Supervisors for Student Interns


The International Students and Scholars (ISS) unit of the Cal Poly International Center is happy to support you with the visa aspects of inviting an international student to do an internship at Cal Poly. Please note that the process of inviting an international student intern and the requirements of the internship supervisor are more complex than those involved in inviting a J-1 scholar.


Eligibility for the J-1 Student Intern Visa Category

  • Unlike the scholar category, J-1 student interns can be undergraduate students or graduate students. A J-1 scholar must already possess a bachelor’s degree.
  • The internship must fulfill a requirement for graduation
  • Students may be paid or unpaid and work a minimum of 32 hours per week.
  • Financial Resources in the amount of $2800 per J-1 visitor adn $500 each for accompanying spouse and/or dependents

In-Person Requirement

J-1 visa regulations require exchange visitors to participate in their activities primarily in person. With no more than 40% of activity conducted virtually. This means that 60% of the time or three out of five days a week they need to be physically present at their prescribed site(s) of activity. If there are off-campus sites of activity, these need to be pre-approved and added to the DS-2019.

English Language

U.S. Department of State regulations also require that the sponsor (Cal Poly) evaluate the Visitor’s English language skills to determine that the visitor has sufficient proficiency in the English language to successfully participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis.

Use one of the following “objective measurements of English language proficiency” to determine an applicant’s language proficiency:

  • A recognized English language test (no more than 2 years old);
  • A diploma from a university in an English-speaking country
  • Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school; or
  • A documented interview conducted by the sponsor either in-person or by videoconferencing (e.g. Zoom), or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option. The mentor must supply ISS with evidence of how they measured applicants’ English language proficiency so that it may be made available to the Department upon request.


Roles and Responsibilities of the Student Intern Supervisor


Housing and logistics

The sponsoring academic department will assign a faculty or staff mentor who will assist the visiting scholar with the logistics of settling into their role on campus and in the San Luis Obispo community. This may include assisting them with housing, transportation, office needs, and access to campus resources. This may also include assisting with finding the appropriate schools for accompanying children to attend. The mentor is also responsible to be sure the visitor checks in with the International Center upon arrival and upon departure.

Cultural Experiences

The supervisor or sponsoring department will provide the intern with opportunities for cultural experiences on and off campus.


  • Verify the student will fulfill educational objectives at the home institution by doing this internship
  • Be sure the student works at least 32 hours per week and not more than 50% clerical duties and not more than 40% of work shall be conducted away from the site of activity virtually.
  • Notify ISS of any additional sites of activity that need to be preauthorized on the DS-2019


Document Process

Please email International Students & Scholars (ISS).

Include the following:

  • Name and email of the student
  • Approximate dates of the proposed activity at Cal Poly
  • Name of the faculty or staff member who will be supervising the student

You will be sent an International Visitor Sponsorship Request Form to complete and route for signature to your department and Dean’s offices.

ISS will initiate an Export Control Questionnaire through AdobeSign. The Intern Supervisor will submit the form along with the student’s CV. Leah Rothman at Fischer and Associates will perform the export clearance and notify the office of research and me of the outcome.

Visa Eligibility Documents

Once export compliance is cleared, ISS will contact the intern with instructions and a link to the J-1 Intern Request Form to collect proof of funding. passport information, and information about their degree to issue the two visa documents that the intern will need to apply for a J-1 visa. Look for an email in your inbox from with a link to the Intern Supervisor questionnaire. This is initiated by the visitor when they fill out our -1 Student Intern request form.

Supervisor Agreement and Internship Training Plan

The student will identify who is their supervisor so our system will send a supervisor agreement to the supervisor. In this agreement, we will collect the information required to issue the DS-7002 training form which the student will present as a part of her visa application. Be prepared to answer these questions in detail:

  • Goals and objectives of the internship
  • Knowledge, skills, or techniques to be learned
  • List of supervisory staff and their qualifications
  • An explanation of the methodology of training
  • How the competencies will be measured

Other Documents

The student’s institution may require the supervisor to sign their internship agreement.

Meeting with ISS

ISS may contact the supervisor to schedule a short virtual meeting to go over the expectations for the supervisor role and the nature of the internship activities and to answer any questions.

Creating Visa Documents

The Dean or Associate Dean will be responsible for creating the invitation letter.  The International Center will send a letter template.

ISS will route the DS-7002 training plan via AdobeSign to the supervisor for signature, then we will email the DS-2019 and DS-7002 to the student intern along with visa application instructions.

Once the assignment is approved, the Academic Department is responsible for:

  • After Academic Personnel creates a Cal Poly record for the intern, the department can then request an Affiliate portal and email account before arrival. Note that this may be required to provide access to Canvas learning material, library resources, and keycards.



The Department of State requires that ISS maintain evaluations on file. ISS will request an evaluation from the student and the supervisor after the internship.  If the internship lasts longer than six months, an evaluation will also be required at the six-month mark. The student’s school may also require an evaluation as well. Any valuable feedback you can provide the student is encouraged.


Thank you!

We thank you for taking the time to allow international students this valuable opportunity and to aid in internationalizing Cal Poly and the San Luis Obispo community! Feel free to email ISS with any questions. We are happy to help!