By Nathan Arnold, Director of Media Relations for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
On December 5, Assistant Secretary Evan Ryan and Her Excellency, Ambassador of Ireland, Anne Anderson signed an agreement to continue the Ireland Work and Travel (IWT) Program for an additional three years and bring it out of pilot status.
At the ceremony, held at the U.S. Department of State here in Washington, Assistant Secretary Ryan said: “Not only has the program enhanced the professional lives of individual interns, but the U.S. host institutions and communities where they have conducted their internships also continue to feel the impact. We believe that such grassroots interactions between Irish interns and their American communities play an essential role in promoting cooperation between our two countries.”
With this extension now in place, additional sponsors can work to place Irish participants in the United States, and there is a possibility for more U.S. students to travel to Ireland under the reciprocal Work and Holiday Program as well. Approximately 1,300 Irish participants come to the United States under the Ireland Work and Travel program each year to work and live in communities across the United States. Unlike other categories of the Exchange Visitor Program, no pre-placement in employment is required for IWT participants.
“Last calendar year, more than 10,000 Irish exchange visitors came to the United States on 13 private-sector funded programs. The four largest programs were Summer Work Travel, Interns, Camp Counselors, and College and University Students,” said Assistant Secretary Ryan. “In Ireland, the Summer Work Travel Program is almost synonymous with J-1. Yet, we want people to know that many, many more opportunities are available through the Exchange Visitor Program – like the one we are here to celebrate today.”
The Exchange Visitor Program has welcomed more than 150,000 Irish students to the United States since it began in 1966.
We at the State Department – as well as the 1,500 sponsor organizations who work with us – are fully committed to the continued success of all our exchange programs. We encourage everyone who is thinking to apply to please do so early and don’t be afraid to ask questions. We are here to ensure your exchange program is valuable, rewarding, and gives you a leg up in our global economy.
Categories: Program Spotlight
|About Nicole Elkon|
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange
Nicole Elkon joined the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange in September 2021. Until June 2021, Ms. Elkon was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Human Rights First, an independent advocacy organization focused on human rights and the rule of law. Prior to her position as COO, Ms. Elkon was a Senior Advisor at Results for America (RFA), a non-profit organization focused on advancing data-driven, evidence based public policy at all levels of government. She also served as Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of ECA and was Director of the Office of Public Private Partnerships at ECA working to leverage strategic partnerships to enhance Administration foreign policy priorities.Read More
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