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 at a U.S.-based company.
"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 United States as part of their academic program.
This work experience can be paid or unpaid, and must relate to your
field of study at your host university (the field of study listed on your DS-2019)
Many students participate in academic training after they have completed
their academic program at the host university, but you are also eligible
to participate during the exchange semester as long as the work does not exceed 20 hours per week.
In order to participate in academic training, you must apply and be approved by ISEP in advance.
You cannot participate in academic training without ISEP's approval,
or start work before receiving approval.
How to Apply for Academic Training
In order to apply, you will need to submit the documents listed below.
All documents must arrive at the ISEP Central office at least two weeks prior
to the end date listed on the student's DS-2019 or two weeks before employment
begins, whichever is sooner. Forms and documents may be scanned and submitted via
email. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Please note that students are required to pay a $100 processing fee for Academic Training.
The required documents for all academic training applicants are as follows:
1) Academic Training Authorization Request
2) Offer letter from prospective employer that includes the following (sample included in the application):
- Job position/title
- Brief description of the goals and objectives of your Academic Training
- Specific begin and end dates of the Academic Training
- Number of hours per week you will be participating in the Academic Training
- Address where you will be participating in the Academic Training
- Name and address of your training supervisor
- Salary you will receive for participating in the Academic Training (if applicable)
3) Statement from Academic Advisor (form included in the application)
- Form must be filled out in its entirety.
- Form must include the same information as the employer letter.
4) Copy of Form DS-2019
5) Student Payment Form
- $100 Processing Fee for Academic Training
For students participating in post-exchange academic training,
you will also need to submit the following:
1) Student Health Insurance Enrollment Form
- Payment should be included if you are requesting Academic Training post-exchange.
- This information can be submitted on the same form as the $100 Processing Fee.
2) Proof of funding:
- Bank Statements showing sufficient funds (copy is sufficient).
- If your position is salaried, an employer letter showing salary amount is sufficient.
Please contact your host ISEP Coordinator for help with your
application. They will provide you with the necessary forms.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 to and an integral part of
your major field of study at your host institution in the United States.
- You complete the application process and receive approval from ISEP before
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:
- 1) If your ISEP exchange period was for a full-year, you are eligible
for a maximum of nine (9) months of academic training.
- 2) 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 States.
- You complete the application process, receive approval from ISEP,
and receive an extension before the beginning of training.
Complete applications for academic training following the exchange placement
must be received four (4) weeks prior to the expiration of the
DS-2019 or the end of academic program, whichever is earlier.
When can I participate in academic training?
A: You are allowed to participate in academic training during
or after your period of study. If you decide to start academic training
while you are studying, you may work for up to 20 hours per week in any
Most ISEP participants choose to do academic training after they have
finished their course work; in this case, students are allowed to work
up to 40 hours a week in any position that meets the academic training criteria.
For how long am I allowed 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 students.
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: Students are required to pay a $100 processing 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.
See information on ISEP health insurance costs here.