Global Advancement Internship Network (GAIN)

Interning in the United States

Interning in the United States provides students around the world an exciting opportunity to gain real-world professional experience in their field of study. Through the Global Advancement Internship Network, students have the chance to enrich their academic studies through practical application at businesses across the United States. GAIN Interns create professional and personal relationships that support long term career development and global understanding.

Program Snapshot

  • The GAIN Program is open to currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students outside the United States studying in the IT and Tech Development fields
  • Up to 20 internship spots are available for each program Term (Summer, Fall, Spring)
  • Selection is determined on applications meeting all eligibility requirements
  • Participants will attend an in-person Program Orientation in Washington, D.C. prior to beginning their internship program
  • During their time in United States, participants will also receive supplemental professional development through virtual programming, informational webinars, and networking opportunities

Application Deadlines

  • Summer 2018 Term January 15th, 2018

  • Fall 2018 Term April 15th, 2018

  • Spring 2019 Term August 15th, 2018

Internship Placements

  • Internships are up to 16 weeks in length and begin immediately following program orientation

  • Cultural Vistas’ dedicated placements team works with each participant individually to find the best internship opportunity for future career development

  • Placements are located throughout the United States

Why Partner with Cultural Vistas?

Experience in J-1 Visa Sponsorship for international interns. As a U.S. Department of State-designated J-1 Exchange Visitor Program sponsor, Cultural Vistas works with thousands of students every year to provide enriching internship and training experiences.

Expertise in internship placements throughout the United States. Drawing on our vast network of host companies, Cultural Vistas annually provides in-depth training experiences for more than 200 students a year.

Unparalleled support including dedicated and multilingual staff committed to ensuring that clients receive the most from their experience. Cultural Vistas provides support through the duration of its programs, including a 24-hour emergency line.

Professional and cultural programming to supplement the internship experience. GAIN focuses on full-time internship placements, résumé and interview support, opportunities for interns to network with other professionals, alumni, and employers, and ongoing professional activities through virtual programming.

Mutual understanding and the commitment to providing experiences that promote greater dialogue, build partnerships, and strengthen intercultural cooperation.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Open to Non-U.S. citizens; Minimum 18 years old
  • Current enrolled full-time and actively pursuing studies at a ministerially-recognized degree or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution* outside the United States OR Have graduated from such an institution* no more than 12 months prior to desired internship start date (* Primarily vocational education may not qualify. Please email regarding your education before applying).
    • Must have completed at least one year of post-secondary education (University)
    • Degree must relate to Information Technology or Technology Development
  • Documentation of English language fluency
    • TOEIC Listening & Reading Score Minimum 860
    • TOEFL (iBT) Score Minimum 83
    • Cambridge ESOL Minimum 170
  • Previous experience working/interning outside of academics in their field of study
  • Applicants must intend to enter the United States solely for the purpose of internship or training; not to abandon non-immigrant status.
  • Applicants must not intend to change status while in the United States.

Program Fees and Refunds

Program Fees

Application Fee: Fee to apply to the GAIN program (non-refundable) $50
Placement Fee: Fee for finding internship opportunity in U.S. (includes $750 non-refundable deposit)

Program Fee: Administration of Program; Host Company Vetting; Orientation in Washington, D.C.


J-1 Visa Fee: Fee for sponsorship to intern in the U.S. on J-1 Intern Visa


Health Insurance: Coverage required from program start date to end date; Optional coverage available for purchase for 30 days prior to program start, and 30 days after program end date


SEVIS Fee: Required Fee by U.S. Department of State



Refund Policy

Circumstance What Would Be Refunded

Rejection or Withdrawal prior to placements process

  • Application Fee – 0%
  • Placement Fee – 100%
  • Program – 50%
  • J-1 Visa Fee – 50%
  • Insurance – 100% (minus admin fee*)
  • SEVIS Fee – 100%

Withdrawal after placements process has begun.

  • Application Fee – 0%
  • Placement Fee – 50% (minus non-refundable deposit)
  • Program – 50%
  • J-1 Visa Fee – 50%
  • Insurance – 100% (minus admin fee*)
  • SEVIS Fee – 100%

Withdrawal after internship placement confirmed

  • Application Fee – 0%
  • Placement Fee – 0%** 
  • Program – 50%
  • J-1 Visa Fee – 50%
  • Insurance – 100% (minus admin fee*)
  • SEVIS Fee – 100%

Embassy Denial of Visa Application

  • Application Fee – 0%
  • Placement Fee – 0%
  • Program – 0%
  • J-1 Visa Fee – 0%
  • Insurance – 100% (minus admin fee*)
  • SEVIS Fee – 100%

Program Cancellation after Entering United States

  • Application Fee – 0%
  • Placement Fee – 0%
  • Program – 0%
  • J-1 Visa Fee – 0%
  • Insurance – 0%
  • SEVIS Fee – 0%

* Insurance may only be refunded prior to entering the United States.
** If the candidate withdraws after a placement is confirmed with a host company the full Placement fee is non-refundable.
If participant has only paid their deposit, they will be liable for paying the full placement fee to Cultural Vistas.

Application Process

  • Link to FormSite application
  • Step 1: Submit Application and all required documents online along with payment of $50 non-refundable application fee;
  • Step 2: Application evaluation and selection
    • All applicants will be notified within two weeks of the application deadline for Term to which they applied
  • Step 3: Placements Process
  • Step 4: J-1 Visa Documents Processed
    • Once internship placement is sourced, Cultural Vistas will process documents for J-1 visa sponsorship
  • Step 5: U.S. Consulate/Embassy Appointment
    • Participant will make appointment to obtain J-1 visa. Visa approval and issuance is at the discretion of the consular official.
  • Step 6: Orientation in Washington, D.C.
    • Participants will make arrangements to attend program orientation in Washington, D.C. Cultural Vistas will arrange flights to internship city following program orientation.