Summer Camp USA is nearly here and BUNAC (and me) are SO excited for you to experience it we can hardly wait. You should be all set to board your plane to the Stars and Stripes now, but this blog is to remind you of a few things whilst you’re in the USA so you know what to do in all situations, should anything go wrong. Don’t worry, chances are nothing will happen, but this is all great information to know!
1. How do I get in touch with BUNAC once I’m at Camp?
Once you’re in the USA, you’ll need to contact BUNAC’s partners CIEE for anything you need, as they are your visa sponsor and first point of contact. Their offices are also based in the USA, so they will be able to help you more effectively than BUNAC on a different time zone. You’ll be sent an information card before you fly out which will have their contact information on, including their 24 hour emergency line and email address.
2. I’m not enjoying camp: I’ve quit or been fired, what happens now?
Camp isn’t for everyone, but the first thing to do is to talk about it – talk to your Camp, and talk to CIEE. If you need to leave Camp early, you’ll need to call CIEE (using the number on the information card) and then you’ll need to fly home, even if you have after-Camp travel plans. CIEE will advise you on what you need to do, however please be aware that you are responsible for re-booking your flights. If you’ve booked flights yourself, you’ll need to contact your airline agency; if BUNAC have booked your flights, you’ll need to contact STA travel directly. All the information on how to do this is found on the flight itinerary BUNAC sent you.
3. I have to go home for an emergency reason (illness, family, exam resits etc.) what do I do?
These situations can happen. BUNAC will advise you to follow the exact same procedure as question 2. Call CIEE urgently using the information card and explain to them your situation. You will then need to fly home immediately by re-booking your flights; if you’ve booked them yourself you’ll need to contact your airline agency. If BUNAC have booked your flights, contact STA Travel directly. In any case, CIEE will advise you on what you need to do, so don’t worry!
4. I’ve been asked to stay at Camp for a bit longer, how does this work?
That’s amazing – you must be having the best summer! It is possible to stay longer at Camp and it’s great that you’ve been asked to do so. However, you’ll need to contact CIEE so they can make a note on your SEVIS (a visa document) about the extension of your dates. If you’ve already booked your flight home and you want to move this later on, then be aware that you will be responsible for any changes to this. It’ll be worth it for that extra time at Camp though!
5. I want to change my return flight. How do I do this?
No problem! If BUNAC booked your flights, you need to contact STA travel directly. All instructions on how to re-book are sent to you with your flight information. That email basically says the following:
‘If you want to make any changes once you are in the US:
Now that your ticket has been booked, changes to your ticket may incur a cost. Should you wish to make change to your travel dates you will need to contact the Global Travel Helpdesk at STA Travel at https://goo.gl/t8PQox.
You will need your booking reference on the itinerary, your full name and the new date you’d like to travel. STA Travel will then confirm the cost for you to make that change, to which you will then need to accept or decline, and then they will email you a new itinerary/e-ticket as confirmation that the changes have been made.’
All in all it’s a relatively simple process!
Find out more information about BUNAC’s Summer Camp USA programme. Are you ready to get all aboard into the Camp spirit with BUNAC next year? Start your application now… it’ll be the best summer of your life. Got a question about the programme which isn’t on this blog? No worries, check out the BUNAC FAQ’s here or alternatively read my other BUNAC Q&A blogs on Summer Camp Secrets.
**I’m returning to camp this summer with BUNAC who have been sending people just like you to camp for many years. Get in touch with them via their website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, by phoning them on +44 333 999 7516 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.**
Disclaimer: BUNAC are waiving my camp fees in return for this blog series, but please rest assured that all opinions are honest and my own.