Students and recent graduates earn money while exploring Ireland
Each year thousands of Irish and American students and recent graduates visit each other’s countries to travel and learn, while picking up short-term jobs to earn money along the way.
This exchange program is usually called Summer Work & Travel in the USA, or a Working Holiday program in Ireland. For Americans traveling to Ireland there are dedicated cultural exchange organizations set up to provide support for travelers when they arrive. This includes orientation sessions, help finding paid jobs and housing, connecting with other people, and sorting out logistics such as tax ID numbers, setting up phone plans and bank accounts.
What kind of work is available?
The most common kinds of work in Ireland that Americans are taking on during their working holiday programs are seasonal jobs, such as working in hotel, bar, or cafe in Dublin. Other work can include temporary office jobs, or in some cases even more professional positions throughout Ireland.
For those seeking out a career position in Ireland, it should be noted that this program allows for up to one year of work and travel in the country, and seasonal jobs are much easier to come across. That being said, even while working at a cafe or restaurant, a traveler could set up informational calls or even site visits in their career field to learn about how the industry works in Ireland. That way, it’s possible to earn money with casual jobs while also organizing more career-specific professional development along the way.
Who can participate?
For U.S. citizens to participate on the Irish working holiday, they must be either a currently enrolled student of a post-secondary program (associates, bachelor’s, master’s, etc), or a recent graduate of such a program within the past 12 months.
What kinds of costs and earnings are involved?
Travelers will be able to earn money (minimum wage in Ireland is currently €9.80), but will need some savings to get started. It's important to budget for things like flights, program and visa fees, and insurance. And of course the day-to-day costs of food and rent in Ireland.