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Academic Training (AT) is employment or practical experience for J-1 students related to their field of study. Eligible students need approval from OISS to participate.

Depending on their status, J-1 students are entitled to the following amounts of Academic Training:

  • Exchange students at Lehigh for one semester: four months
  • Exchange students at Lehigh for one year: nine months
  • Students enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s degree program for two or more years: 18 months
  • Ph.D. students: up to 36 months (post-doctoral research or teaching positions only)

You can do Academic Training before or after completing your program.

Pre-completion can be part-time, or full-time as long as you continue to make normal progress toward completing your program. Part-time counts toward your total amount of training at the same rate as full-time.

Post-completion can be full-time. You must begin employment within 30 days of completing your program. Your DS-2019 must be valid for the duration of the Academic Training. If you want to extend your DS-2019 for Academic Training, you need a job offer letter, proof of insurance coverage and proof of financial support for the extension period.

You may remain in the U.S. in J-1 status for up to 30 days after completing Academic Training.

Eligibility for Academic Training

To be eligible for Academic Training, you must:

  • Maintain J-1 status and good academic standing
  • Get a job offer related to your field of study
  • Maintain health insurance coverage during the training
  • Contact OISS for approval and an updated DS-2019

Applying for Academic Training

Please follow the steps below to apply for Academic Training: 

1. Log into iHome - iss.lehigh.edu 

2. Click on "J-1 Student Services" and select "Academic Training"

3. Complete the online form. 

  • You will be asked to upload a copy of your offer letter that includes the employer name, job title, job responsibilities, dates of employment, and rate of pay if it is a paid position 
  • You will also need to enter the name/email of your academic advisor at Lehigh. As part of the approval process, your advisor will be asked to address the following questions:
    • The goals and objectives of the specific academic training program
    • A description of the academic training program, including its location, the name & address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training
    • How the academic training relates to the student's major field of study
    • Why it is an integral or critical part of the academic program of the student 

4. For post-completion Academic Training, if unpaid, you must show proof of financial support for living expenses ($1,200 per month)

5. For post-completion Academic Training, you must show proof of health insurance coverage that meets the J-1 visa requirements