Academic Training is a J-1 work authorization that allows exchange students to participate in an employment experience. The employment experience must be related to the student’s field of study at Illinois State. It is the only way for J-1 students to work off-campus. The length of Academic Training a student is eligible for is 18 months or the total amount of time the student has studied at Illinois State, whichever is shorter. PhD students are eligible for a total of 36 months of AT. Students may be approved for AT during enrollment at ISU or after completing their program.
Step 1: Read through the information in this section of the website and determine whether you are eligible for AT. If you are unsure whether you are eligible for AT or have questions about the application process, you can meet with an International Student Advisor during walk-in hours.
Step 2: Meet with your Academic Advisor
Step 3: Submit an Academic Training Request
PLEASE NOTE: If AT occurs after your program end date, proof of sufficient funds and health insurance for you and any dependents for the duration of the training period is needed.
Step 4: Pick up your new DS-2019 and approval letter. You will be notified via email when your DS-2019 and letter is ready.
Step 5: Begin work. You must be authorized for AT by an International Student Advisor before beginning any employment. Working prior to obtaining authorization could result in a loss of your J-1 status. Even unpaid work must be authorized.
Any job you are authorized to work while on AT must be directly related to your field and level of study and must be for at least 20 hours/week in a paid or unpaid position.
You cannot begin working on AT until you have the Academic Training Application form signed by your International Advisor and the approved date has been reached. You must stop working at the authorized end date unless an extension is approved.
A student authorized for AT may only work for the specific employer at the specific location and for the specific dates approved by their International Advisor. If there are any changes to this information, the student must contact their International Advisor prior to the change and receive approval from their Academic Advisor. The student will be required to submit updated documentation.
Though you may no longer be an ISU student, you are still in J-1 student status while on AT and you continue to have requirements to report information to ISSS. You must notify ISSS within 10 days of any change(s) in your name, address, or employment information. If any change in this information occurs, please email it to InternationalStudents@IllinoisState.edu.
Please also notify ISSS if any major change related to your visa status occurs, such as the following:
When traveling outside of the U.S. with AT approval, the following documents are required:
If the travel signature on page 1 of your most recent DS-2019 has expired, you can request a new signature by completing the Travel Signature Form.