Guide/Help/Blog to Camp America Application.

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Guide/Help/Blog to Camp America Application.

by aaron6693 » 19 Apr 2012, 06:03

This is my first year attending Camp America, I fly on the 25th May 2012 to Camp Conrad Wieser in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Although my experience has been fairly quick and simple, I figured I could help others out by making a guide/help topic for those going through the application process. Now this may have been done before, and it may be a little personalized with certain issues arising for me only however this is just in the hope it may help anyone from my area or otherwise. :)

My application started with word of mouth from a friend, I checked out the CA website and came across this:

First Payment £65
Second Payment £91**
Third Payment £94
Medical Insurance £199
European Airport Security Taxes & Fuel Surcharges £117
Flight FREE (from London), Belfast*, Glasgow*
Camp America Total £566

*Flight surcharge of £120 is applicable as of December 1st for Belfast and £92 for Glasgow. Departure before this date is FREE. **If interview date is before February 24th 2012 then 2nd deposit is only £70 and total therefore £545
CRB/Police Check £44 (England, Wales & Northern Ireland) £35 (Scotland)
US Embassy Fee £139 (increased from £125 as of April 13th 2012)
Physicians' Fees Please contact your physcian for information
Optional Baggage Insurance £69

Awesome! Affordable, easy and realistic. Let's get started.
This is the bit where I will bring to light some "Hidden expenses" I have or predict to encounter along the way on top of the above. I live in Middlesbrough, North East England. Please note these are all the cheapest possible way I could find of doing things, otherwise my train tickets would've been in the 100's. If anyone has done anything I'm about to do or could have done better, please suggest it!

Mandatory price comes to (for me) around £220 on top of the £820 Camp america and other fees= £1,040.
Optional would be £106 more than this= £1,146.
Also be prepared/flexible to put holidays in at current employment to meet sudden changes or appointments at US Embassy, orientations, flights etc.

The cheapest hostel I could find near the US Embassy was one called "Generator Hostel London" for £20.00 per night. [url][20120502-1]1[/url] As the company that CA suggest are near enough always booked out on dates I'd need.

To get to the US Embassy in London I must get a Train from Darlington to Kings Cross St. Pancras on the 2nd May, Arriving at 01:00 on the 3rd then walk the short distance to Generator Hostel in London. However I don't advise walking through London alone.Image
Once spending the morning in the Hostel I then need to travel to the US Embassy, using the Tube. The Tube layout is found here: tube station Next to the hostel is called Russel Square and is on the BLUE line, I will get on here and get off at the Blue/Red interchange at the next stop called Holborn, from Holborn I will get on the RED line to either Bond Street or Marble Arch as they are both a similar distance from the Embassy. After my Embassy appointment at 10:30 I will need to get the tube back to Holborn and then to Kings Cross for my train back to Darlington departing at 14:30. This, for me, is the easiest quickest and cheapest way of doing the trip tot he US Embassy.

My second trip to London is more straight forward, I will get a Train from Darlington to Kings Cross St Pancras, where I will get a Tube straight through from zone 1 to zone 6 using the second travel card I bought to Terminal 3 At Heathrow Airport. Where I will spend the night laid out somewhere and check in at 06:30 to be on the 09:30 flight to JFK-Kennedy airport in NY. From here I currently have no idea whatsoever of what will be happening! :|

If I have missed anything out or anyone has anything to add just post below, I'm tired so I'll have missed something!
Hope this helped.
Posts: 14
Joined: 09 Apr 2012, 09:57

Re: Guide/Help/Blog to Camp America Application.

by daniel4594 » 19 Apr 2012, 09:51

Cracking post... I would however not suggest you get the tube to Heathrow as it takes days, and if you did get the tube you certainly don't need a day pass on the tube costing that much, a single journey is £7 tops on the tube to Heathrow... But I'd be more inclined to get the Heathrow express from paddington, only takes 15 minutes compared to over an hour on the tube, but it is quite pricey.
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Joined: 03 Nov 2011, 17:00

Re: Guide/Help/Blog to Camp America Application.

by aaron6693 » 19 Apr 2012, 14:49

Thanks! :)

The other option I have is to Get the train to kings cross, then the tube to Paddington then another train to Heathrow all for £45. It's just a case of how much hassle I want on the day :lol:.

