this whole "internship" program scheme and his immediate reaction was that it HAD to be Chinese people running the operation. Don't know if his insticts are right or not but I thought it was pretty funny, in a sad way, that he immediately suspected his countrymen of cheating their own.

Fozzwaldus

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2011, 11:16:08 PM »
I was talking to my husband about this whole "internship" program scheme and his immediate reaction was that it HAD to be Chinese people running the operation. Don't know if his insticts are right or not but I thought it was pretty funny, in a sad way, that he immediately suspected his countrymen of cheating their own.

My wife was the same, and I tend to agree with her
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milkweed

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2011, 12:55:09 AM »
I think the Hershey thing concerned their amusement park, not their actual factories. A friend of a friend is interning with Hershey corporate and it seems to be OK.

Meanwhile, companies here LOVE Chinese workers. They're used to working for abusively low wages. They're punctual and they don't mouth off to the boss, and they haven't yet learned to be alienated and disgruntled the way American workers are.

Once we've fully trained them to be alienated and disgruntled, we can send them back to China to help get things straightened out over there...while a fresh new batch comes over here to start the cycle all over again.

Genius, actually. uuuuuuuuuu

A sad indictment of how the aggressive, non-regulated praxis of globalised neo-liberalism continues to control our lives wherever we may reside.

adamsmith

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2011, 04:40:21 AM »
I had one student who had just returned from his work abroad placement. He seemed to have a good time/experience. He was working in some tourist trap diner by the grand canyon and if i remember correctly was working as a waiter. He had a good time doing a lot of partying and did have some interesting stories to tell. Although I would hesitate to say he learned much about american culture he did get to see some interesting places.

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2011, 07:54:56 AM »
A sad indictment of how the aggressive, non-regulated praxis of globalised neo-liberalism continues to control our lives wherever we may reside.

No, somewhere under that $3-word college-boy verbiage we've gone from "Crazy like a Fox" to "Crazy like Fox News" here. Exploitation of workers has generally arisen out of sheer greed from the Business Community, which is NOT a hotbed of Liberalism, Neo- or otherwise. Of course, Conservatives like to pin everything bad on Liberals, sometimes even resorting to distorting and distracting empty phrases like "aggressive, non-regulated praxis of globalised neo-Liberalism" as whitewash, but that doesn't mean it's even close to the truth. kkkkkkkkkk

Worst of all, this stuff is way, way offtopic . Please return the topic to its original upright position.
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we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Pashley

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Re: Work Abroad (in America) Programs
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2011, 02:43:19 AM »
Canada has a special visa for live-in domestic servants, mostly used for European au pair girls or Caribbean chauffeurs, gardeners, etc. They are often underpaid and overworked.

A friend of mine was trained as a nurse, but working in a bar because she made more money there. She could not just immigrate to Canada and work as a nurse; we don't recognise the Chinese qualifications. Also, getting the Canadian license requires IELTS 6.5 overall and 7 on spoken; then you have to pass a test on nursing topics.

She was tempted by ads that offered, for a mere 3,000 rmb up front, to get her a job in Canada paying over 8,000 rmb a month (wow!) with free room & board. It would have been on the domestic's visa, in some household with an elderly family member needing nursing care.

I told her to avoid that. In Canadian terms, that's an appalling salary. If she really wanted a job like that in Canada, I'd ask around and could probably find one with better terms and I would not need the fat fee.

She did not take me up on that, or on my other offers. Instead she quit the bar, got married, and seems to be living happily ever after.
Who put a stop payment on my reality check?