Employment Options for International Students
Employment Options for F-1 Students
International students who are maintaining their F-1 status may work on-campus for up to 20 hours a week while school is in session. Students may work more than 20 hours a week during official school breaks when classes are not in session, as long as they have permission from their supervisor. The Human Resources office maintains an online job board for student employment opportunities.
CPT: Curricular Practical Training
CPT is work experience related to a person’s major which is an integral part of the established curriculum and is coordinated through Career Services. It is not an entitled benefit.
- Students must have been in lawful student status for at least nine months and you must currently be in status. Graduate students in programs which require immediate participation in curricular practical training may begin their training before they have been here nine months.
- The training must either be for credit or required for graduation, and must be documented by the Westminster College Catalog.
- Students must remain a full-time student while participating in CPT
OPT: Optional Practical Training
OPT is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. It is designed to provide students with an opportunity to gain actual employment experience and to “round out” or complement students’ academic work. This is not an entitled benefit. An F-1 student can be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training after completion of studies. Students may not take any classes during OPT.
**Please read the OPT handout AND review the OPT PowerPoint Presentation prior to making an OPT appointment with an International Student Advisor
Employment Options for J-1 Exchange Students
J-1 exchange students can be authorized in certain situations for employment characterized as Academic Training, the name used by the Department of State (DOS) for certain types of study-related employment. Academic Training is flexible in its format and offers a variety of employment situations to supplement your academic program in the United States. It is available before completion of your program of study (that is, concurrent with your studies) as well as afterwards.
Eligibility for J-1 Academic Training:
- Your primary purpose in the United States must be to study and not Academic Training.
- You must be in good academic standing at the school named on your DS-2019 form.
- The proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study in the United States.
- Throughout your Academic Training you must maintain permission to stay in the United States, in J-1 student status, and apply for extensions as necessary.
- You must maintain health insurance coverage, as required by federal regulations.
All Academic Training must be authorized by the Responsible Officer (Sara Demko at Westminster College) prior to beginning employment.