Program Sponsors

Academic Training

Academic Training (AT)

As defined by J-1 exchange visitor regulations, the purpose of Academic Training (AT) is to provide an opportunity for J-1 visa status students to gain practical experience in respective major fields of study while maintaining J-1 visa status.

For the purpose of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP), AT is further defined as a traditional internship, observership, or research assistantship that is completed over a pre-approved period of time and relates directly to the grantee’s field of study as noted on his or her Terms of Appointment (TOA). AT must be approved in writing by IIE before the grantee may participate in any activities or orientations related to the opportunity.

BSMP grantees are encouraged to apply for summer AT opportunities (generally May – August) which last between four and 16 weeks. AT is an integral part of the BSMP experience. This is an opportunity to apply what grantees have learned in the classroom and is a great way to gain valuable firsthand knowledge of a particular field or industry.

2015-2016 AT Policy (340 KB, PDF)


AT Approval

The authorization to engage in AT is under the discretion and permission of IIE and established BSMP policy. Grantees must have written authorization from IIE to participate in AT. It is critically important that BSMP grantees adhere to BSMP AT policies and J-1 visa regulations. To request authorization, grantees must complete and submit the AT Request Form available on the Participant Self-Service Portal.

How to Request Approval for AT Info Sheet (1.6 MB, PDF)

IIE will only approve AT opportunities which meet the requirements outlined in the Academic Training Policy document. Failure to adhere to these requirements or participating in an unauthorized AT opportunity may result in the termination of the grantee's BSMP scholarship.


Requirements During AT

Grantees must report any changes to the terms or conditions (supervisor, location, dates, pay, etc.) of an authorized AT opportunity in writing to their Student Relations Officer (SRO) immediately.

Grantees must be enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets J-1 visa regulations throughout the AT opportunity. Grantees whose health plan will not provide adequate coverage must inform IIE immediately so that IIE can purchase insurance on their behalf.

Grantees must report any change in their U.S. address through the BSMP Participant Self-Service Portal as soon as any relocation takes place: no later than 10 days after the move.

Grantees must comply with all reporting requirements during AT, including completing and submitting the AT Verification Form (to confirm the start of AT), as well as completing an evaluation of the AT experience.

How to Find Academic Training (AT)

IIE does not place grantees in AT opportunities— grantees are responsible for researching and securing AT opportunities independently. IIE helps to facilitate this search by offering guidance to grantees and access to the IIE AT website, which connects grantees to IIE's partners.

Finding AT in the United States can be challenging, so grantees are encouraged to start the search process early. There are several ways to search for AT and IIE recommends that grantees dedicate time to each method.

Visit the AT website

The IIE AT website is an online platform where grantees can create a profile, upload resumes and other relevant documents, gain access to informational handouts dedicated to the AT search process, and apply for positions with IIE’s organizational and institutional partners.

  • Grantees can log on to the IIE AT website to create a profile, upload a resume, and search for opportunities available to BSMP grantees.
  • The website also has many helpful informational handouts on topics such as creating a resume and cover letter, best interview practices, how to search for AT, and much more.

Talk with Professors in the U.S. and Brazil

  • Grantees are encouraged to reach out to professors with whom they have strong relationships at their Brazilian home universities and U.S. host institutions to inquire about professional U.S. contacts who can offer relevant summer AT opportunities.

Host Institution Career Services Office

Most U.S. host institutions have a career services office dedicated to assisting students in finding career opportunities. They often offer resources such as reviewing resumes and cover letters, conducting mock interviews, and assisting with the internship and career search process.

  • Grantees are encouraged to visit or make an appointment with their career services office.

Independent Research

It is essential that grantees do independent research in order to ensure that an AT opportunity is secured. IIE encourages grantees to take the following steps:

  • Search for databases and societies in the relevant field of study. Many of these websites have career sections with internship listings and networking events.
  • Research companies and organizations within a relevant industry and search the websites of these organizations. Look at the "Careers" section of the companies’, organizations’, or research institutions’ websites for AT opportunities.
  • If there are no opportunities listed, contact the company, organization, or research institution using the "Contact Us" tab. Send an introduction explaining BSMP and the particular interest in the organization. Ask if there is information about available internship opportunities.

General Academic Training (AT) Policies

What is Academic Training (AT)?

Are grantees required to participate in AT as part of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP)?

Does the AT opportunity need to take place in the same city as a grantee's U.S. host institution?

Can the AT opportunity be paid?

Is summer research considered AT?

Will IIE pay for fees associated with applying for AT?

What if a grantee does not secure AT?

After receiving approval for AT, can a grantee switch to another AT?

Duration/Timing of Academic Training

For how many weeks should AT take place?

How many hours per week should grantees be engaged in summer AT?

Can grantees combine two AT opportunities to reach the 30 hour per week or four week minimum requirements?

How soon after the spring semester ends do grantees need to begin AT?

Can grantees engage in AT during the academic year (generally fall and spring)?

Immigration/Visa Regulations

For grantees who are studying medicine, dentistry, nursing, and veterinary sciences, can AT involve contact with patients?

