Work and Travel Adventures: Daria Tarlapan’s Journey from Moldova to Ocean City

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel and work at the same time? Daria Tarlapan had the desire to visit the United States of America, and she managed to do so thanks to the Work and Travel program. Currently, she is in Ocean City, a city located in the state of Maryland. We invite you to learn more about Daria’s experience.

The Work and Travel Program

Daria is originally from Bălți and is in her second year of studying Communication and Public Relations at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest. After completing her first year of college, she decided to go to the United States for three months. Daria followed in the footsteps of many of her friends who had gone through the Work and Travel program (WAT) in different regions of the USA.

The WAT program represents a cultural and work exchange managed by the US Department of State and is intended for students from various countries. It offers the opportunity to live and work temporarily in another country during summer vacations or the university semester. Students can obtain seasonal jobs in the hospitality industry, amusement parks, hotels, restaurants, or similar businesses. “Overall, the Work and Travel program provides students with a unique opportunity to travel, work, and experience another culture. So, it contributes to the personal and professional development of participants,” explains Daria.

Daria initiated the application process for the Work and Travel program in December 2022. “On December 31st, I paid the first installment for this program, and I was very excited about everything that was about to happen. I chose Ocean City as my destination, which is a very popular choice among students participating in the Work and Travel program, especially those from Romania. It’s a city on the eastern coast of the United States, located in the state of Maryland. It is known for its beautiful beaches, recreational activities, and vibrant atmosphere,” says the young woman.


“Ocean City was chosen with my heart”

“Ocean City was chosen with my heart, and it has been the best decision I’ve made,” shares Daria. The young woman is extremely excited about her experience in the USA and has already formed her first impressions about Ocean City. Here are some of them:

  • Sales tax is added at checkout. So, when you see a product in a store with a certain price tag, you should know that if you decide to buy it, you’ll need to pay approximately 7-10% on top of the cost for taxes.
  • People are very welcoming and ready to help you at any time. If you happen to get lost or can’t find a specific location, rest assured they will assist you.
  • Freedom of speech and thought persists. People talk about everything here, and Americans don’t place much emphasis on clothing or physical appearance.

“The first two weeks were the toughest”

“The first two weeks were the toughest,” says Daria, who finds herself hundreds of kilometers away from home. She often feels overwhelmed by the longing for her loved ones. “During the first two weeks, I missed home, my family, and my friends intensely. I even cried every evening. Now, I already know when to call them to catch them at a suitable time with our time difference. I try to talk to them as often as possible to ease my homesickness. Moreover, their support keeps me positive,” mentions the young woman. Therefore, for her, the Republic of Moldova will always be “home,” and Ocean City has become a city of the heart.

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