The American Institute for Foreign Study (Australia) Pty Ltd opened its Australian office in 1999 and began offering its Camp America and Au Pair in America programs to young Australians. In 2005, AIFS commenced offering inbound programs and currently facilitates cultural exchange programs for more than 2,000 young people.
I watched the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie ‘It Takes Two’, where they go to summer camp, about three thousand times as a kid, and since we didn’t really have anything like it in Australia, I decided that as soon as I was old enough, I would jet off to become a counsellor in America (and basically become the third Olson triplet). I’m still working on the Olsons adopting me, but the counsellor part went great!
Camp taught me to completely forget any inhibitions and just have pure, ridiculous fun. Where else in the world are you encouraged to run around as a toilet paper mummy at 23 years of age?
New York City will always be my favourite place. It’s hard to describe but the city has a way of making you feel like you’re meant to be there and you belong. I really love New Orleans too though!
My twelve year old campers planned a late night canteen raid. (We’d actually let admin know, but the girls didn’t know that). They took the whole thing so seriously; wore all black, painted their faces, wrote up contracts and minute by minute schedules and scurried from the bunk in dead silence. Then, at the last minute, they saw our camp director walking towards them and RAN, screaming at the top of their lungs and waking up the whole camp - never making it to the canteen, which the director was heading over to unlock so it’d be easier for them to break in!
For me, Camp America changed my life. It helped me to grow in confidence, learn amazing leadership skills and gifted me some of my best friends in the world. It’s also just a really, really, really fun summer!!