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International Exchange Center Programs


The J-1 Visa: Changing America, Changing the World

The Role of the J-1 Trainee/Intern

Interns and Trainees

The Department of State's J-1 Visa Basics



Sometimes, it is easy to become confused about the role of the trainee or intern within the host organization.

The trainee/intern’s role is to:

• Learn about the U.S. host organization
• Learn the specific skills and knowledge laid out in the DS-7002 training plan under constant watch of a supervisor
• Gain a new understanding of U.S. culture
• Share their home culture with colleagues and friends

J-1 visa regulations are very specific. A J-1 intern or trainee program should never include more than 20% clerical work or be used in place of regular employment. J-1 trainees and interns are not at will employees.

Following are sample descriptions from the regulations:
“The primary objectives of the programs offered under these regulations are to enhance the skills and expertise of exchange visitors in their academic or occupational fields through participation in structured and guided work-based training and internship programs and to improve participants' knowledge of American techniques, methodologies, and technology.”

“Training and internship programs are also intended to increase participants' understanding of American culture and society and to enhance Americans' knowledge of foreign cultures and skills through an open interchange of ideas between participants and their American associates.”

“A key goal of the Fulbright-Hays Act, which authorizes these programs, is that participants will return to their home countries and share their experiences with their countrymen.”“Exchange Visitor Program training and internship programs must not be used as substitutes for ordinary employment or work purposes; nor may they be used under any circumstances to displace American workers.”


International Exchange Interns

Are you a university student or recent graduate interested in a J-1 intern program related to your studies?  If you have identified a host organization, the International Exchange Center can assist in making your internship a reality. 

FAQs | Resources


International ExchangeTrainees

Are you a professional looking to pursue career-enhancing training at host organization in the United States? Trainee programs can be up to 18 months in length and offer first-hand insights into U.S. business practices, proprietary technologies and methods, and much more.

FAQs | Resources



International Exchange
Past Trips

Read about and view photos from our successful past trips to Central Europe and Central America.


International Exchange
Upcoming Trips

Check back for information about our outbound trips.