ISIP Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is ISIP?
The International Student Internship Program (ISIP) provides opportunities for international undergraduate students from other educational institutions to intern with Princeton University faculty, scholars and administrators on campus in the summer. The program is administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Operations.
2. What is the purpose of the ISIP program?
ISIP allows Princeton University to offer promising young scholars from outside of the United States the opportunity to get to know Princeton University and to work with and learn alongside Princeton’s renowned professors and scholars. ISIP also supports the University’s internationalization goals by providing Princeton researchers the opportunity to connect with leading young scholars from around the world and with their home institutions. The presence of ISIP interns on campus during the summer enriches the Princeton community by bringing broad perspectives, different viewpoints, and diverse assumptions to our scholarly endeavors.
3. What's the length of the ISIP program?
The program is 9 weeks long. An extension or reduction of one week is allowable if requested by the Princeton faculty mentor. Total length of the internship must not exceed 10 weeks.
4. Beyond the internship, what activities or programming is provided to interns?
To enhance the research and educational experience, ISIP interns will participate in lab training, weekly meetings to present work to each other, mentoring sessions and seminars. All interns are required to give a poster presentation of their summer research to their peers at a research symposium towards the end of the internship. There will also be a midpoint and final performance review for the intern completed by the hosting faculty.
5. Can I receive academic credit from Princeton University for this internship?
Princeton University does not grant any academic credit to participants of this internship.
6. How are applicants selected for the program?
Please visit the program's main page to access the application information and submit the complete application online. Interns must be nominated by a Princeton faculty member or Princeton administrator who wishes to sponsor their research or educational internship.
7. How many people are admitted to the program?
2016 was the inaugural year of the program. A small pilot program of 16 students were accepted.
8. I am a Princeton Student. Can I apply to this summer program?
No. ISIP is only for international students from institutions outside of the U.S. Princeton students should refer to the Office of Undergraduate Research's page for applicable programs.
9. I am a US citizen or US Permanent Resident (green card holder). Can I apply?
No. To be eligible for ISIP, you must be an international (non US citizen) student currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at an institution outside of the U.S. US citizens and US Permanent Residents should refer to the Office of Undergraduate Research's page for applicable programs.
10. I am a high school student, incoming college freshman, recent college graduate, or graduate student. Can I apply?
No. Applicants must be an actively enrolled undergraduate at the time of participation in the summer program. Only college students who have already completed a year of full-time undergraduate study by the start of the summer internship can apply, i.e. students who will become college sophomores, juniors, or seniors after the summer internship are eligible to apply. In addition, students must be at least 18 years of age before the start of the internship to be eligible to apply. High school students, incoming college freshmen, as well as students who will receive their bachelor’s degrees before the start date of the summer program are not eligible to apply.
1. What's the application process?
Please visit ISIP’s main page for the complete information on the application steps and materials required. Applicants will be notified of the results by the end of March.
2. How do I submit my application materials?
All application materials need to be submitted online. Please do not send any application materials by mail. Submit your application form and other required documents online. Please note that ISIP application is by Princeton faculty/administrator nomination only.
3. What is the application deadline?
Please submit your application with all required materials by February 28. No late submissions will be accepted. Only complete applications will be reviewed.
4. Who should write a letter of recommendation for me?
Please submit recommendations from academic of professional referees who can speak to your research and professional capabilities. Your professors at your current institution or any other institutions at which you have studied or conducted research are appropriate recommenders. Recommendations from family members, relative, peers or friends will not be accepted. Recommenders should submit their letters of recommendation on your behalf directly to Claire Hu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. When will I know if I have been accepted by the program?
You will be notified of the decision by the end of March.
2. When does the program start and end?
The program starts the 11th of June and ends the 10th of August, lasting 9 weeks. An occasional extension or reduction of 1 week can be arranged if requested by the Princeton host due to uncontrollable scheduling conflicts.
3. I am not available during part or the entirety of the program. Can I come early or late?
No. The program dates are not flexible due to limitations on campus facilities and program resources. Campus housing will not be available outside of this time frame. The internship must be at least 8 weeks long within the program start and end dates.
1. Will I receive a stipend? Is funding provided by the program?
The program does not provide funding to participants. Applicants must secure their own funding. Funding may come from the applicant’s home institution, a fellowship award or government sponsorship, or a stipend provided by the faculty or administrative host. Candidates need to show proof of sufficient funding before acceptance to the program.
2. Will this program cover my travel to and from the U.S. for this internship?
No. The program does not provide funding. Candidates must secure their own funding prior to being accepted by the program.
Visas, Housing, Health Insurance, and other Logistics
1. Do I need a visa? Will Princeton help with my visa application if I am accepted by the ISIP program?
Yes. For applicants who have been accepted into the ISIP program and meet all requirements, Princeton will provide the supporting documents necessary for a J-1 visa. The Davis International Center at Princeton will be in touch with accepted applicants to assist with the process of submitting their visa applications.
2. Is housing provided by the program? What kind of housing is provided?
Yes. On-campus housing is available and recommended for students in ISIP. However, it is possible for students to petition to live off campus. Please note that Princeton is in a high-cost area, and students should increase their housing budget significantly for the summer if planning to live off campus. Visit the University’s off-campus housing website for local housing resources if you are interested in living off campus. If ISIP interns choose to live off-campus, housing must be within 15 minutes commute time of the University. Campus housing is only available June 11 to August 10.
3. What meals are covered in the program?
A meal plan is offered to interns on campus.
4. Is health insurance provided?
No. Students must purchase their own health insurance that meets the minimum insurance coverage required by the J-1 regulations.
The medical insurance coverage must provide the following minimum benefits as per J federal regulations [22 CFR 62.14]:
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
- Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
See USCIS’s website for additional details on the J-1 insurance requirement.
All applicants must show adequate insurance coverage for the internship period prior to acceptance to the ISIP program and receiving the visa eligibility document.
5. How do I get to Princeton from the airport? Which airport should I fly to to get to Princeton University?
Princeton is located between New York and Philadelphia, and is easy to reach by public transportation or by car. You can reach Princeton through any airports in New York City or Philadelphia. However, the closest and most conveniently accessed international airport is Newark Liberty International. Visit the University’s website for additional information on how to travel to Princeton University.
6. Do you provide airport pickup?
No. Students are responsible for finding their own transportation to campus. We strongly recommend flying to Newark Liberty International Airport, where you can find frequent trains to the University. It is typically less than 2 hours to travel on public transportation from Newark airport to Princeton. Visit the University’s travel page for additional information on how to get to Princeton.
7. Can I hold other employment on the Princeton campus or off campus during this internship?
No. You cannot hold employment on or off campus during the internship due to visa and immigration regulations.
1. I read all of the frequently asked questions but don’t find the answers to my questions, who do I contact?
If you have questions not covered by the frequently asked questions, please contact the program director, Claire Hu, at email@example.com.
Please direct ALL ISIP related questions to Claire and do not contact other units of the university, including housing, meal plans, insurance, etc.