Brazil Scientific Mobility Program | Current Students | Academic Training

Academic Training

Definition of Academic Training

Academic Training (AT) is an internship, research, or observership opportunity for a student on a J-1 visa. AT is defined as work or training related to a student’s field of study. Students are required to actively search for AT opportunities as it is an integral part of the BSMP grant and, with few exceptions, AT should last between 8 and 16 weeks and take place during the summer period.

Academic Training does not include work or employment that does not meet the criteria above, such as a part-time job in a cafeteria or as a private language tutor. Any employment outside of approved summer Academic Training is not permitted by the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program. Full funding is provided so that students may focus solely on personal and professional development achieved through coursework and Academic Training. Engagement in alternative and/or unapproved employment is grounds for the revocation of a student's scholarship and termination of the student's visa sponsorship.

J-1 students are eligible for AT by meeting all of the following requirements:

Eligibility Requirement for Academic Training

  • AT must be related to the major field of study listed on the DS-2019.
  • Students must be in good academic standing and legal J-1 visa status.
  • All AT requests must be submitted to IIE for approval. Participating in AT without written approval from IIE can lead to the termination of the BSMP grant and visa sponsorship.
  • Students must obtain endorsement from their academic advisor or dean and AT supervisor for their intended AT activities.
  • Students must have completed at least one semester of full-time academic coursework in order to participate in AT. Exceptions are made for students who will have completed one semester with a course load that is at least 50% academic before participating in AT.
  • Students in "Bridge" or concurrent programs who will not have completed a semester with a course load that is at least 50% academic are not permitted to participate in AT.

The Importance of Academic Training

AT is a fundamental part of the BSMP grant because it offers grantees the rare opportunity to work in their field in the United States.  AT provides students with the chance to use what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world, all while learning new things. The opportunity to intern, observe, or do research in the United States is also important for grantees because they often use equipment not yet available in Brazil and study specific areas that are not being studied in Brazil.

BSMP students have incredibly unique, valuable experiences that will ultimately benefit not only the students themselves, but Brazilian society as a whole. Many BSMP students consider their AT to be the defining part of their grant and are eager to share what they learned when they return to Brazil.

Academic Training Student Responsibilities

While engaged in AT, students are required to maintain their legal status and continue compliance with the following J-1 regulations:

  • Academic training will cease before the conclusion of a student's DS-2019 or, if the student began his or her grant in the spring, before the beginning of the student's fall semester.
  • Students will report any changes in their U.S. address during the AT.
  • Students will report any changes in their AT provider, location or dates to IIE immediately. Any changes to approved academic training programs require advanced authorization from IIE.
  • Students are responsible for arranging their own housing during Summer AT. Students may secure housing on a university or college campus (or in off-campus arrangements that are contracted by a university or college) and have the invoices for housing sent to IIE from the university or college directly, as long as housing meets program requirements. Otherwise, students will receive a stipend to pay for housing that is not billed to IIE by a university or college.

Please review the full Academic Training Policies document here.

Finding Academic Training

IIE does not place students in Academic Training opportunities. It is the student’s responsibility to search for AT. However, IIE has set up systems and offers many resources to help students find AT.

Finding AT in the United States can be challenging, so start early and don’t give up! There are three helpful ways to search for AT. Make sure to dedicate time to all of them:

IIE Academic Training Website: https://iie-csm.symplicity.com/

The IIE Academic Training website is an online database where students can create a profile listing their academic information, upload resumes, have access to informational handouts dedicated to the AT search process, and apply for positions with IIE’s corporate partners.

  • Log-in to the Academic Training website to create a profile, upload your resume, and search for opportunities available to BSMP students.
  • The website also has many helpful info-sheets on subjects, such as creating a resume and cover letter, interviews, and how to find AT by industry, in the document library.
  • The info-sheet on how to find AT by industry is especially helpful as it has many websites with opportunities for each field of study.
Talk with professors in the US and Brazil
  • Reach out to your professors in Brazil to see if they have any contacts in the U.S. that may be able to offer opportunities in your field of study.
  • Introduce yourself to your professors at your host institution and tell them about your specific interests and experiences. They usually have opportunities or know someone who has opportunities.
Career Services Office (CSO)

Each university has a career services office dedicated to assisting students in finding career opportunities. This office reviews resumes and cover letters, has resources dedicated to finding internships, and, in some cases, offers mock interviews. This is a very valuable and important tool for BSMP students.

  • Contact Career Services Office to make appointment to have resume reviewed (make sure to have already created your resume—it is not the CSO’s responsibility to create your resume for you.)
  • Make an appointment at the CSO to discuss your interests and goals and to use the resources they offer to help find AT opportunities.
Do Independent Research

IIE does not place BSMP students in Academic Training opportunities, therefore it is essential that students do independent research in order to ensure that an AT opportunity is secured.

