Buzzing with activity, the Cyber Café at the IIIC provides a haven for J-1 summer students to job and apartment hunt. At any given time, Irish students (the J-1’ers) just arriving in Boston wander into the Café to make use of the computers and the numerous employment and housing resources. Volunteers and staff at the IIIC have been assisting J-1 students for the past fifteen years. “We always have great volunteers,” says Erika Bareiss, who is in charge of the J-1 summer services at the IIIC. “They do a great job and are active and eager to assist the students.”
Gareth Gregan is one such student on the J-1 summer visa. Instantly friendly, he is excited to recount his experiences in the United States so far. “J-1 is the thing to do,” he declares, explaining that he chose to come to Boston due to the large Irish presence and because he’s always heard about it back home. He’s grateful for the Cyber Café, which he uses for the online access, printing his CVs, and “the tea.”
Gareth, who is majoring in Economics and Politics at Trinity College Dublin, arrived in the United States last week. Gareth and several friends traveled to Boston by way of New York, and he talks animatedly of his time here since his arrival. “Everything’s massive,” he exclaims, “[even] the food portions.” Having spent the last several days busy settling in, getting over jet lag, and searching for a place to live and somewhere to work, he already has several stories of people he’s met along the way. While he hasn’t yet secured permanent housing or a job, he says he’s not worried.
“The jobs are there,” says Gareth with a pile of freshly printed CVs on the table in front of him. He’s been hard at work applying for positions, but his main focus right now is finding a place to live. “The most difficult thing [so far] is getting accommodation,” he comments, explaining that he as well as friends have come across numerous scams. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
After spending last summer working at Disneyland Paris, Gareth is looking forward to another fun summer. He wants to make the most of his time here, not only through finding a job he enjoys, but through the eye-opening cultural experiences and the people he meets. “The people [in Boston] are interesting…[there is] a greater variety of people than I anticipated,” Gareth remarks. With his positive attitude and easygoing personality, it is sure that he will have a great experience.
To make this the best experience possible for Gareth and his fellow J-1’ers, we are reaching out to you. The J-1 students are looking for housing and jobs. We invite employers and landlords to list their jobs and housing vacancies with us. You can advertise them free of charge. Please call Erika ASAP with any leads. Erika can be reached at 617.542.7654 Ext.18 or by email: J1summer@iicenter.org. Thank you - we really appreciate your help.