A handy guide that all J1 students should read before heading Stateside this summer
It’s almost time.
With exams over and no college until the autumn (apart from those unfortunate to have to repeat exams), thousands of Irish students will head stateside on J1 visas in the coming days and weeks.
Thoughts of fine weather, meeting new people, a hectic social life, earning a few quid and doing a bit of travelling make heading on a J1 a seriously exciting prospect, but there are a few basic things students should bear in mind to make their experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.
With that in mind, the Department of Foreign Affairs has put together a new guide with some essential guidelines for J1 students to follow before and during their stay in the US.
The guide covers a range of categories with helpful advice for students to follow with regard to finding a suitable place to live, taking a sufficient amount of money to cover them until they get a job and a social security number and being aware of the local laws wherever they are staying.
As far as local laws are concerned, for example, students should be acutely aware of the fact that public disorder offences, such as public drunkenness, are penalised more severely in the United States than in Ireland.
Drug use and supply, meanwhile, are also considered serious offences and while Irish Embassies and Consulates in the USA will do what they can to help Irish students if they're arrested, they can't get them out of jail or help them evade trial.
The guide also includes information about insurance, social security and advice for people in a position to employ J1 students and also encourages them to download an app called TravelWise, which provides user-friendly, trustworthy and in-depth travel advice straight to your phone (download via the App Store or Google Play).
It’s well worth perusing and having on hand for anyone about to head on what could be the trip of a lifetime in the coming weeks; you can read it in full here.