Do you have questions about employment at and beyond F&M? Are you considering graduate school in the future?
- The Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development (OSPGD) helps F-1 international students explore and identify career paths, learn about the job market in the U.S. and abroad, develop effective job search tools, and prepare for graduate school.
- The Office of International Student Services helps F-1 international students determine the legal and appropriate processes to follow in order to gain work experience.
Use the prompts below to learn about resources offered by both offices.
Register an Internship For Credit
Make an OSPGD Advising Appointment
OSPGD has compiled the below resources for F&M students. This information is not intended to serve as or in place of legal guidance. OSPGD does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained on referenced websites.
I want to...
You can search for and read about specific resources in this section. In the section below, are brief profiles of F1 internsational students and alumni.
...work on campusThe first step in identifying on-campus employment opportunities is to utilize OSPGD's online resource database, Handshake to search for open positions.The next step is to visit the International Student Services Office or the Student Employment Office to understand which immigration documents are required for new hire paperwork. More information about the paperwork process and securing a Social Security Number is available here.
...pursue an internship in my home country or abroad
You can absolutely pursue an internship in your home country, and you can do so before declaring or regardless of your major. You do not have to do an internship for credit in your home country unless you want to.
OSPGD advisers can help you identify opportunities and prepare your resume and any other internship application documents. We suggest utilizing Interstride to identify opportunities in your home country and to learn about the preferred resume format used in your country. We advise all students --domestic and international-- to contact and network with family and friends to learn about potential opportunities. Connecting to the larger F&M alumni community through LinkedIn is also a great step and joining LinkedIn groups, such as the F&M International Student and Alumni Group can also be beneficial.
If you are interested in pursuing an internship abroad, in a country other than your home country, one of the easiest way to do so is through a specific program. F&M's Office of Off-Campus Study offers a variety of approved programs, some of which include an internship component. Other organizations, such as IES Internships, are specifically dedicated to helping students secure international internships, and all of the appropriate visas, for a fee. If you want to pursue an opportunity on your own, you will need to research that country's visa requirements and restrictions before looking for internship opportunities.
In some countries, undergraduate internships are not common practice. One way to gain experience is through volunteering. There are a number of websites which detail volunteering opportunities, some of which contain more structured programs and charge a fee to participate. Select websites include: Idealist, Transitions Abroad and Go Abroad.
...pursue an internship in the U.S.
In addition to searching for internships via Handshake or job/internship boards, OSPGD advisers can help you identify opportunities and prepare your resume and any other internship application documents. You can use Interstride to search for information about living and working in various U.S. cities. However, all F1 International students completing an internship in the U.S. must:
- have a declared major, and
- do so for academic credit (internship for credit; further information here).
Your internship experience must be related to your declared major (not a joint major, a minor, or a general area of study) per the Curricular Practice Training (CPT) requirements.
It is also important to note that the major you choose may impact the type of internships and post-graduate experiences for which you are eligible in the U.S.
...work in my home country or abroad after I graduate from F&MWhile many international F1 students/recent graduates may stay and work in the U.S. for a period of time, the majority of F1 students/recent graduates do return to their home countries to work.OSPGD advisers can help you identify opportunities and prepare your resume and any other employment application documents, such as cover letters. We suggest utilizing Interstride to identify opportunities in your home country and to learn about the preferred resume format used in your country. We advise all students --domestic and international-- to contact and network with family and friends to learn about potential opportunities. Connecting to the larger F&M alumni community through LinkedIn is also a great step and joining LinkedIn groups, such as the F&M International Student and Alumni Group can also be beneficial.LinkedIn can be used to search for jobs worldwide, as are the multiple job boards listed in this article. Additionally, this article details several countries' employment needs and visa processes. Depending on your field of interest, you can search for companies and/or positions using industry-specific websites. Some international F1 students/recent graduates pursue opportunities at multinational corporations which may allow them to travel or work in variety of countries. The Forbes Global 2000 lists the largest publicly traded countries in the world. Idealist and Devex contain information on international non-profit organizations.
