An international internship is an incredible opportunity to experience both the personal and professional elements of life in another country. For international students outside the United States, the chance to intern internationally in the U.S. holds the promise of gaining exposure to world-class industries, expanding your skill set, and establishing a global professional network early in your career. 

Unfortunately, the logistical challenges that come with securing an international internship in the U.S., including navigating the J-1 visa program, mean that many people miss out on this life-changing opportunity. At Intrax Global Internships, our mission is to overcome these hurdles and connect talented individuals around the world with coveted internships in the United States.

Intrax Global Internships is a U.S. Department of State designated J-1 Visa sponsor that works with thousands of U.S.-based companies. We simplify the process of hiring international interns for these companies and provide ongoing support for interns who join the Intrax Global Internships program. If you’re an international student interested in U.S. internships, learn more here or start your Intrax Global Internships application here

In this article, we’ll explain how international students can secure internships in the United States. We’ll cover: 

  1. The benefits of international internships for students
  2. What companies gain from hiring international interns 
  3. How the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program works
  4. How to find global internship positions
  5. The support that Intrax Global Internship provides interns throughout the program

Let’s break down the process of securing an international intern position in the United States, and explain what students need to know about the J-1 visa program.

What Is an International Internship?

An international internship removes geographical boundaries, giving J-1 student interns an incredible combination of professional development and cultural immersion. Let’s take a look at: 

  1. The benefits of an international internship for students
  2. Why companies should hire international interns
  3. How Intrax Global Internships works

Global internships provide a platform for young professionals to gain hands-on work experience in a global setting, fostering a deeper understanding of diverse work cultures, industry practices, and cross-cultural communication.

International Internship Benefits for Students

Securing U.S. internships for international students offers many opportunities for students around the world. They can be a gateway to gaining invaluable hands-on experience within a globally recognized organization, augmenting both your resume and skill set. Just imagine what you’d learn from interning at a renowned tech firm in Silicon Valley or a marketing agency in New York City!

Plus, an international internship allows students to hone their adaptability, problem-solving, and communication skills. Interns become proficient at: 

  • Navigating a new work environment
  • Understanding diverse perspectives
  • Collaborating with professionals from various backgrounds 

This leads to a well-rounded skill set that sets interns up for success as they enter the job market. 

Working as an international intern is an experiential learning activity (ELA), and can enhance the soft skills of students entering the workforce. Research has shown that, in certain industries, students participating in ELAs like international internships have a higher chance of landing jobs at large, recognized firms, and are more likely to receive a higher number of job offers in general. 

Beyond professional growth, cultural immersion is a pivotal aspect of an international internship. It's an opportunity to embrace new traditions, explore different lifestyles, and broaden your worldview. An internship in the U.S. might involve celebrating Thanksgiving with colleagues, experiencing American holidays firsthand, and discovering societal nuances beyond the workplace.

Intern International Benefits for Companies

Companies that hire international interns also reap substantial benefits. They gain access to a pool of diverse talent, bringing fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the table. For instance, having an international intern could provide insights into global markets, aiding your company’s expansion into new regions. 

Companies offering internship programs foster a vibrant and inclusive work culture, promoting diversity and cross-cultural understanding among employees. This diversity of thought often leads to enhanced creativity and problem-solving within the organization. 

Also, in some fields where there’s a shortage of qualified workers, international interns can ease pressure on understaffed companies. For example, the J-1 visa program has been used to address physician shortages in rural and remote U.S. locations. 

How Intrax Global Internship Works

Intrax's Global Internship program is an avenue for international students seeking internships in the United States. We facilitate the process by connecting qualified candidates with reputable U.S. companies looking to add top talent to their teams. 

Our international internship program offers support throughout the entire journey, from visa processing and placement to cultural orientation and ongoing assistance during your internship. All our applicants undergo a comprehensive screening process, ensuring their suitability for the roles and eligibility for the J-1 visa. 

Once accepted, you’ll be matched with host companies based on your skills, interests, and the company's requirements. Throughout the internship, we provide 24/7 emergency support, monthly check-ins, ongoing advice and assistance, and any necessary documentation you need. 

