Center for Global Services
Student Intern

Introduction to Student Interns

The Center for Global Services is pleased to share that we are now able to sponsor exchange visitors on a J-1 visa in the subcategory “student intern”. There are some considerable advantages to hosting a student in this category. For example student interns:


There is no requirement for a formal exchange agreement, or MOU, to be established in order for a student intern to be placed.


There are some differences between the student intern category and other J-1 visa types which necessitate a slightly altered DS-2019 request process.   Most significantly for the student intern category, the Principal Investigator (PI), or sponsoring professor, must complete a government form called the Trainee/Intern Placement Plan,  Form DS-7002. More information about the process is described below in our Step by Step Guide for Student Interns, and the form can be viewed in the Forms and Instructions section.

Like all other J-1 visa holders, student interns do also require a Form DS-2019 from Global Services. As of December 2nd, this form can be obtained by submitting an application through the Online DS-2019 Request Program.

There are some additional, unique stipulations for bringing a student to Rutgers in the student intern category. Student interns are required to work full time, which is considered a minimum of 32 hours. Any departments, centers or institutes wishing to add student interns to Rutgers payroll must list them as Type 5 hourly employees. Student interns may not be placed in positions involving patient care or contact, including child or elder care. Internships cannot contain more than 20% clerical work. Additionally, all interns must be evaluated by the PI or sponsoring professor at the end (and in some cases in the middle) of their programs. A complete list of responsibilities for sponsoring a student intern may be viewed in the document, “Responsibilities of a Sponsoring Professor” available in the Forms and Instructions section below.

Examples of Internships

Internships can reflect one of two basic concepts: the project based internship or the research based internship. Read on for an example of each.

In the project based internship, the student intern must use the knowledge and skills that directly relate to his or her course of study at the home institution and apply them to a project in a Rutgers department, center or institute. For example, let us say Meenal Shah is pursuing a master’s degree in computer science at a university in India, and she wants to gain some programming experience through an internship. Meanwhile at Rutgers, the Graduate School of Education wants to develop a new web application that can be used to track students’ field experience in teaching. Professor James from the GSE might have a contact in India, and be able to connect with Meenal regarding her skills and interest. The two could agree on a project based internship during which Meenal would help design and implement a program for the GSE at Rutgers. Dr. James would be designated as the “sponsoring professor” and would be responsible for completing the Form DS-7002 for Meenal. He would also be required to mentor and provide a written evaluation of her performance on the project.

In the research based internship, the student intern must still use the knowledge and skills being developed in his or her current field of study (or in a directly related field) at the home institution. The student intern would then apply this knowledge and skill to a research assignment in a Rutgers department, center or institute. For example, let us say Pierre DeClerq is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at a university in France, and he wants to gain research experience in a lab during his internship. Meanwhile in the Rutgers School of Engineering, Professor Adams has a working research group in her lab tackling problems directly related to Pierre DeClerq’s studies. While on sabbatical in Paris, Dr. Adams meets Pierre’s academic advisor, and makes a connection with Pierre. She agrees to supervise a research experience for Pierre in her lab. The research might involve learning new techniques and equipment, running computer simulations, studying current research and theory in the field, and/or testing new hypotheses. Dr. Adams would be designated as the “sponsoring professor” and would be responsible for completing the Form DS-7002 for Pierre. She would also be required to mentor and provide a written evaluation of his performance on the research assignment.

Step by Step Guide

Who is involved in requesting a DS-2019 for a student intern?

Below is a detailed outline of the steps involved in requesting a DS-2019 for a student intern.
  1. A Rutgers professor or Administrator has to identify a student enrolled in an institution overseas and the two must agree on an internship plan.
  2. The Rutgers professor should make the Preparer AND the J-1 Advisor at the Center for Global Services aware of the student intern request via email
  3. J-1 Advisor, copying the Sponsoring Unit, emails prospective intern the “Intern Verification Form” form to determine if s/he meets basic eligibility requirements for J-1 Student Intern category.
  4. Intern emails the completed verification form to J-1 Advisor, who confirms with the Sponsoring Professor and the Preparer that the Visitor is eligible
  5. Preparer logs on to Online DS-2019 Request Program and initiates the request process.
  6. J-1 Advisor verifies English language proficiency by conducting a documented interview in-person, via videoconferencing, or telephone interview if videoconferencing is not a viable option. Advisor documents interview. J-1 Advisor also explains the process to the student intern during this interview.
    (Steps 5 and 6 run concurrently)
  7. Once the Visitor enters all of his or her information into the Online DS-2019 Request Program, the Preparer will be advised to log back in and complete his/her section.
  8. J-1 Advisor emails form DS-7002 with instructions to the Sponsoring Professor for completion, copying the Preparer.
  9. Sponsoring Professor completes Form DS-7002 and gives it to Preparer to upload during the Initiated status.
    (Steps 7, 8 and 9 run concurrently)
  10. J-1 Advisor gets an email once the Preparer has completed entering information into system, and logs in to review the Form DS-7002. Any corrections needed on the DS-7002 will be made by off-line communication between the J-1 Advisor and the Sponsoring Professor. Advisor will upload final, corrected DS-7002.
  11. The Visitor logs back in to the online system and reads, prints, and signs the Form DS-7002. He or she then uploads the form back into the website and submits it to the Preparer.
  12. The Preparer makes sure everything is in order with the DS-2019 request, and then submits it to the Chair or Director (as applicable).
  13. If a Chair has reviewed and approves of the application, he or she submits it to the Dean.
  14. After final Dean/Director Approvals, the DS-2019 request is sent to Global Services for review, and upon successful review, forms DS-2019 and fully executed DS-7002 are produced.
  15. J-1 Advisor notifies the Preparer by email that the forms in the final packet are ready for pick up. Advisor also emails Visitor to explain that the package will be mailed shortly, and provides next steps.
  16. Preparer sends DS-2019 and DS-7002, along with any other informational documents to the intern.
  17. Visitor receives documents and applies for a J-1 visa at a US Embassy/Consulate. Visa processing times and procedures vary by Embassy/Consulate. The intern should check the website of the US Embassy/Consulate where he or she will apply for a visa to find out more about the application procedures and timeline
  18. Visitor completes mandatory visa check-in online at within 30 days of program start date. Student interns DO NOT attend the group welcome session for other J-1 visitors; instead, upon arrival student interns should email their International Student Advisor, Carissa McCarthy at, to make a one on one appointment.

Faculty and staff who are already familiar with the J-1 Online DS-2019 Request program will note some key differences between the existing process, and the one described above. A useful tool in visualizing the key differences between the student intern process, and all other J-1 visitors is summarized is in the document Comparison between Student Interns and All Other J-1 Visitors.

Forms and Instructions