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The Union of Students in Ireland said the J1 changes announced today is hugely disappointing and will decrease the number of students travelling abroad for the summer. The changes made to the J1 programme means that Irish students will now have to secure a job in America before they apply for the J1 visa.

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“When the J1 programme was launched we saw a surge of Irish students travelling to the USA on a working summer visa,” The Union of Students in Ireland President, Kevin Donoghue, said, “It’s a fantastic opportunity for personal development through refining independent skills and experiencing another culture. Geographic distance leads to improved problem solving, and openness to experience builds skills and capacities.

“The best way to better the mind is through education. The best way to broaden the mind is through travel. Travel also sparks curiosity and an inquisitive mind develops hunger for knowledge and a desire to progress. The recent changed restrictions for the J1 is disappointing. It will make it more difficult for  students to obtain a visa. I think we are likely to see a drop in the number of students travelling as a result of this.”

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