Skip Navigation

The Summer Institute in Tropical Medicine and Public Health

June 16 - July 25, 2015

Foreign Students

Proficiency in the English language is required to participate in this institute. A student with poor English language skills will likely have difficulty in class.

Important Information for Individuals Who Will Require a Visa to Enter the U.S.

Participants who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents must be admitted to the U.S. in the appropriate visa status.

In the past, the Office of International Services (OIS) advised Institute participants who were not being funded from a U.S. source to apply for a B1/B2 visa for entry to the U.S. as a tourist. On August 19th, 2010, USCIS published guidance on its website that indicates that enrolling in a course is a violation of B1/B2 status.

Since Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH) Institute participants do not meet Institutional standards for F-1 student visa sponsorship, the OIS, in cooperation with the BSPH Summer Institutes, will sponsor participants for J-1 Exchange Visitor status.  Based on this updated guidance from the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS), participants are now strongly encouraged to follow the appropriate steps to secure a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa for participation in a BSPH Institute. Foreign participants who will be funded by a U.S.-based institution or organization should also apply for a J-1 visa. Among other requirements, in order to obtain a J-1 visa, the student will have to show proof of adequate funding for their stay in the United States, and is also required to obtain health insurance.

Note: Internet MPH students who are participating in the Institutes must apply for F-1 student visas since they are pursuing a degree program. Exceptions are made only on a case-by-case basis.

It can take several months to secure the appropriate visa stamp to enter the United States, so please plan accordingly. Specifically, individuals who will require F1 or J1 visas must submit all required documentation to the Bloomberg School of Public Health 90 days in advance of the Institute in which they will participate. In the case of the Summer Institute in Tropical Medicine & Public Health, the deadline for foreign applicants is March 17, 2014. Immediately upon submitting an online application to this Institute, all international students should contact the coordinator ( to begin the J-1 application process.

Here are some important resources for foreign students about the J-1 visa process. Please read through the following links thoroghouly and carefully:

Institute participants who do not heed this advice risk being denied entry to the U.S. at the U.S. port of entry by USCIS.  If you have any questions about visa sponsorship please contact