International Students

International students need to consider researching the reality of their career choice as it relates to remaining in the U.S. for employment. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are careers which create a greater likelihood of being employed in the U.S. and gaining sponsorship for a H1B Visa. Often those careers are within STEM careers or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This is due to a shortage in domestic talent existing in those types of careers, therefore justifying the hiring of international talent.
As an international student, there are advantages to participating in campus interviewing. You possess a global perspective, understand cultural differences, and are able to adapt quickly to new situations and settings.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Professional Documents

Resumes & CVs

During your job or internship search most U.S. employers will ask for a resume as a way to apply for the position opening. Compared to one you might use at home, a U.S. resume may be terser, yet include more phrases in which you "sell" your skills and experience.

Professional documents are the same for all students applying for a job in the U.S. Please refer to the Professional Documents Section for further information and examples.

Job Search Resources
International Student Resources

Curious about campus life? Join GW's International Students Community or take a look at the the following guides for more information about life on campus and what to expect:

International Student Guide I: Getting Started

International Student Guide II: University Services

International Student Guide III: Getting Involved

CPT & OPT

For detailed information on employment, please see the University's policies for employment.

Curricular Practical Training & Optional Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a form of employment authorization that offers F-1 students an opportunity to apply academic study to a structured work training experience prior to degree completion.

EVIDENCE OF ENROLLMENT

In order for F-1 students to engage in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) they must be enrolled in the appropriate internship as designated by program of study or the Co-op course: COOP 0000.

To request enrollment in the Co-op course, international students should submit the following support documents to GSEHD OSL:

    1. A proposal letter from describing the type of work training you would like to do and how the proposed training is directly related to your field of study.

    2. A letter (on letterhead) from your employer indicating job offer and dates of employment.
    3. A letter (on GW letterhead) from your academic advisor containing the following information:

  • Indication that he/she has reviewed student’s proposal and employment letters
  • Brief description of degree program and how the proposed training is directly related to the academic program
  • Explanation of how the proposed employment is an integral part of student’s curriculum of study
  • Estimated date of graduation Indication that he/she is making normal progress toward degree completion and that the proposed training will not interfere with continued satisfactory progress by the graduation date indicated on student’s I-20

4. RTF for Co-op for appropriate semester.

Interviewing & Language Skills

For information on how to interview and prepare for your interview, visit our Interviewing & Networking page.

Once you have had the opportunity to "market yourself" to an employer and feel that they are potentially interested in hiring you, address the issue of your work status during the first or second interview, but no later than the time of the job offer. U.S. employers value honesty and directness.

It is your responsibility to educate the employer about the process of hiring a foreign national. Make sure that you have complete and accurate knowledge of your options and can communicate them to an employer in a clear and confident manner. Information on employment authorization is available at the International Services Office.

Don’t forget that you should not try to hide the fact that you are an international student; you should be proud of it! It is an asset, not a burden! You have many skills, a global perspective, and experiences that set you apart from American students.

Improving Communication Skills

For International Students without a bilingual fluency in English, strong communication skills are essential for prospective employees. Employers are sometimes concerned international students will not be able to effectively communicate with customers and other personnel. You will want to:

  • Demonstrate that you are proficient in speaking and writing proper English
  • Emphasize that you are bi-lingual or multi-lingual, a big bonus for many multi-national companies
  • Practice your language skills through class discussions, presentations, and club meetings