Working While Studying in the US: 5 Employment Opportunities for International Students

opportunities way indicated by concept compass on white background

One of the hardest parts of studying in the US, especially for those from other countries, is often being on a really tight budget. The solution for this quandary is to get a part-time job – and finding one is not really that hard, especially if you are not the pickiest.

However, there are legalities which need to be taken into consideration when one wants to work in the US while studying.

But don’t fret about not coming across this important bit of info earlier because this is it! We’re giving you the five main categories for international students who are thinking of working to earn extra cash.

1 – Employment On-Campus

This type of employment gives international students 20 hours maximum for work every week even while the school is on-going. This is the most common for students for two reasons: first, it is the easiest to obtain and second, one does not need the approval from USCIS.

However, it would be best if the hopeful student gets permission from the office handling them to ascertain all the necessary requirements for doing this.

2 – CPT or Curricular Practical Training

This specific type is necessary for those who need training related to their chosen degree. If you want to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, for instance, it would be wise that you get CPT and then work in a nursing home for the elderly. If you are studying to become a lawyer, acquiring a CPT and then apprenticing in a legal firm could be of great help to you.

Because you are doing this for cash and not just for training, you will need to pass the qualifications set by your employers. Do take note as well that there is no time limit in your CPT work so see to it that you will still be eligible for OPT after studying.

3 – OPT or Optional Practical Training

This is for international students who are allowed to work outside the campus for 20 hours every week while studying and 40 hours every week upon graduation or completion of one’s degree. The job, however, must be related to one’s course. The duration, it must be noted, should only last for a year or 12 months.

Aside from USCIS approval, there are so many requirements to be had and regulations to be followed for eligibility.

4 – Working Under Severe Economic Hardship

This allows students to work outside the campus during school session for a maximum of 20 hours every week. However, the student must have proof that he or she is really having a hard time, financially, to be able to get this type of employment.

Losing assistance-ship, getting medical bills for illnesses or injuries, and having low exchange rate (home currency VS US dollar values), are just some of the reasons international students have to get eligibility for this work.

5 – International Organization Employment

This, perhaps, is the most perfect for students from other countries since it allows one to do practically any job – even if it is not related to one’s degree or course. Interestingly, not a lot of International students are aware of this option. But now that you do, go on and ask about the requirements.

Marian Moore – Social Media Manager

Learn more about Greenhandshake