Testimony : a gap year in the USA

Published on 04 April 2016

Engineering students can choose a gap year along their studies at ESB in order to realize one of their project : internship, employment, humanitarian mission, voluntary activities…

Valentin is one of these lucky students. He is currently having a great experience in Watsonville, California, making and selling Bikes in Carbon and bamboo fibers for Calfee Design .

How did it all start?

Since the very beginning of my studies at ESB , I always thought this gap year would be a great opportunity for me to get a new cultural, professional and linguistic experience.

I was in China, for my semester studies  abroad, when I first contacted Craig Calfee, the company owner. It took very short time for him to say he was interested.

What is your mission at Calfee Design?

My current position is project manager. I work on the development of a new product: the DIY Kit , which enables users to make their own bike made out of Bamboo.

Living in California is very expensive, that is why I decided to buy a campervan. I stay around my company during the week, in Santa Cruz, and I am out for the week end travelling around. This gives me a great feeling of freedom, autonomy and it is much cheaper.

What do you gain from this experience?

From a professional point of view, it’s a tremendous opportunity to develop my own network and improve my English.

On a more personal point of view, I meet nice people, practice new sports and experiment a new way of life.

To sum up, I would say I am living the Californian Dream”