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The phrase; "Boys have cooties" was always circulated when I was a child, mainly from other kids who watched way too much American television. In my four months of living in a Berkeley fraternity house among college-aged American boys (they 100 percent couldn't be called men, they needed full-time agony aunts), I learned numerous life lessons whether I wanted to or not. Mainly that personal hygiene and a basic understanding of women are deeply lacking, and there's nothing I can do to change either of those things. Bear in mind that this frat house is just one of dozens in Berkeley alone, and that sarcasm will be heavily used in this article. I won't be naming any names (though I'd love to) and many frat boys I met were positively lovely. It was just the few that needed basic lectures about toxic masculinity and domestic chores that will be targeted by my literary wrath.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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1. If they make eye contact with you, they're most likely drunk or high and have obtained a mysterious confidence.

Waking up in the morning and emerging through the jungle of empty beer bottles and fast food takeaway boxes, if you make it to the disgusting kitchen and run into a boy, he'll scutter away into the darkness or refuse to look you in the eye. Whether we'd be standing only centimetres apart while frying off eggs or toasting bread, chances are high that you won't be addressed. They're probably terrified of you, or don't know how to communicate with a woman without downing a keg of beer first.

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Many of these boys are spectacularly wealthy (well, their families are.) You need to have some connection to cash to get into college in the USA, usually but not always of course. Many of these boys also went to prep schools, with other boys surrounding them. Their only opportunity to talk to women often is on nights out in clubs or bars, and the heteronormativity is honestly unavoidable. I made some great friends while living in Berkeley, but never felt entirely safe unless there was a female friend or just a regular ol' female around. Boys have no idea the lengths that women have to go to in order to feel safe, just walking down the street. Especially in a strange city without your family.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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2. The issue of consent is a major epidemic across US college campuses

Men in America often objectify women, and one of the first things I noticed about our frat house when we moved in was the consistent posters regarding consent. The alarming feeling that only an incident would spur on the sudden mass influx of posters plagued me for a lot of my trip, and Irish women who also lived in the house were all very safe. The rumours about US college campuses lacking safety didn't help, as well as the security guards who insisted on escorting us around the campus at night. According to AAU Campus Climate Surveys (2015), 23.1 percent of female undergraduates, 5.4 percent of male undergraduates, and 24.1 percent of TGQN (trans, gender-non conforming, queer) undergraduates reported being sexually assaulted since starting college. Among graduate students and professionals, the estimates were 8.8 percent female, 2.2 percent male, and 15.5 percent TGQN. Sexual violence is far more prevalent in colleges, compared to other crimes. RAINN claim that only 20 percent of female student victims, aged between 18-and 24, report sexual violence to law enforcement. Frat houses are yet more spaces where women aren't always protected.

3. Their mums have cleaned up after them and spoiled them silly since they emerged from the womb

The boys of our frat house made a 'chore list' for the Irish students alone, and overcharged us absurdly for rent. They essentially exploited us; we paid them handsomely for gross accommodation while they lived there for free, and they spent the money on drugs and then drove to In 'N' Out. They were incapable of cleaning up after themselves, so old food and cooking tools were stacked up, while dirty dishes were consistently in a Mount Everest pile up in the sink. I learned of new smells I never thought existed, thanks to mould and bacteria. I'm convinced that I'm immune to many diseases because of living there. Boys have an astounding ability to leave a mess rotting the place for days, if not months, and play chicken with you until you can't take it anymore and give in. I have the distinct memory of cleaning out green mould from our fridge for three hours and inhaling Stranger Things 'Upside Down' like materials. A gas mask would have come in handy. They also don't know that sheets are meant to be changed.

4. Become Bear Grylls overnight if you have a rodent problem

We had numerous Snow White-esque pets in our abode, such as a Skunk (we named him Larry), ferrets under the floorboards and even bed bugs. We even had to trap a bed bug (insanely difficult task) in order to show our landlord, in order to get a $50 reduction in rent. Yes, just $50. He never actually gave us that reduction in the end…

The point is; Get a thick skin for bugs and unwanted pets. You will suddenly turn into a complete Lara Croft badass and will learn to live amongst nature.

