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Top Jobs for International Students in the USA

When you study overseas in the US, a job can help pay bills and fund your leisure and travel. It would certainly expand your budget. Many international students look for paid extra-curricular work while they are studying.

When hunting for a suitable job, it‡s crucial to take many things into account, including the laws in the US. The US may have different regulations to wherever you come from when it comes to what types of work are available to international students. This is why it‡s so important to check the regulations before you apply for any jobs.

One other key thing to take into account is whether the job would interrupt your studies and your lifestyle.

As a rule of thumb when deciding what would be a good job for an international student you should seek satisfactory answers to questions like:

  • Will this job fit with my student lifestyle?
  • Will it leave me enough time for my course and studying?
  • Will it help me develop enhanced language skills?
  • Will it assist me in integrating more quickly into this new culture?
  • Will it help me meet new friends?
  • Will the work experience be beneficial and open up future opportunities for me?.

You may of course already know what you want to do, but here is a list of some great jobs for international students.

Work at the University

Working on campus is among the most popular choices for international students. In the USA this really is the only work that is available to international students, but there are many different jobs from which to choose.

You could, for example, opt to work in a number of places from one of the cafeterias to a computer center. You could also see if there are any roles that need filling at the students‡ union. This is a good opportunity to get involved in current issues and to help other students at the university. Depending on the union, you might be able to aid other international students, improving their experiences at the university.

An increasing number of US schools are now offering Curricular Practical Training (CPT) programs that give students a unique chance to start working from the moment they first arrive on campus. This type of program is also called “work study”.

Being able to work whilst studying is a fantastic way of earning money while in the US. International students can look forward to making at least minimum wage. It won‡t be enough to fund all of the student‡s education but it will definitely offset a lot of the cost.

Before taking part in a Work Study program it‡s key that you fully understand the demands of any courses in which you are enrolled and are sure you can manage the schedule. Along with the extra cash and the added experience you can add to your resume, a Work Study program allows you to practice English in a professional environment, which will greatly help when you are preparing for work after graduation.

Work Study Curricular Practical Training

The benefit of CPT is that it allows international students authorization to find employment training and to get paid internship positions. Students can work full-time, which means more than 20 hours each week, or part-time, which is equivalent to 20 hours or less each week. The money earned will be in US dollars and you can gain valuable work experience in your area of interest.

As an international student, you may find that your college or university doesn‡t offer Work-Study programs to you because they are exclusively for domestic students. This can be because the programs are largely paid for with the help of federal funding.

As many schools are not able to offer federal financial aid to any international students, payment has to be made from the school‡s budget or that of a private organization. On this basis, don‡t be surprised to find that work-study options are few and far between.

However, there are some CPT Work Study programs that offer students support in acquiring paid positions both on and off campus. In addition, many of these are designed to enable students to start working as early as their first year.

On-Campus Employment: Legally international students can work on campus part-time and to start during the first semester they are enrolled in classes.Off-Campus Employment: Most Work Study CPT programs are able to offer employment and paid internships off campus in which students are allowed to work a minimum of 40 hours a week.

It‡s important to know that in your CPT you have to be undergoing work training that is needed in order for you to complete your degree program. By no means do all degree programs have a required CPT, but practical courses like business and engineering usually do.

As an international student, working at the college will not only help you meet new people, it will also improve your language skills and give you a lot of valuable work experience. You will probably find yourself spending more time with friends from the university as you will discover many of your fellow students work on campus.

One downside to trying to work on your campus outside a CPT is that it is highly competitive finding paid work at the university. There are many international and domestic students who want to work part-time while studying, so it‡s important to get prepared for the interviews and to show as much enthusiasm as possible even when the style of work is not very exciting.

If you take up any of the employment opportunities available for international students it‡s a good idea to work during the day and take your classes in evenings or on weekends if possible.

Investigate the employment opportunities on campus with both companies that are based on and off campus. A key benefit is that students are paid regular “US” wages and both part-time, as well as full-time work, is likely to be available.

There are Work-Study programs that are available to both Undergraduate students and those studying for their Masters.


There are many jobs offered at restaurants, bars, and cafes on campus, and this could be the easiest way for you to find a job. Cafes are invariably looking for help, so the chances are that you can find a job with relative ease. You could work waitering, as a member of the bar staff or even as a porter in the kitchen, depending on the experience and skills you can demonstrate. A big drawback to working in a cafe is the hours because most work is based around meal times.

Computer Centres

Some international students find employment at computer centers. Computer center jobs don‡t tend to be physically demanding, so they can be a good choice for those of you who prefer or need an office environment. On the other hand, working in a computer center can be demanding.

Students Unions

It may be possible for you to find a job in the students union. Working in a Students’ Union can be a great opportunity to show you can operate in a professional, vibrant and fast-paced workspace with the student members and deliver first-class services and activities.


  1. Selma Nambahu says:

    Hi I am Selma and I am interested in studying Bachelor of Law in the US or the UK. Kindly recommend. Thank you.

  2. Chijioke Madukosiri says:

    Please what are the available jobs in Boston . I got admission for my LLM at northeastern university. Also, are there available funding for studies there .

  3. Lusiana Nauvakatutu says:

    Hello ,please is there any scholarship available for international student because i want to.come and study abraod and with the job chances I’m available.i wish to pursue my bachelor of nursing over there..plsss and i wanna sponser myslef so that i can get a scholarship,and get a job so that i can hlep my parents

  4. Micheal says:

    Halo there, please if there is any available funding for international students along side with the job chances please I’m available. I wish to pursue my Bachelor’s degree in Transport and Logistics management.

  5. Adeniyi Comfort Adebanke says:

    Please Link me up with award in Us,with the jobs that are available for me to do along side my studies. Thanks a lot.I want to study psychology at masters level.I read Educational Guidance & Counselling.

  6. Nchini iriene says:

    I really like the idea to study computer sciences in USA on scholarship or work and sponsors myself because my family can not really afford for my studies thanks

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