Work Abroad Ireland

Work Abroad Basic Program

4 months: $1,169

12 months: $1,479

Ireland conjures up images of pubs, rolling landscapes and more pubs. In fact, Ireland is much more than that. Does the idea of living and working in Ireland set you into an immediate daydream? We know the feeling. Intensify your resume and your work experience with an unforgettable opportunity working abroad in Ireland this year.

After the Celtic Tiger took hold of Ireland's economy from the mid-1990s into the new millennium, the Emerald Isle quickly transformed itself from a largely rural country into a world class hub for e-commerce, manufacturing and banking. Today, multinational companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Dell have based their operations out of Ireland and job opportunities for recent grads are plentiful. Office work not your thing? No worries! Hospitality and service industry jobs (including pub work) are widely available.

This one-of-a-kind work abroad program includes extensive job search assistance, visa application help, comprehensive health insurance, 5 nights of accommodation on arrival, social events, and much more!

Work Abroad Ireland Program Highlights

  • Work in your chosen career field in paid employment positions throughout Ireland
  • Earn a minimum of EUR 8.65 (approx. $11.75 USD) per hour, with many participants earning as much as $14 to $22 USD per hour!
  • Immerse yourself in a new culture while living, working and traveling in beautiful Ireland
  • Enhance your resume with international work experience
  • Find paid work with job placement assistance, resume review services, employment contacts and access to a full resource facility center
  • Receive comprehensive assistance with your Work Visa application before you go
  • Travel safely with full health insurance coverage provided
  • Choose from 4-month or 12-month placements for employment flexibility

What's Included

  • 5 nights accommodation on arrival
  • Fully comprehensive health insurance
  • Visa application assistance (12 month only)
  • Free wi-fi for length of hostel stay
  • Visa application processing (4 month only)
  • Pre-departure resume preparation
  • Comprehensive orientation
  • 2 resume meetings and 1 recruitment meeting in Dublin
  • 1 free social event with other Work Abroad participants
  • Access to resource room with computers, free printing, free Wi-fi, and scanning
  • Mail forwarding services
  • Irish SIM card with €10 credit
  • Work and accommodation notice board
  • Employment contacts
  • Monthly social events
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Meal deals and tour discounts
  • Social media group access
  • Baggage storage

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for the Work Abroad - Ireland program?

To participate in the Work Abroad - Ireland program, you must be between the ages of 18 and 30, a U.S. Citizen, have no arrests on your criminal record, and must be currently enrolled (or a recent graduate, see below) as a full-time student from an accredited college or university in the United States studying for a Bachelor's degree (with a minimum 3 years duration) or graduate school degree. If you are a recent graduate, you are eligible to participate for up to 12 months after graduation (for the 12-month program) and up to 6 months after graduation (for the 4-month program).

How much money can I earn in Ireland?

This will depend on the type of job, the length of time you spend in Ireland and your lifestyle! You will be paid the same as an Irish or other legal worker and will be able to live on your earnings. The current minimum wage is €8.65 (approx. $11.75 USD) but previous participants have held jobs paying between €10-16 (approx. $14 to $22 USD) per hour for office jobs and even as high as 25€ (approx. $34) per hour!

Do I need to get a job before I go?

No. The work permit is not tied to a specific job, but gives you a terrific opportunity to work where and when you like.

What kind of Ireland jobs can I expect to get?

Most participants work in the hospitality industry, in restaurants, bars, hotels or in other seasonal, vacation-type work. Those with office experience find administrative work in an office environment. It depends not only on your experience, but your attitude, as how you search for a job will depend on the type of job you find!

Can I get a career-related job?

Yes. Your Work Visa entitles you to work in any type of job, but you will need to put in the same kind of research and planning as if you were relocating to a different U.S. city.

Do I have to work the full 4 months/12 months?

No, 4 months and 12 months are the maximum amount of time you can work in Ireland. Participants who come during the summer stay, on average, 6 to 8 weeks. Anything less isn't really realistic, as an employer is looking for some commitment. If you come outside of the busy summer season, you should plan to stay for, a minimum of 3 months, as it make take a few more days to find a job.

Can I change my job during the 4 months/12 months?

Yes. You may change jobs or even locations in Ireland during the program. You can spend your summers in the country and your winters in the city if you wish, or even the reverse!

Where can I work in Ireland?

You can work in any of the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland. However, you will need to think about a county that will have temporary work, especially seasonal jobs, during the summer. Dublin, Galway and Cork are the most popular destinations for participants. If you want a job in one of these locations, you need to get there before the Irish students do! Galway particularly is very popular throughout the year, but keep in mind that its economy is very much based around the busy tourist season from April to October, and jobs can be hard to find outside of that time.

Do I have to stay in Dublin?

No. After your arrival and orientation session, you are free to head out for any part of the country. Keep in mind that in the winter months, you will be more restricted to the busier cities.

Can I apply for the work abroad program if I am planning to study abroad in Ireland?

Yes. You can combine the Work Abroad - Ireland program with a study abroad program and work part time. You can start the Work Abroad - Ireland program before you start your study program, or stay on after for the summer. If you would like to work part time while studying, check with your study abroad advisor, as student visas may restrict your work to a maximum of 20 to 25 hours per week while studying.

