Jonna is a civil engineer in media technology student in Linköping, Sweden.
During her summer break she is working in amazing Yellowstone before her studies start again.
Hi Jonna, how come you chose to apply for a summer job in Yellowstone?
I wanted to go abroad for the summer and Yellowstone seemed like the perfect summer adventure.
Did you know anything about Yellowstone before you applied for the position?
I did not. I knew it was a National Park in Wyoming, nothing else.
How would you describe Yellowstone?
A park with a huge variety of different looking nature. You are very close to wild life. You are pretty isolated and Yellowstone is your new life in a new world.
What were your expectations before you arrived to the U.S.?
I did not have a lot of expectations. I was only hoping to get American friends and make smors under the stars. And I can check them both off!
What has been different than you imagined and what has been the greatest challenge?
I did not expect the WiFi to be so bad and so cut off from the rest of the world. Getting used to the altitude!
How does one day at your job look like?
As a housekeeper (room attendant) I start my day by having breakfast and then clocking in (8:00), all the housekeepers meet outside, we are given a list with the rooms we should clean that day. Then we stretch. Go inside, get our cart with cleaning supplies, and then clean our rooms. At the end of the day, if someone is lagging behind everyone helps out and we get off between 16:00-17:00.
What do you do on your spare time?
I go hiking. One of my friends got a car and we use to go for hikes after work and on weekends. Sometimes we drive Jackson or West Yellowstone.
What transportation do you use?
I go with my friend in her car or sometimes I go with the Rec Center when they arrange trips.
Can you tell something to our readers that is good to know before they decide to do the
same journey as you?
Prepare yourself for a dry climate (bring chapstick!). It will be really cold some days (snowing) and extremely warm some days. So when packing clothes, bring layers. Get your bear spray as soon as you arrive (to feel safe while hiking)
What is the best and most memorable experience you have gained from your stay
abroad, so far?
Just hopping in the car after work with your friends, going for a sunset hike and then driving home through the dark park, keeping your eyes wide open for bison. And of course my grizzly bear encounter!
Do you ALSO want to work in USA next summer?
Read about the Summer Work & Travel program on a J-1 visa here