Program Sponsors

FAQ

What is the purpose of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program?

What is unique about hosting a Brazil Scientific Mobility intern?

My organization is interested in hosting Brazilian Scientific Mobility students as interns. What do I need to do?

In what fields of study are internships typically offered?

What type of visa is required for Brazil Scientific Mobility students and is my organization responsible for sponsoring the students for visa purposes?

If the students are studying in one U.S. state, can they intern in another?

What type of compensation and benefits are required for the student?

May I offer the student a full-time or part-time position after the completion of their internship?

What limits are there to the type of work the students do?

What tax obligations are required of employers and students?

Will my organization need to consult with the Brazilian government or the students' host universities?

How is Academic Training different from Optional Practical Training, which is also available to international students?

What are the requirements for the final evaluation?

My organization uses a staffing agency to find and pay interns. Is this permitted when hiring a BSMP student?


Q: What is the purpose of the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program?

A: This initiative, administered by IIE, is part of the Brazilian government's larger effort to grant 100,000 scholarships for the best students from Brazil to study abroad at the world's best universities. The program provides a substantive exchange experience at a U.S. college or university to a diverse group of emerging Brazilian student leaders to increase academic and research exchange between the U.S. and Brazil. For this program, scholarships are given primarily to students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. This initiative is the result of joint efforts from two sponsoring organizations, CAPES and CNPq, with the program goals of 1) Promotion of Scientific Research, 2) Investment and funding for education resources allocated both within Brazil and outside of the country, 3) Increasing international cooperation within the Scientific and Technological scope, and 4) Initiating and engaging students in a global dialogue within the parameters of international education.

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Q: What is unique about hosting a Brazil Scientific Mobility intern?

A: This program offers a unique opportunity for U.S. companies to deepen ties with Brazil, a top U.S. export market. In addition to gaining from the unique skill sets and insights of Brazil Scientific Mobility students, U.S. companies will also demonstrate their commitment to Brazil as not only a market but also as a strategic partner. Employers will be able to identify top-notch talent for their operations in Brazil and lower recruitment costs for positions at these sites. Furthermore, all BSMP interns will have the support and assistance of the Institute of International Education, a non-profit with almost 100 years of experience in visa administration and student monitoring, throughout the duration of their internships.

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Q: My organization is interested in hosting Brazilian Scientific Mobility students as interns. What do I need to do?

A: Please contact Laura Giles at LGiles@iie.org for information on hosting BSMP student interns. Employers can manage the application and selection process online through the free IIE Academic Training Website. Once registered, you'll be able to post internship descriptions, review applicant resumes, and utilize the online tools to help make your selections.

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Q: In what fields of study are internships typically offered?

A: The far majority of students are studying STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) including, but not limited to engineering, physical sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and geosciences), clinical, pre-clinical and health sciences, computing and information technology, aerospace technology, pharmaceuticals, sustainable agricultural production, oil, gas, coal, and renewable energy, minerals technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology and new materials, technologies for prevention and mitigation of natural disasters, bioprospecting and biodiversity, marine sciences, creative industries, and new technologies.

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Q: What type of visa is required for Brazil Scientific Mobility students and is my organization responsible for sponsoring the students for visa purposes?

A: All Brazil Scientific Mobility students are sponsored by the Institute of International Education (IIE) on a J-1 visa. IIE is able to provide sponsorship, work authorization, and visa administration to students throughout the duration of their internships, known officially as Academic Training (AT). To host a BSMP student, employers only need to provide a written offer of employment and sign the Request for Academic Training Approval which the student will provide, as well as ensure that the internship program meets all legal requirements. No visa administration is required.

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Q: If the students are studying in one U.S. state, can they intern in another?

A: Yes, students may intern in another state other than their U.S. host institution. It is greatly appreciated if employers are able to provide assistance in finding housing and transportation.

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Q: What type of compensation and benefits are required for the student?

A: Internships may be paid or unpaid. Regardless of payment, students will receive stipends to pay for meals, housing, transportation, and other expenses. Any salary or benefits, such as relocation allowance, is appreciated. Paid or unpaid, all interns must be eligible for workers' compensation insurance if hurt while performing work-related duties.

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Q: May I offer the student a full-time or part-time position after the completion of their internship?

A: Students are expected to return home upon completion of their authorized program in order to comply with the two-year home residency requirement of the J-1 visa. Under no circumstances should students be offered permanent employment in the U.S. prior to completing this requirement.

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Q: What limits are there to the type of work the students do?

A: Interns cannot work in unskilled or casual labor positions, nor in any position that requires more than 20% clerical or office support work. The purpose of the internship is to bridge the gap between formal education and work-related experiences to best prepare the student for a future career in that profession/industry. All students, in particular those studying medicine, veterinary sciences, dentistry and pharmacy, must comply with the J-1 regulation stipulation that they will not have any patient contact (human or animal) during the course of their exchange program.

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Q: What tax obligations are required of employers and students?

A: Any income paid to J-1 exchange students is subject to U.S. income tax regulations and withholding of all local, state and federal taxes except social security. It is the students’ sole responsibility to inquire with the IRS and respective State tax authorities to see if they are required to pay additional tax on any income earned. It is also their responsibility to obtain all proper documentation and to file income tax returns with the IRS or State tax authorities whether or not they incur a tax liability. IIE will not be able to assist students with federal or state tax filing preparation. For more information, please consult a certified tax accountant.

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Q: Will my organization need to consult with the Brazilian government or the students’ host universities?

A: No, organizations are not required to have a direct relationship with the Brazilian government or U.S. academic host institutions.

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Q: How is Academic Training different from Optional Practical Training, which is also available to international students?

A: Both terms refer to work-related experiences, but Academic Training (AT) is the term designated for students on a J-1 visa. Optional Practical Training (OPT) is for students on an F-1 visa. Because the visas have different purposes, a student's ability to participate in an internship or research opportunity has different criteria. Students who are issued J-1 visas are also required to fulfill a two-year home residency requirement as the purpose of the visa is for them to return home and share their experiences. Students who are issued an F-1 visa have the ability to transition into a working visa, depending on their program policies.

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Q: What are the requirements for the final evaluation?

A: The final evaluation form is a short survey that the employer must complete prior to the conclusion of the student's internship. The employer will receive directions for and a link to the survey via email from IIE.

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My organization uses a staffing agency to find and pay interns. Is this permitted when hiring a BSMP student?

A: IIE strongly discourages the use of a staffing agency to find and pay BSMP interns. However, if it is necessary, the organization must inform IIE and provide a letter that states the use of a staffing agency for immigration purposes. For details about the letter, please contact LGiles@iie.org.

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