Brianna Prime - Program Coordinator & Partner Liaison
Brianna graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia in December 2014 with a degree in strategic communication, with concentrations in public relations and international communications and a Spanish minor. During her undergraduate studies, she studied abroad in Ireland, Costa Rica, and Spain, and worked in her university’s study abroad office as well as for the Children’s Hospital Philadelphia doing events and fundraising. She relocated to Arizona for her job with BUNAC and is enjoying the warm weather.
What does your role as program coordinator entail?
How did you become involved with BUNAC?
A few months before graduating college, I began searching for jobs in the international education sector. I was working at my university’s Study Away office and our Associate Director told me about the opening. We had always told our program alumni about BUNAC as an option for their next travel adventure, so I was familiar with what their company stood for.
You spent time abroad in three different countries during your undergraduate degree. How do you use your own international experiences in your daily work?
My background includes a summer academic program in Dublin, Ireland, a host family stay in Heredia, Costa Rica, a professional internship in Barcelona, Spain, and various travels on my personal agenda. I think because I found the opportunity to go to a diverse set of places achieving a diverse set of goals, I am able to relate to individuals looking for a variety of different options.
What is the most interesting thing about participating in a BUNAC program?
I think the most interesting thing about BUNAC is the flexibility our programs provide to our participants. You can be first timer going to London for a professional internship on a set program, or you could be in your late-20s looking for visa assistance and live on your own in New Zealand for a year.
The support is there, but our participants can utilize as much or little as they need.
What type of support does BUNAC provide for program participants before and after their arrival?
Really it depends on the specific program. For instance, we are the largest Tier-5 visa sponsor in the UK for our Intern in Britain program. Our role in this program is providing the sponsorship required to obtain the Tier-5 visa. We then continue our support by guiding our participants through the entire visa process, and continue our support while our participants are interning in the UK.
For our Working Holiday Programs, we assist with the visa process as well as provide them with support services while they are abroad: things like a job database, assistance with housing, provided an in-country bank account, tax ID number, luggage storage, CV/Resume consultations, travel assistance, and social events.
How do you help participants immerse in the local culture?
Our on-site resource centers are a huge part of connecting our U.S. participants to the culture they’ve arrived into. Participants attend their orientations at our resource centers, along with other participants from all over the world. Creating a connection with other young travelers and our in-country staff is a huge part of easing the transition into this “new world.”
What makes BUNAC's programs one of a kind?
A few things that set us apart from other international companies: we are the largest Tier-5 Visa sponsor in the UK, we have authorization to send participants though the IEP New Zealand visa (basically a “second chance” at the Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand, which is something most companies cannot offer), our extremely knowledgeable staff on visas and overall travel, and the plethora of options available to our participants. Like I mentioned before, our participants can utilize as much or as little support as they desire!
What is the most rewarding part about your job?
Something that really warms me up is when a participant is through their whole process, all visa requirements have been met and I tell them they’re all set to go. The participants are entirely grateful and really make you feel like a star. Through all the tedious aspects of visa processes and program coordination, it’s so refreshing to know that you’re sending someone abroad who is truly prepared, excited, and gracious for the experience ahead of them. So rewarding!
How do you hope to enhance BUNAC’s U.S. outbound programs in 2016?
Something I’m really working on currently is connecting more with our participants on the Working Holiday programs before their arrival into their prospective countries. We want to hear more about where they’re coming from and continue to stay in touch while they’re in country. This is why we’ve utilized our social media more and more to have a personal connection with our lovely travelers.
In one sentence, why is international education valuable?
International education and experience has the ability to cultivate people into well-rounded and independent global citizens, and henceforth, act as a life-changing experience that holds more value than what can be learned in a classroom.