Travel options for Summer 2015

Summer in Ireland can be, oh let’s just say…blah.  Don’t get me wrong, there is always that week of good weather just as the Leaving Cert starts, as well as the obligatory road-trip to Bundoran for a weekend of surfing, and obviously Electric Picnic to mark the end of the season, but apart from that, it’s pretty much just like any other time of the year, just relatively drier!  So if you have the option get away for the entire summer and have an experience that you’ll never forget, you should be all over it!  Lucky for you, we have so many options to choose from for what you can do next summer.  Lemme break them down for you real quick…

Summer J1

A right of passage for third level students.  It’s been going for over 50 years, and I think we can all agree that there are two types of people in this life – those who have done a summer J1, and those who haven’t.  Now we’re not saying which is better but if you don’t take the leap when you’re in college, you’ll probably regret it for the rest of your days #JustSaying

How long: Up to 5 Months (that’s 4 months work permit with 1 month travel permitted at the end)

Who should go: Current full-time third level students aged 18 and over

How much will it cost: Generally between €1-2k (Flights, Programme costs depending on your destination

What you need to know: The whole point of the Summer J1 is for students to immerse themselves in American culture and to work in seasonal positions (e.g. retail, hospitality, etc) as a means to fund their stay.  There are restrictions on the type of work that is permitted, and you need to check in with your programme sponsor throughout your stay.

Find out more: 

Internship USA

Sooo not like a typical summer J1.  This is a programme for students that want to explore the professional world in the USA over the summer.  It’s totes profesh, you guys.

How long: Anything from 1 month up to 12 months (but typically summer internships will be 2-3 months)

Who should go: Current full-time third level students over 18 who want to work in their field of study in the USA over the summer.  (The general summer J1 visa doesn’t allow you to do this).

How much will it cost: €2 – 2.5k depending on your destination

What you need to know: You need to set up an internship in the USA that is directly related to your field of study before you can apply for the programme.  We don’t source positions in the USA, but we can send on job hunting tips etc, to help you find the right position.  It also takes 8 weeks to process so you have to be on the ball if you want to take part!

Find out more: 

Edelle, an Internship USA participant filming an interview with Pat Monaghan from 'Train' in NYC
Edelle, an Internship USA participant filming an interview with Pat Monaghan from ‘Train’ in NYC

Camp Counsellor USA

This is a completely different experience to the summer J1.  It involves living and working in a summer camp in the USA.  Similar to Michelle in American Pie, but without the smut.

How long: 9 weeks, starting between May 25 and June 25 depending on the camp that you’re placed in

Who should go: 19-30 year olds, who enjoy working with children and have skills in certain areas (such as the outdoors, sports, arts & crafts, photography & more)

How much will it cost: €899 Programme Fee (which covers Return Flights & Insurance), Embassy Fee ($160)

What you need to know: You’ll be on the camp 24/7, living and working with other camp counsellors and children.  You’ll get $1000 at the end of the 9 weeks, and you are also allowed to travel to 30 days when your programme ends, so you can explore the rest of the USA when your camp experience is over!

Find out more:

Interrailing Europe

Another right of passage.  Except this time, instead of chilling in the USA, you’re backpacking through Europe and exploring dozens of countries, hopping from one train to another and one hostel to the next.  Not the most glamourous way to travel, but one hell of an experience!

How long: Up to 30 days

Who should go: People who want to tick off as many countries as they possibly can in the space of a month! A Global Interrail Pass is valid in 30 countries so it’s a great option that doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

How much will it cost: It depends on the type of pass you get, but the most popular ‘Global Interrail Pass’ starts at €184 (Then factor in the cost of hostels/hotels in the countries you are visiting)

What you need to know: You can book an Interrail ticket a maximum of 3 months ahead of your trip so unlike the other programmes, it’s a great choice for all of the ‘Last-minute Larry/Lauries’ out there!

Find out more:

Sinead, who went Interrailing last summer enjoying a dip in Lake Bled, Slovenia
Sinead, who went Interrailing last summer enjoying a dip in Lake Bled, Slovenia

Volunteer Nepal

If you’re planning on doing the ‘Asia’ thing next summer, you need to consider doing a volunteer project in Nepal for 2 weeks of your trip.  We’ve got 4 projects to choose from, where you’ll live and work with other volunteers from all over the World.  If you’re new to Volunteering, you truly won’t find any better than this!

How long: From two weeks upwards

Who should go: Medical students, teachers, health workers and anyone who wants to take a holiday with a difference where you make a difference!

How much will it cost: From €640 (including your accommodation, meals & project) plus flights & insurance (through USIT)

What you need to know: You don’t need to be a student to take part in the Volunteer programme – there’s no upper age limit! You can choose from working on one or more of these projects: Women’s Empowerment, Construction, Health or Education during your time, and you’ll also have some downtime to explore the beauty of Nepal.  Most volunteers actually end up taking a plane ride over Mount Everest!

Find out more:

Emma, a 2014 Volunteer working on an education project in Nepal.
Emma – a 2014 Volunteer working on an Education project in Nepal.

So what’s it gonna be for Summer 2015? Comment with your picks below!

By Michelle, Social Media Exec at USIT