bear grylls bad decision GIF by NETFLIX

5. Certain toxic, alien practices surrounding fraternity houses and sororities continue to exist

During the weeks before college actually begins, 'Rush' occurs. This is basically where you semi-audition to be in a frat house or sorority, with some houses being significantly more difficult to infiltrate than others. It becomes a common occurrence to see boys with their shirts off and abs painstakingly arranged in a six-pack wandering around screaming; "ALPHA KAPPA LAMBA 'TIL I DIE, BRO!'. They may not be entirely made up of brain cells, but just ignore them. Sorority girls will walk around in matching outfits and sky-high heels, screeching chants that sound like sirens to you. Music will be blasting from 16 different speakers, signs and balloons will line the street. Every house puts the maximum amount of effort in when it comes to attracting the most attention, and future members. The 'hazing' rituals still exist too. One rule which infuriated our entire group was that frat houses could throw parties in Berkeley, but sororities couldn't. The rule had never been changed, and it was part of the college campus law now. 

zac efron GIF

6. They will clog every toilet in existence

In Berkeley, at least, weed was absolutely everywhere. You couldn't make coffee in the morning before scraping your hungover self into work without a frat boy shoving a bong in your face.

From edibles to hemp products to the grass plant itself; marijuana is unavoidable in the area. What are the results of a house full of boys smoking weed until they KO? The digestive system going into meltdown. Who suffers from this surprising turn of events? Normally women, who actually need to use the toilet more often than most boys due to sanitary needs etc. They also need to sit on the toilet seat constantly.

There were four bathrooms in the sizeable fraternity house. You would assume that at least one toilet was always available to use, then. How wrong you are. All four toilets were consistently blocked thanks to the bowel movements of 15 boys, all permanently high. Basic human hygiene went out of the window in days from when I arrived, and I began using public bathrooms in the area to just experience what a regular toilet is meant to be like. Never take your pristine white bathroom for granted, ladies. Some day, it could be compromised by Snoop Dogg & Co. 

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7. You will never take privacy for granted again

Sharing a house with 25 people at the same time can make it extremely difficult to get any time alone. You're probably sharing a room with at least one person, and even small errands like trying to do laundry can take hours with everyone queueing up.

Many of us don't enjoy the feeling of being alone, but if you're accustomed to having your own room as I was (my identical twin and I fought viciously over bunk-beds so our parents separated us) then sharing that space can be a huge shock. Arguments over whose side of the room is messier occurred daily, and clothes went missing all the time. Random strangers would walk into our house, seeing as only the house manager had a lock on his door, so every room was fair game. The house itself was never locked, and it became difficult to know who was one of your frat boys and who was a randomer.

This made privacy a long-lost friend who you ached to see once again, for however short a time. Going to the bathroom or showering was blissful even for those few moments alone. Despite the grubbiness of the bathrooms themselves…(Hello, Cif? Cillit Bang? Lost but not forgotten.)

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8. Someone will eat your food, and you will be fuming over it

You could do a full grocery shop in Trader Joe's down the road and within minutes, hungover boys or high boys who have the munchies will have annihilated your entire snack stash. Most people tried to spend as little money on food as physically possible, either by stealing food from wherever they worked or by stealing food from the house. Now, I took the odd slice of bread or splash of milk for my (Barry's) tea, but that was all. I advise you to create your own bunker of sorts, where you hide all your treats and actually decent-tasting food from everyone else in the house.

season 1 nbc GIF by The Good Place

Never tell anyone, not even your closest friend, where it is. Or else have a password so you can know who to trust. Surviving in a frat house takes buckets of crisps and dip, microwave popcorn, Cadbury's chocolate and pot noodles. Trust me.

9. American's can't drink legally until the age of 21, and they can't handle it

One of the reasons why frat houses are so obsessed with drugs in California is that it's easier to get them, rather than getting their fake IDs rejected while trying to score alcohol. When they DO manage to get booze, boy are they bad at handling it. Mainly due to the insane levels of peer pressure from the Bro Mob. If you told one of them during a game of Beer Pong that he had to poison himself with weed killer then do a backflip in front of a sorority house naked, they'd probably do it. It was toxic as f*ck. We went on a bar crawl with our house manager for his 21st birthday (we thought he was 30-years-old, so that was a shock…) and he drank a bottle of hot sauce and tequila and vomited bright orange puke down the stairs of the bar, and all of us were then banned. There were only two bars in town, so it was a low blow. While they can handle their weed, when it comes to binge drinking there's nobody like an Irish person to put them in their place. 

