Scholars' Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to have health insurance? 

Yes, all scholars and their dependents must have health insurance while in the United States – this is a requirement of the U.S. Department of State. When we mail your DS-2019(s) to you, we will include some brochures for insurance policies that we know are available to scholars on J-1 visas. To read more about the Department of State’s requirements, please visit their website and click on Insurance.

Can I take classes while I am working/doing research at Kent State? 

There are no regulatory prohibitions against J scholars taking classes, though the classes you intend to take should not interfere with your primary activity (work/ research/teaching/etc.). You cannot be admitted to a degree seeking program; if you would like to begin a program at Kent State, you will need to change your status and speak with an ISSS advisor. If you are interested in taking a class or two, you will need to speak with an admissions counselor in International Admissions.

Can my family accompany me to Kent State? 

If you are married and/or have children, our office can provide them with a dependent DS-2019 - please send us a copy of the biographical page of their passport. If you would like your parents or other family to join you, they should come on a B visa.

What is my spouse eligible to do while in the U.S.?

 J-2 dependents can enroll in classes or apply for work authorization. If your spouse would like to work, he or she should read more about the guidelines for applying for work authorization (please refer to the menu on the left). If your child is under 18, he or she may enroll in school – Kent City Schools

If you have other questions regarding your status, please contact an ISSS advisor:, 330-672-7980.