Academic Training for J-1 Students

Academic Training is paid or nonpaid (volunteer) training directly related to the field of study listed on your DS-2019 form. You can work part-time while enrolled in classes and either part-time or full-time after you complete your program of study.


  • Maintain good academic standing
  • For non-degree students, the length of time of academic training may not exceed
  • actual study time or the number of months already spent in classes at Cal Poly
  • Have a recommendation from your Cal Poly exchange coordinator or academic advisor to pursue Academic Training
  • Enrollment in a course is not required for Academic Training, but it is an option
  • If you are requesting Academic Training to begin after you finish your studies at Cal Poly, you will be required to:
    • Enroll in health insurance for the duration of the academic training period
    • Provide additional proof of funds (either from employment or personal funds) for the months you are on academic training. The required proof of funds is $1863 per month

How to Apply

E-mail Judy Mitchell ( to make an appointment to confirm your eligibility for Academic Training.

Obtain a signed employment/internship offer letter from your employer that lists the following:

  • Company name
  • Paid or unpaid (if paid, must list salary to be earned)
  • Start/End dates of employment
  • Brief description of your job duties
  • Address of the company (location of where you will work)
  • Specific number of hours you will work per week
  • Supervisor’s name, email and phone number

Bring your offer of employment to your Cal Poly exchange coordinator or academic advisor to review. If you don’t know who your academic advisor is, you can locate one on the Advising Centers webpage. Request they send a recommendation via email to the International Student Advisor (Judy Mitchell) that includes:

  • Verification of good academic standing
  • The goals and objectives of the specific academic training program
  • A description of the academic training program, including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training (must be documented in recommendation)
  • 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

Social Security Card

Please refer to the Social Security webpage for instructions on how to apply for a Social Security card for paid employment.

Social Security Information