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10. You'll miss Ireland more than you expected

From basic teabags and bread that isn't made entirely of sugar to Irish carveries and homemade meals, there's a lot that you'll miss about the Emerald Isle. Finally having food that isn't processed, being able to afford a meal again, being around people who understand sarcasm and whose country isn't politically dangerous and immoral will be blissful. Seeing proper forestland and greenery is often hard in America, due to the difference in climate. Flying back and seeing the patchwork field of bright green fields, you'll forget all about the dried up desert backyard of the frat house. Also having your own room again will bring tears of gratitude to your eyes, if you can grab one. 

sad rugby world cup GIF by World Rugby

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Being financially independent is hard enough as it is, without the possibility of living in New York. Forget the student lifestyle of drinking all night and having a lie-in until midday. It takes hard work and financial discipline to survive the NYC life.

We all dream of it; the bottomless brunches near Central Park, shopping debt-free on 5th Avenue, living in an apartment that’s LITERALLY the exact same as Monica’s from Friends.

New York is heavily idealised as one of the greatest cities in the world, but it’s hard to deny how magical it can be. Ice-skating at Rockefeller centre at Christmas, essentially recreating Home Alone 2, hitting the iconic bars and gliding past skyscrapers and Broadway.

It permanently feels like you’re on a movie set, the city that never sleeps embodies movement and energetic culture. It’s impossible not to love it, but is it possible to afford it?

Insider recently rated New York eight on the list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in. It was the only American city to make the top ten, and once you break down the costs such as travel, food and rent, it’s not hard to see why it made the list.

We spoke to one of our New Yorker contacts who spent one year living the New York lifestyle to get the 411. You wanna see the receipts?

Rent

Rents have increased at double the rate of incomes in the last seven years alone, according to StreetEasy, which means that you need to make six figures to live in many of the city's most elite neighbourhoods. Yikes.

An average Irish student living in NYC could be paying amounts which range between $700 and $1500 a month on rent, as well as utilities. This would of course depend on location, size, how many housemates you share with and facilities like Wi-Fi and laundry.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Our lucky wanderlust gal spent $900 on rent per month, a good deal seeing as it included utilities and the internet, as well as a washer and a dryer inside.

“I shared with three others, and only had one bathroom, and it was in a pretty dilapidated building in Bushwick with a not so helpful landlord.”

Secret deals in NYC in terms of rent are essentially non-existent. Most people agree that seeing a unicorn is probably more statistically likely. Or a Friends reunion.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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One major extra cost comes in terms of furnishing an empty space, as most apartments in the city will come unfurnished.

Buying second-hand items can be a huge help, and finding things on the street, but both of these options of course have their limitations.

For example, I got my mattress in Berkeley from the street outside our fraternity house, which most people did, and got a very rude awakening when our entire room was visited by bed bugs.

If you think California rent is better than New York, you’ve got another thing coming.

Food and Drink

First thing’s first, you HAVE to limit eating out and going for expensive drinks in glamorous bars. Many New Yorkers are blasé about dropping $10 on coffee and a mediocre muffin.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We’d all love that lifestyle, but you have to prioritise. Pre-packed lunches is the way to go, and cooking at home.

“A cocktail in a bar would set you back about $14, and in a trendy rooftop bar you could easily spend $20 on a drink. Eating in a restaurant could set you back about $35 for a meal if you included a drink, sales tax and tip."

"This is the worst thing about price of food and drinks in NYC! You think the price will be less, but a 20% service charge adds on a hefty chunk to your bill.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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NYC also has a city tax, so your paycheck won’t have much spending power. Supermarket food in New York is also highly expensive, so even if you want to cook from home, finding lower-cost ingredients can be tricky at best.

My J1 was essentially a three month binge on fries, $4 pizza slices and the occasional scrambled egg on toast if I could afford it. Eating healthily is even harder, considering fast food and ramen are the only semi-affordable meals.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“Places like Trader Joe's were good for lower cost own-brand items and for whole food/grain type things, but fruit and vegetables generally were always expensive. Meat and fish were also very pricey, there was definitely a good incentive to turn vegetarian.”

I’m personally astounded that I escaped contracting scurvy on my J1 to San Francisco, I barely saw fruit or vegetables the entire time. Spending under $10 on one meal became a challenge that was seen as the Mount Everest of nutritional budgeting.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Try starting an Excel spreadsheet for all of your expenses, so you can budget in advance. Prepare as many meals as you can to prevent buying expensive snacks in stores, and avoid buying too many perishable food items that you would throw away if it went uneaten.

