Internships are part of the college experience for many students. A lot of students do not start to think about it until later in their college careers, so it is unique for me, since I am only a freshman. At least that’s what the Career Development Center said when entered their office in October 2015. Nevertheless, here is what does it take to make a summer internship a reality from the international student standpoint.
All international students studying in the United States are on a student F-1 Visa, which strictly disallows work outside of campus. This is because the primary purpose of the student is to study, not to work, which make sense, but it just makes things complicated for international students. So in order to have summer internship outside college campus, the international students need to plan the internship through school and make it part of a class or/and major requirement.
Firstly, students need to declare a major. Without declaring a major, international students are unable to “connect” the internship to a school experience. When the student declares a major, one gets a adviser.
Secondly, the adviser within the major helps the student pick the summer internship class. Also, this adviser is the college official that evaluates and grades student’s work.
Thirdly, the international student gets one page CPT (Curricular Practical Training)* from from the International Office. The student fills it out together with the academic adviser.
Next, the student registers for summer internship class, ranging from 1-4 credits.
Lastly, the company or firm sends a letter confirming details of the student´s employment, which is required with as part of CPT form. So when student gets the letter, one turns it in together with the CPT form to the international student office.
And there you go. Internship is all set up.
*CPT is a “a work authorization that will allow you to do internship”
Sukumar, Raghuram. “What Is the Difference Between OPT and CPT?” Happy Schools. Happy Schools, 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.