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USA | Professional internships | J1

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

Sleepless nights on where to work or intern in the USA? Meet Seattle.

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The home of 90’s grunge, Seattle sings to its own tune. Laid-back, creative and fiercely independent – it's a city that doesn’t shout about its achievements, but has them in abundance. The birthplace of Hendrix, Nirvana, Amazon, Starbucks and Microsoft – it's a hotbed for tech, art, innovation, sustainable design and the city’s beloved coffee. (No wonder Seattle can’t sleep). Here’s why you should head to lesser-known Washington State for your J1 or Grad USA visa.

Why Seattle

Just two hours from the Canadian border, Seattle can often feel more Canadian or European in its outlook. Forward thinking, foodie and with a dry humour that’s often in contrast to its wet weather reputation – Irish students and grads will feel instantly at home in the Emerald City. Indoors: there’s galleries, music bars, coffee houses, microbreweries and on-trend sustainable restaurants seemingly on every corner. While outdoors: it’s the beachfront parks, waterfront walks and access to some of the most astounding scenery in North America that reign supreme. From the towering Space Needle to the snow-capped peak of Mount Rainier, Seattle stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Where to Live

From the bohemian Fremont district to the bars of Capitol Hill, Seattle offers many neighbourhoods to adopt as your own. There's the friendliness of Georgetown with its craft breweries and cafes, the lakeside trails of Kirkland or the boutique shops of Ballard, to name but a few. Some J1 employers will include subsidised accommodation, but if not, check out these sites to find a pad, or

J1 jobs Seattle

Previous UIST J1-ers in Seattle have worked as housekeeping attendants, front desk agents, and food and beverage attendants. The average salary for 2023 in Seattle was USD $19/hour. 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 Intern

Seattle is an ideal place to gain experience in financial services, business management and IT. Graduates or student using their 1-year Grad USA visa to pursue careers in clean technology and renewable energy will be at the cutting edge. Aeronautics and higher education are big industries too, with the University of Washington one of the city's largest employers. The sciences play a major role in Seattle's job market, including biopharmaceuticals and health-related industries. Bioengineering gets a boost from the Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, meaning the city that gave the world Microsoft continues to support research and development.


Mild, temperate and often overcast, Seattle is typical of the Pacific Northwest weather. (There’s a reason why those hot vampires in Twilight moved up there to escape the direct sunlight!). Like the UK and Ireland, Seattle gets a bad rep weather wise. But summers are mostly warm and dry – and avoid the cloying humidity of many US cities. Summer temperatures tend to sit around 70-77 °F (22-25°C). And when that sun does shine, there are few regions more beautiful.

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.

“The Emerald City is a total gem. Liberal, musical, highly caffeinated, and surrounded by the spellbinding scenery of the Pacific Northwest.”

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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