International students are permitted to obtain work authorization from the US government for internships and full-time career opportunities under specific circumstances, whether during their studies or after graduation.
For employers who are considering hiring international students, please refer to the University Career Center’s US Employer’s Guide to Hiring International Students for comprehensive information. Below, we highlight some very important information to get you started.
It’s important to first understand the barriers that international students face.They often have difficulty finding internships to further their learning and professional development because many companies are not familiar with the co-curricular training options available to them. These training options allow international students to pursue internships or employment while completing their degree without requiring employer sponsorship.
There are two types of student visas, each with its own rules: the F-1 student visa and the J-1 exchange visitor visa. Employment rules for each visa type are outlined in the resources linked below. In each case, the student bears the responsibility for ensuring the required paperwork and clearance is completed. Employers simply need to verify the details of the internship.
For many international students, an internship is their first experience within an American workplace. You can help them feel supported by:
Clearly explaining workplace norms and expectations
Asking how they are enjoying their time in the US and offering suggestions if they are struggling with the transition
Asking about holidays in their home country that they might be missing out on and finding a way to mark the occasion at work
Respecting differences in their communication style and cultural boundaries