It’s not just about the sunshine!… Some practical tips to make your U.S. experience last a lifetime

It’s not just  about the sunshine!...

It’s not just
 about the sunshine!… 
 Some practical tips to make your U.S. experience last a lifetime


Heading Stateside for the summer on a J1 Visa is an exciting time for any student. The U.S. presents opportunities on so many levels for students. Even though you are still a student, it is not too soon to begin taking advantage of all the opportunity that a summer in the U.S. presents from a career perspective. Below are some practical tips to enhance your experience and to make this summer, not just a memorable one, but also potentially instrumental for your future career.
• Business cards: Make up some Business cards before you head Stateside. This is a cheap and effective way to be remembered. Include an Irish flag; your college logo; County flag or family emblem on the card. Be sure to include an email address that you will have access to long term.
• Invest in your future:  Take the time to find out about local events or meetups that are specific to your career path or industry and make the effort to attend. Most networking events are free and locals are always happy to meet ambitious students who have seized the opportunity!
• Volunteer for a day: Seek out an opportunity to volunteer at a local charity or Irish Organization this will be an opportunity to learn more about the workings of the city and the people.
• Always say Thanks! If you meet someone who has been kind enough to share advise or contacts. Don’t forget to say Thanks - an email or text will suffice, and when time permits get back in touch from Ireland.
• 50 states at your fingertips: It is relatively cheap and easy to get around the U.S. Check out deals on JetBlue and to find short holiday breaks to different States.
• Do some homework: Spend some time on Facebook and LinkedIn and identify successful Irish people already established in your State.  Suggest to meet for coffee and learn from their experiences.
• Tipping is not optional! You are expected to tip in the U.S. for a service, such as a meal in a restaurant; a haircut; a taxi ride; a spa; or really anywhere a service is performed. The expected gratuity is 15% of the bill and if service is great 20% would be most appreciated.   You are not required to tip in a deli, department store or supermarket. Factor in the cost of the tip when planning for an evening.
• Resume: Create a short summary resume for the U.S. to include relevant experience. You may need a few different versions for different roles. Be sure to include your employment status (Eligible to work in U.S.) and a local phone number.
• Address: If you haven’t committed to an apartment or share yet, simply list your address as New York, NY as an example. This will suffice as long as you have an active phone they can reach you on.
• Ask for Help: Sometimes it’s not as easy it looks in the movies! If you are having trouble securing a summer job, reach out to one of the many Irish support organizations, they may not be able to get you a job but they will be able to point you in the right direction.
 Keep an Open Mind: In the U.S. – it’s all about relationships and people are very kind and generous with their time and contacts so even if the Banker or Pharmaceutical Executive may not seem  relevant to you this summer – do take a moment to chat and exchange information, you never know when this contact will be of benefit in your career.
Some Useful Sites:
Irish Networks: There is a host of U.S. based Irish Networks established in most major cities below are just a few:
Irish Network – NYC: ;
Irish Network – Boston:
Ireland Network  - Chicago:
Irish Network  - San Francisco:
The Irish International Business Network also has a Chapter in New York
GAA in the US: There are GAA clubs in most major States, Games are held regularly and there is often social events  who offer a welcoming spot to see familiar faces and enjoy a match on a summer Sunday afternoon
Coalition of Irish Immigration Centresrecently released a comprehensive document for J1 Summer Students it highlights all you need to know to be prepared and be safe. Take a moment to read it before you head Stateside.
The document also includes links to all the Irish Centres across the US:
From all the Stateside team in Ireland and New York, we wish you all every success in the U.S. Have a great summer and enjoy every second. There is plenty of time to sleep when you home!

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