J-1 Student Intern Program

Participation in the J-1 Student Intern program is open to international students currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a post-secondary academic institution outside the United States. The internship must fulfill the educational objectives for the current degree program at the individual’s home institution and assist the intern in developing practical skills to enhance future career opportunities. The student must be in good academic standing at the home institution to be eligible for participation and must agree to return to his/her academic program to “fulfill and obtain a degree after completion of the internship program”. Students can participate as a J-1 Student Intern for up to 12 months.

Internship Requirements:

  • Must be full-time (a minimum of 32 hours per week)
  • Must consist of no more than 20% clerical work
  • The program must provide a balance between the intern’s learning opportunities and his/her contributions to the academic department which sponsors the internship
  • The program must expose the participant to American techniques, methodologies, and expertise, and expand upon the participant’s existing knowledge and skills
  • The program must not displace full- or part-time or temporary or permanent U.S. workers, and must “exist solely to assist interns in achieving the objectives of their participation in internship programs.”
  • Must consist of structured and guided “work-based learning” as opposed to ordinary work or unskilled labor
  • The internship must not duplicate the participant’s prior work experience or training received elsewhere
  • Can be paid or unpaid

The internship cannot serve to fill a labor need. Interns may not participate in internship activities that involve:

  • Clinical activities, including activities that involve incidental patient care or contact
  • Unskilled labor
  • Child care or elder care

Departments must agree to do the following:

  • Provide continuous on-site supervision and mentoring.
  • Complete a program evaluation to be provided by OISS.
  • Plan and encourage the J-1 student intern’s participation in American cultural activities during the J-1 program.