Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to study a particular degree in order to be eligible to apply?

No – WIP invites applications from all academic disciplines. The problems facing Northern Ireland and Ireland span across all sectors of society and require creativity and leadership from people of all backgrounds and interests. WIP seeks emerging leaders and influencers from diverse academic, socio-economic, and political backgrounds to join our community. The WIP Class is made up of people studying a wide range of subjects including, but not limited to: science, arts, business, finance, engineering, law, politics, marketing, philosophy etc. This diversity strengthens the class greatly. We believe that leaders and influencers come from all walks of life.

What kind of things do I need to be involved in to apply for the program?

The three main criteria that WIP looks for in prospective applicants are: leadership potential; a long standing commitment to service and a desire to deal with the differences that divide our society. Leadership potential and experience can be expressed in many different forms – it can range from leading a society, to taking part in a sports team, to managing other people in your part time job. Informal leadership experience can be shown through encouraging others and participation in group work. Similarly a commitment to service can be demonstrated formally through volunteering for an organisation or charity, but can equally be shown through caring for a relative, or helping out family or friends.

Do I need to be in a particular year of study to apply?

No. Previous WIP classes have included people from many different stages of their studies. Undergraduates of all years (including final year), Masters and PhD students are permitted and encouraged to apply. Age is not taken into consideration when reviewing an application – applicants are judged solely on the quality of their application and their experience.

If I am graduating and starting a full time job, will I be able to complete the 90 hours of service following the summer semester of WIP?

There is a lot of flexibility to the phase 3 service component of the program and it is designed to fit around full time work or continuing studies. The service opportunities that WIP offers range from working remotely for an organization, to condensed weekend long projects, to regular weekday and evening service projects.

Do you have to organize your own Work Placement and how are they assigned?

WIP will match the students to the work placements based on the needs of the work placements as well as the interests and experience of the students. More information can be found here.

I am studying a part time degree, can I still apply to WIP?

Unfortunately due to the visa that WIP uses, this is not possible. To be eligible to apply, you must be in full time third level education as of the 1st June 2017. Read more here.

Where do you stay while in America?

Each class member stays with a host family in the DC metropolitan area. In a few cases, two class members may stay with one host family. WIP matches the students with the host families based on a personality match, mutual interests, distance from work placements, pet preferences and allergy requirements. Staying with an American family is part of the cultural immersion aspect of the program and WIP alumni often regard the host family experience as one of the highlights of their time on the program.

Are the work placements paid?

All of the work placements are unpaid. However each class member is given a weekly stipend to cover basic costs such as travel and food.

If I have been on an exchange program to America before, can I still apply?


If I was not successful with my application in the past, can I reapply?

Yes – even if a previous application was unsuccessful, we encourage you to apply again. By re-applying to the program you demonstrate perseverance and enthusiasm which are valuable attributes for a WIP class member. Many WIP alumni applied multiple times before they were successful. WIP endeavors to treat all applicants with respect and offers feedback in various forms to unsuccessful applicants so that they can learn from the experience.