Going on a J1? It’s not as easy as it sounds!

Fortunately this summer I have saved up enough money to be able to go on a J1 with some friends from college. What is a J1?, is something that I have been hearing recently when telling some friends and family. In short it is a visa that is offered to college students in Ireland to be able to go to America during the summer months and work. Work being the key. Sounds great right? Well yes it is, but at this stage I think its going to break my heart. Something they don’t tell you when you walk into the USIT office on campus is how much paper work is involved how how drawn out it is. There’s the initial application, right that’s done. Then there is the little issue of the cost of the visa, flights, insurance etc. I wont even mention the figure as it will make you clench your teeth together and feel uncomfortable. Oh then here is the DS160 form. Five pages of questions to basically make sure your not a terrorist or a mass murderer. Were finished here so right? Nope, another form this time the DS19. All of a sudden an email to appear at the American Embassy in Ballsbridge. Nice one nearly have it all sorted now, Its really just a straight forward couple of questions to see who you are and where you are traveling too. They take your finger print and away you go! Now all I have to do is hop onto a jet plane and head away to San Diego for the summer. There I was all set to go in a few weeks and my phone starts ringing, its the USIT office on campus. I couldn’t believe it, the embassy won’t issue any more visas to California due to the amount of people heading there this summer. Everything we had planned for month blown up in one phone call. So now four young Irish lads are going to rock up to JFK airport at the end of May not having a clue where to go. Remember earlier I said work was key, yes well see if we don’t find a city we all agree on in the next few weeks and head there to try find somewhere to stay and work. Well we will be sent packing back to Ireland with our tails between or legs. Living it up on a sunny beach is a bit away yet I think!

Ah sure let future Jack deal with that, t’will be grand !


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