Do hosting institutions or companies need to sponsor the BSMP grantee's visa during AT?

Will grantees have health insurance during the AT period?

Can the AT opportunity lead to permanent employment?

What will happen if a grantee's last day of AT is before the end-date on the DS 2019?

Are BSMP grantees studying aviation restricted from certain activities during AT?

Can BSMP grantees teach or act as camp counselors during their AT?

Receiving Academic Credit

Will Brazilian universities recognize credits earned as AT?

Are grantees required to receive credit for AT?

Taxes

Does IIE file taxes on the grantee's behalf?

What are the tax obligations for BSMP grantees who participate in paid AT opportunities?

Funding

Will grantees continue to receive funding during their AT period?


Q: What is Academic Training (AT)?

A: Academic Training (AT) is an internship, observership, or research opportunity that usually takes place during the summer period of the BSMP grant (generally May to August). AT must be directly related to the grantee's field of study and pre-approved in writing by IIE.

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Q: Are grantees required to participate in AT as part of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP)?

A: Academic Training is an integral part of the BSMP scholarship, and grantees are strongly encouraged to search and apply for summer AT opportunities. IIE provides guidance for grantees searching for AT and manages the IIE Academic Training Website (AT Website) which provides grantees with access to AT opportunities provided by IIE’s partners.

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Q: Does the AT opportunity need to take place in the same city as a grantee's U.S. host institution?

A: No, AT can take place in any city or location within the United States. AT outside of the United States will not be approved.

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Q: Can the AT opportunity be paid?

A: Yes, BSMP grantees can pursue internships that are unpaid or paid. Receiving income during an AT opportunity does not affect the benefits that grantees would normally receive as part of the BSMP program, including summer stipends and health insurance.

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Q: Is summer research considered AT?

A: Yes, summer research is considered AT if it is completed under the supervision of a supervisor or professor, is full-time, and is the grantee's primary activity during the summer.

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Q: Will IIE pay for fees associated with applying for AT?

A: No, application fees and/or fees associated with applying to AT opportunities are not covered as a benefit of the BSMP. These fees will be the responsibility of the grantee.

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Q: What if a grantee does not secure summer AT?

A: Any undergraduate grantee who does not secure a summer 2016 AT opportunity will be required to complete the Early Departure Form and return to Brazil following the end of his/her 2016 term. The Early Departure Form will be released in spring 2016. Instructions on how to complete the form can be found in the document library of the AT Website.

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Q: After receiving approval for AT, can a grantee switch to another AT?

A: Once an AT opportunity is submitted to IIE for review, a grantee is not permitted to submit a request for a new opportunity unless the initial request is rejected. Once an AT opportunity is approved, a grantee cannot switch to a different opportunity.

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Q: For how many weeks should AT take place?

A: IIE recommends that grantees engage in summer AT for at least eight weeks, however will approve AT opportunities of at least four weeks in length. Summer AT must conclude before the grantee's Fall semester begins and no later than the end-date of the grantee's Form DS-2019. AT should not exceed 16 weeks.

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Q: How many hours per week should grantees be engaged in summer AT?

A: Grantees must be engaged in AT between 30 and 45 hours per week for summer AT.

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Q: Can grantees combine two AT opportunities to reach the 30 hour per week or four week minimum requirements?

A: No, grantees can engage in only one AT opportunity at any given time.

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Q: How soon after the spring semester ends do grantees need to begin AT?

A: AT opportunities must begin within 30 days of the last date of spring 2016 final exams. No exceptions will be made to this.

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Q: Can grantees engage in AT during the academic year (generally fall and spring)?

A: On-campus research assistantships will be considered for grantees throughout the academic year. If a grantee applies for an on-campus employment opportunity that is directly related to the grantee’s field of study, it will be approved as academic year AT.  Grantees should focus on academic coursework during the academic year and therefore AT during the academic year is generally discouraged by IIE.

Please refer to the 2015-2016 AT Policy Document for important information regarding AT requirements. In addition to these requirements, AT opportunities during the academic year must be part-time and must meet the following criteria:

  • AT must take place on-campus at the grantee’s U.S. host institution, and may be paid or unpaid.
  • AT must be a part-time opportunity (no more than 20 hours per week).
  • Part-time AT during the academic term must end by the last day of the term.
  • Grantees applying for academic year AT opportunities must maintain a 3.0 GPA and have completed at least one semester or two quarters of full-time academic coursework in the U.S. under the BSMP.

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Q: For grantees who are studying medicine, dentistry, nursing, and veterinary sciences, can AT involve contact with patients?

A: No; J-1 visa regulations stipulate that exchange visitors cannot have direct contact with patients. Grantees in these fields should speak with their academic advisers about looking for observerships, internships that focus on research, or other opportunities that do not require hands-on interaction with people or animals.

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Q: Do hosting institutions or companies need to sponsor the BSMP grantee's visa during AT?

A: No. IIE will remain the J-1 visa sponsor for BSMP grantees during AT opportunities. AT providers do not need to perform any visa sponsorship administration.

