J-1 Internship Program

The main focus of the internship program is to develop and augment the skills and expertise of the students (exchange visitors) in both their academic and occupational fields through participation and a synchronous environment of sharing knowledge and experience. Also, this provides the students with the opportunity to learn more about the American way of life, the techniques that they use and their mind-set. Also, this allows the Americans to gain knowledge about the culture and social structure.

Another important clause that should be taken note of is that the J-1 internship programs are directly related to the field of study which is available to the post-secondary students enrolled outside the borders of the United States. The main eligibility factor for any J-1 intern is that they should be proficient in English so that they are active members and take full advantage of the situation and opportunity.

The internship site must be what is called ‘on-site’, and well qualified people should be present to offer quality training which blends with the field of study of the intern. It is the responsibility of the host site to make sure that the interns are a recipient of competent skills, knowledge and practical experiences. Also, incorporated should be seminars, experience of different departments, conferences and on-the-job training. The duration of the internship should be between three weeks to twelve months.

Apart from the advantages there are a few limitations that should be taken into account. These include any contact with patients, any type of clinical therapy, and type of occupation that has no particular demand for a degree, like working in call centers, or any other unskilled labor.

Since these exchange programs are sponsored, apart from the mentioned regulations, every sponsor has their own rules which should be complied to, when it has to do with the J internship program.

Deciding on a particular course of study is the initial step to qualify for availing the J internship. The program should be directly related to the course which the student has also applied for.

The Internship plan must be mentioned on the DS-7002 form. Few issues that need to be addressed at the outset are:

  • The primary purpose is cultural exchange
  • The issue is not only to teach the American way of studies but also imbibe in the students the positives of the American life.
  • Internships have one primary focus - that is, to provide education and expertise in one particular subject.
  • Few activities are excluded by the Department of State, as also certain jobs are deemed dangerous (examples are: physical therapy, any clinical social work, also any job that involves direct physical contact with any patient. Also, certain jobs require a legal license in the United States like hair dressing, or a body massage or anything that involves physical contact).
  • No formal teaching activity is permitted in the internship
  • If the internship does include hospitality and tourism and if it is upward six months, there should be rotations through at least 3 departments.
  • The United States Department of Labor determines if the internship will be paid or unpaid.
  • If the student is a J- visa holder, the remuneration received should be the same as what a United States citizen (student) receives.
  • Also, the company which is slated to provide internship should be capable enough to demonstrate that they are capable enough and are equipped enough to train the personnel.