31 Days, 23 hours, 5 minutes and god only knows how many seconds until it becomes a reality.

Hello!

Long time no speak. I do apologise! Before I start waffling on, I did, in fact, sit there working out how many hours and minutes it is until the May 25thers and I fly across the pond. Yes I am indeed, evidently sad. But it got me very excited!
So this week I’ve sorted my money card for whilst I’m in the states. It isn’t the same one which I mentioned ‘Mousecatraz‘ (even though it was suggested by Yummy Jobs, and still seems a very good option); Caxton FX Card was suggested by very helpful people in the Walt Disney World Resort ICP 2010 forum on Facebook. Its pretty much exactly the same as the Tax Back card, just a better exchange rate and no withdrawal and transfer fees, which, lets face it, is a definite bonus! Click ‘here‘ for the link to the Caxton homepage.

Also this week, I have received  my very posh visa/passport back though the post. Of course, you expect it to look nice seeing as we all spent over $150 to get the damn thing. The 1st thing I thought when I opened it was ‘I am almost an American citizen!’ Ha! I wish.

After reading ‘Mouscatraz’ (the book, not my blog page! Although you are all perfectly welcome to read my blog page!’ I started to think about the graduation at the end of the programme. As a girl it was the thought of ‘What the frig do I wear?’ So I have indeed been shopping around for a lovely dress. Of course I designed something myself, in my head, and cannot find anything remotely similar ANYWHERE. Damn me. And obviously I cannot wait to wear the Mickey Mouse graduation cap. That will be amazing.

Hannah from Yummy Jobs sent out an e-mail a couple of days ago suggesting she pass on a bunch of peoples e-mail addresses, who are also on the same arrival date, so we could meet and greet each other before hand. I think this is a wonderful idea! If anyone beginning their summer on May 25th is reading this…E-mail me!

So that’s all I really have to update you with. Nothing exciting is happening as of yet about the WDWICP. But I will inform you as and when interesting things come up :)

Thanks for reading!!!

Sarah
xxx

10 Things.

I have finished the wonderful book that is ‘Mousecatraz’. If you haven’t read it then I suggest you really do. Its one of those where you can’t decide whether it’s supposed to be bashing the College Programme or saying it’s the most amazing thing. Either way it’s quite informative in the living, earning and learning parts. You have the option to take degrees whilst your there. Either a Mousters or Ducktorate. I personally would love to state on my CV that I have either. Probably raise a number of questions! And apparently, if your placed in the Vista Way apartments, then you will probably be involved in a multitude of sexual performances. Have fun!

Anyway, buy it. So the main reason for this post are the ’10 things I would like to do/achieve whilst in Orlando’ (which I will state in one moment). I was thinking about this the other day, and I started reeling out lots of things. I’ve picked my 10 highest. And I must say they are in no particular order!

1. Drink from a ‘red plastic cup’.
We have all seen these in the movies, and instantly envy the instant coolness of college parties, all because of these legendary things. You Americans will probably look at this and think ‘What’s so special?’. We British don’t have ‘red plastic cups’. I remember walking down an isle in Wal Mart, one fine holiday. I saw the cups and nearly fainted. So yes. If this list had an order, this would be quite high.

2. Eat a ‘Kitchen Sink’


Not literally. It’s an ice cream special from ‘Beaches and cream’ at Disneys Yacht and Beach Club Resort. It contains eight scoops of  chocolate, strawberry, coffee and mint ice cream; Sprinkled with fudge, strawberries, caramel, pineapple, Oreos, almonds, Snickers and more. Then, topped off with ‘a whole can of whipped cream’. This beast sounds like heart attack in a, well, kitchen sink. And it says ‘serves 4’ but judging by the look of the thing, you’ll need around 8 people to finish it off.

3. Visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
I will probably get slaughtered for visiting a Universal theme park, but what the heck. I’ve seen this thing being built and have not been able to wait to see the finished product. It looks totally brilliant! I love the fact that you’ll be seeing things then remembering where in the books they were, and what happened etc. It’s like your in their world (Which I think may be the point).

4. Visit Hollywood studios on the release date of Toy Story 3.
I don’t even know if anything will be happening, but my guess is the hype will be amazing! I mean, I haven’t been to Hollywood studios in years, like not since it was MGM, so it will be good anyway. But the parades and Toy Story Midway Mania and whatnot will be ace. Here’s to hoping I’m not working.

5. Go to Steak ‘n’ Shake.
This is only on here because it was mentioned in ‘Mousecatraz’ about a zillion times. And in the ten plus visits to the US, I have never had the pleasure of consuming the burger and shake combination.

6. Attend a pool party.
You don’t understand how deprived us Brits are. The swimming baths rented out for your birthday is hardly a match. And our summer still isn’t particularly warm enough to have a ‘paddling pool’ party, never mind having a full on stretch in your back garden.