  • Use the How to Find AT by Industry info sheet in the document library to look for companies, organizations, research institutions and other internship providers.
  • Search for databases and societies in your field of study. Many of these websites have Careers sections with internship listings as well as networking events. The How to Find AT by Industry info sheet has links to many of these databases and societies.
  • 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. Introduce yourself and explain the program. Ask if there is any information about internship opportunities available.

Request for Academic Training Approval

You must complete the Academic Training Opportunity Form on the IIE Academic Training Website (iie-csm.symplicity.com) and submit your answers on the website and uploading the form with signatures on the Student Services Portal.

Click here to access an info sheet with detailed directions on completing the AT Request

Website Submission:

  1. Find the form on the IIE Academic Training Website by going to the “My Profile” section of your account.
  2. Click on “Add New Experience” in the Academic Training section. 
  3. Complete the entire form and click “Submit.” If you cannot complete the entire form right away, you may save the form as a draft to complete at a later time. IIE will not be able to review your form until you click “Submit.” Remember that once you submit the form, you will not be able to go back and change it. All of your answers will be final.

Uploading the Form with Signatures:

  1. After you click “Submit,” print your form and sign it.
  2. Scan and save the signed form.
  3. Email it to your AT supervisor (at the organization where you will be a summer intern) to sign, and request that they send it back to you.
  4. Email it to your Academic Advisor (at your U.S. institution) to sign, and request that they send it back to you.
  5. Scan the form with all three signatures - yours, your AT supervisor’s, and your Academic Advisor’s - and upload it to the Student Services Portal (http://mycusthelp.info/IIE) using the Document Category "Pre-Degree AT Request."

Please remember that you may not participate in any AT without written approval from IIE. Participating in AT without IIE's written approval can result in the termination of your grant and visa sponsorship.

Additional Information:

  • Please see the Info Sheet  - located in the Document Library of the AT website - for more detailed instructions on how to request approval for AT using the online form.
  • If you have an offer letter or an email from your AT supervisor offering you the AT position, please upload it as an “other” document in the “My Documents” section of the IIE Academic Training website. 
    IIE aims to respond to all complete Academic Training approval requests within 5 business days. In order for a request to be considered complete, you must upload your completed request (including signatures) on the Student Services Portal.
  • Once your request is approved by IIE, you will receive an official letter of support from IIE confirming the approval of your AT.

General Academic Training Policies

What is Academic Training?

Do students have to do Academic Training as part of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program?

Does the Academic Training opportunity need to be in the city where the BSMP students currently go to school?

Can the Academic Training opportunity be paid?

Is summer research considered Academic Training?

Will students continue to receive funding during the Academic Training period?

What options do students have concerning meals during the Academic Training period?

Duration/Timing of Academic Training

How long should Academic Training last?

Can students work over/under 35 hours per week during their Academic Training opportunities?

Can students combine two Academic Training opportunities to reach the 35 hour per week or 8 week minimum requirements?

How soon after the semester ends do students need to begin their Academic Training?

Can students engage in Academic Training during the academic year (generally Fall and Spring)?

Immigration/Visa Regulations

For students who are studying medicine, dentistry, nursing, and veterinary sciences, can Academic Training involve contact with patients?

Do hosting institutions or companies need to sponsor the BSMP student's visa during Academic Training?

Can students go back to Brazil or visit another country between the end of the semester and the beginning of Academic Training?

Will students have Health Insurance during the Academic Training period?

Can the Academic Training opportunity lead to permanent employment?

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

Are students required to leave the country on the last day of Academic Training?

Receiving Academic Credit

Will the students' universities in Brazil recognize credits earned as Academic Training?

Are students required to receive credit for Academic Training?

Taxes

Does IIE file taxes on students' behalf?

What are the tax obligations for BSMP student interns who complete paid Academic Training opportunities?

What are the tax obligations for BSMP students who complete paid Academic Training opportunities?


Q: What is Academic Training?

A: Academic Training is an internship, observership, or research opportunity that takes place during the summer period of the BSMP grant (generally May to August). Often referred to as “AT,” the opportunity must be directly related to the students’ field of study and be pre-approved in writing by IIE. For BSMP students, Academic Training can be paid or unpaid and must take place in the United States. 

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Q: Do students have to do Academic Training as part of the Brazil Scientific Mobilitv Program?

A: Academic Training is an integral part of the Brazil Scientific Mobility scholarship, and students are required to earnestly search for and apply to opportunities. IIE has set up systems to help connect students with meaningful Academic Training experiences and support their searches for summer opportunities. It is expected that students will participate in Academic Training during their scholarships.

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Q: Does the Academic Training opportunity need to be in the city where the BSMP students currently go to school?

A: No, Academic Training can take place anywhere in the United States but cannot take place in other countries. Opportunities outside of the United States will not be approved.

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Q: Can the Academic Training opportunity be paid?

A: Yes, BSMP students can pursue internships that are unpaid or paid. Students will continue receiving a stipend and health insurance from BSMP during their internships regardless.

