Obtaining a J1 visa to study in the United States is usually contingent on showing that you have sufficient financial resources to cover tuition and cost-of-living for the duration of your academic program.
This is a temporary visa program designed for students who intend to return to their country of origin following completion of their degree. This may or may not apply to your situation. There are also other visa programs that you may qualify for, so I suggest consulting the US State Department's website:
In order to receive a J1 visa, I understand that you must be accepted to an institution of higher education (this includes community colleges and technical colleges, both names for 2-year colleges) along with other requirements.
I think that the first step would be to find a city that sounds appealing to you, then contact the community or technical college in that city. The admissions office will likely be able to give you information about how to apply to their school as an international student.
As a side note, please keep in mind that you will have to pay higher tuition rates because you would be classified as an out-of-state student. If you live and work in a state for a specified period of time (usually one year), you may be eligible to become a state resident and pay a lower rate.
I am not an expert, but I hope that this information helps you.