We had discussed the possibility of him spending a summer with Camp America as a camp counsellor for several months, and so as his final year of study came to an end he applied, and attended an interview in Bristol after answering an online questionnaire. It was very informal, a chat in a coffee shop to go over his application and to to ask any questions he might have about CA, and the chap was very friendly and helpful. He passed the interview, and we began the next stage.
Camp America make the process very simple, everything is done step by step and they have a great team available to help if you get stuck anywhere along the way. J filled out his application which is all done online, got references from his tutors and employer, and we made a short video all about him and his interests to show prospective camps. You want to make an impact, and to show them who you are and what you're about so a video is a great addition to your application but not a requirement. Before we knew it he had two offers of a placement. The first one was not suited to him, but the second was absolutely perfect - a lifeguard placement at a sports camp! An online interview with the camp directors followed and he was hired.
After his placement was confirmed, J needed to complete some important aspects of his application. A medical carried out by his GP (a simple appointment with basic health checks and questions), his DBS check to make sure he was suitable to work with children, and then finally his U.S. visa application. Camp America charge a fee to make all of the arrangements which covers flights (unless you choose to arrange your own flights) and the majority of the application admin, however things like the DBS and visa cost extra on top, as expected, and this can vary depending on your area. I think all-in, as a first-timer it cost us around £800 - it usually costs less for returners. In my opinion it was worth it to have step by step help throughout the process.
Completing the student work visa application was a bit laborious but straightforward enough, and we had to take photos to accompany his application. Our local Tesco have a photo machine which prints them the appropriate size, as they are slightly larger than our standard UK passport photo sizing. We made his appointment online, and his Dad travelled with him to the embassy for his interview. It was a brief interview though a little daunting to be at the embassy, but he gained his approval and he left his passport there to be checked & stamped ready for him to travel in June - it was returned to us by courier. When he got home, we ticked off 'approved' on his Camp America account and waited for his flight information. It was done - he was going to the USA!