Internships for International Students
Internship experience during or immediately after your degree can give you an integrated learning experience, practical job skills, and intercultural business skills that can be helpful in exploring and pursuing your career goals.
International students can apply for unpaid or paid internships, though there are additional considerations related to your student visa. Please see the International Services Office regarding Curricular Practice (CPT) Training allowance.
Applying to US Internships
For internships on CPT or Optional Practical Training (OPT) allowances, your internship or job must be directly related to your degree program. Please see the International Services Office for more information on this requirement.
If you are applying for CPT or OPT, you must receive your work authorization prior to starting your internship. Failure to do so will jeopardize your visa status.
When looking for internships it’s important to know that if an employer requires permanent work authorization, then they’re not interested in international applicants. Many employers use their internship program as a “pipeline” for full-time hires. If they’re not willing or able to sponsor an H1B work visa, they may not consider international applicants for internships either.
In addition to internships you can also to gain work experience by working on campus. See the student employment page or talk to your department about opportunities.
Internships in Your Home Country
If you plan to return to your home country for an internship, you can start with your family, friends, and extended network. Such resources often have unexpected connections to employers and options. You can also:
- Use internship search engines in your home country
- Create a list of interesting employers
- Investigate if your country has a US Chamber of Commerce partnership highlighting multi-national businesses
There are also some great articles on internships for international students: