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Internships/Research Overview

The J-1 Student Intern program at NC State University facilitates temporary, full-time internship opportunities for international students who are studying at one of our overseas partner universities or are invited to do an internship on campus with an NC State faculty supervisor. The internship must be an integral part of their academic program at the home university. Interns do not take courses and do not receive university course credit from NC State, so there are no tuition charges. Students are responsible for finding their own internships or research opportunities. The GTI is NOT a placement agency.

Internships/research can:

  • last between 2-12 months
  • begin and end at any time
  • be paid (MUST be at least minimum wage $7.25/hour) or unpaid
  • be on-campus (GTN) or off-campus (GTX) in North Carolina

There is a GTI administration fee of $250 for on-campus interns (GTN) and $600 for off-campus interns (GTX). This fee is in addition to the visa and processing fees that are paid to the US government.

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Overview of Student Intern Application Process

Student Intern Process

  1. Apply online (http://go.ncsu.edu/iac_apply) at least 60 days before your start date. Do NOT submit more than one application.

  2. Pay the GTI administration fee online (go.ncsu.edu/apply_payment)

  3. Email ALL supporting documents to gti@ncsu.edu at least 45 days before your start date (applications are NOT processed until all documents are complete and emailed)

  4. Typically within 3 weeks after all documents are complete and emailed, we will issue (via Express Mail) to the Student Intern overseas:

    1. An official acceptance letter

    2. The completed & signed DS-7002

    3. A completed Form DS-2019 (used with the DS-7002 form when applying for the J-1 visa at a US consulate overseas)

    4. Additional instructions for applying for the visa and pre-arrival information

  5. Applicants must wait for these forms before applying for a J-1 Student Intern visa overseas* or entering the U.S. (Visa interview wait times vary greatly by country. Please check the US Embassy or Consulate website to see current wait times.)

*If you’re already in the US on a different visa status, you CANNOT change to a J-1 Student Intern visa

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Internship Program Details

On-campus internship link Off-campus internship link

On-campus interns are:

  • Students who are invited by an NC State faculty member
  • Students in good academic standing at their home university
  • Students with at least one full semester of academic courses after the internship period
  • Participating in a research/internship experience that's integral to their academic program
  • Recommended by a faculty advisor at their home university
  • Required to complete a virtual "check-in" when they arrive to NC State
  • Required to submit an evaluation every six (6) months or at the end of the internship

On-campus interns are NOT:

  • Receiving NC State credits or degrees
  • Paying NC State tuition or student fees so are unable to use the gym unless they pay additional student fees
  • Students who have already graduated or in their last semester of their degree program
  • Students or visitors already in the United States and want to change their status

Off-campus interns are:

  • Students enrolled in one of NC State's partner universities overseas
  • Students in good academic standing at their home university
  • Students with at least one full semester of academic courses after the internship period
  • Participating in an internship that's integral to their academic program
  • Recommended by a faculty advisor at their home university
  • Required to complete a virtual "check-in" when they arrive to the United States
  • Required to submit an evaluation every six (6) months or at the end of the internship

Off-campus interns are NOT:

  • Receiving NC State credits or degrees
  • Paying NC State tuition or student fees
  • Students who have already graduated or in their last semester of their degree program
  • Students or visitors already in the United States and want to change their status

Learn how to apply for the on-campus internship program.

Learn how to apply for the off-campus internship program.

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Student Intern Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can anyone apply for the GTI international student intern program?
A. No. To be eligible for the GTI international student intern program you must either be invited by an NC State University faculty member to participate in a research internship on the NC State University campus under his or her supervision OR be currently enrolled in one of our partner schools overseas (a school that has a valid student and research exchange agreement with NC State).

Q. What’s the difference between an on-campus and off-campus internship?
A. An on-campus internship (GTN) is usually a supervised research project on one of the NC State campuses and involves close and frequent supervision by an NC State faculty member.
An off-campus internship (GTX) is conducted at a company or agency located in North Carolina that has entered into a “Third Party Agreement” with NC State University.  Off-campus internships, are limited to students who are enrolled in one of our partner institutions.

Q. How do I know if my school has a valid agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) with NC State?
A. You can see a list of current partner schools on the OIA website (http://oia.ncsu.edu/global-portal-database)

Q. What if the company that wants to hire me cannot sign the “Third Party Agreement”?
A. That company is not able to host you as an international student intern through the GTI's program

Q.   How do I find an internship placement?
A. On-campus interns are invited by an NC State faculty member and this usually happens as a result of the student corresponding with the faculty member, being recommended by the student’s home school advisor, or other third party.
Off-campus internships usually come about through an eligible student communicating directly with a North Carolina company or being introduced by an academic advisor or alumni friend. NC State does not provide a placement service and does not have lists of student interns or companies.

Q. Can I apply to the internship program if I have already graduated or am currently in my last semester?
A. No. The J-1 Student Intern regulations require students be currently enrolled in a degree program (undergraduate or graduate), in good academic standing, and plan to return to the home school to complete the program after the internship is over.

Q.  What if I am already in the US?
A.  The J-1 student intern program is not for those students or visitors who are already in the US. The GTI cannot assist those already in the US in another nonimmigrant visa status to apply to the USCIS for a change of status.  It may be possible to apply to the Student Intern program while in the US if you will be departing and applying for the J-1 student visa overseas.

Q.   How long can the internship be?
A. The internship can last betweeen 2-12 months. Most programs are between 2-4 months.

Q.  Can GTI provide housing arrangements?
A.  No.  GTI cannot provide housing arrangements. On campus interns usually get housing information through the University Housing webpage (http://www.ncsu.edu/housing/).

Q.   Who will arrange travel and housing and other details for the student internship?
A.   The student intern is responsible for all logistical and personal details such as travel, housing, fees, etc.  Some companies (or faculty supervisors) do offer assistance in travel, local transportation, airport pick-up, meals, local accommodations, etc., but they are not required to.

Q.  Can I apply for a meal plan?
A. Meal plans are sold on a semester basis. You cannot purchase a meal plan for only a few weeks of a semester, so a meal plan makes sense for students who arrive at the beginning of the semester and plan on staying for most of the semester or for more than one semester. Read more about the meal plan options on the University Dining's website. You can also choose to put money on your NC State Wolfpack One student ID card and use it as a debit card at dining halls and restaurants around campus.

Q.  How long does it take to apply for the program and to get my visa?
A.  Once ALL the application materials are received, a decision can be usually be made and a visa document issued within ten business days . GTI will ship via FedEx the visa documentation and admission letter directly to the applicant. However, visa processing times at US consulates overseas can vary and neither the processing time nor the approval can be guaranteed.

Q.   How do I pay for my internship or show I have enough money to support myself?
A.   Most off-campus student interns do not have to pay the company for the internship experience, although some formal internship programs do charge a fee. If the company (off-campus) or NC State department (on-campus) will pay the student intern sufficient wages to meet estimated living costs (currently $1,250 per month), then the student intern does not need to document to the GTI any additional financial information. If the internship is unpaid, or the wages are lower than the minimum monthly living estimate, the student must document to GTI other liquid funds (personal, family, or other sponsor) before we can issue the visa document.

Q.  Can the financial support be from two different sources?
A.  Yes.

Q.  Can I be paid for my internship?
A.  Yes. If it is approved beforehand in the SEVIS system. If an internship is paid, then the company must pay at least the minimum wage for a full-time position ($7.25/hour for 32-40 hours per week) for the entire period of the internship. There are also unpaid internships. NOTE: being paid minimum wage does not satisfy the $1,250/month proof of financial support needed for the visa documents, so the student intern will need to demonstrate further proof of funding.

Q.  Can I take classes during my internship?
A.  International Student Interns are expected to pursue a full-time (32 - 40 hours per week) internship or research program and be engaged in the activities/expectations as described on the Form DS-7002. Student interns may benefit from taking a non-credit ESL course or sitting in some class sessions with the permission of the instructor, but enrollment in a credit-bearing course requires special permission from the GTI advisor as well as: a) permission from the supervisor; b) a revised and signed Form DS-7002; and c) payment of required tuition and fees. 

Q.  How can I improve my English language skills?
A.  You will find some English language resources listed below:

Q.  Can I arrive early or stay later than my visa document indicates?
A.  The program dates on your DS-2019 will reflect the dates of your internship period. You may (and should) enter the US a few days prior (we recommend 7-10 days prior) to the start date in order to go through orientation, find housing, etc. You also have 30 days after you complete your program (as reflected on the DS-2019 or if you finish a little earlier) to depart the US. This 30 day “window” is called a “grace period” and can be used for sightseeing, shopping, etc.

