Training Plan Guide

A step-by-step guide for completing the DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan

About the DS-7002

The DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan, or the Training Plan, is a Department of State-required document for all J-1 Interns and Trainees. The purpose of the Training Plan is to create a comprehensive framework of what the Intern or Trainee will be doing and how they will be trained throughout their program. The data you input into our system will be populated into the government form.

It is important that the Training Plan be completed in detail, as this document will be presented during the participant’s interview at the U.S. Embassy. It will also be uploaded to SEVIS, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, which is maintained by the Department of Homeland Security.

Watch the instructional video below for tips on completing your host application and beginning your participant’s Training Plan. 

Write a New Training Plan - Create Training Plan Phases

Refer to our process page for instructions on beginning your host application. Once you are ready to write the Training Plan, click on the participant’s hyperlinked name under the “Training Plans” tab to work on their Training Plan specifically.

From there, scroll down to the “DS-7002/Training Plan Phases” section and click the “Add Training Plan Phase” button.

  • All training plans must have a minimum of one phase.
  • No phase of training can exceed 4 months, so you’ll need to add multiple, unique phases if your participant’s program will be longer than 4 months. Each phase must be different and build off the previous phase.
  • Responses for each question should be detailed enough for InterExchange and consular officials to understand what your participant will be doing and learning. We recommend each response include at least 3-4 sentences.
  • Explain any industry-specific acronyms or abbreviations following their initial use or in the “Additional Phase Remarks” section.

Write a New Training Plan - Answer Phase Questions

Select Phase Supervisor

Select the phase supervisor from the dropdown list.

  • The phase supervisor is the person responsible for providing day-to-day, on-site training during this particular phase.
  • The phase supervisor may be different from the main program supervisor (selected in the Program Information host form). The main supervisor is InterExchange’s point of contact for overall program logistics.
  • The phase supervisor must sign the phase. If the phase supervisor does not have an InterExchange account, invite them to the application by clicking “Invite Colleague” in the “Contacts” tab.
    • Logins to the InterExchange site cannot be shared – each contact must have their own login.
    • Only members of your organization, with company email addresses, may have access to training plans.

Provide a descriptive phase name to indicate the objective, focus, or departmental rotation for this phase. 

For example, “Social Media Marketing” and “Marketing Analytics” are better phase names than Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Indicate the first and last day of the phase.

  • No phase can exceed 4 months. If your program is longer than 4 months, you will need more than one phase!
  • There cannot be any gaps between phases (e.g., if the first phase ends on September 2nd, the next phase must begin on September 3rd, even if the 3rd is a weekend or holiday).
  • The cumulative phase dates must exactly match the overall program dates (e.g., the first phase must begin on the program begin date, and the last phase must end on the program end date, with no gaps in between phases).
  • For hospitality programs that are six months or longer, ensure there is a minimum of three departmental rotations and phases. This is a J-1 Intern/Trainee program regulation for all hospitality programs. 

Introduce the general concept of this training phase and the participant’s role during this time. Clarify how this phase fits into both your company’s mission and the academic/professional background of the intern/trainee.

For example:

“The participant will train with Career Training USA’s Communication Department. They will learn strategies for individual and mass communication with various stakeholders and clients. This phase will build upon their communications coursework in a practical setting.”

Outline the goals and objectives the training in this phase is intended to accomplish and the expected outcomes. This response is not meant to articulate how the participant will help you achieve organizational goals and objectives.

For example:

“The goal of this phase is to strengthen the participant’s communication skills by teaching different writing styles for various audiences. By the end of the phase, the participant will be able to effectively write content for both native and non-native English speakers, and understand how to both execute and measure communications and outreach campaigns.” 

Include all phase supervisors’ names, titles, and a brief description of their relevant professional backgrounds that qualify them to provide training in the participant’s field.

The phase supervisor who signs this phase must be one of the supervisors referenced in this response. The main program supervisor should also be referenced. 

Please use this template for each supervisor:

  • Name
  • Title
  • Education
  • Years of experience in the field
  • Years with the organization

For example:

“Jane Doe, Communications Manager. MA in Communications. Nine years experience within the communications field, three years at InterExchange”

Since this is a cultural exchange program, the expectation is that you will help facilitate cultural activities outside the training environment. Provide specific examples of cultural activities outside the typical workplace experience that you will facilitate.

Cultural activities can be anything that introduces your participant to American culture! This could include bringing them to your office’s favorite local restaurant, including them in annual or monthly diversity programming, showing them local holiday celebrations, or including them in company-sponsored events.

Please use this template as a starting point for your response:

  • During this phase, we will involve this participant in (list any company sponsored events, ie. happy hour, potluck, holiday celebration, etc.).
  • We plan to show this participant (local museum, monument, attraction, or historic site, etc.).
  • We plan to bring them to (local restaurants, festivals, or volunteer activity, etc.).

