Off-Campus Employment

Welcome to the Off-Campus Employment Guide tailored for international students on an F-1 visa at Principia College. This guide is your go-to resource for understanding the various opportunities and processes related to working off-campus while maintaining your student status. Whether you’re exploring Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), or seeking insights on off-campus jobs within the U.S. and beyond, this section provides essential information to help you make informed decisions about your career development. Read on to learn about the pathways available to you and how to make the most of your off-campus employment opportunities.

View articles that will help you employment and internships in the U.S.

Relevant Articles

Can I work off-campus as an international student on an F-1 visa?

Yes, you can work off-campus within the regulations of an F-1 visa. Off-campus work is often done through internships, which can provide valuable work experience related to your major.

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

CPT is off-campus employment directly related to your major field of study. It fulfills a curricular requirement within your major and earns academic credit. You must have been enrolled full-time for two semesters to be eligible for CPT.

What's the process of getting an internship through CPT?

The process involves finding an internship, applying, getting accepted, finalizing the academic contract with the Career Center and faculty advisor, requesting CPT from ISPaSO, and receiving CPT authorization on your I-20.

How many hours can I work with CPT, and does it affect my student status?

While classes are in session, you are generally advised to work not more than 20 hours per week with CPT to maintain your full-time student status. But during official school breaks, you can work full-time.

What's the process for applying for OPT after graduation?

To apply for OPT, you need to work with the International Student Services office (ISPaSO). They will guide me through the application, including the required forms and documents.

Can I work off-campus jobs within the U.S. before graduation?

Yes, you can do pre-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) for off-campus jobs. However, it’s generally recommended to use OPT after graduation to maximize your post-completion OPT period.

Can I work outside the U.S. during my time as a student?

Yes, you can work outside the U.S. without needing work authorization from the U.S. Work authorization rules apply only when you’re within the United States. Working in your home country can be beneficial for earning money, maintaining connections, and building career networks.

Remember that internships and employment opportunities can enhance your learning experience and prepare you for your career. The Career Center and ISPaSO at Principia College are here to assist you in navigating the process and making the most of your opportunities.