Start your Intrax Global Internship journey here!

Introducing the J-1 Visa

The Exchange Visitor Program, administered by the U.S. Department of State, facilitates cultural and educational exchanges through various categories, including internships, camp counselors, teachers, and more. Central to this program is the J-1 visa, a vital document allowing you to participate in approved exchange programs in the United States. 

Let’s explore some key elements of the J-1 visa, including: 

  • How the Exchange Visitor Program works
  • J-1 visa costs and criteria
  • Supported internship fields
  • Whether family members are eligible 
  • Intrax Global Internships as a J-1 Visa Sponsor

Understanding this visa and the requirements that come with it is one of the most important elements of starting your international internship journey.

How the Exchange Visitor Program Works

The Exchange Visitor Program operates through designated sponsors; organizations authorized by the U.S. Department of State to oversee and facilitate the J-1 visa program. These sponsors collaborate with host companies and institutions to ensure compliance with program regulations and provide support to interns along the way. 

It’s important to understand that J visas, including the J-1 visa, are non-immigrant exchange visas. They allow citizens of foreign countries to legally train in the United States for a fixed period of time, but they aren’t a pathway to U.S. immigration or permanent residency.

J-1 Visa Costs and Criteria

It’s important to understand the costs associated with the J-1 visa, as well as the eligibility criteria for international internships for college students. When you apply for a J-1 visa, you have to pay a $220 SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee and the fee for filing the DS-160 form, which applies to applicants for almost any type of visa to the United States. 

Although these are the typical costs associated with visa documents, keep in mind that visa fees for internship programs are subject to change and may vary based on the country you’re traveling from and the length of your stay. When you apply for a J-1 visa through Intrax Global Internships, you will be required to pay the $185 DS-160 fee, but the SEVIS fee is included in our J-1 visa sponsorship fees, which we’ll discuss a bit later. 

As well as fees, you must meet certain eligibility criteria for a J-1 visa. For those applying for J-1 visa internships, these criteria include: 

  • Proficiency in English
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses in the U.S.
  • Proof of health insurance coverage
  • Current enrolment in a relevant degree or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside the United States, or 
  • Graduation from such an institution within 12 months of their program start date

Applicants also need to secure an internship or sponsorship by an organization like Intrax Global Internships before applying for an exchange visitor J-1 visa

Supported Internship Fields

In general, J-1 visa internships are available for professionals in the following occupational categories: 

  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
  • Architecture
  • Arts and culture
  • Business, management, commerce, and finance
  • Communications and information media 
  • Construction and building trades
  • Counseling and social services
  • Education, social sciences, and library science
  • Health-related occupations
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Industrial occupations
  • Public administration and law
  • The sciences, engineering, and mathematics

The precise range of supported internship fields may vary based on host companies and your J-1 visa sponsor, but these key industries commonly welcome international interns under the J-1 visa program.

What About Family Members?

While your J-1 visa only covers you, some programs allow for accompanying dependents. Family members such as spouses and children can apply for a J-2 visa to join the J-1 visa holder in the U.S. during their internship program. J-2 visa holders can also study or work in the U.S. after obtaining the required permissions, provided they can prove that the income earned is not required to support the J-1 visa holder. 

For instance, if an international student brings their spouse and children while interning in the U.S., their family members can often study or seek employment opportunities, subject to certain regulations and permissions. The J-1 visa holder must show that they have sufficient funds to support their dependents for the duration of their internship.

If Intrax is sponsoring your J-1 visa, your family members may also apply with us for J-2 visas. 

Intrax Global Internships is a J-1 Visa Sponsor

Every aspiring J-1 visa applicant first needs a sponsor. Intrax Global Internships is an authorized J-1 visa sponsor, facilitating the process for international students seeking internships in the United States. Navigating the intricacies of the J-1 visa and the Exchange Visitor Program can be difficult, and the stakes are high. It’s crucial for international students aspiring to intern in the U.S. to work with an authorized sponsor like Intrax. 

