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J1 Summer Work and Travel Programme – employment opportunities for Irish Summer students

  • The US J1 Summer Work and Travel programme has been a tremendously successful part of the Irish-US bilateral relationship for almost 50 years, with 150,000 Irish third level students having experienced the US through the programme over that time.
  • The great majority of Irish summer J1ers are sponsored by the independent US organisations CIEE (Council for International Education Exchange) and Interexchange, who work with the Irish travel agents USIT and SAYIT respectively. CIEE and Interexchange have introduced a requirement for citizens of Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) countries, such as Ireland, the UK, France and the Czech Republic to have a job pre-placement for the summer 2016 programme.
  • In light of these changes we strongly urge prospective Irish J1 students to engage with the J1 programme as early as possible, to enable them to understand and meet the application requirements, so that they can have a rewarding J1 experience in summer 2016.
  • We also strongly encourage those who can to assist potential Irish J1ers in their search for jobs.
  • Jobs offered to J1 students must be in keeping with the cultural exchange nature of the programme.  Job placements must be seasonal or temporary and must provide opportunities for participants to interact regularly with U.S. citizens and experience U.S. culture during the work.  Employers mentioned by the sponsoring agencies include restaurants and other food service outlets, hotels and resorts and amusement parks.  A list of prohibited jobs is here and includes those in construction, farming and driving. 
  • The Government is committed to maximising Irish participation in this very important programme to ensure as many students as possible have the chance to experience life in the US, further strengthening the Irish-US relationship.
  • Employers in a position to offer jobs to Irish JI Summer students can contact the US sponsoring agencies, or their Irish agents, using the contact details below.

US sponsor CIEE

Those who wish to contact USIT directly can do so via

USIT website -

US sponsor Interexchange

Or contact

Those who wish to contact SAYIT directly can do so at

SAYIT website -


  • Another operator, TravelBug, offers J1 visas in the Irish market –