Visiting Student/Intern Program

Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago is accepting applications for visiting student positions. Visiting students work on research projects in collaboration with TTIC faculty. Positions typically last for three months during the May 1 - October 1 period, however visits during a different time of the year may also be possible. There are no formal requirements for obtaining a visiting student position and applications from undergraduates are welcome.

International applicants requesting visa assistance from TTIC must prove English proficiency in one of the following ways:

Visiting student applicants scoring less than the minimums on an assessment or test may be conditionally allowed to be visiting students at TTIC, provided they attend mandatory, Institute-approved English courses or individualized instruction at the University of Chicago English Language Institute during the first 3 months of their visit.

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FAQs

What do visiting students do?

Visiting students work on research projects in collaboration with TTIC faculty. It is expected that the project will result in a tangible outcome such as a software system or research paper. Visiting students are assigned cubicles and workstations alongside full-time students and benefit from being part of the academic environment at TTIC, which includes reading/discussion groups, seminar talks given by leading researchers in our colloquium series, and access to cluster computing facilities.

Visiting students also enjoy daily coffee & cookie breaks, access to campus services at the University of Chicago including libraries, transportation, and athletic facilities, and all that the amazing city of Chicago has to offer!

What are the requirements for applying?

There are no formal requirements for obtaining a visiting student position and applications from undergraduates are welcome. In the past, successful applicants typically have had prior research experience or at least research potential (as evidenced by strong grades and recommendation letters).

When is the deadline to apply?

There are no official deadlines for most visiting student positions, but in general it is suggested that you apply 5-6 months before your desired start date.

When will I hear back about my application?

Offers come from TTIC but are initiated by individual faculty members. Your application will be directed to the faculty members that you list when you apply. The exact timeline for a response is hard to gauge, because of the rolling nature of both applications and offer decisions.

What are typical times during the year that visiting students are at TTIC?

Visiting students typically come during the summer months, but visits occur throughout the year depending on the project and faculty host. Since TTIC follows a quarter system, summer visits typically begin in mid-June and go for 12-15 weeks. Visiting during the summer is recommended because you will be part of a large cohort of other visiting students. We hosted 27 visiting students during summer 2016 and 21 during summer 2017!

Do visiting students receive funding?

Visiting students typically receive some level of funding from TTIC. Funding depends on many factors, including the faculty host(s), the availability of external funding such as grants, and the experience and background of the visiting student. Students might also be funded by their home institution or home country government. Occasionally, funds are not available but students are still interested in visiting on a volunteer basis in order to gain research experience.

Whether or not students receive funding, all visiting students are required to maintain health insurance that meets the requirements of the Institute. Also, with TTIC located on the University of Chicago campus, visiting students are required to maintain student life privileges at the University of Chicago. This entails a modest fee but is required in order to enable TTIC building access as well as the use of campus libraries, transportation, and athletic facilities. For visiting students who receive funding from TTIC, any additional costs related to insurance or student life fees are often covered by TTIC as well, though this varies by faculty host and funding source.

What should I include as additional documentation on the application?

For additional documentation, most applicants upload a cover letter describing themselves, their research interests, and their goals for the visiting student program. Some also include transcripts or publications.

Who should I choose to write recommendation letters for me?

There are no strict requirements on this, but it will be most beneficial for us if you list individuals who know you well and can comment on your research ability. If you have not yet completed any research, list individuals who can comment on your potential for doing research. These might include your research advisor at your home institution, past research mentors or internship hosts, or a faculty member from your institution who knows you well.

What English proficiency level is required? How is it assessed?

International applicants requesting visa assistance from TTIC must prove English proficiency in one of the following ways:

Visiting student applicants scoring less than the minimums on an assessment or test may be conditionally allowed to be visiting students at TTIC, provided they attend mandatory, Institute-approved English courses or individualized instruction at the University of Chicago English Language Institute during the first 3 months of their visit.

Which IELTS test should I take?

The Academic test is preferred. From the IELTS:

“The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English speaking environment. It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training. This approach is widely supported by the institutions that recognise IELTS.”

Does TTIC provide housing for visiting students?

While TTIC does not have designated housing for visiting students, there are a variety of affordable and convenient options for short-term housing in the area. TTIC can provide information on convenient options close to campus.

Does TTIC cover travel/relocation expenses?

These expenses are typically not covered, but the exact details of what expenses are covered depends on the faculty host, duration of visit, and source of funding.

Do I use the same application whether I’m interested in a 3-month visit or a longer visit?

Yes. If you are interested in a longer internship, please provide information about your desired duration in a cover letter, which you can upload as part of your application in the field labeled “additional documentation to support your application”.

I have other questions about the program. Who do I ask?

You can send email to visiting-students@ttic.edu.