The Christmas break is officially over, the daily grind of waking up early and going to college has once again commenced and only a few months remain before we’re on another long break; this time for summer.
Sometimes the only way to get through the last few months of college, unlimited assignments and the dreaded end of year exams is to have a plan of action for what you’ll do to keep yourself busy during the summer months.
With so many different options available to students nowadays, it can be hard to decide what to spend your money on. However, thinking and organising early is the key to having a successful summer, no matter what you’re doing.
One option that consistently shows a lot of interest is the ol’ J1. Fears that this summer work and travel visa will be abolished under the presidency of the infamous Donald Trump have been circulating for months now, so why not jump at the chance while you can – just in case.
The key to organising a successful J1 is, without a doubt, organising your plan of action way in advance. The last thing you want is to arrive in a foreign country jobless, homeless and having wasted all your hard-earned money from the past year. Preparation is key.
Start researching different destinations available through the J1 visa and once you’ve picked your desired destination, start looking for employment. One of the latest requirements of the visa is to have a job secured prior to arrival in your destination. Send out emails, make phone calls and talk to friends and family who have lived in the U.S. to see if you have any contacts that could help in your search for a job or a place to stay.
It is always good idea to have someone who you know and trust recommend a place for you to go rather than choosing at random, as this can add help put both yourself and your parents at ease with the thought of heading off to a different country for the summer.
Before accepting a job offer, however, make sure the job is one that you think you will like. You don’t want to be stuck working at a waterpark in California if you hate swimming.
As well as organisation, make sure to save, save, save. The J1 can be expensive, and the last thing you need is to be completing summer exams with the stress of taking on extra shifts at work in order to pay the balance on your visa. Save in advance and lessen the burden of financial strain on yourself.
Once you get there, don’t stress about your finances too much, because if you manage to land yourself a decent job in a bar or restaurant, the chances are you’ll be making great tips and will have a good stack of savings in no time.
One of the most important things you can do prior to departing on your summer adventure is simply research the area you have chosen to live in. Head on to Google maps and check out what amenities and services will be available to you in your area.
How far away is the nearest supermarket? Is there a bus or train station nearby? Are there many bars and restaurants in the area? These are all simple questions that can be answered prior to departure and knowing the answers will help you feel more at home once you arrive.
Last but certainly not least, get excited.
Enjoy the process of planning your J1. It’s not often in life that you will have three months of freedom with which you can choose to spend the summer in a different country. Prepare well, and without a doubt you will be in for an unforgettable three months with some incredible memories.