J-1 Student Intern

The J‐1 Student Intern Program

The J-1 Student Intern program is a structured, work‐based learning program lasting a maximum of 12 months. The U.S. internship must fulfill the educational objectives of the student's degree program at his or her home institution. The internship must be full‐time and consist of a minimum of 32 hours per week. Wages or other compensation is optional.

See also J-1 Student Intern vs. J-1 Non-Degree Student.

UCB departments are urged to consult with Berkeley International Office at least 4-6 months prior to an intern's start date to determine eligibility for this program. Contact jscholar@berkeley.edu.

The Faculty Sponsor and J-1 Student Intern must complete, sign and submit evaluations to the Berkeley International Office prior to the conclusion of a student internship program. Sample evaluation templates can be found here and here.

Eligibility Criteria

The student must:

  • be currently enrolled, in good academic standing, and pursuing a degree at an accredited post-secondary academic institution outside the United States.
  • return to the academic program outside the U.S. to fulfill and obtain a degree after completion of the internship program.
  • have sufficient finances for him/herself and any dependents for the entire stay in the U.S., including housing and living expenses.
  • have sufficient English language skills to function on a day‐to‐day basis in the internship.
  • be primarily in the U.S. for the internship program rather than to engage in employment or provide services to an employer.
  • not have participated in a student internship program for more than 12 months for each degree/major.

The internship must:

  • be a minimum of 32 hours/week; no more than 20% clerical work.
  • be with an organization providing worker’s compensation insurance.
  • exist solely to assist the intern in achieving the objectives of internship program.
  • consist of work‐based learning, rather than ordinary employment or unskilled labor.
  • expose the intern to American techniques, methodologies, and technology, expand upon the intern's existing knowledge and skills, and not duplicate the intern's prior experience.
  • not involve in any way a staffing/employment agency.
  • not be a position that involves unskilled or casual labor, child care, elder care, aviation, clinical work or work that provides patient care such as therapy, medicine, psychological counseling, nursing, dentistry, or social work. 
  • not be in any position that could bring notoriety or disrepute.
  • not displace American workers (including full or part‐time, temporary or permanent).
  • meet all requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, if in the field of agriculture.