For example:

“During this phase, we plan to involve the participant in our annual DEI observances of Black History Month, Women’s History Month, AAPI Heritage Month, and Pride month. We plan to show this participant the City Art Museum and the Local Nature Reserve. Lastly, we plan to bring the participant to our favorite local restaurant, Good Eats, for our regular happy hour. Every year, our organization volunteers with a local food bank, and the participant will be included in this.”

Provide specific examples of what the participant will learn by training in the United States with your organization and how this learning builds upon their previous academic coursework (if they are interns) or upon their previous work experience (if they are trainees).

For example: 

“The participant will learn how to create and manage email, social media, and website content that is attractive, SEO optimized, and catered to individual audiences. They will learn how to write content for and manage communication styles for various audience segments and subscribers. They will enhance their communication skills by learning to create content for webinars and other external communications events.”

In this section, explain the way in which the Intern or Trainee is going to learn the skills you listed previously, and how they will accomplish the goals of the training plan.

Be specific! Provide examples for each method or technique that you will use to teach your intern or trainee the relevant skills for this phase. You must demonstrate a plan for guided training, not simply an assignment of tasks.

For example:

“The participant will learn by shadowing the manager. During the first weeks of this phase they will be given process documents and style guides to learn best practices. Next, they will be given specific blog posts to write and have critiqued by the manager. They will also be asked to prepare a slate of social media posts for various clients.” 

Explain how the Intern or Trainee’s progress will be evaluated and how you will ensure that the goals and objectives of this phase are achieved.

What will a successful training look like for you and your Intern or Trainee? What criteria will you use to determine they’ve achieved the goals for the phase? How will you measure their progress? Be specific!

For example:

“The participant will send all work produced to the supervisor for review and critical feedback. They will meet one on one twice a week to ask questions, discuss obstacles, learning goals, and pending projects. At the end of this phase a written evaluation will be given to the participant.” 

Any miscellaneous information can be added to this section. Hosts may also continue their responses to any of the above questions here. 

If your office operates on a hybrid model, please note the planned in-office/remote schedule for the participant here, keeping in mind that they may participate remotely no more than 40% of their program (e.g., two out of five days per week).

For example:

“Participant will train in-office Monday through Thursday and will be remote on Fridays.”

Copy Training Plan Phases from a Prior Participant

If your current participant will be completing a similar training program as a past intern/trainee, you can copy the old Training Plan phases to the new application!

Copying phases will override any existing phase information, so we recommend copying phases at the beginning of the process. Review the short instructional video below to learn how to invite a new participant to your dashboard and how to copy phases from a previous training plan:

To copy phases from a prior participant:

  1. Click on the Training Plans tab in your host record. 
  2. Scroll to find the prior participant whose Training Plan you’d like to copy, then click on their hyperlinked name. 
  3. From there, scroll down to the bottom of the “DS-7002/Training Plan Phases” section. 
  4. Click on the “Copy Phases” button, found on the bottom right, underneath all of the phases
  5. Then select your new participant to copy the Training Plan to their application
  6. Once copied to your new participant, please review all of the phases and update any specific details relevant to the current participant and time period. 
  7. You are welcome to add new, additional phases as necessary by selecting the “Add Training Plan Phase” button

Review and Sign Training Plan

Complete the following when you’re ready to submit the training plan:

  • Confirm each answer is detailed, thorough, and responds to the phase questions in a way that makes it clear to a person outside of your field. The plan must be specific and clear and cannot include “see previous phase,” “etc,” “tbd,” or any variation.
  • Confirm each phase is unique and builds upon the previous phase(s). The only section that may repeat between phases is the Supervisors section!
  • Confirm that the plan does not encompass more than 20% clerical tasks.
  • Confirm that each phase is digitally signed by the phase supervisor listed. (The phase supervisor for each phase will sign by clicking the “Sign Phase” button.)
  • Ensure all phase signatures and the Host Employer agreement are signed by the contacts from their own account. Signatures cannot be provided by a proxy or by using another contact’s login details.
  • Ensure that the status of the training plan has changed to “Submitted.”

Send the Training Plan to the Participant

All host forms and documents must be completed and each phase must be signed by the phase supervisor before the Training Plan can be sent to the participant for review.

Once all aspects of your host application are complete, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the blue “Send Training Plan to Participant” button. This will notify the participant that the training plan is ready for review and will prompt them to sign the Participant Agreement.

NOTE: A signed Training Plan does not mean that the application has been submitted to InterExchange for review! Your participant must complete their portion of the application, pay the application fee, and then officially submit the application before InterExchange will begin our review process.

If you need to make adjustments to Training Plan phases after application submission, please contact InterExchange.

If we approve the training plan and overall program after the review process, you will be able to download a copy of the fully executed training plan from your online application.