J-1 Student Interns

The J-1 Student Intern program is a work-based learning program that allows students who are currently enrolled in a degree program in their home country to gain experience and exposure to U.S. research and training techniques through an internship. 

The J-1 Student Intern program is not to be confused with J-1 students who are enrolled full time in a program of study at UW–Madison. Student Interns are students who are enrolled in a program of study abroad, and who are visiting UW–Madison to participate in a research/training-based internship that is required to complete their degree program at their home institution. 

Any UW–Madison department wishing to host a J-1 Student Intern should consult ISS 4-5 months prior to the anticipated start date of the internship program. ISS will not issue a DS-2019 less than 2 months before the program start date.

The student intern must:

  • Have verifiable English language skills enough to function in an internship environment. Verified by:
    • Recognized language test (TOEFL/IELTS/DET)
    • Documentation from an English language school or academic institution attestation that instruction and exams are in English.
  • Be currently enrolled, in good academic standing and pursuing a degree which requires an internship at an accredited postsecondary institution outside the U.S.
  • Intend to return to their home degree program to obtain a degree after completion of internship.
  • Have sufficient funding for themselves and any dependents during the full length of the internship.
  • Be in the U.S. only to complete the internship program at UW-Madison.
  • Not graduate while in the U.S. and participating in the internship program.
  • Not have participated in another student intern program in the U.S. for more than 12 months.
The internship must:

  • Exist only to help student intern fulfill home university degree requirements.
  • Consist of work-based learning and not skilled labor.
  • Not include unskilled labor, child or elder care, aviation, clinical work, or other patient care or contact. Clinical activity limitation can be reviewed at the bottom of this page.
  • Consist of no more than 20% clerical work.
  • Be at least 3 weeks long and no longer than 12 months.
  • Be full time, minimum 32 hours per week.
  • Not repeat any of the student intern’s prior experience.
  • Not be in any position that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the department, university, or student.
  • Not displace U.S. workers.
  • Not involve a staffing or employment agency in any way.
  • Meet all requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.

Please note that ISS does not create or provide information about internship opportunities under this program. Students interested in becoming J-1 Student Interns are responsible for contacting and working with host departments directly for internship opportunities. Host departments are then responsible for initiating the J-1 Student Intern process.