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Q: Will grantees have health insurance during the AT period?

A: Yes. As per J-1 visa regulations, all grantees must have health insurance during their entire program, including AT. Grantees must confirm with their host institutions whether or not coverage during the academic year will last for the entire duration of the AT opportunity. If the coverage is not available throughout the entire AT period, the grantee must notify IIE so that IIE can enroll them in CISI, IIE's health insurance plan.

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Q: What will happen if a grantee's last day of AT is before the end-date on the DS 2019?

A: If a grantee's AT opportunity ends before the end date on the form DS 2019, the grantee's program will be shortened and the new end-date will be the last day of the AT period. IIE will update the grantee's information with the Department of State and a new DS 2019 will be generated. Grantees have a 30-day grace period to exit the United States starting the day after the end date on the update DS 2019. Health insurance and financial coverage is not provided as a benefit of the BSMP during the 30-day grace period.

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Q: Are BSMP grantees studying aviation restricted from certain activities during AT?

A: BSMP grantees should not participate in flight training or simulation and cannot fly in aircraft as passengers, trainees, or pilots as a part of the AT opportunity. Please consult the 2015-2016 AT Policy document for additional information.

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Q: Can BSMP grantees teach or act as camp counselors during their AT?

A: No, AT cannot include child care, working as a camp counselor, or instructing/teaching children of high school age or younger.

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Q: Will Brazilian universities recognize credits earned at AT?

A: It is the grantee’s responsibility to discuss the possibility of receiving credits for AT directly with their home universities. IIE is not responsible for transferring credits earned as AT to home universities. To help grantees, IIE has created a form that requests feedback from the AT supervisor and can be shared with home universities in Brazil. IIE cannot guarantee that home universities will accept this form. Therefore, grantees should check with their home universities before completing this. You can find the form here.

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Q: Are grantees required to receive credit for AT?

A: No, grantees are not required to receive credit for AT. Credit for AT is only permitted if the AT provider requires that the grantee receive credit in order to participate in the opportunity. Grantees can also enroll in coursework if required in order to live in on-campus housing. In both cases, the grantee is permitted to enroll in the least amount of credits required to satisfy the requirement (typically one class). Grantees will need to indicate any course requirements on the AT Request Form. Online courses are not permitted.

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Q: Does IIE file taxes on the grantee's behalf?

A: No, IIE is not able to file taxes or assist grantees with federal or state tax filing preparation. IIE does, however, provide guidance materials to assist grantees in this process. These materials are available on the AT website.

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Q: What are the tax obligations for BSMP grantees who participate in paid AT opportunities?

A: Under the provisions of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, certain scholarships made to foreign students are generally subject to withholding for income tax purposes and may lead to tax liability unless the scholarship is used to pay tuition or other instructional fees. BSMP scholarship funds from the Government of Brazil are not subject to withholding, but grantees do have several responsibilities concerning taxes from income generated through AT or any other approved student employment. Any income paid to the grantee for these activities is subject to U.S. income tax regulations and withholding of all local, state and federal taxes except social security. It is the grantee's sole responsibility to inquire with the IRS and respective State tax authorities to see if they are required to pay additional tax on this income. It is also the grantee's sole responsibility to obtain all proper documentation and to file income tax returns with the IRS or State tax authorities whether or not he or she incurs a tax liability, and to complete and submit Parts I and III of Form 8843 at the end of the calendar year. The form and instructions can be found at IRS website. Specific instructions for exchange visitors can be found on the Foreign Students and Scholars page. IIE will not be able to assist students with federal or state tax filing preparation.

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Q: Will grantees continue to receive funding during their AT period?

A: Please read the Summer 2015 Stipend Policy for more information on funding during summer AT opportunities.

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Academic Training (AT) Instructional Videos

AT Website Tour

Photo: AT Website Tour Video


How To Write A Resume

Photo: How to Write A Resume Video


Cover Letter

Photo: Cover Letter Video


How To Find AT

Photo: How To Find AT Video


Interviewing

Photo: Webinar

Academic Training (AT) Materials

AT Guidebook

AT Guidebook (PDF, 1.7 MB)

AT Monthly Q&As

December Q&A Forum FAQ (PDF, 328 KB)

January Q&A Forum FAQ (PDF, 135 KB)

February Q&A Forum FAQ (PDF, 314 KB)

March Q&A Forum FAQ (PDF, 140 KB)

April Q&A Forum FAQ (PDF, 120 KB)

AT Request Form Instructions

How to Complete the AT Request Form (PDF, 1.5 MB)


AT Instructional Videos & Slides

AT Website Tour

Photo: AT Website Tour Video


How To Write A Resume

Photo: How to Write A Resume Video

Resume Video Slides (PDF, 247 KB)


Cover Letter

Photo: Cover Letter Video

Cover Letter Video Slides (PDF, 178 KB)


How To Find AT

Photo: How To Find AT Video

How to Find AT Video Slides (PDF, 389 KB)


Interviewing

Photo: Webinar

Interviewing Video Slides (PDF, 258 KB)

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