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!

We encourage everyone on our visa program to engage in networking in order to help find suitable paid work in your area of study. Please see a sample networking spreadsheet if you would like to have as a resource! 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