Why you need to experience a J1 Summer

Eadaoin Fitzmaurice

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The J1 summer is one of the best things you can do in your student years.

The J1 summer is an experience like no other! You spend the summer living in a cramped apartment, scraping by and eating terribly… This may not seem like an ideal situation; but believe me, it is something we should all do at least once in our lives.

American Flag by Ian Sane
American Flag by Ian Sane

The J1 programme allows Irish students to work and travel in The United States for a summer. Not only is it a great way of getting out of living with your parents for three months, but it gives you the chance to completely immerse yourself in another culture.

Last year J1 regulations changed, meaning participants must have a job arranged before they fly over to the US. This is a positive change as it cuts out a lot of the stress students once experienced when they arrived to The States in previous years. Job fairs will be taking place all over the country in the next few months, this will allow students to meet their potential employers and discuss what their job will consist of.

After the recent election, word has spread that the programme may be abolished by Mr. Trump in the coming years. For this reason students are being urged to hop on the J1 bandwagon while they still can.

So why do you NEED to do a J1?

J1 Highlights by Bandeadd

If this video doesn’t convince you, here are some of the top reasons why:

 1.Independence:

Living away from home for three months may seem daunting at first, however living independently has many benefits. According to lifehack.org, living independently  can improve self-esteem and boost self-sufficiency. It also gives you the chance to learn a lot about yourself.

2. Travel:

Let’s face it, it is very unlikely that in your student years you can casually book a weekend trip over to San Francisco, Las Vegas or Miami. Whilst you’re already in America and you have finished working, this is the perfect opportunity to cross that American road-trip off your bucket list. America has so much to offer from incredible beaches to breath-taking national parks. Every state is so versatile and traveling alongside your best friends can be quite the adventure!

The Grand Canyon – Arizona 

3. Friendships:

The friendships you make on the J1 are like no other, and no wonder! If you are living in a tiny apartment and you are working alongside your roommates, your essentially on top of each other 24/7.  You get so used to being around them all the time that you reach a new level of comfortability and you become extremely close as a result. The J1 also gives you the opportunity to mix with Americans and if you’re lucky you could be invited to a frat party.

4. Working Abroad:

Not only does working abroad look great on your CV, it gives you the opportunity to meet lots of new people and learn new skills. It’s essentially one of the most important parts of your J1, as without it you wouldn’t be able to pay your rent, do your grocery shopping; never mind travelling at the end of your trip!

Friends at sunrise - Bandeadd
Friends at sunrise – Bandeadd

5. Experience:

The J1 differs from the usual holiday, as you’re actually living and working there for quite some time. You begin to become familiar with the best place to get a good meal, the hidden shortcuts and the locals. It is an experience like no other, working long hours and staying out until sunrise. You get to live a completely different kind of lifestyle to what you’re used to!

6. The Weather:

Getting up and saying “hey, I might have a swim in the pool or the sea before breakfast” is not something us Irish are usually able to do. Most places in America have a very hot climate during the summer period and let’s face it, us Irish could do with some extra vitamin D!

So are you convinced?

If you are interested in learning a little bit more about the J1 programme, this video contains all the basic information:

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Eadaoin Fitzmaurice