Academic Training

Academic Training

Academic training is the name the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program uses for employment training or practical experience related to your field of study. It is fairly flexible and offers a variety of paid and unpaid, full-time or part-time, training or employment situations, with one or more employers, to supplement your academic program in the U.S. 

If you are considering academic training, your authorization must be processed before your official academic program completion date. In addition, the academic training/employment must begin within the first 30 days after the official academic program completion date. 

Official Regulation: “A student may participate in academic training programs during his or her studies, without wages or other remuneration, with the approval of the academic dean or advisor and the Exchange Visitor Program Responsible Officer (RO or ARO). A student may be authorized to participate in academic training for wages or other remuneration during his or her studies or commencing not later than thirty (30) days after completion of his or her studies.” (Source: 22CFR. § 62.23(f)(2)). The ARO referred to in this regulation is the International Student Advisor in the International Programs Office. 

Eligibility for Academic Training

1. The student is primarily in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training

2. The academic training is directly related to the students major field of study at Northern Michigan University

3. The student is in good academic standing and has received written approval, in advance, from the Responsible Officer for the duration and type of academic training. 

4. Your employment/training must take place with the specific employer or employers who are noted on the academic training authorization

Time Limit

Non-degree students are eligible to participate in academic training, but are also subject to the requirement that time in academic training not exceed the time spent in the program of study. 

How to Apply for Academic Training

  1. Have a formal employment offer, written on official stationery (letterhead) from your potential academic training employer. The job offer letter from your employer must include:
    1. Your job title
    2. A brief description of the goals and objectives of your training or employment
    3. Start and end dates
    4. Location of your training or employment
    5. Number of hours per wee, salary and benefits
    6. Name and title of your training supervisor
  2. Obtain a letter of recommendation from your academic advisor or dean recommending this academic training. You will need to provide him/her with a copy of your employment offer letter. The recommendation letter from you academic advisor or dean must include:
    1. The goals and objective of the specific training program
    2. A description of the training program, including all the information list above
    3. How the training relates to your major field of study
    4. Why this employment is an integral or critical part of your academic program
    5. The length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the academic training
  3. Complete the Academic Training Form
  4. Schedule an appointment with your international student advisor in the International Programs Office and bring the following information:
    1. The completed academic training form
    2. Employment offer letter
    3. Letter of recommendation from your academic advisor or dean
    4. Proof of funding to show how you will support yourself during your academic training 
  5. If your application is approved, you will be issued a new Form DS-2019 authorizing the academic training for the duration you requested. Your employer will be listed on the academic training authorization letter accompanying the new Form DS 2019. The end date on this form is now the end date of your J-1 program.

For any questions, please contact the International Education Services Office at 906-227-2510 or