Resources for International Students
boston college career center
International students seeking jobs or internships in the United States have much to offer. Enhancing workplace diversity and bringing an array of different perspectives, international students have the ability to be competitive applicants to U.S.-based organizations. With an increased emphasis on globalization across all industries, proficiency in multiple languages, as well as familiarity with other cultures, have the potential to set international students apart in the career search.
International students may come across unique challenges during the job search. Some of the challenges that you might be worried about may include your work eligibility in the U.S., employer commitment to hiring international students, and trying to find the right words to express yourself professionally. To help ease some of these worries, the Career Center at Boston College provides resources to help you with your job search and connect you to additional resources.
If you have any additional questions, please schedule an appointment through EagleLink to meet with a Career Advisor.
Thea Bowman House, 72 College Road | (617) 552-8005 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Going Global | Country-specific employment and career information, including worldwide internship and job postings
H1Base | Learn about employers who hire international students
H1VisaJobs | Online database of H-1B sponsoring employers
Howjsay | A free, online dictionary of English pronunciations
Interexchange | Browse this site for experiential learning opportunities (not for finding permanent work in the U.S. or another country)
International Student | "Working in the U.S. as an International Student" – Online tutorial outlining the options that you have as an international student with an F-1 visa
International Student Resources | Comprehensive online resource database for international students including information on financial aid, immigration, college search, language instruction, job search strategies, and test preparation
Office of International Students & Scholars | Information about on and off-campus employment
Scholarship America | Scholarship resources for international students
Visuwords | Modern dictionary that represents languages visually
- On-Campus Work—includes work for Boston College, off-campus employment with a contract-based educational affiliation with the University, or work for commercial firms on campus, which provide services to students.
- Optional Practical Training (OPT)—a period of paid employment that is directly related to your field of study. *Note – it can take up to three months to be approved by the government for your OPT.
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT)—Off-campus employment directly related to your field of study, which is either:
- Required for your degree or dissertation
- For academic credit towards your degree
- Requires one-two weeks approval by your academic department and OISS
- On-Campus Work
- Academic Training—employment directly related to a student’s major field of study and an integral or critical part of his/her academic program.
- Work Permission for Dependents of J-1 visa holders
- Meet with your International Student Advisor in OISS to explore your eligibility for jobs or internships.
- Ensure you are able to explain the visa options and work eligibility to employers.
- Once you know you qualify for an internship, start looking for them. Check EagleLink or other internship search engines and meet with a BC Career Center Advisor to discuss your options.
- Ensure that your Visa and other documentation are up-to-date.
- Bring a copy of your resume and cover letter to the Career Center during drop-ins to have it reviewed by a Career Advisor.
- Apply for the desired position.
- Once you receive a job or internship offer, you must fill out the necessary forms at the OISS located at the Thea Bowman House, 72 College Road, Chestnut Hill, MA and get them approved. Make sure you understand what documents are required for you to begin working.
- Virtually all hiring managers prefer to hire graduates who bring real-world experience to their organization. Therefore, it is paramount that students, especially those interested in notoriously competitive fields, seek internship opportunities.
- Internships do more than just look good on your resume. You can build a network of professional and personal contacts, develop the skills employers are seeking, and build confidence/motivation/professional work habits you need to excel.
- Ultimately, an internship can get you a foot in the door with major companies or influential organizations.
- Exporters to your country
- U.S. companies active in your language region/doing business in your home country
- Others from your home country who are officers or owners of companies
- Others from your home country who have jobs in the U.S.
- Former international students with jobs in the U.S.
- Smaller companies
- Companies in rural areas that are exporting
- Your home country consulate
- International job fairs
Following content taken from:
- Finding the right words to express yourself professionally in a language that is not native can be difficult.
- Take advantage of campus resources to practice your English and the vocabulary you need to make a positive impression on an employer in the U.S.
- When your student work eligibility expires, in order to continue working in the U.S., your employer will be required to sponsor you for a “change of status” to a work visa. This transition requires careful planning in advance of the expiration of your current immigration status.
- Not all employers have their own immigration department, therefore it is important that you are aware of the time it will take to change your status and be proactive in making sure your employer is aware.
- Because of these facts, as well as the costs involved in changing an employee’s immigration status, some employers will be hesitant to hire international students. This is why you must be prepared to demonstrate what you can bring to the organization as well as the benefits of hiring a non-U.S. citizen.
- Some employers fear international employees will return to their home country soon after the employer has invested time, money, training resources, and possibly sponsoring them for a work visa.
- It is important to show the employer your loyalty to the company and how you are an asset to the company’s overseas operations.
- International students often limit their job search to the east or west coasts. The competition for these jobs becomes very intense. Be open to all locations for employment.
- Begin your job search early and be prepared to devote extensive time to it.
- Learn everything you can about the process through which an employer can obtain an H-1 visa for you. In some cases, you’ll need to be the one to explain the legal process to an employer.
- Don’t downplay the importance of the eligibility process—it is better to discuss the process and seriously assess the situation before you and your employer go too far, only to realize that you are ineligible.
- If you’re willing to pay any fees associated with your application process, let your employer know ahead of time.
- Note any differences between writing a resume in your home country and in the United States (see “Cultural Differences” handout).
- It is crucial to start networking with professors, fellow students, and others on or around campus. Connect with them via email or LinkedIn and follow up to make sure they remember you after your initial meeting.
- If English is not your native tongue, make sure to practice frequently by spending time reading American articles and publications about your industry.
Example of how to set up international resumes
Sample resumes: http://www.internationalstudent.com/resume_writing/samples/
How to set up a resume for a U.S. employer
A resume for a U.S. employer is a concise, attractive marketing tool that summarizes job skills, accomplishments, and academic background relevant to your employment objective. It is not a detailed chronological list of academic and formal work experience.
You should include:
- Full Name
- Contact Information in the U.S.
- Career Objective (optional)
- Summary of Qualifications
- Education (highest degree obtained first)
- Relevant Experience (most recent experience first)
- Leadership Experience (optional)
- Honors & Awards (optional)
- Languages (other than English)
You should not include:
- TOEFL Score
- Immigration Status
- Hometown/Home Country
- Marital Status
- Personal Interests/Hobbies
- ID information or license
Organizations on campus
Joining campus organizations is a great way to connect with your peers and expose you to additional professional development opportunities.