J-1 student-interns are international students enrolled in a university abroad who come to the University of Minnesota for the purpose of training in their major.
To be a J-1 student-intern, you must be currently enrolled at an accredited institution abroad in, at minimum, a program leading to a bachelor’s degree or an international equivalent. You may not graduate until after the U.S. internship has concluded.
Student-interns vs. students vs. scholars
Student-interns are individuals enrolled in an institution abroad, not in the U.S. They come to UMN for training in their major. Enrollment in a UMN course is incidental to their training.
Students, however, are individuals who are enrolled full-time in courses at UMN.
Scholars are individuals who are involved in academic work (research, teaching, etc.), but are not taking courses here at UMN. While student-interns more closely resemble scholars, scholars are often more independent and require less supervision than student-interns.
Frequently Asked Questions
I want to do research at UMN. Do I need a J-1 visa or can I use a B-1/B-2 visa?
Review our B-1/B-2 webpage as well as the U.S. Department of State’s guidance and activities chart. Contact ISSS and your local U.S. consulate for their recommendation.
How do I begin the student-intern J-1 document request process?
To apply for a J-1 visa, student-interns must have two documents: a DS-7002 and a DS-2019. ISSS issues these documents to UMN student-interns.
A UMN department must request the DS-7002 and DS-2019 on your behalf. Therefore, you must first contact the UMN department where you wish to receive training. You may also need to identify a specific faculty member who will be mentoring (or supervising) you during your stay here. Once the faculty mentor has agreed upon your prospective training goals, this UMN hosting department initiates the process with ISSS by following the steps of Inviting a J-1 Student-Intern.
What kind of international community is there at UMN?
The University of Minnesota is host to over 8,000 international students, scholars, and student-interns from over 130 locations. You can find selected profiles of some of our outstanding international community members in the News section.
Additionally, the ISSS Annual Report provides quantitative information about our students and scholars and the academic disciplines they are studying. Note that the student-intern program at UMN began in 2016.