J1 Tips To Know Before You Go

They say with age comes wisdom. Since USIT have been around since 1959 so you may as well call us the wise old owl. What good is it to have all this wisdom if we don’t share it with you young owlets? Gen Z these days are all about self-sufficiency and independence, we hear ya! But hear us out; wouldn’t it be nice to know someone or be able to recognise a friendly face when you get to your summer camp or J1 job? Therefore, we suggest joining your virtual J1 Orientation before you jet off over to the US. Your Sponsors in America will present you with everything you need to know before you arrive in the US to start your cultural exchange programme now called Bridge USA.

Now, we’ve all seen the TikTok’s of ‘Dad’s in the airport’ dragging everyone’s luggage, hoarding the passports, and zooming about like they’re Sonia O’Sullivan. Unfortunately, you won’t have your dad herding you like a sheep to your gate this time. So, it’s up to you to have all the essentials on hand. Fortunately for you, we have the inside scoop.

Your passport, your DS-2019 and your J-1 Visa are the Holy Trinity upon which your trip depends. Unfortunately, the Irish charm alone isn’t enough to get you through immigration. They may also ask you for the address you’ll be residing at, so either memorize it (better than your sraith pictiur) or have it written down somewhere handy. As well as having these things printed and with you (NOT in your check-in luggage) you’d be well to scan and email yourself copies of the import things. It also would do no harm to send them to mammy.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the past two years the big C has immensely effected travel. Which means to enter the USA you’ll need to show proof of negative COVID-19 viral test (sadly sticking it up your own nose won’t cut it). Check out the latest travel advisory’s for heading stateside to make sure you have everything you need with TravelWise from the Department of Foreign Affairs (dfa.ie)

So far we’ve covered orientation, the Holy Trinity and sticking things up our nose. The last thing on the list is making sure you can prove you have money, just so immigrations feel confident you won’t be disturbing the beautiful scenes America has to offer by snoring on the benches nearby. You’re required to show proof of funds up to $800. You can do this by showing your credit limit or by getting an An Post Money Currency Card.

What is the An Post Money Currency Card you ask?

The An Post Money Currency Card is the ideal way to arrange your dollars. It’s essentially God-sent. 0% commission when you top up online or in the Post Office and no charges when you use it in the US. Your mammy probably goes to the shops 2/3 times a week for milk and bread. Fortunately for you most towns have Post Offices inside those little shops. So, that pocket money the fam still slides you even though you’re technically an adult? Mammy can send it on over via the Post Office.

An Post Money - Heading on a J1?

How to get your An Post Money Currency Card?

Head over to the An Post website. For sake of ease, we suggest downloading and printing off the application form. Pop down to a participating Post Office with a valid ID and proof of address. You’ll be asked to Top the card up by minimum €50. Register the card number they give you online and bobs your uncle!

Or, you can download the An Post Money Currency App on your smartphone. This way you can top up whenever and wherever you need to. It’s powered by Mastercard® which means you can withdraw local currency worldwide at ATMs displaying the Mastercard acceptance mark, and pay for goods and services at over 30 million shops, restaurants and other outlets around the world. You can track your spending and it will help you budget effectively. It has 0% commission on foreign currency, and you can also top up online via the An Post Money Currency App – so it’s a real lifesaver!

The best thing about this card is that it acts as both your primary card, and your safety net. The An Post Money Currency Card gives you the option of getting two cards linked to the same account. We all know that losing your wallet or purse abroad can be a stressful experience. By getting a second An Post Money Currency Card and keeping it in a safe place, it means that if you happen to lose your primary card, you have a backup plan and won’t be stuck for funds. You can also use it when going through Immigration to show proof of available funds, by showing how much has been loaded to your An Post Money Currency Card.

Being Irish in America is like being Irish anywhere, we stick out like sore thumbs. In order to avoid the stares, we advise applying lots of suncream to keep that Larry the lobster look at bay. Did you know the Irish accent was voted sexiest in the world in 2019? As soon as American’s get a sniff of your lovely accent you’re going to hear “just keep talking” a million times. Now, if you walk into a shop and ask for ‘Suncream’ they’ll give you a funny look and say ‘oh, you mean sun screen’. Yes, they are, in fact, the same thing but what you’ll soon notice is that American lingo and Irish lingo are a little different. We’ve compiled a list of translations you might need to make your stay a little easier:

Translate Irish to American

Shop: Store
Sun Cream: Sunscreen
Bin: Trash
Motorway: Highway
Pint: Schooner
Football: Soccer
Gaff: House
Shift: Make out
Lift: Ride
Hotdog: Weener
Toilet: Bathroom
Shorts/trousers: Pants
Knickers: Underwear
Runners: Tennis Shoes or Sneakers
Sweets: Candy
Chemist: Drugstore
Chips: French Fries
Crisps: Chips
Petrol: Gas
Post: Mail
Trolley: Shopping Kart
Path: Sidewalk
Boot: Trunk
Courgette: Zucchini

You can thank us later!


*Terms and conditions apply. An Post Money Currency Card is issued by PPS EU SA pursuant to license by Mastercard® International. PPS EU SA is authorised by the National Bank of Belgium and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

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