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5 Tips For Making The Most Of Your J1 Experience


Once you begin your J1 booking process, of course, jobs and accommodation are going to be first on your mind. So much so, that students often forget to have a quick look at what's going on during the summer at their specific destination. Tickets for huge music festivals like Lollapalooza in Chicago are often sold out before Christmas, leaving many J1 students depressingly watching their counterparts attend the big event come August; and that's only one example. There's loads going on throughout the summer in the States, and a little research before you travel could prove to be the best decision you ever made.


Unlock your phone:

The last thing you want to have to do on arrival in the US is to purchase a cheap brick because your Irish smartphone isn't unlocked. Make sure to check if you need to get your phone unlocked while you're still in Ireland. 

Phone Unlocking

Keep a diary or blog:

Your J1 is very likely going to be the best memory in your life for many years afterwards. 4, 5, 25 years down the line, you'll still be saying "Remember that time in so and so..." or "What was that person's name?". Get the details down while they're fresh and you'll always have it to look back on. So, try to keep a diary or blog of your whole experience to have those memories recorded forever.

More than anything, it can be a means to keep everyone at home entertained (or jealous!). And as a bonus- you'll be able to enter our yearly blog/ vlog competition for the chance to win cash!



One thing you're going to notice within the first week of arriving is that you can spot Irish people a mile off. You won't even have to speak and a group of fellow J1 students will be asking what part of Ireland you're from, what your plans are for the night etc. This is a great way to make new Irish friends and to keep that connection with the ‘auld sod’, however, don't be afraid to stay away from the Irish bars, and tourist traps, and head to the places where the locals go. The locals will have more friends and connections than us Irish, so those contacts and their friends/ families might be your ‘passport’ to a local baseball game, concert or just a great classic American house party.


Travel/ RoadtripS:

For a lot of students, this may be a given, but you'd be surprised at how many people go home without travelling their final week or so. Even if your funds are low, road trips can take anything between 1 day to 4 weeks. Try to save enough during your 2-3 months J1 Experience so that you can enjoy a road trip to remember.

You never know what crazy places you may end up in, or what incredible experiences you might have. One of our J1 students and his friends got to spend Labor Day in Brett Favre's 465-acre mansion, with the man himself and his family. This invite came via a guy they met at a local baseball game. Brett is one of the greatest American Footballers of all time, and the students said it was a stroke of luck, not to mention an honour to spend some time with his family. A little bit of your Irish charm will go a long way toward getting you invites during your J1 experience. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and you may end up with friends for life.

Read more blogs: Mike's Chicago J1 ExperienceJulianne's San Diego J1 Experience5 Useful Mobile Apps You'll Need On Your J1, J1 Jobs: All You Need To Know.

Contact us: +353 21 4279 190 or J1visa@sayit.ie

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