USIT graduate visa is taking a vacation

Caitlin Laird

The graduate visa has been something that nearly every college student thinks about when they are at the end of their degree.

The graduate visa offers students the opportunity of a lifetime to go to America and work for a year in the line of work they are qualified in.

USIT is a travel agency that gives students the chance to go to America and do a J1, the graduate visa, Camp USA and also the chance to go to Canada or Australia and many more places.

Students get to go and have a full year of work in a different country and it gives them experience and also makes their CV look very impressionable to future employers when they come back to Ireland looking for a new job. It is a real eye-opening experience that helps students in realising their full potential and finding the right job for them.

With the graduate visa, USIT also lets you have 30 days to travel either at the start of the year or the last 30 days of the year. This lets students work all year and save up to do their travelling before they go home.

USIT takes care of all the legal preparations involving the work documents to stay the full year and also in setting up interviews with the US Embassy. This is within the price you pay for your visa.

It isn’t for everybody but for most students it lets them break out of their comfort zone, move away and experience a new culture. The graduate visa has been running since 2008 and it was only meant to be a five-year programme but it got extended for the sixth year and it is still running.

It is now the last year for students to take the opportunity of the graduate visa as it will end after this year. People who want to do it this year have to travel on or before the 31st of December to avail of the visa.

This has disappointed many students who wanted to avail of it in the years to come and it also puts pressure on students graduating this year to get funds together to actually go. Many students will not be able to experience this with it ending and are left with either the J1 or Camp USA.

These are also good experiences that many students go on but with the graduate visa you have the full year to spend away which attracts more students.

Final year journalism student Ciara O’Loughlin is currently preparing for the graduate visa where she will travel to New York in December. “It is very stressful that I have a much shorter time to save up for. I will have to travel at a very expensive time where as if the scheme was available until next year I would have waited to go until flights were cheaper in January or February”, said Ciara when asked on how this last year for the graduate visa affects her.

A lot of students feel this way but that won’t stop them if they are determined on going. For final year students it is very stressful to be going through exams and work experience while also working straight to get funds together to go in December.

On the USIT website they have articles from people who have already done the grad visa and they give tips and also talk about their own experience. One article written by Joseph Murray on the ten things he learned on the grad visa gives helpful advice to students.

“The grad visa is not a gap year. It’s a way of bridging the gap between college and career so that you return to the Irish job market with an edge”, said Joseph in his article.

With the pressure this may put on students to go at the end of the year it is clear that it is all worth it from the experience they benefit from in the end up.

Caitlin Laird

Image credit: Sonja Tutty