There’s an alternative to studying abroad: Instead of learning, students teach; instead of paying, students get paid.
Applications are available for Camp Adventure Youth Services (CAYS), which pays for round-trip airfare, housing and a living stipend in exchange for camp counseling services.
Accepted students will work as camp counselors or swimming instructors on U.S. military bases, British garrisons and U.S. embassies in Europe and Asia.
Interviews for the internship will be held tomorrow at the Leadership Assessment Center (LAC) in Olson Hall, where an all day group interview will take place. Students should bring their applications to the interviews, which are available on the UC Davis Internship and Career Center website.
“[Applicants] will have the chance to really try some of the activities that Camp A participants are really involved in the summer,” said Marcie Kirk Holland, coordinator for the Internship and Career Center.
At the LAC, applicants will break into small groups and each applicant will teach the others a song and a game. Because of this, Holland recommends that applicants arrive with as little shyness as possible.
CAYS tries to provide the standard summer camp experience for kids with parents actively in the military, who may not normally be able to have such an experience, Holland said. Counselors lead groups in activities like arts and crafts, singing, sports and dancing.
Few programs provide airfare, housing and wages, which is why Holland calls Camp Adventure a great economic deal.
“It’s a good alternative if you don’t have the money to afford a quarter abroad,” Lena Rothstein said. The sophomore psychology major initially joined Camp Adventure for that reason.
Students operate the summer camps all day but are encouraged to explore neighboring cities and countries during their weekends off.
“I’ve heard many stories of people getting on a train Friday after work and waking up in Paris the next morning,” Holland said.
Based in Tokyo, Japan, Rothstein explored Kyoto one weekend and climbed Mount Fuji on another.
Hayley Peltz, a third year human development major, also took advantage of the weekends for travel. One summer she was based in Hohne, Germany and took side trips to Paris, Prague, Berlin and Amsterdam.
“College is about taking chances and going out of your comfort zone, and I can’t think of a better way than Camp A,” Peltz said.
Rothstein plans to participate again in the future, and Peltz will be traveling with CAYS for the third time this summer to Naples, Italy.
The growing number of returning counselors keep the program strong, Peltz said. There were 12 returnees last year and there will be about 30 this summer.
UC Davis sent 42 students with CAYS last year, but Holland hopes there will be many more this year. As far as she knows, there is no limit as to the number of students they can send.
UC Davis offers students a myriad of other opportunities to travel abroad. There are five Quarter Abroad programs currently being offered for spring 2010, with chances to go to Mendoza, Argentina; Havana, Cuba; London, England; Kyoto, Japan and Madrid, Span. Applications for these programs are due Dec. 1.
Students can also create a UC Davis Summer Abroad account and begin a student profile in preparation for one of 38 summer programs being offered. Unlike the Quarter Abroad programs, these fill on a first-completed, first reserved basis, starting Jan. 4 and ending April 2.
JANELLE BITKER can be reached at email@example.com.