English Proficiency Requirements

International scholars who are applying for J-1 Exchange Visitor visas must comply with the U.S. State Department requirements to demonstrate English language proficiency that is sufficient: (1) to participate successfully in their exchange programs; and (2) to function on a day-to-day basis in the United States [22 CFR §62.10(a)(2)].

The host faculty must verify an applicant’s English language proficiency through a recognized English language test by a signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school, or through a documented interview conducted by the sponsor (either in-person or by video conference). 

If the host faculty member cannot firmly establish sufficient English proficiency, then it is not appropriate to request a DS-2019 for the J-1 scholar, as they are not eligible for a J-1 status.

Ways to verify English proficiency

Improving your English communication skills after coming to Michigan Tech

Scholars may register with the Graduate Language Assessment and Support (GLAS), which is a free program offered by the Graduate School, to help international graduate students improve their English oral communication skills. Through small-group conversations, students gain experience about participating in class discussions, responding to questions, and listening effectively. GLAS coaches work with students to help them better understand US university expectations, and what students and instructors expect from each other in classrooms. Visit the GLAS page for more information and to schedule appointments.

J-2 dependents who wish to improve their English communication skills may join the Elaine Bacon Literacy Program. The Program is compiled of individual one-on-one classes as well as conversations with a "conversation partner". Please visit the Elaine Bacon website for scheduling classes and for further information.