Wasting perfectly good food will become a mortal sin to you after a few weeks of living the NYC life, trust us.

Nights Out

“If you pre-drink in advance, then you don't have to spend too much on a night-out. Liquor in shops is actually quite cheap. The subway runs all night so you can get around cheaply, and otherwise a shared Uber wouldn't be too expensive."

"Some clubs charge entry and then have expensive drinks. I don't smoke but cigarettes were also a massive cost.”

Keep the receipts from any bar you go to, and it will be come alarmingly obvious that purchasing drinks the entire night most definitely adds up.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Irish have perfected pre-drinking culture, so don’t let yourself slip too much on your night out by buying $16 cocktails every ten minutes, or you’ll be in for a rude awakening when you check your bank balance.

For a couple of free beers, one of Brooklyn’s best craft distilleries (New York Distilling Co.) opens its doors to the public for free tours and tastings on weekends from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m, don’t miss your chance.

Travel

“This was one of the most expensive aspects of living in New York. Flights in and out of the city were always pricey. There is no Ryanair equivalent of budget flights unfortunately."

The Amtrak train service is notoriously expensive. Without advance booking (and even then), it can be $100 for a measly two hour journey… good God.

Buses are the cheapest option for the city, but the reliability and quality leave a lot to be desired, as you might imagine. The buses are often incredibly late, over-booked or cancelled.

The public transport system (MTA) costs you $121 per month for unlimited use, which isn’t bad compared to Dublin, and can be used on buses and subways. However, any of the longer commuter trains are much more expensive

If you’re thinking of parking in the city, be warned that the cost of this is extortionate, as are the prices for renting a car in NYC.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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People would often go to neighbouring states of New Jersey or Connecticut to get cars, rather than face the pain of using their hard-earned cash on New York prices.

Activities

Hidden costs and fees are what make so much of New York that bit more expensive than Europe and other places.

Laundromats charge extremely high prices purely because many apartments in the city don’t have laundry facilities, so they take full advantage of this. Hand-washing some of your clothes can aid this process.

When it comes to activities, there are ways of finding cheaper alternatives. The amazing city has a vast array of things to do; the buzz and excitement of the place is captivating.

The tourism industry in NYC is always booming, so charging huge fees for activities such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller entre, boat rides in Central Park and more can be expensive beyond belief.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Staten Island Ferry is free though, so take advantage of that.

Are you desperate to see the Picassos in the Museum of Modern Art, but don’t want to hand over the $25 admission fee?

The museum offers free admission every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 pm, and you can also visit the sculpture garden for free every morning from 9:30 to 10 am.

Chelsea’s unreal free art galleries are mostly located between W. 14th Street and W. 29th Street around 10th and 11th Avenues.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s fee is waived on Tuesdays, which means you have the ideal escape for the hustle and bustle of Manhattan life.

Finding activities for free is hugely common in parks, try bringing a picnic to Central Park, embarking on a free yoga session in Bryant Park or grabbing street food (the hot dogs are mouth-watering) and chilling on the lush grass.

Central Park Conservatory offers free tours as well.

The Federal Bank of New York’s Gold Vault has free tours every afternoon. Built in the 1920s and containing over 6,500 tonnes of gold, this little-known treasure can teach you some fascinating financial secrets of the city.

Try stargazing on the High Line, a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.

Neighbourhood residents saved the location from demolition, and the High Line opened in 2009 as a hybrid space where visitors can experience nature, art, and design for free.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Watch outdoor movies at HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival and Syfy Movies with a View at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Grab a seat and bring some snacks, it’s one of the best free activities New York has to offer. Soak up the skyline, it’s one of a kind.

Grand Central Terminal is also a tourist favourite, the 102-year-old train station is still in massive use but it embodies NYC grandeur. The outdoor part of the 9/11 memorial is also free to visit.

So there you have it, if you budget like your life depends on it, you can survive the financial battle of New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It may not be exactly like Sex and the City, but who would ever believe that Carrie could afford a huge Manhattan apartment BY HERSELF on a columnist’s salary? It’s ridiculousness. We still want her life though.

Susan Ertz summed it up pretty well when she wrote that New York was "never built for the comfort and happiness of its citizens, but to astonish the world." Well, it succeeded.

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Amy Huberman has just made an Irish Mammy's day.

The actor was out and about in New York when another Irish mam, Yvonne Duffy, commented on her Instagram post. 

