Category Archives: J1 Summer Work Travel

Free Activities Tonight (7/27) in NYC

Visiting NYC this weekend and want to hang where the locals do?  Check out these free movie screenings around the city tonight:

1.  HUGO playing at pier 46 on the upper west side at 8:30pm:

2.  MUPPETs at the Intrepid.  Bring your lawn chairs, picnic baskets and blankets. Guests are encouraged to bring  their ownSummer Movie Seriesfood, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, however no outside alcohol is permitted.  Doors open at 7:30PM, film begins at sunset, weather permitting. Space is limited. Seating is on a first come first serve basis, and there is no admission after 8:30pm.

Not up for a movie?  Well it is summer in NYC which means something for everyone.

3.  The MET summer Recital Series – The Met’s annual concert series in New York City parks is one of the most beloved summer traditions in the city. This year, the Summer Recital Series returns with six performances in the parks of all five boroughs.  TONIGHT:  The Metropolitan Opera from 7pm-9pm on the Harbor View Lawn at the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn.

Have fun and travel safe!

The LifExchange Team

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.




Jobs for Aussie’s

How much of the world can you fit in a suitcase?

Qualifying Austrian students and recent graduates are eligible to take part in a Work and Holiday Program to the US.  Let LifExchange help create your travel experience.  Whether you are looking for the whole package (visa sponsorship with one of our partners, Insurance, job placement and support) or just a Job Placement we have a package for you.

Current Available Jobs:

Borges Carriage and Sleigh Ride Employer Flyer (Australia)

Dunkin Donuts – Outer Banks Employer Flyer (Australia)

Hilton Garden Inn OBX Employer Flyer (Australia 2012)

We also have management trainee jobs available through our partner UWT at SIX FLAGS. Contact us to learn more.


  • Choose the departure date that suits you (Work & Travel 12 months)
  • You’ll earn US$ which you can use to travel around the country at the end of your program
  • You can explore life in the United States with maximum freedom and at minimum cost
  • You will get first hand experience of working in the world’s leading economy
  • You will gain important insights into American business culture that will enhance your future career prospects
  • You will challenge yourself and gain independence and maturity
  • You will enhance your resume and give yourself a competitive edge in the jobs marketplace
  • You’ll make friends from all over the world
  • You’ll have heaps of fun!


  • Be a full-time student enrolled at a university or a technical education provider, such as TAFE in Australia ;
  • Have completed your first full year of studies, or
  • Have graduated from such an Institution within the past 12 months
  • Agree to abide by the program rules
  • Have a minimum of $2000 (US dollars) available in order to support yourself upon arrival in the US
  • Be an Australian

For more information you can contact us at:
Skype: shari.lamont
Visit our contact page to leave a message

Thank you to all our employer partners who participate in this program.  Exchange programs allow young people from around the world to explore new cultures and become part of the ever growing global society.

Are you an American?  Visit our sister site to learn how you can work abroad in Australia!

I am my business

Hello from LifExchange.  I am Shari – owner, operator, marketer and inspired entrepreneur.  I was recently told that my blogs, newsletters, etc were not personal enough.  I am my business.  I love to travel and it has changed my life!  I woke up one day in a job that did not move me and my wonderful husband said enough, it is time to open your own company.  After a bit of laughing and shaking my head I realized he was serious.

In Ghana
In Thailand

I have traveled to Peru, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Ireland, England, Germany, Turkey, Ghana, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Thailand, South Korea, China, Spain, Morocco, Israel and a few other places in my life’s journey.  He was right, why not help others find their dreams, passion and inner self the way I did.  So LifExchange was born and 1 year later here I am.

In our first year we had 115 students from 8 countries come to the US to Work and Travel.  We have signed-up our first American to go overseas with a company who has hosted over 5,000 Americans and the possibilities for what is next is endless.  But I guess the real question is why.  Why do I believe everyone and I mean everyone needs to travel abroad?

I think there is a sense of both self and community at a global level that is only found with international travel.  For me that “self and community” opened a world of love, laughter, and fun along with a deeper understanding of peace, humanity and the importance of the common good of others.

My plan is to write a series of short blogs sharing how I came to feel this way and some of the experiences that taught me these life lessons.  However I do not want to end my first personal post here so let me share one trick of international long flight travel that has worked for me.

