Grad USA


Work as a designer in New York, at a tech company in LA or as a researcher in Alaska. The J-1 visa allows you to work in most jobs, anywhere in the USA. Dream big or stay home.

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Getting down to business


The minimum wage differs between states, from between USD $7.25 to $15 an hour. Working in hospitality can reap lucrative rewards in tips, but just be aware that some states are legally allowed to use tip money to make up staff wages.


Because you’ll already be sponsored to work in the USA through BUNAC, so long as your employer is happy with your temporary status, you can apply for jobs like any American would. Your salary will then reflect the industry and your experience.

This type of J-1 visa allows you to work in most industries; except for the medical profession, farming, childcare, domestic help, working in a casino, driving with passengers, starting your own business or being self-employed (including freelance).


You’re also not able to work as a camp counsellor or activities instructor on this type of J-1 visa. If you want to work with children and young adults or as a sports coach or arts co-ordinator, check out our Summer Camp USA program.


Visas and eligibility

Work anywhere

From mom-and-pop diner towns to bright lights and big cities, your J-1 visa allows you to work anywhere in America. With 50 states to choose from (including Hawaii!), knowing where to start can be a challenge. Our advice? Use the 30 days before your work permit to buy a Greyhound bus ticket, Amtrak pass or jump in a car and take a road trip. Wherever you end up, we can guarantee the locals will be friendly, the coffee refills will be free, and the scenery will be mind-blowing.

Cost and inclusions

Do anything

Starting over in the States is a timeless plotline. The difference? This movie stars you. This type of J-1 visa gives you the freedom to work in all but the above sectors and for a full 12 months. So if you want to turn your academic achievements into professional experience, then America is a great place to make a name for yourself. Or if you’d rather do more casual work, typical jobs for past BUNACers have included working in hospitality, retails, sales, tourism and construction.

How to find a job

How to find a job in the USA

Our Grad USA program includes guidance on how to find work, accommodation and set up the essentials you need to start working, such as your Social Security number. If you’re looking to find work that’s more related to your degree or future career goals, here are our top tips for getting hired.

Tell them about BUNAC
The sponsorship cost and visa red tape can often be a barrier for US companies taking on international staff. When applying for jobs, make sure you tell them from the outset that you’re sponsored through BUNAC.

Utilise your student services
Reach out to your tutors, student career services and international education office to utilise their resources and connections. Even if they’re only able to secure short-term work experience, it’s a foot in the door. 

Check out these sites
Set up job alerts on US and international job sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, USA Jobs, AngelList, ZipRecruiter, SimplyHired and Monster. The list may be long, but the initial legwork will pay off in the long run. 

Get online and get creative
Shortlist companies in the States and at home (they may have US offices) and then get creative. Connect with their leaders on LinkedIn, set up Instagram alerts, and have your resume Canva-designed and ready to go with references.

Leverage your connections
Those who dare wins. Reach out to friends and family, and stalk (in a non-threatening way) past alumni from your course on LinkedIn to see what they’re doing and where they’re working. You’ll have more contacts than you think.

Apply now

Apply now for the Grad USA program with a deposit

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