7. Get a tan.
Yes. My pasty self and I don’t particularly like reflecting you, dear sun. So please find it in your heart to give the pruning sun worshippers a break and share some of your wonderful rays with me. I say this but I guarantee that I end up not putting sun cream on one day and cremating myself.

8. Find a perfect radio station.
Lets face it, some of the stations aren’t particularly satisfying. I normally listen to ‘Mix 105.1’ purely because I cannot be arsed to search for another one. So all you American folk can help me out!

9. Learn to cook a continental dish.
One of many good reasons to have a foreign house mate. I remember in my first CP interview, one of the questions was to describe what you would cook for foreign house mates. I said ‘Fish and Chips’. I have no idea how to cook fish and chips, so if I happen to be paired up in your room then please don’t count on this.

10. Visit Miami.
I don’t know how possible this will be. As I wont have a car, and I have no idea how long it would take, thus comes to the days off problem. But, it would be amazing. Even though I have heard many mixed reviews about it.

So there’s my list. There are many more I just didn’t want to bore you.  It would be absolutely brilliant if I had the chance to do all these things whilst I’m in the centre of the pan handle. And to be honest I really can’t wait to meet the people that can possibly make these the best moments, plus more. (End of cheese)

Anyway, I have 40 days left to finish Uni for the summer, move out of my flat and decide what I’m actually taking. Ha. Fun times.

See ya real soon!

Sarah
xxx

Mousecatraz…

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for, like, 2 days or something? Not alot has happened regarding the WDWICP. I have been trying to find the best way of keeping my funds accessible and safe whilst over there, though. Just for the money I have saved, not my wages from in the US. You get a special Disney card for that, which will be quite exciting! But I had a few thoughts about this anyway:

1. Just cash.
This is handy and probably easiest way, however, it’s not very safe. For a start you don’t know who you’ll be living with…I’m not saying you’ll be living with a thief and I’m also certainly not calling anyone a thief. But you just don’t know at this point. Also, exchange rates for cash aren’t always the best. But if you are in the UK and are thinking of taking cash check out crown currency exchange, I’ve found that this company have the highest exchange rate, and they are very reliable. My Mum and Dad have used them before and delivery is normally very quick.

2. A Post Office card.

I got one of these last year when I went to the US. They are very good. It’s basicly a visa, except its a pre-loaded one. You can use ATM’s, pay for things on your card an withdraw money. The only problem is, you can only top up by phone, which will cost you an arm and a leg in the US. Also, the exchange rate is slightly better than if you were to get just cash.

3. US Bank Account.
I made a discussion about this on a Facebook group. One of the girls that replied said that it was probably only worth doing if you were to use it more than just the 3 months that you are enrolled in the programme. Also, it’s quite a lengthy  process with having to deal with your bank, find the best bank in the US and everything. I emailed Yummy Jobs too and they sent me some information about a Post Office style card. Its called a US ATM card. It allows you to transfer funds from your bank account in the UK to your ATM account via the internet. The exchange rates are supposed to be better and it’s completely free. The only thing that charges you is to withdraw money from an ATM. It something like $1.30. Not too bad I suppose. You also have the option to get your wages paid into this card. Here’s the link for it in case you want more information. I think I might give this thing a go, as well as some cash to keep the ATM charges down! I think it sounds quite handy :)

I  started reading ‘Mouscatraz’ today too! It’s very good. And funny which is a bonus. Dad found a part when he was flicking through it which made everyone giggle:
‘A student working at the entrance to the Country Bear Jamboree had to give a guest a quick lesson on the differences between an attraction and a show.

“What kind of ride is this?” asked the guest
“It’s not a ride, it’s a show,” Explained the student
“Are there lots of drops?”
“No, it’s a show.”
“So, is there any spinning?”
“No, again, this is a show, there is no movement!”
“This isn’t where the kid died is it?”
“No, that was Mission: SPACE, and the child didn’t die on the ride.”
“So, this is a ride?”
“Yes, this is a ride and you may die on it!”

Hahahalolol :)

Anyway, i’m going to read more! But I already recomend it to anyone interested in, participating in, or have been in the International College Programme!

Thanks for reading!

Sarah
xxx

Insure and Go!

Hello, all.