I am graduating in December. When can I go?

As long as you enter Ireland within a year of graduating from college, you can participate in the program. Therefore, if you graduate on December 20, 2014, you will need to enter Ireland before June 20, 2015 for the 4-month program, and December 20, 2015 for the 12-month program. Please note that you must ENTER Ireland before that date, not just apply before that date. Remember that you will need minimum 6 weeks for the 4-month program and visa applications take approximately 8 weeks.

How much money should I bring?

We recommend that you bring a minimum of $1,500 (USD) to cover your arrival costs, housing deposit and living expenses until your first paycheck. It is always recommend to bring more, as the bigger the financial cushion you have, the better. For the 12-month program, you are required to provide proof of $1,500 (USD) in funds with a return flight ticket or $3,000 (USD) without. Please check with your U.S. consulate before booking your flight, as some consulates require proof of a return tickets before issuing the Work Visa.

When is the best time to go to Ireland?

The most popular time for arrivals is late May to mid/late June and end of August to October. The black out periods are mid-December to early February, when recruiting slows down, and July to mid-August, when you are in mid-season for summer jobs.

Can I travel to other parts of Europe during the program?

Yes. In fact, we actively encourage people to travel while taking part in the Work Abroad - Ireland program! Once in Ireland, our local team can help you plan your travels. Also, if you are thinking of extensive traveling, you may want to consider the Eurorail pass, which must be purchased in the U.S. (but is not available in Ireland). You can also purchase the Interrail pass, which can be purchased locally once you have been in Ireland for 6 months.

Can I leave and re-enter Ireland while I am in the program?

Yes. There are no program restrictions, but remember that your 4-month and 12-month program will be ongoing as you go in and out of the country.

What do I need for immigration?

Your valid passport, your “letter of eligibility” and proof of funds (which could be a recent bank statement or credit card statement). It is advised to have an address where you will be staying for your first few days (for example, your hostel address).

What is a letter of eligibility?

A letter of eligibility will be sent to you as part of your acceptance package from for the 4-month program. For the 12-month program, your letter will be sent to you from the Irish Embassy. This is an official document signed by the Irish Embassy. You will need this to enter Ireland through Immigration. The letter alone will not allow you to start working when you arrive. Once you have attended orientation in Dublin, those on the 4-month program will be issued with a card that will allow you to register with the local authorities, the GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau), thus providing you with work authorization. Both the 12-month and 4-month program participants must register with the GNIB as part of the terms and conditions of the Work Visa.

Do I need to attend orientation if I already know someone who can help me get set-up in Ireland?

Yes. In order to be authorized to work anywhere in Ireland, you must attend orientation in Dublin before moving on to any other Irish destination, so that you can be issued with a Work In Ireland identification card.

I am a permanent resident of the U.S., but not a citizen. Can I still apply?

The program is only currently open to US citizens.

Can I participate in the work abroad program alone?

Certainly! In fact, most participants travel solo, so don't worry! You will meet many other people in the same situation. The local Work Abroad - Ireland team arranges monthly social activities so that you can meet others! The one caveat is that if participants have children, they are not able to travel with them as part of this program.

Work Abroad Accommodation & Meals

For your first 5 nights of accommodation in Dublin, we will help you arrange a stay at a hostel that coincides with your flight arrival time. We highly recommend that you book a couple of further nights' accommodation, especially during the summer months, or if you are arriving during the weekend or if you're first few days include a Friday or Saturday night. Dublin is a very popular destination these days, and all hostels can get booked up.

Once you begin work, most participants will either live in house or apartment shares, or renting a room or studio by themselves. The most economical choice will be to share, and if you are planning to be based in Dublin, the orientation session will provide you with good advice about areas of the city, rates and resources. You will probably share with a mix of other participants, Irish students and other international visitors working in Ireland. The cost of housing in Ireland varies. Like most countries, the more you pay, the better the accommodation. Occasionally, you may be offered live-in accommodation with your job. This is most likely to occur if you get work in a hotel or farm in a rural area where short-term, temporary housing is not that easy to locate. The local Work Abroad - Ireland team will be able to provide you with the latest updates on housing.

Meals are not included in your total trip price, but when it comes to finding some tasty Irish meals, you’ll discover a whole country full of delicious dishes.

Minimum Age & Eligibility

Program participants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Aged 18 to 30
  • A U.S. Citizen
  • No arrest record
  • Currently enrolled (or a recent graduate, see below) as a full-time student from an accredited college or university in the United States studying for a Bachelor's degree (with a minimum 3 years duration) or graduate school degree. If you are a recent graduate, you are eligible to participate up to 12 months after graduation (for the 12-month program) and 6 months after graduation (for the 4-month program).

When to Go to Ireland

There is no average group size for this program, however you will meet many participants from all over the world during your orientation in Dublin.

Early Summer (April to June):

Short-term positions are available, as this is the high tourist season. Please note that many summer positions will already be filled if you arrive in July or August.

Fall (September to November):

Irish students return to school during this time, and therefore jobs are available, particularly in the retail and hospitality fields, as well as Christmas-season jobs.

Winter (Mid-December to early February):

We do not recommend arriving from mid-December until early February, as many employers will not be looking to hire shortly before or after Christmas.