USIT Wave V3.png
Profile Image
USIT_Logo_Black.png
Blog Hero - Essentials for your J1.jpg

J1 / USA

What to Pack for Your J1 This Summer

A J1 is usually the first time you’ll spend a long time away from Ireland and it can be stressful trying to get organised for your big adventure. Luckily, we’re here to help!

USIT Wave V3.png

Having taken feedback from thousands of past J-1 Visa students we’ve provided you with this Definitive Guide to the Vital Essentials that will maximise your fun and minimise your stress.

Documents

There are some vital documents you will need to get into the country. Your passport, your DS-2019 and your J-1 Visa. Your DS-2019 is the certificate of eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status. The DS-2019 is the official document that allows participants to work legally while on the J-1 Summer Work and Travel Programme.

Your J1 Visa goes inside your passport so make sure you don’t lose your passport before your J1 as your new one won’t have your visa inside!

It’s never any harm to keep a hard and soft copy of all your documents so email them to a trustworthy friend or family member back home.

Organising your Finances

You must have proof of your available funds when entering the country. Make sure you have printed bank statements and access to your online banking app, to prove you have at least $800 (approx €700) in your account or in cash. You can also load your An Post card with money and show them proof at Immigration. It might not be a good idea to have all your money in cash but maybe bring a small amount with you for taxis, food and the likes before you get set up in your new abode.

What to pack

Bring your own plug adapters, it’s hard to get Irish to American plug converters in America and they can be expensive. Check out what the weather will be like for your Summer stateside, not all states get Californian weather, so pack wisely. The last thing you want is having to waste money on jeans and jumpers that you had at home. Pack your swimming gear and don't bank on picking up some cheap bits when you get over there - Primark is not quite as popular just yet in America, so make sure to do a shop for the essentials there before you go. And, don’t forget the teabags!

Tip: Bring a few outfits and essentials in your carry on bag in case your suitcase gets delayed between your connecting flights.

Tips before you leave

  • Make sure you let your bank know you’re going abroad, sometimes, if banks see unusual activity they will block your card.
  • Another top tip is to make sure your phone is unlocked for any network, you might need to contact your provider to get it unlocked (contact them at least 2 weeks in advance of you leaving), this way you can use an American sim card.
  • Get your family on Whatsapp (if they aren’t already on it), this way it’s free for you to contact each other.
  • Share your location with a close friend or family member on “Snapchat” or “Find Friends”. This way if you lose your phone, you’ll have a chance of finding it. Just make sure you have enough data to enable location services.
USIT Staff Blog Image.png

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

"Primark is not quite as popular just yet in America, so make sure to do a shop before you go."

USIT Staff Blog Image.png

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

Image Offer Banner - J1 USA.jpg
USIT Wave V3.png

Guaranteed USA jobs

Number 1 for J1

The original J1 provider, a summer J1 is a rite of passage for Irish students. From San Diego to NYC, land the best summer jobs on our Job Hub.

USIT Wave V3.png
USIT Wave V3.png
USIT_Logo_Black.png
FB_Icon.pngTwitter_Icon.pngLinkedIn_Icon.pngInsta_Icon.pngYouTube IconTikTok_Icon.png

Events

© GenTAO Ltd trading as USIT is a company registered in Dublin, Ireland with Registered Company No. 670958 and registered address at 29-31 South William St, Dublin, Ireland, D02 EY96.