A period of study in the United States can be academically, culturally
and personally enriching. It is also an important career credential,
especially if it includes work experience in a U.S. company, government
agency, or non-profit organization. Academic Training allows ISEP participants
to gain this valuable work experience.
"Academic Training" is a term used by the U.S. Department
of State for J-1 Visa students who wish to intern or work in the U.S.
as part of their academic program. This work experience can be paid
or unpaid, and must relate to the academic field which
you are studying at your host university.
Most students participate in Academic Training after they have completed
their academic program at the host university.
In order to participate in Academic Training, you must apply and be
approved in advance by ISEP. You cannot participate in Academic Training
without ISEP's approval.
How to Apply for Academic Training
Please contact your ISEP Coordinator regarding Academic Training.
In order to apply you will need to submit the documents below. All documents must arrive at the ISEP Central office 1 month prior to the end date listed on the student's DS-2019. Forms and documents may be scanned and submitted via email.
1) Submit a complete Academic Training Authorization Request Form,
which your host ISEP coordinator will give to you. Your host coordinator
should verify your nonimmigrant status and recommend action at the bottom
of the form.
2) Submit a letter from your host institution academic advisor that
explains how the training relates to your major field of study and why
it is an integral part of your academic program in the United States.
3) Provide an offer letter from your prospective employer including
a job description, beginning and ending dates of training, and salary.
4) Purchase additional health insurance through ISEP to cover the full
period of your training. A bank draft for the additional coverage must
be submitted with your application in order for it to be considered.
5) Show the ability to support yourself financially if you apply for
post-completion Academic Training.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I do Academic Training?
A: You can do "academic training" during or after
your period of study.
While you are studying, you may work for up to 20 hours per week
in a position that meets the definition of academic training.
Most ISEP participants do academic training after they have finished
their course work; and at that time, they are allowed to work up to
40 hours a week in a position that meets the academic training criteria.
For how long am I allow to do Academic Training?
A: Non-degree seeking students: The length of time
for which you can apply is equal to the length of your academic placement
- up to 4 months for semester students, and up to 9 months for full-year
Degree seeking students: Participants who have earned a
master's degree at a U.S. university through ISEP may work for up
to 18 months.
How do I know if a position qualifies for Academic Training?
A: According to government regulations, "academic training
must be an integral or critical part of the exchange visitor's academic
program." This means that the position must be directly related
to and an integral part of your major field of study at your host
institution in the United States.
How do I find an Academic Training position?
A: Most universities have career centers that list available
positions. Departmental bulletin boards are another source of information,
and professors in your field of study may be able to give you some
advice. You have to be proactive in finding a position, but you will
discover many possibilities if you keep your eyes and ears open and
learn the art of networking. It is a good idea to begin looking for
work early in the semester.
What are the costs involved?
A: There is no application fee or program fee for academic
training. Academic training usually involves a paid position. If you
participate in academic training following your period of study and
the position is unpaid, you must prove that you have sufficient funds
to support yourself during the period of training.
You are responsible for obtaining your own housing and meals if participating
in academic training after the last day of benefits at your host institution.
You are required to continue your ISEP health insurance enrollment
during your training period.
Am I eligible for Academic Training?
A: As an ISEP-sponsored exchange visitor, you are eligible
to apply for academic training during your exchange period if all
of the following conditions are met:
- You are in good academic standing at your host institution and will
continue to maintain full-time student status.
- The academic training is directly related and an integral part to
your major field of study at your host institution.
- You complete the application process and receive approval, in advance
of beginning the training, from ISEP.
As an ISEP-sponsored exchange visitor, you are eligible to apply for
academic training following your exchange period under the following
- The period of training requested meets the following conditions:
- If your ISEP exchange period was for a full-year, you are eligible
for a maximum of nine (9) months of academic training.
- If your ISEP exchange period was for a semester only, you are eligible
for a maximum of four (4) months of academic training.
- If you earned a post-graduate degree from your U.S. institution while
on ISEP, you are eligible for academic training for a period not to
exceed the period of time on ISEP or 18 months, whichever is shorter.
- The academic training is directly related to and an integral part
of your major field of study at your host institution in the United
- You complete the application process, receive approval from ISEP,
and your extension must be processed in advance of beginning the training.
Complete applications for academic training following the exchange
placement must be received six (6) weeks prior to the expiration of
the DS-2019 (formerly known as an IAP-66) or the end of academic program,
whichever is earlier.