She said that her son Sean was on his J1 there and if she saw him could he tell him to Facetime her more.

And guess what!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Amy and Seán arranged to meet up and took snap to send to his worrying mother at home in Ireland.

Amy took to Instagram to upload the picture, captioning it, ''A lovely lady called Yvonne left a comment yesterday to say if I bumped into her son Sean in New York on his J1 to tell him to FaceTime his Ma more! He saw it & messaged me and we arranged our coordinates just now to FaceTime home to his Ma.''

She continued, ''Jaysus the world is tiny and Yvonne he’s grand and washing behind his ears! Gowan the Irish sons!''

Yvonne was delighted and commented, ''Well this brightened up a VERY wet n dreary Sunday "summer" afternoon in our house! Hilarious! Thank you so much, it really was a fantastic surprise to be face timed by you… you're a fantastic sport for doing this…''

How amazing is that?

Amy's followers thought so too.

One said, ''Mammies looking out for each other. Fair play to you Amy.''

While another wrote, ''Awww Amy you are brilliant! Fairplay to you.''

We just love this – well done Amy for helping out a fellow Irish mammy – we can imagine our doing exactly the same…

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According to emerging reports, an Irish student, who travelled to the United States on a JI Visa this summer, is in a critical condition in San Diego after being attacked last Friday.

It is understood that 21-year-old Evan White from Co Cork was assaulted after spending a night celebrating his birthday with friends.

According to MSN, Evan was rushed to Scripps La Jolla Hospital where he remains in intensive care after being attacked in a laneway in the Pacific Bay area of San Diego.

Speaking to the Irish Sun, friends of the student, who studies Business at University College Cork, expressed their distress over Evan's condition.

"They said he is a terrible state. He was beaten to a pulp. He has injuries everywhere but particularly to his face.He has so many bones broken there, he is unrecognisable," they explained.

Looking to the future, Evan's friends remain hopeful he will recover, saying: "But the good news is that he has been fighting back and while he is still in intensive care and still critical there are strong hopes for his recovery."

Describing Evan as the 'nicest, quietest guy you could meet', the 21-year-old's friends insist the student would not have willingly engaged in any form of confrontation.

"He would never get into a confrontational situation. He is very shy until you get to know him.”

Evan's family have made their way to the United States and The Department of Foreign Affairs is currently providing consular assistance.

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Good news for anyone who is hoping to do a J-1 this year. 

The U.S embassy has confirmed that an additional 2,600 J-1 visas will be available for Irish students for summer 2017.

So if visiting the States has been a dream of yours, there's no time like the present, as there are now 7,000 work and travel slots available.

Pic: Kinder Travel Guide

“The U.S. Embassy in Dublin is fully committed to the success of the J-1 programmes in Ireland," reads a statement from the embassy.

“In addition to the popular Summer Work and Travel program, Irish students can participate in the Camp Counsellor, Au Pair, and Intern programmes."

“The Embassy is working with Irish government representatives as well as U.S. and Irish program implementers to ensure Irish students continue to benefit from the J-1 program."

The additional visas come after fears in November that the J-1 visa would be abolished under President Donald Trump. 

While students used to have a three week window in which to find work upon arriving in the U.S, restrictions were tightened last year, and now a job placement must be secured before they can travel. 

The additional J-1 visas only apply to the four month long summer work programmes, and not to the 12 month graduate visa.

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And breatheeee.

President-elect Donald Trump put the worry into students everywhere when he said he wanted to abolish the J1 Visa programme for Irish students, but you can now let out a huge sigh of relief as it has been extended for another three years.

Image result for j1 visa

Even though when Trump goes into office he has the power to repeal this decision, it is said to be welcomed by both the Irish and American governments.

HOWEVER, there's one major catch. If you're planning to go during your summer holidays, there could be major setbacks as the extension, so far, does not include the 90-day Visa.

It only relates to the 12-month Visa.

Image result for j1 visa

Donald has removed his views about the J1 on his website and his latest policy on immigration, so don't worry, there's still hope.

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A J1 summer is considered a rite of passage for many Irish students, but new changes could mean far fewer people will be granted a visa.

The J1 programme currently allows full-time third-level students studying in Ireland to travel to the US, where they can legally work for a period of four months.

This year alone, more than 8,000 Irish students applied for the visa, with California, Boston, Chicago and New York among the popular destinations.

Now though, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he fears an "abrupt end" to the system could be ahead, thanks to a new requirement for pre-employment which has been proposed.

