Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hospitality Students & Young Professionals Discover Gold along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

In partnership with Tourism Queensland, the 20-year old cultural exchange organization Alliance Abroad Group (AAG) is expanding its service offerings to the South Pacific with the announcement of its Work Experience Program to Australia. Launching in Spring 2012, AAG’s Work Experience Australia program gives U.S. students and young professionals the chance to enrich their lives through cultural exchange while gaining valuable paid work experience and building an international resume on the pristine beaches of the Great Barrier Reef.

This program is the first of its kind to guarantee a job placement in advance of travel in addition to assistance with visa paperwork, providing travel insurance and supporting with transportation and in-country needs while abroad.  Parents and students alike can take comfort knowing where they will be working, how much they’ll be earning, while also resting assured with 24/7 on-the-ground support. AAG recruits and pre-screens potential candidates from across the U.S. and matches them with tourism and hospitality employers. Through AAG students will have a signed employment contract in hand, with known performance expectations and salary details already firmly established prior to departure.

“At a time when university students are facing rising unemployment rates and significant competition for the jobs that are available, this program offers students a real opportunity to create a solid resume and to get a leg up on their competition,” said Victoria Lynden, AAG CEO. “If the idea of adding overseas experience to the resume isn’t enough motivation to consider working in Australia, the starting salaries should be more than enough to make students take a second look with starting salaries on average $18-20 per hour. “

“International work experience is a real differentiator in the hospitality job market for recent graduates,” said James Bell, president of AAG. “A recent study reveals that students completing an internship earned on average 24 percent more than students without an internship experience.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Alliance Abroad Group to bring students from around the U.S. to our excellent Queensland facilities,” says Shana Pereira
, International Director Americas – Tourism Queensland. “With the U.S. being one of the top markets for Australia, we think a cultural exchange with America’s tourism students will provide valuable education for both students and employers.” 

One facility participating in AAG’s Work Experience Australia program is Hamilton Island’s luxurious resort “qualia” considered to be among the finest resort properties in the world.  “Having worked myself as a housekeeping intern to fulfill my own university graduation requirements, I am a strong supporter of cultural exchange programs” says Assistant General Manager Nick Lee of qualia.

When not busy gaining invaluable professional experience working with international clientele on behalf of top 4- and 5-star resorts, students can spend their free time soaking up all the beauty and wonder the magnificent Great Barrier Reef has to offer. The tax refund students earn will be more than enough to cover their program fee and airfare to Australia.

About Alliance Abroad Group

Since 1992, Alliance Abroad Group (AAG) has successfully matched more than 1000,000 international students with many of the world’s leading tourism and hospitality companies. AAG has been a U.S. Department of State-designated program sponsor for the J-1 visa Work/Travel since 2002 and the Intern/Trainee and Teacher programs since 2009. AAG adheres to rigorous standards to maintain their standing and accreditation.  AAG is led by founder and CEO Victoria Lynden, “Profiles in Power: Central Texas Women of Influence" award-winner, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 Top 10 Women Owned Business in Texas . AAG was also recently selected as one of the nation's "Top Businesses" by Diversity Business and has received the 2011 National Women's Business Enterprise Certification.

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