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 Rebecca Pasini|
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange
Rebecca A. Pasini joined the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchanges in July 2023. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister - Counselor, Ms. Pasini has been an American diplomat since 1997.
Ms. Pasini previously served as the Director of Public and Congressional Affairs in the Bureau of Consular Affairs from 2021-2023. Other Washington assignments have included positions in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, the Office of Foreign Missions, and as a liaison to the Department of Homeland Security. She has also completed multiple overseas tours, including as Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs in Islamabad, Pakistan, and as the Consular Chief in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Other tours included Mexico City and Kuwait.
A Maryland native, Ms. Pasini has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University, a master’s degree in National Security and Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School, National Defense University, and an undergraduate degree from Mary Washington College.
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