Q.  Why do I have to “report” to GTI when I arrive in the US? What is involved in the “checking-in?”
A.  The University is required to “validate” your SEVIS record after arrival in the US and before you begin your internship. If you do not check in with GTI, we will not validate your SEVIS record and you will be in violation of your status (with no chance to do your internship).  A virtual check-in is available and the required documents can be scanned and sent via e-mail to GTI.  You will also need to provide your complete street/residential address where you will be staying during your internship.

Q.  Can I travel outside the US during my internship?
A.  Yes.  As a J-1 student intern, you will need to have a current travel endorsement in your DS-2019 Form.  Send or bring your original DS-2019 to the GTI office to get your travel validation. 

Q.  How can I reset my Unity password?
A.  GTI does not have access to your password and cannot reset it for you. You need to contact the Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or (919) 515-HELP.

Q.  Can I get reimbursed for travel and meals by the company/department?
A.  Yes.

Q.  Do I get a certificate at the end of the program?
A.  Yes.  We will issue a certificate of completion when the final evaluation is completed.

Q.  What if I have problems or things don’t work out with my internship?
A.  It is critically important to communicate and manage expectations prior to arriving at the internship as well as for interns and supervisors to “check-in” regularly with each other. Discuss any frustration, disappointment, problem, etc., with your supervisor and try to work out a solution that is acceptable to both parties. If the company supervisor or the student intern cannot resolve a situation together, contact GTI and we will see if we can assist with a mutually acceptable solution or compromise.  It is not possible to change internship companies or NC State departments (or student interns) after the internship has begun so please know that a situation that does not work out will result in the student intern returning to the home country.

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Information and Forms for NC State Faculty

Internship and research programs are for students who are currently enrolled in a degree program at an overseas university. Interns do not take courses and do not receive university course credit from NC State, so there are no tuition charges. The J-1 Student Intern program is also referred to as the GTN program.

  • Students must be an enrolled student at an overseas institution and the internship program at NC State must be related to their program of study at their home institution.
  • Students must be invited by NC State faculty
  • No Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is required. All funds may come from personal or family funds
  • No payment is required
    (Note: NC State must pay at least minimum wage at 32-40 hours per week if interns are to be paid from university sources)

NCSU department/faculty responsibilities:

1. Give the student intern, person in department who will do payment action, and the GTI a copy of the offer letter from the sponsoring department, including specifics regarding payment(s), if applicable (see sample letter).

2. Get departmental approval to host a student intern (per department guidelines/processes).

3. Complete a certification form for the student intern.

4. Complete a Training/Internship Placement Plan (Form DS-7002) in conjunction with student. Read the on-campus internship section of the website for more information about the application process for student intern.

5. Inform the Departmental Payroll Coordinator or Personnel Representative of the student's arrival and gives them a copy of this process information and offer letter, if the intern will be paid. The department is responsible for entering the job action and payment record into the HR system to generate the biweekly payroll. The GTI will have already created a student record in the Student Information System.

6. Meet with the student intern at least once per week for supervision of their program.

7. Issue bi-weekly payment* to student, if applicable.
*Note: The department should enter student into the payment system using appropriate code. (Consult with your department's HRIM representative regarding questions about entering pay action. Student interns are not required to have a background check. However, one can be arranged if a department requests it.)

8. Make sure the student intern completes and submits the final evaluation at the completion of their program. This is a US State Department requirement and is necessary to remain in compliance with the J-1 Student Intern program.

GTI Forms (complete and email to gti@ncsu.edu):

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Overview for North Carolina Companies

The GTI facilitates study, research, and internship programs for hundreds of international students each year. The GTI’s J-1 Student Intern program enables eligible students (undergraduate or graduate) who are enrolled at one of NC State’s partner universities overseas to engage in a student internship in their field of study with a company in North Carolina.

These students are not enrolled at or getting a degree from NC State. They come for the sole purpose of engaging in a student internship with a North Carolina company that can benefit (or is required by) their academic program in their home university overseas. Internships must be recommended by the student's academic advisor at the home institution and there are certain eligibility requirements and restrictions.

The GTI's role is to issue the visa documents (and any employment authorization) – we do not place students, identify internship opportunities, or provide employment or tax advice.

If your company is interested in sponsoring one of these interns, they can read what's required of your organization and answers to some frequently asked questions.

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