My philosophy on flying.  Any flight no matter how far is just a matter of scheduling like any day in your life and it can fly by.  Example – a 14-hour flight to China may be ¼ a book, 8 hours sleep, a 2 hour movie and then another ¼ a book – presto – I am in my destination.  A 9 hour flight to Brazil – one hour reading, 2 two hour movies, a 1 hours nap, 1 hour for food, bathroom and drink breaks, and 2 more hours of reading.  So simple, the day fly’s by and I am at my destination (no pun intended).  You need to be sure if the flight you have booked does not have personal movies on demand that you buy a cd player and some movies to bring with you.  This is key.  I plan all flights like a day I would schedule for business.  Like life my schedules are flexible and open to change but as a planner this helps me pass the time quickly.  Oh, I almost forgot the one exception.  And this is BIG.  Speak to your neighbor!!!!  It is not planned but you may end up next to the most interesting person, a local to give you advice, a new friend to explore with or a random contact that you find yourself calling for a job 5 years later or the most fascinating conversation you could imagine.  Then again if you have the other kind, you know who I mean, you will be glad you have that movie on hand.  Here is the deal, you never know who is just next door.   Take the time to start your international experience on the flight.  Because this is where your travels begin.

Till next time,

Jim and I in Israel


Tips to NYC travel

Once you have completed your Work and Travel program successfully you may choose to travel in the US before returning home to University.  For many LifExchange participants NYC is on your list of places to visit.

Here are some tips to assist you with your planning

The Basics:

Buying a metro card:  We recommend you but an unlimited 7 day pass for $29.00.  This allows you to travel 24 hours per day for 7 days anywhere I the city for one cost.  Find out more at the MTA.  Taxis are not cheap – with the heavy New York traffic and the compulsory tip, expect to pay $10 for even a short cab ride.
Accommodations:  For cheap accommodations look up for in home stays, or for a little less visit  Both of these options are cheaper than a hotel unless you are traveling in a group and willing to share a hotel room.  Depending on the dates, Hostels can be found for around $30 – $45 a night, depending on whether you want a private or shared room. Book your accommodation before you travel, especially in peak season.
Food: Most hostels don’t serve breakfast, so a diner breakfast will set you back about $10 – not including the tip. New Yorkers don’t do things by halves – and this includes their food portions.  Try the street vendors, there are a lot of great meals you will find for less then $5.00.  China town and the East village are also great neighborhoods for great finds.  Want to splurge and treat yourself to something great?  Visit Open Table for suggestions and reservations.

Things to do:

The Statue of Liberty – ( ferries for the Statue leave every 25 minutes from 8.30am-4.30pm from Battery Park. Perhaps the most recognizable icon of the USA, expect a long wait with queuing and security checks before boarding the ferry.  The ferry continues on to Ellis Island, where you might find a long lost family member on the Immigrant Wall of Honour.
The Staten Island Ferry is free- and while there is not much to see on Staten Island you will get stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline. This ferry runs 24 hours a day.
Central Park – Probably the only place in the city you’ll find some peace and quiet. It would take a week to view the whole of this park, but try and fit in a few of the highlights during your stay. Strawberry Fields, dedicated to the late John Lennon, is worth a visit and the Jackie Onassis Reservoir is beautiful on a sunny day.
New York Public Library – Worth a visit if only to view the two famous stone lions sitting outside – said to represent Patience and Fortitude. Oh, and it’s free.
Ground Zero- For decades, the World Trade Centre was the most visible tourist attraction in Lower Manhattan. Post 9/11, the site is surrounded by a Viewing Wall, that allows visitors to see the rebuilding that is now underway. The names of the 9/11 victims are included within the wall.

Cheap Stuff

Although New York is an expensive city, there are plenty of things you can do for free or cheap. The city is best seen on foot. In addition to the most current cheap options listed below, check out The Skint for day to day activities and options for great stuff to do in NY.

