J-1 students may be authorized to engage in Academic Training if all of the following conditions are met:
- You are currently primarily in the US to study rather than to engage in Academic Training.
- The proposed work is directly related to your major field of study at Mount Holyoke.
- You are in good academic standing, and in good standing with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
- You receive written approval, in advance, from Mount Holyoke for the duration and type of Academic Training
To obtain authorization for Academic Training, your academic adviser must send a letter to the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives including the following information:
- The specific goals and objectives of the training program;
- A description of the training program, including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training;
- How the training relates to your major field of study;
- Why it is an integral or critical part of your overall academic program.
You should meet with Jenny Medina (x2072) in the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives to discuss your plans prior to accepting a job and asking your adviser to write the required letter. You should give your adviser a copy of this information so that she/he will be sure to include all of the necessary details.
We will review the letter and your record for compliance with requirements. If approval is granted, we will send written confirmation to you, and to the supervisor, explaining that you are eligible to accept paid employment as described in the adviser's letter. You may not begin work until you have obtained written authorization.
If you are applying to begin Academic Training after completion of your studies, we will also prepare a new DS-2019 form, which you must sign before beginning work, to extend your stay in the US. In this case, you must also provide us with information about your salary because we are required to list your source(s) of financial support on the DS-2019 form. According to current regulations, the completed DS-2019 form, signed by you as well as by one of us, must be filed with the US State Department in Washington, DC, no later than the date of completion of studies (in our case, Commencement). Therefore, if you wish to apply for Academic Training, your advisor's letter must reach the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives by May 15, to allow time for us to complete this procedure and mail the form.
Note that the J-1 regulations include a "grace period" of 30 days after completion of studies. You are considered to have completed your studies at Commencement, even if the program ending date on your current IAP-66 form is later. You may remain in the US to travel or to prepare for your return home during the grace period. If you wish to stay in the US for more than 30 days after Commencement to travel or visit friends, you should apply for change of status to tourist; we can provide you with the appropriate form for this purpose, which you must file with the Immigration and Naturalization Service within the 30-day grace period.
Please note that you may not apply for Academic Training during the 30-day grace period. If you remain in the US beyond Commencement without having applied for Academic Training, you will lose your eligibility for Academic Training. If you expect to transfer to another academic institution and do not plan to leave the US during the summer, you must also complete the transfer process prior to Commencement.
J-1 Exchange-Visitors are required to maintain health and accident insurance at a level mandated by the US government. For students currently enrolled in the Mount Holyoke student health insurance plan, coverage continues through August 15. If you remain in the US in J-1 status beyond that date, you are responsible for obtaining appropriate coverage. You may be able to obtain insurance through your employer or graduate school (as applicable), or directly from an insurance carrier. We can provide you with details of the requirements and with the names of several insurance companies that offer policies that meet them. Although it is not our responsibility or our practice to verify whether you have appropriate insurance, you should be aware that your failure to maintain the required coverage is grounds for terminating your program.
If you have questions about any matters pertaining to your visa status or Academic Training, please do not hesitate to let us know.