Party time down Mexico way for Irish students

Irish parents whose children travel to the US each year on J1 visas will be in for a shock when they watch a new TV series set to hit the screens next month.

A fly-on-the-wall documentary called J1 Summer, which will air on RTÉ Two, will reveal the antics of Irish students while on working holidays in the US.

Made by Motive TV, the six-part series, which starts on Monday 17 November, charts the adventures of four students from Dublin who travel to San Diego, nine from Galway who move to Chicago and five more from Dundalk who journey to live and work in Hawaii.

Footage shows students stealing from employers, indulging in screaming rows with one another and jumping off balconies.

A programme source said, "It's the first time many of these kids have been out of Ireland and it shows.

"They booze like lunatics, fight among themselves and nick from their American employers. There's one girl who has a job in the sandwich bar and she's shown talking to the camera as she openly fills her handbag full of stolen food which she tells viewers she's stealing for her friends."

The four Dublin students based in San Diego are filmed making a dangerous journey over the border to Mexico to indulge in underage drinking.

"These four Dublin guys can't get into any bars in the US because they're underage," said the programme source, "so they get a bus over the border to Tijuana in Mexico where for $12 they can go drinking all night. It all goes to plan until they lose one of their group and have to go looking for him on the notoriously dangerous streets outside."

Another student featured has to undergo hospital treatment after he jumps off a balcony. He then has to play down the injury to employers to get a job.

In other scenes students admit how they mislead landlords about the number of tenants staying in their property to save money.

No students are seen damaging property in J1 Summer but in 2005 Irish students on J1 visas were accused of causing $15,000 worth of damage to apartments in the US.