...work in the U.S. after I graduate from F&MAs an international F1 student, your visa allows for one year of full-time work authorization in your major field of study, called Occupational Practical Training (OPT). Specific steps for OPT application can be found on the International Student Services website. STEM majors are eligible to work beyond 12 months via an OPT extension program. Details and instructions can be found here.
While you are authorized to work in the U.S. via OPT, not all employers will hire F1 students/recent graduates. The most common reason is that F1 students/recent graduates are only eligible to work at a company for one year (perhaps more with a STEM OPT extension) and then have to return home. From an employer perspective, in may not make sense to hire someone and train them for a job that they can only hold for a year.
Some companies are willing to help recent graduates extend their working time past one year via the H1B work visa program. However, this a lottery visa program and just because an employer is willing to sponsor your application it does not mean that an H1B visa will be granted. You can use MyVisaJobs to search for top employers who sponsor H1B visas — searchable by region, industry, visa status, country of citizenship, and more. Interstride also includes a secion on H1B visas.
In addition to working with your OSPGD adviser, you can also use traditional job boards/aggregators as well as LinkedIn.
...attend graduate school outside of the U.S.
If you are interested in pursuing a Master's degree or a Ph.D., outside of the U.S. we suggest that you begin researching programs and requirements during your second semester, junior year. The World University Rankings and MasterStudies.com are both good starting points. We also advise that you be meet and work with your faculty advisors and professors during this time period to further discuss your plans and your fields of interest.
OSPGD advisers can help you develop and refine your resume or C.V. (curriculum vitae - more common outside the U.S.) and your application documents which may include personal statements or statements of intent. You can also view our graduate school resources in Handshake.
The timeline for applying to graduate programs varies depending on the country and area of study, but most applications are due between October and March. You will also need to consider how you plan to funding your graduate school program. You may want to consider a fellowship (see F&M's page and this page), or scholarships.
...attend graduate school in the U.S.If you are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in the medical field, we advise that you meet with OSPGD's Health Professions Adviser, Marissa Sheaf and view her website. Similarly, F1 international students interested in law school or engineering school, should meet with OSPGD's Legal and STEM Professions Adviser, Mike Vitlip, and visit his websites: Legal and Engineering.If you are interested in pursuing a Master's degree or a Ph.D., we suggest first meeting and working with your faculty advisors and professors in your field of interest. OSPGD advisers can help you develop and refine your resume and personal statement, and suggest using these resources as well as our Handshake resources as you begin your graduate school search.Nearly all U.S. graduate programs require entrance exams scores as part of your application. The most common test is the GRE, however other tests are required for medical, law, and MBA programs. The GRE is a computer-based test offered almost daily in locations throughout the U.S., including at a test site in Lancaster. We recommend taking any graduate entrance exam during the summer before your senior year. F1-International students may also have to submit TOEFL exam scores with their applications.The timeline for applying to graduate school varies depending on the area of study, but most applications are due between October and January. Additionally, graduate schools do charge an application fee. You will also need to consider how you plan to funding your graduate school program. You may want to consider a fellowship (see F&M's page and this page), or scholarships.
F&M's Office of Student & Post-Graduate Development and Office of International Programs are pleased to partner on offering to students and graduates Interstride, an interactive career platform designed to enhance the career exploration and opportunity search experience for international students and students looking to live and work globally.
U.S. Visa and Country Insights - Search for and learn about which employers have sponsored H1-B visas and access guides to numerous countries including region-specific job postings, culture, health and safety information, and more.
Job and Internship Opportunities - Review a robust database of real-time job and internship postings from top global employers and U.S. employers proven to hire international students.
Networking and Mentorship - Connect and mentor with classmates and alumni who have navigated similar opportunity searches in the past.
Webinars and Workshops - Benefit from free monthly workshops and webinars on international job search and visa-related topics.
Productivity - Organize your exploration and search with checklists, career assessments, meeting trackers, and more.
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