I've checked heathrow express and it'd be £18 for the journey to heathrow from paddington after getting the tube from kings cross. Something I will consider, thanks for the suggestion :D
Posts: 14
Joined: 09 Apr 2012, 09:57

Re: Guide/Help/Blog to Camp America Application.

by Alan » 19 Apr 2012, 18:20

Aaron; this is a fantastic post - and we commend you for going to the trouble of detailing your NET spend, as it were.

The reality of your post is that everyones NET spend will be entirely different. Some people will be fortunate enough not have to shell out for travel costs; whether that be to an interview, Embassy appointment or Orientation - whereas others will be levied with costs afforded by their personal circumstances. There's no getting away from that; and in reality we wish it was very different!

We wish our applicants didn't have to make long journeys to the Embassy, only to be seen for a matter of minutes and wouldn't it be great if our interviews could be conducted by Skype; saving not only you but our interviewers time and money! The reality is that we have to follow guidelines set out by the State Department which say we must meet our applicants in person prior to acceptance and that they must receive an orientation, of what to expect on our programme. So - we just through their hoops, to keep providing you and everyone with this opportunity!

What we will take from this post however is the in-sight as to whether we can be more expressive about our applicants potential 'personal' fees linked to our programme and, again, we thank you for bringing your personal situation to our attention!


Re: Guide/Help/Blog to Camp America Application.

by aaron6693 » 19 Apr 2012, 20:22

Oh, now that I never expected! Thank you for your comments and I totally understand the situation you, as a company, are placed in.

This just brings me on to further thoughts about any way possible you could help potential applicants who just cannot afford it in future years, as I am one to believe everyone should be able to have this opportunity! Not just those who have the money lying around when the moment comes!
After all not only would this benefit Camp America in widening its horizons on who can apply, but also the short term unemployment figures currently in the UK. Man how that would look good for CA, right!? :lol:

I believe it is all about providing the service for everyone, maybe even a loan with little to no interest direct from CA rather than banks etc! Obviously it has complications, but just a little something to look into maybe :)

Even such a little thing as asking the interviewers to attend the applicants address, or meeting half way in a coffee shop or whatever would be a huge bonus for situations like this. I know from experience another company in the games industry that sends their interviewers to the applicants address!
If all the above would not be possible in years to come, then atleast what you said about being more expressive would be more than I could have hoped for in making this post.

It's great to talk to you, thanks again!
Posts: 14
Joined: 09 Apr 2012, 09:57

Re: Guide/Help/Blog to Camp America Application.

by Alan » 20 Apr 2012, 09:48

We're always looking at ways to refine the programme for the benefit of the applicant and, again, your comments have been taken on board.

All the very best with your summer; we hope you, and all of our applicants, have a fantastic time!

Keep in touch!

Re: Guide/Help/Blog to Camp America Application.

by aaron6693 » 20 Apr 2012, 20:44

Awesome, thanks!

Also quick question, on monday I checked my outgoing flight from London Heathrow to Newark, NJ. However luckily today I re-checked all the details before booking my train time down to London, to find that It had been changed to London> JFK Kennedy Airport and the time had changed to 09:30 in the morning as appose to the previous times, much later.

I've sifted through my emails however can't find anything notifying me of this change to my flight. Have I missed something?

It was just incredibly lucky I hadn't already booked the train!
Posts: 14
Joined: 09 Apr 2012, 09:57

Re: Guide/Help/Blog to Camp America Application.

by genevieve9342 » 01 Jul 2012, 18:15

This is a really cool post!
I too am from the North East, in Newcastle.
I managed to do the embassy trip for less than £50. All I can say is the Megabus is fantastic. I took an overnight coach which cost £15. This took me to Victoria coach station. A 15 minute walk away from Grosvenor where all of the Embassy's are. I had a few hours to get a coffee and some breakfast. The meeting was 15 minutes tops. I then had another few hours when I came out at 11. I didnt get any transport, I loved walking around and soaking up the city. I then got a Megabus home for £16 (I booked it the night before). It was empty, had tables, wifi etc and was relatively fast. This is just a cheaper option to consider. Tickets start at a pound if you get your appointment early.

The CA process can seem to be costly for 18 year old, jobless participants like me, but there are ways around it! When I went to the Manchester recruitment fair, a friend and I got there on the Megabus for £1 each and got a travel lodge for £19 for the night which was great fun.

Basically, it doesnt always have to be uber expensive :)
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Joined: 03 Mar 2012, 22:53

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