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Summer Work and Travel in California USA

Unfortunately, we are not currently running this program. Please see our Summer 2018 Program with Island Ventures for another amazing Summer experience, located on the same island.

Located off the coast of Southern California, Catalina Island is a popular resort and outdoor recreation destination also commonly known for its vibrant history as a glamorous retreat for Hollywood celebrities. Santa Catalina Island Company (SCICo) offers a wide range of services and amenities including the Descanso Beach Club, Pavilion Hotel, Atwater Hotel and the Avalon Grille.

SCICo’s expedition operator also boasts a menu of over 25 outdoor adventures designed to introduce visitors to the island’s rich history, wildlife and backcountry, including expeditions and tours such as the Zip Line Eco Tour, Eco Hummer Tour, Dolphin Quest, Sea Trek and many others. Other activities include hiking, bicycling, fishing, boating, kayaking, snorkeling, golfing or relaxing on the beach. SCICo has operated most much of the island’s lodging, dining and tour options for over 118 years. For more information, please visit www.visitcatalinaisland.com

Apply online for a training program and travel experience like no other...

Follow our Facebook page for further updates on this program for Summer 2018!

Imagine gaining world class work experience in a sought after location during your summer break from university! On this program, you will spend your summer working in an amazing location earning an hourly wage based on your job position. Participants will work in the following roles:

  • Food and Beverage Server
  • Hotel Operations
  • Culinary Arts

Participants will be earning an hourly wage of at least $10.00 USD per hour (F&B positions may be tipped) and will be guaranteed a minimum of 32 hours per week, however typical work schedules will be 38-45 hours per week. 

The program runs from June to September each year which gives you plenty of time to build upon your experience, along with up to 30 days to travel at the end of your program. Company housing is provided free of charge. Participants will be required to live in shared accommodation for the duration of the program. The housing is located a short walk from your working locations.

Participants on the Santa Catalina Island International program will be able to experience unique cultural exchange activities. As part of your program the SCICo Team will schedule many employee outings during your program. From trips to nearby Los Angeles to visits to Disneyland Resort, the SCICo Team will ensure you experience the American culture through a mixture of team member activites that enhance your international experience. Please note that participants are required to pay for cultural activites.

Still need persuading? Then check out Pedro's adventures on his program!

Participants on this program will be required to obtain a J-1 Summer Work and Travel visa through Yummy Jobs and will be able to work for a period of time as outlined by the SCICo Team. Upon completion of the program, participants will have up to 30 days to travel within the United States. Participants must then return to their home country upon completion of the program.

Application Dates

  • Applications for the Santa Catalina Island Company Program for Summer 2018 are now open!
  • Applicants are required to be available for the full program dates in order to be considered. The program runs from June - September each year (specific dates to be confirmed).

Interviewing Process

  • Interviews with the Yummy Jobs Team will take place from November 2017 for positions over Summer 2018. Applicants will be required to attend an interview via Skype with a member of the Yummy Jobs Team.

Please note, all dates are subject to change

Please follow us on Facebook for further information about this program for Summer 2018!

To participate in the Summer Work Travel USA program with the Santa Catalina Island Company, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.
  • Speak fluent English.
  • Be currently enrolled in full time education within the U.K or Ireland, studying towards a foundation or undergraduate degree.
  • Have successfully completed at least one full semester of study before the program commences. Candidates can also participate on this program immediately following their final year of study.
  • Be available for the full program duration. The program runs from June - September each year.
  • Live in the housing provided by Santa Catalina for the duration of the program.
  • Be willing to share a bedroom with one or two other program participants.
  • Participate in cultural exchange activities during the program.

If you have any questions regarding eligibility for the program please contact a member of the Yummy Jobs Team!

Check out what Conor got up to during his program with the Santa Catalina Company:

Participants on the Santa Catalina Island Company Program will be required to submit the following fees:

Program Fee:

£895.00 GBP = Full Placement Program Fee inclusive of visa sponsorship, medical insurance, SEVIS Fee, pre-arrival and arrivals support, pre-arranged job and pre-arranged housing.

Additional Fees for Summer 2017

  • Criminal Background Check Fee = £80.00 GBP
  • U.S. Embassy Appointment Fee = $160.00 USD
  • Courier delivery of passport = Free to £30.00 GBP
  • Return flight to the United States = £300 to £600 GBP (approximately)

Post-Arrival Fees:

  • Additional supporting funds between $350.00 - $750.00 USD are recommended

Program also includes arrival pickup from Los Angeles International airport, one night stay in Long Beach upon arrival and a mixture of unique cultural activities throughout your program.  The program fee is payable one week after accepting your offer.

