Networking is one of the most important things we do, both professionally and personally. Feedback from many of Rian’s former J-1 exchange visitors tells us that putting effort into networking leads to better placements, better pay & a better overall visa experience!

Note: When applying for your J-1 visa you must be able to show us that you have made progress in your networking research.  You should have at least 10 options prepared for the city you plan to go to using our sample networking spreadsheet.  These should mostly be business/professional contacts. 


What is networking?


“Hard networking” = taking part in organized networking events which are set for the sole purpose of discussing a particular issue, subject, project or agenda. This type of networking is very common in the business world!


  • Attending events hosted by local business organizations or professionals
  • Joining professional groups such as Irish Network Boston. Look into the Irish Network in the city near you
  • Joining groups that are tailored towards your field of study. For example, one of our more recent J-1s found her placement after joining a ‘Young Women in Science’ networking group. This directly led to her success in finding a great paid placement!


“Soft networking” = taking part in various events or groups which are less formal & not set for the specific purpose of networking. Meeting people with similar interests can open doors.


  • Joining a local soccer or music club.
  • Attending after work meetups with colleagues or friends!

Networking Tips & Resources