Our decades of experience and history working with applicants from over 100 different countries put us in an excellent position to help you find your dream internship and guide you through the process of securing this incredible opportunity.

Start your international internship by applying to Intrax Global Internships

How to Find Intern International Positions

Once you’ve got a grasp on the J-1 visa process and the sponsorship services Intrax Global Internships provides, it’s time to think about your actual intern position. Here are some tips to help you find internships with companies looking to hire internationally, where you can elevate your skillset, boost your resume, and create some incredible memories along the way. 

Focus on Your Skills

Firstly, it’s a requirement of the J-1 visa that you secure an internship that’s relevant and applicable to your field of study. Secondly, employers will find you much more attractive if you already have skills and experience that relate to the internship. Finally, an internship that relates to your skills will help you build on those skills, adding important experience to your resume. 

Think about your strengths, expertise, and areas of interest. Start creating lists of your hard skills, and the areas of study you’ve enjoyed the most. At the same time, consider your soft skills. Would you prefer collaborating as part of a large group, or are you an expert when it comes to self-driven tasks? Having an idea of the scenario where you’d be most comfortable can help you find an internship that’s right for you. 

Other Factors to Consider

Several other factors beyond your skills play a role in securing an international internship. Given that an internship is an incredible opportunity to explore the United States, you might like to think about whether there’s a specific destination you’d like to target for your internship search. Take the time to research different cities, assessing: 

  • Cost of living
  • Housing availability
  • Safety
  • Opportunities for dependents (if relevant)
  • Climate
  • Attractions and sights 

As well as the location, think about the duration of your internship. Does a whole 12-month program work for you, or is a shorter duration better, based on your personal goals and study obligations? Once you have the answers to some of these questions, it’s easier to find an internship opportunity that aligns with your skills, interests, and goals. 

Browse Available Opportunities at Intrax Global Internships

At Intrax Global Internships, we have an extensive database of current internship opportunities. You can search internships by job title or location, and filter results based on location, industry, and compensation. You’ll see that some internships are paid positions, others are unpaid, and some come with hourly compensation or a stipend. 

For each internship, you’ll be able to read a detailed description, assess the eligibility criteria against your skillset, and decide whether it’s a position that aligns with your skills, interests, and qualifications. You can browse available internships here, or create an Intrax account to apply for a specific position. 

Intrax Global Internships Cost and Eligibility

We’ve touched on the SEVIS fee and the cost associated with filing the DS-160 form, but let’s take a look at what you can expect to pay for J-1 visa sponsorship through Intrax. The program fees will vary depending on your country of residence and the duration of your internship; you can use our pricing calculator for a more detailed estimation of the costs.

In general, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,000 for a 12-month internship program, depending on your country of residence. This J-1 visa cost covers many different aspects of your internship, including: 

  1. A thorough vetting process to ensure you meet the relevant eligibility criteria
  2. Preparing your DS-2019 
  3. Preparing and filing your DS-7002 internship or training placement plan
  4. Assessing your English language competency results
  5. Advising on how to submit your DS-160 online application
  6. Review  of your resume, proof of enrolment or diploma
  7. Matching you with relevant host companies (for placement services only)
  8. Preparing you for your visa interview and placement
  9. Being there for you every step of the way

As you can see, there are a lot of different moving parts when it comes to securing J-1 visa sponsorship and a subsequent internship. By trusting Intrax Global Internships, you can focus on preparing for the adventure ahead while we take care of all the details in the background!

Intrax Global Internships: Your Key to International Intern Positions

Navigating the complexities of locking in an international internship, particularly through the J-1 visa program, requires a lot of guidance and expertise. Intrax simplifies the process, taking care of your visa sponsorship and connecting you with incredible internship opportunities across the United States. 

With Intrax, you’ll not only have support securing your visa and internship, but we’ll be there for you every step of the way throughout your journey. With emergency support, monthly check-ins, and everything you need to make your internship a success, you can focus on growing your skills and creating incredible memories to bring home with you.

Ready to dive in? Join the Intrax Global Internships family today!

Dec 20, 2023
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