Among the free things to do are Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, the Staten Island Ferry, most national park sites many of the museums, some guided tours, and all TV show tapings.
 Studio tickets for SNL, Daily Show, Letterman and more
Tickets to other shows taped in NYC are easier to snag and usually for free. Here’s an updated list of shows that tape with a live audience in NYC:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Colbert Report
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Late Show with David Letterman
Good Morning America
The Early Show
The View
Live! with Regis and Kelly
The Martha Stewart Show
The Rachel Ray Show
The Dr. Oz Show
The Wendy Williams Show
MTV studio audience
Who Wants to be a Millionaire
The Marriage Ref
The Tyra Banks Show
Comedy Central Presents
Other resources:
On Friday mornings during the summer both Today Show and Good Morning America offer free outdoor concerts. Usually no tickets are required.
The automated Twitter feed @DailyTix tweets when new tickets are available for the John Stewart or Stephen Colbert shows.
Free hours at NYC museums, zoos and gardens
Museums with free or pay-what-you-wish hours in 2011
Museum at Eldridge Street – Free 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (normally $10)
Yeshiva University Museum – Free 5 to 8 p.m. (normally $8)
McKim rooms of the Morgan Library & Museum – free 3 to 5 p.m. (full museum access is $15)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden – Free all day (normally $10)
China Institute Gallery – Free 6 to 8 p.m. (normally $7)
Staten Island Museum – Free noon to 2 p.m. (normally $3)
Bronx Zoo – Pay-what-you-wish donation all day (normally $16)
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust – Free 4 to 8 p.m. (normally $12)
El Museo del Barrio – Free 6 to 9 p.m. (normally a suggested $9)
Staten Island Zoo – Free 2 to 4:45 p.m. (normally $8)
Yeshiva University Museum – Free 5 to 8 p.m. (normally $8)
NY Botanical Garden – Free grounds access all day, but excludes the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, Rock and Native Plant gardens and tram tour (grounds-only access normally $6)
Van Cortlandt House Museum – Free all day, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (normally $5)
Queens Botanical Garden – Free from 3 to 6 p.m. (normally $4)

4th of July Celebrations

Why do we celebrate the 4th of July? 

Imagine how you would feel if someone older than you (maybe an older sister or brother) kept telling you what to do all the time and kept taking more and more of your allowance. That is how the colonists felt in the years leading up to 1776. Great Britain kept trying to make the colonists follow more rules and pay higher taxes. People started getting mad and began making plans to be able to make their own rules. They no longer wanted Great Britain to be able to tell them what to do, so they decided to tell Great Britain that they were becoming an independent country. (To be independent means to take care of yourself, making your own rules and providing for your own needs.)

The Congress met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and they appointed a committee (a group of people working together to do a specific job) to write a formal document that would tell Great Britain that the Americans had decided to govern themselves. The committee asked Thomas Jefferson to write a draft (first try) of the document, so he worked for days, in absolute secret, until he had written a document that he thought said everything important that the committee had discussed. On June 28, 1776, the committee met to read Jefferson’s “fair” copy (he put his best ideas together and wrote them neatly.) They revised (made some changes) the document and declared their independence on July 2, 1776. They officially adopted it (made it theirs) on July 4, 1776. That is why we call it “Independence Day.”

Americans celebrate that freedom and independence with barbecues, picnics, and family gatherings.  Please find below a list of locations near where you may work that you can view fireworks, join a picnic or create your own.


Enjoy a free concert at 8 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. 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.


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

COROLLA, NC – Outer Banks

The Corolla Annual Independence Day Festival of Fireworks will begin at 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Whalehead Club.  Fireworks begin at dusk but arrive early to enjoy food, fun activities, fabulous music and find a place for your blankets and chairs to settle in for the best fireworks on the Outer Banks! Admission and Parking are free. For more information visit or call (252) 453-9040.


