Every Summer thousands of Thai college students come to the US and change into McDonald's uniforms. They not only do it with a smile, they pay money for it.
The reward? Slapping foreign work experience — American work experience — on their resumes. Thai employers value foreign work experience, seeing it as initiative, in the country's ultracompetitive postcollege job market.
Agents (seems like the polite term) set up work visas, secure job placements, and, maybe, include plane tickets for $3,000 plus — a large sum when converted into Thai bahts. Students typically earn about half the money back; however, most consider the work experience and language skills worth it.
One student, who wound up in Mobile, AL, because she heard it was cheap, found the small town to be far from her image of America. Yet, she doesn't regret it. "Honestly," she said, “If I had money, I’d go back.”