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USA | Professional internships | J1

Los Angeles guide: Where to do your J1, Grad visa or US internship

We’re ready for your close-up now. Turning the spotlight on America’s City of Angels.

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292 days of sunshine, boulevards of palm trees, hikes through the hills... LA is like a never-ending summer for Irish students and grads. Sure, the traffic can be hideous, the health fads can be confusing and the search for perfection can be exhausting – but beneath the Hollywood sheen and LA sprawl is a beautiful city bursting with hard-work, creativity and a ton of opportunities. Plus, the work/life/beach balance is unbeatable.

Why Los Angeles

A summer J1 or 1-year Grad USA visa in LA is a sure-fire route into a star-studded CV. Famously home to the leading players in the creative industries, film, TV, publishing, fashion and music – Los Angeles is also a hub for medical centres, universities and research institutes. When the working day is done, LA is hard to beat. From the graffitied coffee shops of Downtown’s Art District, to the farmers’ markets of Santa Monica and canyon trails of Malibu – LA is a nature-loving, food-eating, people-watching paradise.

Where to live

Los Angeles is home to nearly 4 million people – and that number is tripled when you take into account Greater Los Angeles. Pre-Uber, having a car was pretty much a necessity to get around this sprawling city. Still, in Downtown LA, you can make use of public transportation or get around on foot. Iconic areas include Hollywood and Beverly Hills, but many will gravitate towards Silver Lake, Echo Park, Los Feliz, West Hollywood and Highland Park for lower rent and access to restaurants, bars and clubs. Santa Monica is famous for its healthy living and yoga-on-the-beach vibes, while Venice is home to the weird and wonderful. Also consider low-key Del Rey or the beach scene in Redondo Beach. Some J1 employers will include subsidised accommodation, but if not, looks at, or

J1 jobs LA

Previous UIST J1-ers in LA have worked as retail associates and hosts down by the beach in Santa Monica. Average salaries for 2023 in LA ranged from USD $16-$17.50/hour - plus tips where applicable. Each year, we have 1,000+ J1 jobs with our tried-and-trusted US employers across America. Book onto J1 early and select ‘USIT Job’ for access to our online Job Hub where you can search, apply and get hired.

Where to work or intern

LA is famous for its struggling actors and servers-come-models, but this entrepreneurial city is also an exciting place to get valuable USA career training in communications, engineering, fashion, sports rehabilitation and clean technology. Its concentration of world-renowned teaching hospitals, aerospace facilities and research institutes also make it a great place to gain experience in biotechnology and the health sciences.


The city's near-perfect weather is one its main selling points, with year-round sunshine and only occasional smog and pollution spoiling the view. Ditch your raincoats for high factor sun cream and enjoy the city's miles of sandy shores and canyon circuits throughout much of the year.

Want to put your career or summer on the US map, but not sure where you can go? Book a call with the USIT team.

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USIT Staff

Our content is shaped by our community. If you also have a way with words and a travel tale to tell, DM us about writing for USIT.

“LA is everything. Endless sunshine, iconic beaches and work opportunities in most businesses – not just show business.”

USIT Staff Blog Image.png


USIT Staff

Our content is shaped by our community. If you also have a way with words and a travel tale to tell, DM us about writing for USIT.

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