San Francisco has taken on an almost mythical reputation as the city to live in for members of the LGBT+ community. The city’s gleaming lights and buzzing atmosphere may be 5,000 miles away but that doesn’t mean you can’t set up camp there as an Irish graduate.
Each year hundreds of Irish graduates take advantage of the unique Graduate Visa programme with USIT, enabling them to live and intern in career-focused positions for an entire year in the US.
This visa is a once in a lifetime opportunity only afforded to Irish passport holders who are students or who have recently graduated. Popular destinations for graduates looking to bridge the gap between college and career include Boston, Chicago, New York and, of course, San Francisco.
Nearly 50 years on from the first Pride march, San Francisco remains a shining beacon of what can be achieved when acceptance, openness and freedom of expression make up the fabric of a city’s culture. It’s no surprise then that for Irish migrants, both gay and straight, this city is still an enormous attraction to live in. Here’s why…
It’s America’s Gay Capital
San Francisco’s history is littered with iconic acts, decisions and philosophies which have blessed this part of the US with progressive views on sexuality. Home to one of America’s first gay bars, ‘The Dash’ opened back in 1908 (and you thought the George was old!).
Fast forward to 2017 where San Fran has grown immeasurably, boasting the largest gay community in the US, its nightlife, amenities and general vibe is still the benchmark for cities all over the world.
It’s Got A Great Sense of Community
San Francisco retains every drop of that ‘wow’ factor that hits you in New York but there’s a much more friendly and communal feel to it. The Castro is a closely-knit village which is most well known in the LGBT+ community, but extending beyond that, suburbs like The Mission (hipster heaven), Noe Valley and Rockridge also retain this communal feel.
For Irish graduates, the risk of homesickness tends to be diminished as a result. Liberalism is the way of life here and no matter your colour, creed or sexual orientation, the city welcomes new residents with open arms.
Tech Companies, Tech Companies Everywhere!
Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, Amazon, to name but a few, have set up shop here. More recently new start-up companies have also moved away from Silicon Valley (only up the road) and set themselves up here.
So what happens when you combine an open, diverse society with a burgeoning tech sector and appreciation for international workers? Internships and jobs, that’s what!
In the greater San Francisco area alone nearly 5,000 new roles came online in June this year. For 2017 Irish graduates, the market is strong, you have acquired the qualifications and the visa is attainable. There is nothing stopping you to go get it!
There’s Creativity Around Every Corner
San Francisco has always been a city where creative minds blossom. From jaw-dropping street art to works by Andy Warhol in the Museum of Modern Art, creativity is woven into the fabric of this city.
As a result not only is it a haven for tech graduates and engineers, it also appeals to those who have studied music, fashion, drama and arts.
So while certain parts of modern American society may seem to be regressing, there is at least no such signs being exhibited in the Bay Area. It’s an unforgettable place to visit and a life-changing place to live.
Are you a recent graduate thinking about your next step? Do you want to start your career off with an internship in the USA?
USIT are Ireland’s No.1 Work and Travel company and providers of the unique One Year USA Graduate Visa programme, allowing recently graduated Irish people the opportunity of a lifetime to secure a paid position anywhere in the States.
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
This article was published in the print edition Issue No. 333 (September 1, 2017). Click here to read it now.