If implemented, students would only be granted the visa if they had already had a job lined up in the US.

Though no official reason has been given for this dramatic proposal, it's thought a number of high-profile incidents involving property damage by J1 students to rental accommodation could be the cause.

"Because of a series of issues that have arisen, the authorities that issue J1 visas seem to be bent on introducing a requirement for pre-employment for young people before they go," the Taoiseach said yesterday in the Dáil.

By his estimation, the new pre-employment requirement would mean a 60-80 percent drop in the number of Irish J1 students.

This is not the first threat to the future of the J1 programme, however.

Back in August, US Presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged to scrap the system entirely if he was elected, replacing it with a programme giving jobs to inner city youths in the US.

Following the death of five J1 students and one US citizen after a balcony collapse in Berkeley back in June, the New York Times was roundly criticised for "victim-blaming" in an opinion piece about the accident.

The paper, who later issued an apology, appeared to make links between the deaths and tales of Irish students damaging US property.

Defending the students, former Irish president Mary McAleese said the paper "rushed to judgement" on the victims "without the remotest evidence."

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If you have ever taken that much-talked about trip to the US for one glorious summer and found yourself in Montauk, then you have probably heard of the Sloppy Tuna.

In fact, even if you weren’t a member of a J1 crew but know a person who knows a person who ended up in Montauk, you have probably seen countless Facebook updates about the place: it's something of an institution, in fact, for the Irish who find themselves in the locale.

Once upon a time the bar was known as Nicks. Now the rebranded Sloppy Tuna has become one of the places to be in Montauk.

Last year, the popular website College Times even included it in their list of places you just have to visit if you’re on a J1 in the area.

However, apparently, the locals are kind of over the whole Jersey Shore fad now and want some peace and quiet. In 2012, the club was even shut down very briefly.

Page Six is now reporting that owner Drew Doscher has filed a lawsuit against the town of East Hampton and fire marshal Thomas Baker for “intentional government overreaching and misconduct”.

The club claims that their occupancy limits were lower than they should have been, so it was inevitable they would face overcrowding issues.

The owner is also taking issue with the amount of noise ordinances they have been given.

The lawsuit filed by the Sloppy Tuna owner is seeking almost €2m from the town of East Hampton and fire marshal Baker combined.

Locals have been taking issue with the club for a number of years now, with many messages on their Facebook page expressing their upset with the Sloppy Tuna. One user wrote: “I could not be more discouraged as to what the summer environment has become in my hometown.

"Sloppy Tuna, along with the Surf Lodge, are without question part of the problem.”

They continue in their post that Montauk is now “filled with a bunch of disrespectful young kids from the city”.

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Every person who has gone a J1 will have these fond (and some not so fond) memories of their time across the pond.

1. Spending a night passed out in a random place
Whether on a beach, your boss’s couch, a kitchen floor or outside your front door because you forgot your keys again, this is something that we’ve all fallen victim too.

sleeping

2. Started a chant while riding on the public transport
This is mostly one for the lads.

Murica

3. Had to explain to at least one American that leprechauns aren’t real.
Sadly, the majority of us have actually had to explain this unfortunate fact to some disappointed Americans. And feel a little guilty for shattering their existence, looking into their sad eyes as they discover that the ginger, dwarf-like mythical creatures actually don’t exist.

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4. Forgetting to call your parents to tell them you’re still alive
Having your parents tear the head off you because you haven’t called in 5 days. Answering the phone either still drunk or hungover to shreds because of the time difference and trying to calm your worrying mother down is a mammoth task at the time.

Jonah-Hill-Shrug-Margot-Robbie-Golden-Globes

5. Travelling over 3,000 miles only to shift someone in the same college class as you
Hopes are high when you fly out from The Emerald Isle, dying to taste some of the American cuisine. However it all goes south when you come home only after shifting some of the same people you share a lecture hall with back at college. Ah well…

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6. Growing a sudden allegiance to an American sports team
We all like to participate in our local teams, however awful they may be. But hey, at least we bring a bit of atmosphere to the stadiums!

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7. Receiving desperate care packages from your mammy at home
Having your mammy send over a care package full of Lyons Tea, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bars, and a family pack of glorious Tayto crisps because you’ve cleaned your bank account out after just 3 weeks in the US!