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Q: Is summer research considered Academic Training?

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

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Q: Will students continue to receive funding during the Academic Training period?

A: Yes, students will continue to receive funding during the Academic Training period. Students will receive details about summer 2014 stipend amounts, shortly. 

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Q: What options do students have concerning meals during the Academic Training period?

A: Students who engage in Academic Training are not able to choose to have a meal plan during the summer. They will receive a stipend for meals, which they can use to pay for a meal plan, if they wish. 

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Q: How long should Academic Training last?

A: Academic Training should last at least eight weeks and must conclude before the student’s next semester (in the U.S. or in Brazil) begins and no later than the end-date of the student’s Form DS-2019. Academic Training should not exceed 16 weeks. 

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Q: Can students work over/under 35 hours per week during their Academic Training opportunities?

A: Students can work over 35 hours per week, and in some cases can work less. Each summer Academic Training opportunity would ideally require the student intern to work for at least 35 hours per week, but students who wish to work fewer than 35 hours per week can email BrazilAT@iie.org to request an exception to this policy.

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Q: Can students combine two Academic Training opportunities to reach the 35 hour per week or 8 week minimum requirements?

A: Yes, as long as both are approved by IIE.

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Q: How soon after the semester ends do students need to begin their Academic Training?

A: Academic Training should ideally begin no later than 30 days after the end of the semester.


Q: Can students engage in Academic Training during the academic year (generally Fall and Spring)?

A: No. BSMP students are not permitted to participate in Academic Training during the academic year. All Academic Training must take place during the summer.

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Q: For students who are studying medicine, dentistry, nursing, and veterinary sciences, can Academic Training involve contact with patients?

A: No; J-1 visa regulations stipulate that exchange visitors cannot have direct contact with patients. Students in these fields should speak with their academic advisers about looking for observer-ships, 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 student's visa during Academic Training?

A: No. IIE will continue to be the J-1 visa sponsor for BSMP students while they complete internships. Internship providers do not need to perform any visa sponsorship administration for their BSMP interns.

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Q: Can students go back to Brazil or visit another country between the end of the semester and the beginning of Academic Training?

A: No, students should stay in the U.S. throughout the entire period of the BSMP grant. This includes the period between classes and Academic Training.

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Q: Will students have Health Insurance during the Academic Training period?

A: Yes. As per J-1 visa regulations, all students must have health insurance during their entire program, including during Academic Training. Students must confirm with their host institutions whether or not their current coverage will last the entire duration of the Academic Training. If the coverage is not available throughout the entire Academic Training period, the student must notify IIE so that IIE can enroll the student in CISI, IIE’s health insurance plan.

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Q: Can the Academic Training opportunity lead to permanent employment?

A: No, permanent employment cannot result from the AT opportunity. As J-1 visa requirement 212(e) states, students must spend 2 years in Brazil before applying for a work visa in the United States.

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

A: If a student will not be engaged in classes for the fall semester following the Academic Training period and the student’s last day of Academic Training is before the end date on the student’s form DS 2019, the student’s program will be shortened and the new end-date will be the last day of the Academic Training period. IIE will update the student’s information with the Department of State and a new DS 2019 will be generated. Following the new end date on the form DS 2019, the student will have 30 days to leave the country. During those 30 days, the student is not permitted to engage in Academic Training.

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Q: Are students required to leave the country on the last day of Academic Training?

A: No. If a student will not be engaged in classes for the fall semester following Academic Training, the student’s end date will be the last day of the Academic Training period. However, a student does not need to leave the country on the last day of the Academic Training period. The 30-day grace period begins on the end-date of the DS-2019, and the student has 30 days from this date to exit the country. During those 30 days, the student is not permitted to engage in Academic Training.

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Q: Will the students' universities in Brazil recognize credits earned as Academic Training?

A: IIE has created an intern evaluation form that will rely on feedback provided by the Academic Training supervisor to make the process of transferring Academic Training credits easier. However, different home universities have different policies about accepting internship credits from activities in the U.S. This is something students will need to discuss with their home universities directly.

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Q: Are students required to receive credit for Academic Training?

A: No, students are not required to receive credit for Academic Training. Credit for Academic Training is only permitted if the employer requires that the student receive credit in order to participate in the activities, or if a student must receive credit in order to live on-campus (if applicable).

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Q: Does IIE file taxes on students' behalf?

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

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Q: What are the tax obligations for BSMP student interns who complete paid Academic Training 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 students do have several responsibilities concerning taxes from income generated through Academic Training or any other approved student employment. Any income paid to the student 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 student’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 student’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 http://www.irs.gov/.  Specific instructions for exchange visitors can be found at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Foreign-Students-and-Scholars. IIE will not be able to assist students with federal or state tax filing preparation.

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Q: What are the tax obligations for BSMP students who complete paid Academic Training opportunities?

A: BSMP students who complete unpaid Academic Training opportunities must fill out Form 8843.

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