As I said yesterday, Mum and I were scrutinising every single insurance web page known to man. And I also said that it would probably be Mum that finds the cheapest one. But low and behold, IT WAS ME! I found it. And a very good one indeed. Cover for everything, including medical, and no excess. Bingo. That lovely pot of gold is called Insure and Go. Check it out. Seriously. If your doing something similar to me for the summer, get a quote from the ‘Backpackers’ section. I got Backpackers gold. £68. Also, if your programme is with Disney, you are entitled to a special 10% discount which was set up by someone from a Walt Disney World International College Programme (for future reference this will be known as WDWICP) Facebook forum. Thank you person from forum. You have made my day discountaculous.
So now I have my Visa, Insurance and what not I can officially start my real count down. As of this very day, I have 48 more to go. I really could do with going shopping. Stock up on good old Primark crap that I can just leave behind if need be. I only get a 23kg allowance for 3 months worth of stuff. Seriously not impressed with that one. I think I may have to pay the disastrous, overpriced and unnecessary fee for an extra bag. Yuck.

Well, I’m going to love you and leave you. I’m off to the cinema tonight as, of course, it’s Orange Wednesdays. And then bed early for me. I need to have a good sleep tonight so I’ll be ready to start my 7am shift, instead of hanging around like Imhotep. Which will probably happen anyway.

I hope some of you found this useful anyway. Any questions? Ask me. :)

TTFN

Sarah
xxx

Access Granted!

Well, today was the day that I flew down to the Capital, to have my visa interview. Yes. I flew. It’s so much better! Amazingly quick and probably about the same price as the train. And I got to ride the tube for cheaper with my railcard! Although, I was expecting Borat to fall through the cabin, chasing a chicken.
The interview? It went very well. In 5 days I will be in possession of a nice shiny piece of American goodness, stapled to my passport. Hell to the yeah! A huge step closer to my dream summer. But I must tell you, the waiting is horrible. I mean, at the embassy itself. You go in through the security checks and everything, take a number, then into the big, bank like room; wait about 10 minutes and your number is called. You immediately think “Woah! This is quick. What the hell was everyone jib jabbering on about?!”. Your documents and finger prints are taken and the ‘Not-so-American’ American document checker person (Haha) sticks your number on another form to fill out whilst you are waiting. This time its a killer. I waited like 2 hours to be called up again! I was expecting the worst and to miss my flight home at one point. But all was good. The Consular lady was nice (even though she wasn’t American) and she let me have my visa after a few questions. One other down side is the £14.50 you pay for your passport to find its way back home to you. Sigh. I’m sure it will be worth it.
So, I am now back home, looking for the best, and cheapest, insurance. I will let you all know what I find. Well, what my Mum finds. She’s very good at bargain hunting!
Oh, and also, I found a very interesting looking book…It’s called ‘Mousecatraz’, it’s all about the college programme. Journals from alumni etc. I’ve ordered it so I’ll give you all a review when I’m done.
That’s all for now I think. I’m off to chill. Watch a film I think!

Thanks for reading!

Sarah
xxx

Hello WordPress!

So, this is my first ever blog! Not bad, not bad. I’m still figuring out the basics, hence why I started this so freeking early. It just took me about 20 times to work out how to get an image onto my page. Ha.

Before I start my main blogging I should probably give you all a heads up on what is actually going on…

♦ I have always said that I wanted to go working abroad as soon as I settled into university. Since I was about 15 my friends and I ordered a load of brochures for things like Camp America. So, yeah, I thought that was what I was going to do. It still looks ace, by the way. But I got settled into uni, and everything and decided that 2010 was probably a year to just concentrate on work, finding my feet around Preston and also get a bit of money for 2011.

♦ It was just by chance that I saw a friends Facebook status about Disney coming into uni to employ a load of people for work over the summer. So I got very excited about this, one because I absolutely love Florida and all it has to offer, and also because it would be a fantastic work experience. To begin the process you had to go to a lecture like presentation and sign up for a group interview that same afternoon. These were in a group of about 6/7, and lasted about 15 minutes. Yummy Jobs are the people who make these opportunities possible, so the interview was with a member of the company, someone who knows what the process is like.

♦After the first interview it like a waiting game. It took around a week for them to get back , and tell us if we were successful to advance to the next interview. I was one of the lucky ones. The second interview, again, started with a presentation, this time about living in Orlando. These ones were in two’s. And with someone from the Disney company itself. This one is quite scary as you have to fill out all of your forms, bring passports etc. And again after it it was a matter of waiting. I got very impatient. Which was no fun for me. Ha.

♦2 and a half weeks on I received an email from Yummy Jobs congratulating me on my success. I was so excited! (One of my friends didn’t make it onto the Florida programme, and I was so gutted for him. However, at the end of January he got an email from them with an offer to go to South Carolina to work instead. Just a heads up for all of you applying and are unsuccessfull. Don’t give up on hope.)

♦After the security checks, flight bookings and what not, it brings us to now. The Visa stage. What a ball ache that is. What with all the ringing about, emails and online applications. But that’s done and I am flying to London tomorrow morning to have my interview for my J-1 visa. Lets just hope I get it!

So I will leave it there for now. I’m sure I’ll be back tomorrow update everyone on what happens.
Thank you for reading!

Sarah
xxx