Category Archives: Employer Visit

What to Do in Ocean City, Maryland this summer


Ocean City is known as a great summer getaway with tons on beach, great food and lots of excitement. As you plan your trip whether for a short vacation or your full summer as a work and travel participant, make time for some local activities!  Lifexchange is all about PLAY   TRAVEL   FUN   WORK

What’s Happening in Ocean City?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Enjoy a free concert at 8 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. downtown on the beach at North Division Street and simultaneously, uptown at 127th Street at Northside Park. For more information, please call 1-800-626-2326 or the Ocean City Department of Recreation & Parks at 410-250-0125.

Sundaes in the Park

July 8, 15, 22, 29, 2012, August 5, 12, 19, 26, 2012

Bring a friend, a chair or blanket & enjoy free local & regional musical groups.
Create your own ice cream sundae for a small fee.   Free family concert series  offered every Sunday evening in July & August from 6-8 p.m.
For more information, call 800-OC-OCEAN (800-626-2326)



 Concerts on the Beach 2012

Concert Dates are: Wednesday July 11, 18, 25 and August 8, 15, 22, 29, 2012

Free live entertainment while you relax beside the cool Atlantic on warm summer nights. Tribute bands and local favorites entertain at 8 p.m. Bring a blanket or chair & enjoy the evening. 800-OC-OCEAN (800-626-2326).

Movies on the Beach

At 27th Street beach, every Monday and Friday evening from June 25 – August 10, 2012, enjoy a movie on the beach with our 16-foot projector. Each week a general audience movie is presented free of charge. Bring a blanket and enjoy the night beside the ocean. Movie starts around 8:30 p.m.

Schedule for 27th Street:

     June 25 – Gidget
June 29 – Dolphin Tale
July 2 – Puss in Boots
July 6 – HOP
July 9 – Yogi Bear
July 13 – Kung Fu Panda 2
July 16 – Happy Feet 2
July 20 – UP
July 23 – Cars 2
July 27 – Tangled
July 30 – The Smurfs
August 3 – Winnie the Pooh
August 6 – Princess and the Frog
August 10 – The Muppets

Weather permitting – Schedule subject to change without notice.

Additional summer movies take place at the Carousel Hotel on 118th St. & Beach and at the Princess Royale Hotel at 91st St. & the Beach. Both begin at 8:30 p.m.

Have Questions?  Contact LifExchange anytime at  Shari from LifExchange will be visiting Ocean City on Monday June 25th and Tuesday June 26th.  Please contact us if you would would like to set up a time for a personal visit.




