International Students

International students enrolled at Brandeis are welcome to participate in JBS programs. If you’re interested, your first step should be to contact the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) to schedule a meeting with an advisor. Some JBS activities may require employment authorization from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and your advisor can help you to initiate that process.

JBS Internships and Volunteer Activities

International students with visa status that allows for off-campus employment may participate in JBS internships related to their fields of study, provided that their internships do not exceed 20 hours per week. (Employment authorization is required for paid and unpaid internships.) The USCIS imposes limits on the amount of authorization time provided under the F-1 Practical Training or J-1 Academic Training authorizations, depending on whether the internship is full-time or part-time.

It’s also important to contact your ISSO advisor if your JBS program includes “volunteer” activity. The U.S. government defines employment as providing any service in which you or someone else providing a similar service receives anything (ranging from a paycheck to a free meal to a subway pass) in return. Your advisor can help you determine whether your volunteer activity falls into this category.

Note: Students must work with the ISSO to obtain the necessary employment authorization before beginning an internship or work experience. Beginning the internship or work experience before obtaining authorization is a serious violation of visa status.

Relevancy to Declared Major

Immigration regulations state that a student may pursue an internship or work experience only “… in a position that is directly related to his or her major area of study” [8 CFR 214.2 (f)(10)]. This is an important distinction, as many students pursue multiple majors and minors (as well as programs such as the Legal Studies Program) that do not confer eligibility for employment authorization. Students are advised to clarify their authorization status with their ISSO advisors.

If a course in a JBS program is related to your major, but is not offered under your major’s program offerings, you may be able to pursue that program. Please consult with an ISSO advisor to confirm: a) if the JBS experience is indeed related to your major; and b) if the course credit can be received through a related internship course offered in your major.

The importance of consulting your ISSO advisor, as soon as you consider JBS participation, cannot be overstated. Every student’s situation is different, and your advisor can help you navigate your JBS experience.

The ISSO offers general information during weekly Employment Workshops throughout the academic year. The schedule is emailed to students via the ISSO’s electronic newsletter, and is also available on the ISSO website.

Visting International Students

International students from other U.S. colleges and universities who wish to apply for a JBS should be aware of three important factors.

  1. Brandeis is not able to issue I-20 forms for F-1 student visas as Summer School is not considered a full-time program. Students who already have an F-1 visa, and are attending another U.S. college, are welcome to submit an application. We can not assist you with obtaining a visa.
  2. Enrollment in summer programs and courses at Brandeis presumes English language proficiency at a level at least equivalent to a score of 600 on TOEFL examination.
  3. International students must submit the following Medical / Health Insurances forms:
    Health Insurance Selection/Reporting Form (PDF)
    Meningococcal Waiver Form
    Health and Immunization Report
    Your records of immunization, as well as the method of immunization will be examined. Students who have not been immunized via the methods identified on the Immunization Record Form will be required to be re-immunized at your own expense. If you do not have health insurance coverage you will be required to purchase insurance to cover your summer study.


Please contact the International Student and Scholars Office.