Cookie Consent by TermsFeed
Coronavirus Update

My American Experience: Zied Adarbeh, Jordan

This summer, CHI invited its USA Work & Travel participants to take part in a contest to help show off their program spirit. Participants were asked to submit an essay, video or photo slideshow that best demonstrated their personal ‘American Experience’.  In their own words and images, here is what this year’s CHI USA Work & Travel alumni have experienced during their summer in America.

Essay by Zied Adarbeh, Jordan, worked in Grand Sarasota, FL

I’ve had a unique experience in America as I had to deal with difficulties at first. I experienced a robbery in New York and some problems at work in Virginia. Traveling alone made things difficult, but it also enriched my knowledge and open-mindedness. It improved my English significantly as I only spoke in that language. I engaged in American culture immediately, because I was surrounded by and interacted with Americans. Then I had to leave for Chicago, but that’s where things started to become better.


I spent a fabulous two weeks in Chicago. I made a lot of new, life-long friends and hung out with my cousin, who lives near O’hare airport. I also caught up with some old friends. I saw a lot of tourists attractions, like Millenium Park and the Sears Tower, and I celebrated the 4th of July in Chicago. I walked many areas of the city and explored the Art Institute with my friends Rachel and Tom. I played a lot of soccer with some friends from my neighborhood, and afterwards they would invite me to dinner at their homes. Yet, I was unable to find a decent job. I made a resume and applied for many positions, but because I couldn’t find work, I had to move to Florida. I loved my time in Chicago though. I taught some Americans Arabic, and they taught me some English. I had many cultural dialogues with Chicagoans too.

My flight to Florida was delayed for five hours due to a thunder storm and I waited on the plane for that time. I thought my next destination, Florida, would be bad because of this. However, it turned out to be exactly the opposite.


Although I’ve been to a lot of different places in America, I like Florida the best. My friend was waiting for me in the airport, so I didn’t have to deal with all the problems I encountered in New York when I first came to America. I arrived really late at night and I went to bed as soon as I got home. Soon enough, I had to find a job so I could survive in Florida. It took me two weeks to get a job, so during that time I explored Florida. In those two weeks, I went to several beaches, a marina, museums, birthday parties, and dinners. My employer found me inexpensive housing with two Americans which influenced my experience in America and has significantly improved my English. I spent a fantastic day at the Ringling Museum, exploring six different buildings and getting a discount for being a full-time student. That was an amazing day. I spent a day cruising in the Gulf of Mexico with my Turkish friend. He worked on a ship in Turkey, and he abandoned his ship once when it approached New York, swam on it beaches, and never returned to Turkey. He became an American through the lottery system. Little did I know you could gain American citizenship through a lottery system–just another thing I learned. Apart from beaches and having fun, incredible experiences such as volunteering teaching in the Islamic Society of Sarasota. I tutored Arabic, Quran, and jurisprudence. My job was as a cashier at a grocery store. That gives me a chance to build bridges with a lot of diverse people in the community and has brought back math skills I forgot a long time ago. It also improved my English. In addition, I networked with other employees and my employer and others in the community. If I keep writing the whole day, it won’t be enough to describe how amazing Florida is.

Although I’m really excited to head home to Jordan, to be around family and friends and go back to school, I’m sad to leave America. I had an unforgettable experience here, one I will never forget, and it’s nice to know I can come back and re-live those experiences and connect with old friends. Hopefully next summer, I’ll go to a new part of America and see how it compares to what I’ve seen already from this summer. I won’t make the same mistakes I made this summer. Overall, it was a great experience that everyone in the world should have once before they die. The world is more like a book–the more you read, the more you gain and experience. And what I mean by reading, is travelling. Thank you CHI team for your kindness, guidance, and all the help you gave me during my stay in America.I’ll never forget such a fabulous experience.

Leave a Reply

contact us

How can we help you?