Frequently Asked Questions
This page provides students with answers to frequently asked questions about the Japan Internship Program.
If you have additional questions, please contact Program Coordinator Dr. Ritsuko Hirai.
I. BASIC INFORMATION
Q1: What is Japan Internship Program (JIP) at Caltech?
A: Students spend 10 weeks in Japan doing an internship at companies in Japan. They will have a chance to experience corporate research, advance their language skills and experience the culture firsthand.
Q2: When is the program offered and for how long?
A: JIP is offered as a summer internship program, and internships last at least 10 weeks (mid June through end of August / early September).
Q3: Can internships be less than or more than 10 weeks?
A: It can be more but cannot be less than 10 weeks. If students would like to work for more than 10 weeks, they must get an approval from their host company, must come back to Pasadena in time to attend Fall Quarter at Caltech, and cannot overstay the visa.
Q4: Who can apply for JIP?
A: JIP is open to all Caltech students who will be returning to Caltech for the following year. However, it is most suitable for sophomores and juniors. Graduate students must get a written approval from their advisors and a letter of recommendation from the Dean of Graduate Studies on the official Caltech letterhead to participate.
Q5: What is the language requirement?
A: There is no language requirement. However, it is strongly recommended that students have at least a year of instructions at Caltech or equivalent.
Q6: What is the average compensation?
A: The average compensation to the intern is paid room and board, meals, transportation between your host company and dormitory (commute), and approximately 100,000 yen per month.
II. APPLICATION PROCESS
Q1: Please explain the application process.
A: Application process starts in early October, right after the Fall Quarter begins. Interested students are encouraged to attend Information Seminar, held usually on first or second week of October. Interested students apply through HSS by mid October. All applicants will be interviewed in late October or early November. After the interview, students will be notified whether they have been accepted to the program.
Q2: When are students fully committed to the program?
A: Students are considered "fully committed" after accepting an offer from a company by submitting a letter accepting the offer. At the same time, students will also sign a contract with the JIP, stating that they are fully committed to the program.
Q3: Can students decide not to participate after submitting the letter accepting the offer and signing the contract with JIP?
A: No. Exceptions are medical situations, family emergencies, and other unavoidable circumstances that prevent students from participating. Violation of the contract is punishable by Caltech's Honor Code.
III. HEALTH INSURANCE
Q1: Do students need health insurance while in Japan?
A: Yes. All host companies require students to submit a proof of enrollment.
Q2: Does my current provider provide coverage in Japan?
A: Check with your provider. If your provider does not provide the service while you are in Japan, or if you are not satisfied with the coverage offered by your current provider for overseas, purchase travel insurance. You can purchase travel insurance online or through travel agencies. (Note: For the best coverage, travel insurance should be purchased right after purchasing your airplane ticket, usually within 14 days of purchasing the airplane ticket. Check with the provider of your choice for more details.)
Q1: Do students need to apply for a visa?
A: Yes. Students who do not hold Japanese citizenship will need to apply for a visa.
Q2: What about students who hold dual citizenships of Japan and another country?
A: No. They do not need to apply for a visa to enter Japan. They need to use their Japanese passport to enter Japan. Note: Per Japanese law, persons with Japanese citizenship (passport) must enter Japan using the Japanese passport; cannot use the other country's passport to enter Japan.
For more information, please check with appropriate authorities.
Q3: What is the visa application process like?
A: First, your host company must apply for COE (Certificate of Eligibility) with Immigration Bureau of Japan. After COE is issued, students must bring COE along with other required documents to Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, located in Downtown Los Angeles, to apply for a visa. Students must enter Japan within 90-days after the COE is issued, not visa.
Q4: Is there any fee to apply for a visa, and who is responsible for the fee?
A: It is free for US Citizens. For non-US citizens, fee varies by nationality, and students are responsible for the payment. Please check with Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles for details. (The fee is reviewed and updated every April 1st, the first day of fiscal year in Japan.)