The scene yesterday (above) at 2020 Kettredge Street, Berkeley, California
But the work-visa program that allowed for the exchanges has in recent years become not just a source of aspiration, but also a source of embarrassment for Ireland, marked by a series of high-profile episodes involving drunken partying and the wrecking of apartments in places like San Francisco and Santa Barbara..
The program has been a source of discomfort. James Howard, 24, who went to San Diego in 2011, said it was basically “party central.”
“There were 18 of us sharing a two-bedroom apartment, and the hundreds of Irish students around us were in a similar situation,” Mr. Howard said.
“It was my first time away on my own for any length of time. I’m glad I did it, but once was enough,” he said.
Cahir O’Doherty, the arts and culture editor of The Irish Voice, wrote a column in 2014 expressing distress at “the callous destruction unleashed by these loaded Irish students” of a house rented in the Sunset District of San Francisco.
“If you know the city you’ll know Sunset is one of the more desirable locations in which to buy a home,” he wrote. “So those J-1 students actually caught a big break by being rented to in the first place. Nice payback, guys.”
“They ripped chandeliers from the ceilings, they broke doors and they smashed windows; they even punched holes in the walls,” he wrote. “Then they abandoned the place without a heads-up or a word of apology.”
Classic victim blaming, in fairness.
Previously: ‘All Irish. All Gone’
More than 150,000 Irish people have participated in the J1 program since it was introduced in 1961.
And 149,000 overstayed their visa.
The makings of a bit of a party, in fairness.
CIA US Embassy writes:
“The US Embassy is inviting anyone who ever went on a J1 Summer Work and Travel Program, or any other US exchange program, to take the experience one step further and join the J1 Connect event on September 25, 2014 at the RDS in Dublin.
The day will include prominent J1 speakers from the world of politics, business, academics and the arts. Workshops will cover a variety of topics including understanding US visas, strategies for setting up business in the US, and coaching on professional networking. The day will end with a live band and networking reception. Whether your J1 summer just ended, or is a more distant memory, J1 connect is an opportunity to celebrate this ‘rite of passage’ exchange…”
— TG4 (@TG4TV) August 1, 2014
Watch Coghlan’s army take on the USA in their opening game of the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup LOIVE on TG4 from Paris at 3:50 pm today.
Allez les verts!!
Previously: This Just Lynne
President Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins in Illinois, Chicago and Bloomington, Indiana at the weekend.
From top, President Higgins visits the Gaelic Park in Chicago, meeting children at the Gaelic Park with President of the Gaelic Park, John Devitt, yesterday; President Higgins and Sabina at his alma mater Indiana University in Bloomington with President of Indiana University, President Michael McRobbie on Saturday before he received an Honorary Degree.
President Higgins graduated from Indiana University in 1967 with a Masters of Arts Degree in Sociology.
Previously: Squeezing Everything In