Please note all fees are subject to change and may change without notice

Natalie Dickens - Summer 2016 & Summer 2017

My name is Natalie Dickens and I got the chance to spend my summer break from the University of Chester working on the incredible island of Santa Catalina. On this program, I got to spend my summer working as a hotel front desk and operations clerk across two amazing properties owned by the Santa Catalina Island Company; Hotel Atwater and the Pavillion Hotel.

Working in such a location has many benefits, one being the fact you're surrounded by beaches and miles of the pacific ocean - which means water sports and beach days are regular activities! Whist at work, I could look to the left of me and see the green pier and one of the many beaches. Some nights I could even see the movies they used to show on the beach. The amount of culture on the small island is fascinating, and it was great to learn the history behind the island as well.

On your days off, you could partake in any of the tours and excursions like the Zip line (my personal favourite) which is 5 miles in length! There are also hummer tours which take you into the nature reserves on the island where you can see island buffalo. I took advantage of being surrounded by water and indulged in all of the water activities available, such as diving, paddle boarding, parasailing and dolphin spotting.

The friendships I made whilst on the island were incredible. I got the chance to meet and work with people from the UK and Ireland, Mexico, Turkey and France, as well as Americans. The island locals are so welcoming that I now consider Catalina as my home. 

My favourite memory of my summer living and working in the U.S has to be when me and one of the fellow "Yummies" travelled over to the mainland (from Catalina to Los Angeles) in a helicopter and got matching tattoos dedicated to our summer experience. Overall, I had the best summer of my life and I cant wait to find myself back on Catalina Island!

Natalie will soon be returning to Santa Catalina Island for a second program this summer - we wish you all the best for your next program!

Adam McGalpine - Summer 2014 & Summer 2016

Hi there! My name is Adam and I am a business student from Glasgow. In the summer of 2014, I was lucky enough to be offered a job on beautiful Santa Catalina Island, California. Before I applied through Yummy Jobs, I researched the island and was drawn in by its history as a top resort, year-round sunshine and location only twenty-two miles by boat from Los Angeles. Despite my high expectations before arriving, nothing could have prepared me for seeing it with my own eyes!

Avalon, the island’s tiny city, is where the majority of tourists travelling from the mainland arrive on Catalina. Although it is only an hour by boat from urban Downtown Long Beach, Avalon couldn’t be more different. A small collection of mosaic tile decorated streets lined with local gift shops, hotels and restaurants meet at Crescent Avenue, which faces onto Avalon Bay and the Catalina Casino. The Pacific is so clear that the native bright-orange Garibaldi fish can be seen swimming below. Mount Ada towers above the city and provides an amazing view when hiked to the top. The rest of the island, with the exception of the small fishing village of Two Harbors, is a conservancy of protected rural land.

The Santa Catalina Company were great to work for and provided us with a lot of support with settling in. We were provided with the choice with what property we wanted to work at; the Atwater and Pavillion Hotels, the Avalon Grille restaurant, Ben's Bakery, Descanso Beach Club, Descanso Fresh Cafe or the Island Spa. I got the chance to work at the Descanso Beach Club, and I can safely say it was the best job I've ever had! I was a Food and Beverage Server and Concierge team member, serving customers who rented cabanas and lounge chairs on the full-service private beach.

Every day at work was different, as I met interesting tourists from all over the world and learnt a lot about American culture from my colleagues. The only thing that never changed was the amazing views over the ocean! We lived in company provided housing in Avalopn so it was only a fifteen minute walk across the bay.

On my days off I was able to travel to popular attractions in Los Angeles like Beverly Hills, Disneyland, Hollywood, Huntington Beach and Santa Monica. I also travelled upstate to San Francisco which was the highlight of my travels. There is also lots to see and do on Catalina – the Catalina Zip Line and the many boat tours are my personal favourites!

Overall, I can’t recommend the program highly enough. I had the best summer, made friends for life and learnt a lot about the hospitality industry. You definitely won’t regret applying for the Santa Catalina program!

Read through the above and think you've got what it takes?

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Program info

Program Terms & Conditions


PROGRAM DATES: June 2018 - September 2018

PROGRAM DURATION: 3 months + 30-day travel period

ROLES AVAILABLE: Food and Beverage Server, Hotel Front Desk

WAGE: Mimimum of $10.00 USD per hour

HOURS: Minimum of 32 hours per week / Average 38 - 45 hours per week

HOUSING: Shared housing is provided at no cost

HIGHLIGHTS: Exclusive location, range of island leisure activities to enjoy, a summer living the Californian dream!