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USA | Professional internships | J1

New York guide: Where to do your J1, Grad visa or US internship

New York New York. So awesome, it got named twice. Here’s why you need it on your J1 or Grad USA radar.

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New York is the undisputed cultural capital of the US and its most populous city, squeezing more than eight million people into its famous five boroughs. From the buzz of Manhattan to the boho vibes of Brooklyn, every corner of the city represents a culture, attitude or feeling. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s brash. And if you can make it here on your Grad USA visa or summer J1, you can make it anywhere.

Why New York

Thanks to Friends, Seinfeld, Gossip Girl, Sex in the City, Sopranos... [fill in every other movie or sitcom worth its salt] New York already feels filmset familiar to travellers. Yet in person, it still manages to be so much more. The city that never sleeps has an energy and vibe that’s hard to pin down. But when you’re strolling through Central Park with your skyscraper-sized Starbucks, dashing across town to meet a mate after work, or driving upstate to a weekend summer house – you'll feel like you’ve made it. And DM us when you do. We love a hot New York moment.

Where to live

Manhattan is the beating heart of New York. From Chinatown to Washington Heights, this island borough is bursting with cool places to live. Across the East River, Brooklyn may be the hipster capital, but New York's most densely populated neighbourhood is also home to world-class museums and beautiful public parks. Don't overlook Queens, the city's most ethnically diverse area and a place historically favoured by the Irish while working in America; historic, multicultural Harlem; Staten Island, linked to the city by ferry; and several charming New Jersey communities across the Hudson River, which enjoy convenient transport links to Manhattan.

New York has some of the highest rent in the world, so dig deep to pull in family and friends connections. Some J1 employers will include subsidised accommodation, but if not, find your New York home away from home, try, a popular alternative to Craigslist, or

J1 jobs New York

Previous USIT J1-ers in New York have worked as servers, cabana supervisors, hosts, lifeguards, bartenders and tour guides – often in the heart of Manhattan. Average salaries for 2023 in New York ranged from USD $10 - $20/hour. Often including perks such as complimentary housing, tips, staff meals and end of bonus contracts up to $500. 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

You name it, the Big Apple has it. New York remains the economic hub of the US, home to over 200 banks, more Fortune 500 companies than any other American city and some of the nation's top law firms. Technology is a constantly growing sector, with creative start-ups sharing space with established global brands. Fashion, publishing, advertising, international relations and retail offer once-in-a-lifetime internship placements and internship opportunities. In a city with over 70,000 hotel rooms and countless restaurants, it's also a brilliant place to train in the hospitality business.


A hot New York minute lasts a season in New York. Summer is notoriously hot and humid. If you’re staying in Manhattan or Brooklyn, use it as an excuse to escape to Long Island or the Jersey Shore on your days off. Or follow the 3pm Friday exodus up the swanky Hamptons for the weekend. For the rest of the year, expect changeable springs, crisp autumns and snowy winters – with picture perfect ice-skating scenes and twinkling Christmas trees.

What we love

Kerry, our Partnerships Manager, on her perfect day in NYC.

“I know it sounds cliché, but I’m convinced that New York City is the best city in the world. That feeling you get when you emerge from the subway to taxis honking, traffic cops shouting, lights flashing, and people everywhere you look is the best legal buzz you can get. My favourite summer day in NYC started with taking a morning walk on the High Line, getting the best burger in NYC for lunch at McManus’s in Chelsea, wandering through laid-back Greenwich Village in the afternoon, and ending the day watching the sunset in Battery Park before dinner and drinks in Fraunces Tavern. You really have the best of both worlds in Manhattan: if you want to get out of the city for the weekend, it’s so easy to get the ferry to New Jersey (whether you want to go to Hoboken and Jersey City or go down to the Jersey Shore) or get the bus to upstate New York to go hiking or camping. And don’t believe what you hear – New Yorkers are some of the nicest people I’ve met while traveling!”

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.

“NYC is an iconic city bursting with opportunity. A one-off place that when you say, ‘Yeah, I worked in New York for a while’, people stop and listen.”

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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