Graduate Rachael Neilson is aiming to take a bite out of the Big Apple as she heads Stateside for the summer.
The 22-year-old, of Chichester, South Shields, is going to work as a counsellor at an American summer camp.
It’s the perfect camp for me as well because it’s in New York and we can go out and explore every weekend when we get time off.Rachael Neilson
Rachael, who recently completed a music degree at the Sage Gateshead, has landed a spot in the Camp America scheme and will spend 10 weeks working at the Green Chimneys camp, in New York.
She said: “I know a couple of people who’ve been to do it before and when I saw their pictures it made me really want to go.
“I applied as soon as it opened last August but when it got to April and I still hadn’t heard anything I thought there was no way I was going to get a place and kind of gave up on the idea.
“But then last Monday I got an email asking if I could do an interview over Skype with the director of the camp, so I agreed and started doing loads of research into the camp.
“All she asked me was how I felt about children and I told her I loved working with kids and then she said I had a place. I couldn’t believe it.
“She must have all ready decided from my application that she wanted to take me on. I thought I was going to be interrogated, but it was mainly me asking questions.
“Thousands of people apply so it feels amazing that I’ve got a place, and I know it’s an experience I’ll never forget.”
Rachael will work as a general counsellor at the camp, looking after the children and leading activities.
She added: “I was really gutted when I thought I wasn’t going to get a place and I was ecstatic when I was given one. I was jumping around the living room and everything.
“It’s the perfect camp for me as well because it’s in New York and we can go out and explore every weekend when we get time off.
“I’m a big theatre fan so seeing a show on Broadway is a must, but I do think it’s going to be hard being away from home for so long. I will miss home but it’s going to be an amazing experience.”