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BcA. Alžběta Kohoutová, CTU Prague,ročník 3
About the country
Location of the place
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, New York City, Washington DC, nature
Lightweight Manufacturing, Inc.
Structural engineering calculations for tensile membrane structures. Developing standard tools for use during design and pre-design in MS Excel.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
2560 USD per month before taxes, salary was sufficient for local conditions, covered accommodation and basic expenses.
Excellent English was required, since the job includes working with american standards and writing in English.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
Usually there is a possibility to stay in the dorms of a local college. In 2021 the dorms were closed due to covid, so I had to find an Airbnb for cca 1300 USD per month. It was a private room in a shared house.
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)
There isn't IAESTE in the US. Instead, an organisation called Cultural Vistas helped me with the visa process and necessary paperwork. I never met any of them in person.
Meeting other foreign students
There were no other foreign students at the time. I met lots of locals on Meetup and participated in many events organised by the group.
Sport and culture
There was a lot going on in the area. The activities with my friends whom I met there included weekly beach volleyball, many festivals (Blues, brews & BBQ, Musikfest,..), stand-up comedy, trips and other gatherings on almost daily basis.
Food, local specialties
America is full of great food, I ate lots of burgers, hot dogs, BBQ, sandwiches, had the famous Philly Cheese Steak and so on. Beware, the portions are enormous!
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
Nowadays it's no problem to keep in touch with the home country. I communicated with my family and friends from Czech Republic on daily basis using wifi and internet data, we used platforms as Messanger, Whats App, Instagram, Skype or Teams.
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
Buy a prepaid monthly plan in T-Mobile in order to be able to use data. Since there aren't any IAESTE members there, I recommend using Meetup or other platform to meet friends - it's so worth it! Make use of the time after the end of the internship and travel around the US as much as you can! I ended up travelling for almost a month with my new friends and it was an incredible experience.
What not to forget with you
It's possible to buy almost everything in there, but it's always safe to bring a second cell phone. Also make sure you have some space left in the luggage for the shopping!
Benefits of the internship
I learned about tensile membrane structures, which are not taught at my home university. I deepened my knowledge in my field of study and it was also really interesting to design structures according to US standards. But the greatest experience was meeting new people and exploring many different parts of America. It was really worth it.
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
Instead of IAESTE I worked with Cultural Vistas. They were very helpful and got me through the whole visa process and with the necessarities during my stay there.
Overall experience with IAESTE
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