Town of Manteo – Outdoor Pavilion at Roanoke Island Festival Park. 8 p.m. Featuring the North Carolina National Guard’s 440th Army Band. The performance is free and open to the public. (252) 475-1500 or

DUCK, NC – Outer Banks

9 a.m. Duck’s seventh annual Fourth of July Parade will be held on Monday, July 4, 2011 at 9:00 a.m., with an after-event following at the Duck Town Park featuring community fun, music, watermelon, and the awarding of parade trophies. The one-mile parade route is the same annually and begins at the crest of the hill on Scarborough Lane and continues down Ocean Way and then Christopher Drive. Please plan to arrive at least 1/2 hour early to get the best parade viewing spot! (252) 255-1234,,


9 a.m. Parade (starts at the Town Pier)  This year’s theme is ‘HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY TO THE NATIONAL SEASHORE’  (chosen by children at the Wellfleet Elementary School). Fireworks are in Provincetown at 9:00pm


The 2011 Macy’s will begin at approximately 9:20 pm on July 4th, the 26-minute display will be set off from six barges positioned between 20th and 55th Streets on the Hudson River. That’s two full miles of sky, providing for greater visibility of the show for millions more spectators. On the West Side of Manhattan.

LifExchange wishes you a safe and happy holiday!!!!

Ocean City, Maryland upcoming Events

Looking for new and fun activities in your community?  Check out these upcoming events:

Ocean City Shark Tournament

6/15/2011 – 6/19/2011
Phone:  410-213-2442
Address:  12940 Inlet Isle Lane Ocean City MD 21842
Ocean City’s largest shark fishing tournament. Registration begins 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 15th.  Bring the kids and come watch the fish weigh-ins Thursday through Saturday, 3:30 -7 p.m. at the Ocean City Fishing Center located at the west side of Route 50 bridge. Spectators see weigh-ins free of charge. Contact Mark Sampson at 410-213-2442 or visit

Arts on the Dock

6/16/2011 – 9/22/2011
Phone: 410-213-1121
Address: Route 50 & Inlet Isle Lane, West Ocean City
Local artists and crafters showcasing their work on the docks of the Ocean City Fishing Center Marina. 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Jennifer Blunt, 410-213-1121,

OC 5 Mile Boardwalk Run

6/18/2011 – 6/18/2011
Address: Atlantic Ave
 All 5 miles of this course runs the famous Ocean City Boardwalk. This event if perfect for the whole family. After a 5 mile trot, you and your family or friends can spend the rest of the day enjoying the Ocean City Boardwalk and Beach!
Start time is 7:00 a.m. and race begins at the Boardwalk Arch at the end of N.Division St.  Registration fee.
Time:  8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Phone: 800-OC-OCEAN (800-626-2326).
Address: Beachfront (downtown) or Northside Park, 127th St (uptown)
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.

Movies on the Beach Thursdays

7/07/2011 – 8/26/2011
Address:  Beach at 92nd Street
Free movies on the beach for the family every Thursday night (July 7-August 25) at 8:30 p.m. at the Princess Royale Hotel, 91st Street Oceanfront.
Additionally, every Monday and Friday evening (June 27-August 12)  a movie on the beach with our 16-foot projector at 27th Street. 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. On Wednesday evenings (June 15-August 24) you may enjoy movies on the beach at the Carousel Resort Hotel at 118th Street. Movie starts around 8:30 p.m.


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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Dinner with LifExchange/YMCA in Kill Devil Hills Wednesday, May 25th at 5:00pm

Dear current LifExchange LLC / YMCA students in the outer banks.  Please come join us for a community dinner at 5:00pm located at 203 Arch Street across from Dunkin Donuts.  Meet with your managers, local reps and your summer local support team as we welcome you to your new Outer Banks Community.  Call or text at 203-984-2575 to take part in dinner.  And thank you to Alina Vara for helping to coördinate.
After dinner we will move students from Kill Devils Housing to Corolla.

Welcome to our Thai Students!

It began on Thursday October 7th, 2010. I arrived at the office, opened my email and received my first of many inquiries for our spring program. Every March a group of students from Thailand join the ranks of work and travel participants while on break from their university. Many students will start in Bangkok, travel on 2 -3 flights and for up to 24 hours for the opportunity to work and live along side Americans. During the interview process students shared with me their dream of visiting a new culture, practicing their English and making new friends. This journey, though tiring will be the end of a 3-4 month process of paperwork and interviews, time filled with excitement and dedication.

In October it was still just an email, next week the dream will start. It will not be easy but the experience will change each person differently and add to those whom they meet.

If you are a LifExchange LLC Spring 2011 Work and Travel student, be sure to check out our “Current Student Information” page to learn about upcoming orientation, travel insurance and SEVIS registration. We look forward to welcoming you to the US!