COMPASS: J-1 Exchange Visitor Handbook
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Hull
  • University of Jaen
  • University of New South Wales
  • Nihon University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Stirling
  • University of Western Australia

UAB welcomes J-1 exchange students from our formal partnerships with the following institutions:
  • University of Dundee (UK)
  • University of Hull (UK)
  • University of Jaen (Spain)
  • University of New South Wales (Australia)
  • University of Nottingham (UK)
  • Nihon University (Japan)
  • University of Stirling (UK)
  • University of Western Australia (Australia)
Meet some of our Fulbright students!

Please see the application process information from UAB Education Abroad.

We also welcome students from other institutions who are sponsored by their home government or cultural ministry, or a third party such as Fulbright. As a J-1 student, you can remain in the US for the time needed to complete your educational objective and—if you earn a degree—for 24 months of Academic Training.


Because of the disparity of immunization requirements across the globe, all UAB international students and scholars are required to be immunized as outlined by UAB Student Health and Wellness. In lieu of being re-immunized, you may present proof of having had the required immunizations. If you do not have such proof or have not been immunized, you must be immunized against specified diseases prior to attending, enrolling, or participating in UAB academic, research, observing, or clinical programs and activities. 

Furthermore, all international students and scholars must show proof of a non-reactive Tuberculin skin test or negative blood test, or appropriate treatment if positive, within three months prior to enrollment or visiting. Details of this requirement are provided by UAB Student Health and Wellness.

Students enrolled in clinical activities for three months or less and international students present at UAB for less than three months will be considered short-term. These students must be screened to rule out active tuberculosis. Screening requirements are outlined by UAB Student Health and Wellness.


Your concept of an “intern” may be quite different than that envisioned by the Department of State. The DOS distinguishes between two J-1 categories:
  • Trainee and Intern category – is designed 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 expertise.
  • Student Intern category – is a subcategory of the College and University Student category. It is available only to foreign students currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a postsecondary academic institution outside the United States, whose U.S. internship will "fulfill the educational objectives for his or her current degree program at his or her home institution."
UAB can only sponsor applicants in the “Student Intern” category. UAB has not received the designation from the DOS to sponsor applicants in the “Trainee and Intern” category.

Student Interns cannot work in unskilled or casual labor positions, in positions that require or involve childcare or elder care, or in any kind of position that involves medical patient care or contact. Nor can Student Interns work in positions that require more than 20 percent clerical or office support work. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is not the way to hire your niece to answer the phone in your lab and call it an “internship,” this is not the way to help out a colleague you met at a conference by hiring his son to bring you lunch all summer, and this is definitely not the way to bring over your friend from church’s friend’s cousin to watch the kids three days a week and file stuff for you the rest of the time.

Internship opportunities should be designed to provide practical experience and should meet the following conditions:
  • Student Intern MUST be currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree at an accredited postsecondary academic institution outside the United States.
  • The U.S. internship must fulfill the educational objectives for his or her current degree program at his or her home institution. - i.e. it should be a requirement from the home institution for the student to graduate
  • Have sufficient English language skills to function on a day-to-day basis in the internship environment.
  • Be primarily in the United States to engage in a student internship program rather than to engage in employment or provide services to an employer.
  • Be “in good academic standing" at his or her home institution outside the United States.
  • The student must return to his or her academic program outside the United States to finish their degree.
  • Have sufficient finances to support himself or herself and dependents for their entire stay in the United States, including housing and living expenses. – UAB policies require to have proof of $2,000 per month for the Student, plus $417 per month per dependent if any.

Student Interns may participate in a student internship program for up to 12 months for each foreign degree/major. Sponsoring departments are expected to provide on-site supervision and mentoring and structured or guided activities, such as rotations, seminars, conference participation, and on-the-job training as appropriate. In general, to sponsor an international student for a J-1 visa in the Student Intern category, ISSS requires the following:

From the J-1 Student Intern Applicant:
  • Background Information Form for J-1 Exchange Visitors with applicable documents listed.
  • J-1 student intern applicants who are self-funded or funded by an entity other than UAB must provide an official bank statement or award letter from the funding agency, institution, or government proving funding of at least $2,000 per month for themselves and $417 per month for each J-2 dependent (spouse or child) who will join them in the US as J-2s.
  • J-1 student intern applicants who will be paid or funded by UAB must submit a letter signed by a dean or academic advisor at their home institution authorizing employment by UAB.
  • A letter from their home institution certifying that the internship is a requirement for their degree OR an internship agreement.
From the UAB Host/Sponsoring Department:
  • International Exchange Visitor Staff Appointment packet with applicable documents listed.
  • Training/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002). Departments should complete all sections as much as possible and send the document in PDF format for ISSS review. No signature are required at this stage.
  • A copy of an official appointment letter stating the internship start and end dates and a description of the duties to be performed and the experience to be gained.
  • STEM departments must also complete a visual compliance letter. This will help visa applicants avoid long delays due to Technology Alert List administrative processing.

J-1 student intern applicants and host departments should submit all materials and supplemental documents directly to the ISSS office at