Yes, I agree that it sounds like an F-1 would be your best bet based on the details you’ve provided here. Of course, specifics regarding your situation will determine your true eligibility.
Major differences between the two:
Financing: An F-1 visa requires that the applicants education should be funded by personal sources or outsides sources. However a J-1 requires that a large portion of the funds come from an outside source like the government or the educational institution.
Employment: Both F-1 and J-1 visa holders may work full time when school is not in session. However J-1 visa holders must get special permission to do so.
Dependents: F-1 visa holder dependent’s may not seek employment J-1 visa holder dependents may ask for permission to do so.
Residency: J-1 holders must maintain ties to their home country for two years before they are eligible for different statuses, however you may ask for this requirement to be waved.
Again, based on the few details you’ve offered, I believe the J-1 is probably the best option.
To best determine which option is right for you, you should consult an immigration attorney. My company,can connect you with a seasoned immigration attorney that can help you through the process. If you’d like a consultation, check out our website and get in touch for a consultation.