You’ve got your summer job, you’ve got your documents in, and now it’s time to complete the next stage of your journey to America. The J1 Visa appointment. It can be daunting and confusing, but we’re the J1 Visa pros ready to help you out. From DS-160’s to SEVIS receipts, here’s the survival guide on how to ace your J1 Visa appointment!
You’ve probably heard the term J1 Visa and wondered what a J1 actually is. To keep it real simple, the J1 Visa is a cultural exchange Visa, supporting visitors who are taking part in cultural exchange programs like Summer Camp. Without this, you can’t go and work in America. Once you’ve got your visa, you’ll be ready to set off to the States for the best summer!
When you go to book your appointment, there will be different steps to be completed. Don’t worry, we’ve created step by step guides that’ll walk you through everything you need to know. These will be on your profile once you have received your DS-2019 form from us so keep an eye out for these and make sure you follow them!
When you first go into the embassy, you will be asked to wait in the waiting room until your number to be called. You will go up to the first window where the staff will check your documents and check your DS-160 application. After this, you will then move onto the next stage of the visa process. The next window will be where you will be asked questions about you and your job in America. Be clear, honest, and friendly and you’ll be absolutely fine.
Make your trip to the American embassy stress-free and get there early. If you aim to get there at least 15 minutes before your appointment, you will be first in line and ready to ace your appointment and get your J1 Visa. Whether you’re going to Dublin, London or Belfast, have your travel plans sorted. If that’s a flight, train or bus, make sure you have it booked in advance to save yourself money and stress. If you’re going to Belfast for your appointment, make sure you book with an airline that allows you to travel back with another piece of ID as the embassy will take your passport. You don’t want to get stuck in Belfast with no way of getting back home.
The J1 Visa appointment can sound very serious and formal, but they aren’t! You don’t need to stress smart for the appointment. Just make sure you aren’t wearing trackies and look presentable for your interview with the embassy.
It’s totally normal to feel nervous about your appointment. With all the paperwork and booking of appointments, it can be seriously overwhelming, but don’t worry. You’re going to ace the appointment and rock out with your approved visa. Get ready for the summer of a lifetime.
This is my first season in the office! I help all our applicants on their journey to head out to Camp from making sure profiles are completed, documents are in and helping get everything prepared for their departure to the States. I also visit universities to meet our applicants and hold information stands and presentations.
My favourite memory has to be attending our Dublin Job Fair in January. This was my first job fair and was the best experience. I loved helping and meeting our Irish Applicants and it was such a rewarding feeling seeing applicants so excited when they got placed at Camps! It was also fun to get to meet so many of the amazing Camp’s that we work with.
Dr Pepper, Kardashians, and Documents
It has to be Cancun, Mexico! I’ve visited here with my family 3 times and each time we have been able to do so many different things such as swim with Dolphins, Flyboard and release baby Turtles back into the ocean. Everything about Cancun is beautiful from the weather, beaches, food and scenery. Visiting here is definitely a must!
I’m hoping to head out to camp next summer! Working in the office has shown me what I’ve missed out on all these years not going to camp. If I could turn back time I would have headed out to camp for my first summer as soon as I turned 18!
Meeting friends for life, having fun all day long, and learning new things about yourself! It is such a unique and rewarding experience heading out to camp. It also looks amazing on your CV and to future employers as you will learn so many transferable skills over the summer. A huge benefit is also getting 30 days after to travel around the States. Travelling is the perfect way to end summer with your besties from camp in a State that you have always dreamed of visiting.
I have been very lucky to visit New York, Miami, and Florida! I loved each place for so many different reasons. But my all-time favourite place EVER has to be New York. I visited here in 2012 and in February this year; I just love the busy atmosphere of the city and how everywhere you walk reminds you of a movie. The food and shopping are also amazing- especially Sephora and the Hershey’s store. If I could live here I definitely would!
Unsure what a Summer Camp game day is? When you get to camp, you’ll soon realise Summer Camp game days are EVERYTHING. The campers live for these events and stock up on accessories, face paint, and outfits to get into the camp spirit.
Don’t think you’re the competitive type? Think again! Game days can get intense, but don’t worry, we’re here to make sure you’re super prepared for the events of the summer. Keep reading to find out how to smash and win game days at camp!
“Make sure you have loads of colourful tees and shorts you don’t mind to get DIRTY!”
Colour War is one of the most famous Summer Camp Game day across America. Split into teams with fellow counselors and campers for some serious games of tug of war, sports, capture the flag and more! The campers will put their ALL into these games so this is your time to show the rest of camp what you’re really made of.
Top tip, you won’t know which colour team you will be on until you get to camp. Prepare and bring as many different colour tees or stock up on your visit to Walmart. There’s nothing better than standing with your team members all kitted out in your colour, representin’ the team. GO TEAM BLUE!
“You’ll eat your body weight in sweets, popcorn, and candy floss.”
Camp Carnival is a little treat game day for the campers to let loose and have fun! There’s Carnival games, bouncy castles, and LOADS of food. You’ll never get hungry as popcorn, sweets, candy floss and chocolate are to be seen everywhere.
Depending on your camp, you’ll be able to go on the rides with your campers and really act like a big kid again. As well as all the rides and food, you can even get married at one of the Carnival stools. Fake marry your BFF Camp Counselor and live happily ever after.
“Get ready for some INTENSE scenes!”
This is the game day that the older campers and counselors prepare for throughout their Summer Camp years. A couple of days before the event, the rope is soaked in water to make sure it’s extremely hard to burn.
When the event starts, counselors and campers are required to start a fire and build it tall enough to reach the rope. The atmosphere is crazy and everybody screams, sings, and chants for their team. Finally, when the rope breaks, everybody goes absolutely crazy. It’s definitely something you’ll never forget.
We know the feeling of seeing an amazing trip, but not being able to afford it. Worst feeling ever. Whether you’re wanting to go to Summer Camp for the first time or looking at doing the ultimate Trek America trip after camp, it can be hard to save up the cash. With an office full of travellers and counselors, we’ve had our fair share of saving and budgeting for trips over the years so if you’re desperate to save up for the trip of a lifetime, keep reading below!
You see a piece of clothing you just have to buy, it’s calling your name, but you have to stop and think. Is this more important than my trip to America? Probs not! Prioritising your spend is one of the first steps to saving up for the trip of a lifetime. Take a look at all the things you buy over the month and think about if you really need to spend your money on these items. If not, put the money away and save it!
Nights out are fun, but not as fun as exploring a new country, completing your bucket list, and gaining new experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Nights out can be expensive with the drink, entry, and taxi. It all adds up. Save up for the trip of a lifetime by cutting down on the nights out, saving up that money, and chilling at home. Trust us, you’ll thank us later when you’re chilling on a beach in the US of A!
To really get motivated and save all the money you can, download a money saving app! Most apps around will show you exactly how much you are saving and set you a goal for each month. Some apps even cancel your unused subscriptions for you which is super handy. Keep an eye on how much you save and really get excited when you reach your goals! Some apps we recommend are Qapital, Claritymoney, and Monzo.
With all the money you save, put it into a separate savings account. This means you won’t be tempted to dip into the money you’ve saved. Top tip: Make it your mission to put at least a pound a day into your savings account. It really will add up! Your money will be safe and sound in your account, ready for you to take out when it’s time for your trip of a lifetime.
Once the money comes rolling in, you’ll soon see that the trip of a lifetime can be a reality! Whether you’re planning on going to Summer Camp for the first time or going a Trek America trip after camp, you’re going to make it this summer. Ready to get started on your trip of a lifetime? Click below.