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8. Having sunburn for 3 whole months
It doesn’t take us Irish long to get a nice even burn – 2 hours ought to do it for most! Then we immediately regret our poor decision while we beg our roommates to lube us up at night with some aloe vera to ease the pain. But we never learn our lesson do we? Still, it’s worth it after all that dead skin peels off and you arrive home with a glorious rich mahogany tan, showing off in front of your friends and family like the Greek goddess that you are. Boom!

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9. Either totally tarnishing or massively boosting the Irish reputation abroad
It’s one or the other. We Irish are an infectious bunch and let’s face it, the Americans do already love us! However, every summer, we flee the American cities like a murderer away from the scene of a crime. Like human wrecking balls, we came, we saw, we conquered, then left. 90% of the time we do leave a great impression among the Americans, but there are a few who are left with a sour taste in their mouths.  And to those, the sincerest of apologies!

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10. Putting on at least 2 stone in weight
Remember checking yourself out in the mirror and wondering where those love handles came from? Probably from all those 7/11 hot dogs, McDonald’s burgers and late night Taco Bell Burritos!

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12. Totally resonating with the lyrics of The Corona’s San Diego Song
Yep, sure give it a listen now. The Coronas wrote this song while on their J1 in California’s beautiful San Diego. Don’t lie, you can TOTALLY identify with it, can’t you?

13. Having the super-human strength to drink 92 days in a row
It wasn’t easy, but you did it. It was no easy road but getting there in the end is ALMOST worth the several night’s spewing up into a bin, frequent blackouts, ultimate fear and near-liver failure. Almost. Although we can’t even fathom going through all that hell again!

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14. Spoken more Irish than you ever have in your life
All those years learning Irish. You think you’ll never use it again and that you’ve completely forgotten it all, but you’re wrong. Stateside is where it all regurgitates out. It’s frequently used as a subtle reminder that you’re Irish and a great weapon for pulling members of the opposite sex. The beauty of As Gaeilge. “Tá é an-mhaith!” See? Still got it!

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15. Getting  reprimanded by law enforcement
Whether doing something as ridiculous as walking through the street with a can in your hand or something more extreme like hopping over the counter in McDonald’s at 3am and starting to serve your friends, there’s been a few Irish who have been reprimanded by the police. Never a good idea.

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16. Shared a house with 30 people
Good Lord, cramped is not the word. “Ah sure look, it’s only 3 months.” Going to sleep in a space the size of a medium mattress is not comfortable in the slightest, especially when you’re sharing it with someone else on those drunken nights. But you’ll never appreciate your own bed more than the day you arrive home from your J1.

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17. Took the piss out of some gullible Americans
“You guys are lucky – electricity is a privilege we don’t have at home,” “the legal age of drinking for us is 12 years-old” or even “we don’t have Wednesdays in Ireland.”

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18. Being technically “homeless” for a short period of time
That time you spent drifting from apartment to apartment with no summer house in sight. It was only a couple of days but it felt like a never-ending nightmare at the time!

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19. Had to explain where Ireland is to an American
No it’s not in the UK, no it’s not beside Australia and NO it’s not “somewhere over at the west coast.” Without a map, you’ll be knackered trying to explain to an American where Ireland is actually located.

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20. Adapted a slight American accent
Sometimes you just can’t help it.

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Feeling totally FOMO right now? Us too! Here’s some ways you can make yourself feel better.

1. Heatwaves

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We love hot weather for like, two days tops. They have it for THREE MONTHS! Can you imagine the horror?

2. The bog

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Make all your American-side friends jealous with some good, old-fashioned footin-the-turf time. Grab the hang sandwiches and get buildin’ them castles!

 3. Bonfires

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We can build a bonfire and make smores on the beach too ya’know… They just don’t taste the same with the north wind blowing sand onto them. But still.

4. Knacker drinking

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Snapchat all of your J1 friends photos of your fun epic knacker drinking and you are sure to instil serious jealousy and homesickness. Result.

5. Let’s go to the beach beach

tumblr_m5gt19FTow1r5g67po1_500 So thanks lads, what a lovely message and what a lovely picture of a beach. Well we can do one better than that. Huntington Beach looks shite anyway, Salthill here we come. It’s awful cold in Salthill though. Maybe bring a hoodie just in case.

6. Out on the town

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Find a massive ceili session and make them drool for a Bulmers and ice. Take that!

7. Mass misery

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They won’t have gotten confession for three months. Can you imagine?

8. Festival fun

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Kanye. Jay-Z. Nuff’ said!

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