We strongly discourage applying if you are not 100% sure. Nevertheless, the visa fee and the program fee will not be reimbursed except when a) serious personal injury or death in the immediate family (parent or sibling) or b) denial of visa issuance at the US Embassy prevent you from starting the program. If the application is cancelled before Form DS-2019 is issued, $1,050 is refunded (100% of the J-1 visa and insurance fees (minus a $200 non-refundable administrative fee). After Form DS-2019 is issued, but before arrival in the US, your refund will be $550 (50% of the J-1 visa fee (minus a $200 non-refundable administrative fee) and 100% of insurance fees are refunded. No refunds of any kind are issued after arrival in the US. SEVIS fees are non-refundable. In both cases, you are required to send back your original form DS-2019.