The J-1 visa is a temporary exchange visa (more information on the State Department’s J-1 website), and it’s very commonly used for students to come to the U.S. in the summer to work and travel. The Irish Voice put together a list of tips for Irish students taking advantage of these exchanges….but the advice is relevant to anyone coming to the U.S. on a J-1 visa (or any student visa).
The two that stood out to me:
1) Beware of Internet scams
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m thrilled that their advice for avoiding scams is to…do your research! Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay money online for accommodations, or anything else, and do some simple looking around to make sure they’re legit.
2) Reach out to your contacts
Reach out to every person you know already living in your destination. It could be family, friends or a long lost cousin, it doesn’t matter who. Just send them an email or drop them a phone call them and let them know you are looking for a job and accommodation.
And how are this year’s Irish J-1 students doing now that they’re in the U.S.? They’re adjusting to life in New York City, says the Irish Voice in their follow-up article, but having a harder time finding short-term employment than they had anticipated. Still, one student told the paper: “… being unemployed in New York City beats being unemployed in Ireland a hundred times over.”