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Professional internships

An internship or professional traineeship in the US is a sure fire way to get ahead. Whether you’re a student, grad or working professional – we help put your career on the map.

Let’s be frank. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

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USIT, I’m confused…


What are my options for paid professional training in the USA

If you’re an Americanophile like us, you can actually do all three of our professional internship programs throughout your education and career. Which in total would add up to four years living and working in the States! (American accent also included). All three USA programs have different eligibility and rules. Here's the need to know.


Internship USA

If you’re a current student, Internship USA should be your first port of call if you’re needing to do work experience as part of your course or if you want to get ahead with a summer internship in America. You must be a student aged 18-30, you can do a single paid or unpaid internship for between 1-12 months with 30 days before and after to travel, and you must have a position secured before you go.

Grad USA

As the name suggests, Grad USA is the best option if you’re 18-30, in your final year or have already graduated. You must enter the USA within 12 months of graduating, you can do multiple paid or unpaid internships with 30 days between positions to travel, and you can stay for 14 months. Uniquely for USA visas, you don’t need an internship before you go – you have 90 days when you arrive to find one.

Trainee USA

If you don’t have a degree or you graduated over a year ago, Trainee USA is for you. You can do a single paid or unpaid traineeship in your professional field for up to 18 months, with 30 days either side to travel. Non-grads must have five years’ work experience in their field and grads must have one year work experience – with at least a two-year break if you did our Grad USA program. Traineeships must be secured before you go.

All professional internships experiences

An internship is a position within a company where you are constantly learning and training in your field of study, while under a mentor. You should demonstrate a clear progression during your internship; by curating the skills you already have, learning new skills and gaining exposure to lots of different areas of the department or business.

It’s your responsibility to secure your own internship or trainee position. Applicants come from different backgrounds, have different work experience and different career goals – and your internship should be a position that works towards your specific career path.

Our team will give you advice on where previous applicants doing your degree or with your professional experience have interned, tips on how to lay out your US resume, and give you access to the USIT Job Hub.

  • Intern USA and Trainee USA You’ll have access to the Job Hub after you’ve booked. Here you can search positions, reach out to any suitable employers, and set up video interviews to secure your position prior to us starting your US sponsorship.
  • Grad USA On this visa, you must find your position when you arrive. (You have 60 days to get your internship placement approved by you US sponsor). Before you go, we'll share a list of US employers where previous Grad USA participants have interned. (If they match your degree and the location you'd like to intern). You can use this list to set up meetings and conversations for when you land.

- Grad USA You can do multiple internships in your field of study and move around different states working for different companies – they just can’t overlap! For example, secured a five-month marketing internship with your Business Degree in New York – might be time for a change – how about another six-month finance internship in San Francisco? You have 60 days to secure your first internship and 30 days after your first internship to secure your second. You cannot train past your DS2019 end date. - Intern USA and Trainee USA You’re only permitted to do one internship or traineeship with one employer on this visa. Your sponsorship is tied to that employer and the duration will be based on the length of your pre-arranged internship – with 30 days before and after to travel.

Yes, our Intern USA program is suitable for any 3rd level students enrolled full-time in an Irish University who would like to do a summer internship in their field of study OR complete their work placement in the USA.

Yes. Casual or seasonal work is not permitted on this visa. - For Grad USA and Intern USA Your position must be related to your area of study.
- For Trainee USA If you’re a graduate, you must have one year’s work professional experience in the field that your traineeship is in. If you’re not a graduate, you must have five years’ professional work experience in the field you’re doing your traineeship in.

Depending on the program, there are some restricted sectors within industries that need to be considered before finding your internship or traineeship. The below list isn’t exhaustive, so please give the team a call before you start your search.

Education: You can’t work as a teacher or teaching assistant, but you can work in curriculum development, lesson planning and more.

Oenology and Viticulture (that’s wine to you and us): You can’t do fruit picking, vine and harvest work, but you can do fermentation management, distribution and more.

Construction: You can’t operate heavy machinery or intern as part of a work crew, but you can do project management, drafting and more.

Healthcare and veterinary: You can’t do clinical care or administer medication or procedures, but you can do observation-based internships.

Hospitality: Typically, hotels must be rated 4-star or higher and have broad operations to facilitate a comprehensive training in the hospitality field. For culinary training, restaurants must be a fine dining establishment in order to qualify.

Social services: You can’t work directly with patients, but you can do social work and policy (unpublished), community outreach and more.

Sports and nutrition: You can’t do coaching, physical therapy or personal training, but you can do Sports Medicine business management, food product development and more.

Retail: Internships must be management-focused, and typically include training in areas such as human resources practices, accounting, staffing practices, buying, merchandising and more.

- Intern USA and Trainee USA USIT will provide sponsorship for you via CIEE, our US partner. CIEE will approve your position based on your internship training plan (this form is called DS7002). This must be completed by your employer. - Grad USA Your employer must complete your DS7002 in-country, and it must be approved by CIEE within 60 days of arriving in the USA.

  • For all programs, our team will go over everything with you, but briefly:
  • Your internship must be a training position, and not a job.
  • It must be a full-time position (minimum 32 hours per week).
  • It must be office based – no remote work is allowed.
  • It mustn’t involve any more than 20% clerical or basic work, or include unskilled labour.
  • It must benefit your future career and have a clear training plan.
  • It must do work that is additional to the employer's normal staffing requirements.
  • Unpaid internships are allowed for up to six months.
  • There must be a minimum of five full-time employees to every intern/trainee at that location.
  • A site visit may be required to assess your future employer’s workplace. Please see below

If your host company has never taken on an intern through the program before, if their annual revenue is less than USD $3 million or if they have less than 25 full time employees, CIEE will need to conduct a site visit. This is a US Department of State requirement.

- Grad USA All site visits are included in your program fee.

- Intern USA and Trainee USA Site visits will be charged at USD $250. We wouldn’t find out of this is necessary until the application goes through vetting and the fee would only be added to your booking if and when we are officially notified from the sponsor that it has to take place.

Our team will give you guidance on this, but briefly, your employers will be asked the below questions:

  • Description of role for this phase
  • Specific goals and objectives
  • Who will provide supervision?
  • What plans are on place for participating in cultural activities?
  • What specific knowledge skills or techniques will be thought?
  • How will theses be thought?
  • How will the acquisition of new skills and competencies be measured?
Your intention on this program must be to return to Ireland and not use this visa as a stepping stone to staying in the USA. USIT cannot advise on switching visas while in the USA.
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Just the summer

Want to work in America without using up an internship visa?

Students can work in America for up to four months on our J1 summer program – with 30 days after to travel.

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