Outer Banks Adventure

I stepped out of the car and breathed deep. The salty air is different from back home. The sun warms me but the breeze is just enough to cool me down as I walk around and learn these new streets. As a New Yorker it is a different site than the place where I started my day. I am sure the international J1 Summer Work and Travel students visiting from around the world will have this same strange and wonderful feeling. I have never been to the Outer Banks in North Carolina-this long island packed with beach, restaurants and wild nature. It is peaceful now. The locals tell me that the visitors and tourists will start arriving in a few weeks and the towns will come alive like firecrackers for the next 12 weeks. I am not here for vacation-that will be my next trip. Today I am here to welcome the students that my company, LifExchange LLC and the International YMCA have assisted with their visa, job placement and housing so they may have a successful summer season and visit to the US. My first stop, Pathways House, an amazing not-for-profit that has partnered with LifExchange to provide our students with support in terms of housing, transportation and 24-hour on-call local assistance. When I arrive at Pathways a little after mile marker 8 (I am learning that mile markers are very important in the Outer Banks) I walk up to the building and immediately see a sign that says “Enter.” I walk upstairs and find Nancy behind her desk ready to welcome the next student, arrange transport to social security and for the lone student at the group of free computer banks, assist with SEVIS registration. I know right away the students and community are lucky to have her and Pathways International House.
After I settle in I begin my time by visiting the students. Most of the LifExchange/YMCA students from Ukraine and Tajikistan are here, while a few more from China and Jamaica will arrive over the next few weeks-all to work for Dunkin Donuts. The first two students I run into are Alina and Marina. They welcome me into their home. I immediately notice the rumble of the washer going and Marina offers me a cup of black tea she has brought from home, a city outside Odessa, Ukraine.  After tea we make plans for a community welcome dinner for tomorrow night.  The invite list we create will really bring these students together in a new community.  They decide to invite the owners and managers from Dunkin Donuts, Nancy and Becky from Pathways, all the LifExchange students from Ukraine and Tajikistan and myself.  We split up duties and I am in charge of cooking and they are in charge of inviting guests.  After an afternoon at the local Food Lion, Dollar Store and donation from Kill Devil Custard we start cooking dinner.  Anna peels the cucumbers, Melina cooks the pasta and Julia helps with the sauce.  Alina, Nataliia and Max serve dinner a few hours later as the group discusses expectations, excitement and the weeks to come.
On the last night of my visit we all work together to move the students into their new apartment.  With a washer-dryer, dishwasher, 5 minute walk to the grocery store and 10 minute walk to the beach everyone is smiling.  The Grand Opening for Dunkin Donuts Corolla is only a few days away and everyone is excited.  I am always sad when I leave the students for the season.  I know what lay ahead – playful days on the beach, challenging new experiences as they wrestle with cash registers, homesickness and new roommates.  I also know it is the start of a lifetime experience and I am blessed to have witnessed the first steps.
Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Corolla – Student Dinner, housing move in, Pathways House

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Road Trip

At 5:00am on Thursday I woke up and prepared myself for a road trip that many of my students will take this summer.  Not everyone will go to the same final destination but many will arrive in New York very excited, a little sleepy with many hours of travel still ahead before they reach their employer.  My journey started in New York, first with a subway ride and then to the bus station (  There I grabbed a cup of coffee and stood in line as I waited for the bus at 7:00am.  This is where the experience starts.  The station is large but Peter at the information desk is helpful when I ask where to go.  I head down the hall on the 1st floor to buy my ticket and then up two escalators to the gate where I will depart.  Students should arrive early and leave plenty of time to navigate the station.  The bus leaves Port Authority and heads North to Connecticut.  I doze and sleep, read and keep a journal and before I know it I have arrived in New Haven, CT.  After a 10-minute layover we start the next and last hour of my bus ride to Hartford, CT where Oktan, the owner of Okay Ice Cream will meet me.

At 11:00am I meet Oktan in the parking lot and we drive the last 20 minutes to Manchester, CT where a group of students will work this summer.  Oktan who has owned the business for six years has hired International Students for the last three summers.  He enjoys providing the opportunity to share his business and culture with students from around the world.   Our first stop is the student housing.  I visit the extended stay hotel with a full kitchen, living area, exercise room and outdoor pool.  I know the students will be happy to grill on the barbeques and shoot hoops on the basketball court after a long day at work.  Past participants playing basketball before workI like the Starbucks across the parking lot and stop for a small cup of hot coffee to fuel me on the remainder of my day.  Next we take a walk and I check out all the local stores.  I notice a friendly’s Ice Cream Shop (, Webster Bank (, Shop Rite Grocery Store ( and several more bars and restaurants.  Everything you would need in walking distance to home.  Across the street from the housing at Shop Rite I find a local bus stop 83/85.  Perfect for heading into Hartford for an afternoon out or to take a train to travel at the end of the summer.

Once the housing tour is complete we head to the corporate office to see the Ice Cream Trucks where the students will be servicing Snow Cones and Ice Cream Sandwiches this summer.  I gaze at the menu and all the yummy treats.  It may still be cold but I am ready for the days of summer and sun.

After a final visit to the library and dinner at the local Italian restaurant my first day is over.  This summer it will be the beginning of a four-month journey of self-exploration, new people, new customs and culture for the Participants on the LifExchange LLC J1 Work and Travel Program.  For me, it is time to go home.