Guide to Secure Internships as an International Student in the US

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Guide to Secure Internships as an International Student in the US

Guide to Secure Internships as an International Student in the US

Guide to Secure Internships as an International Student in the US

29 January 2024
Guide to Secure Internships as an International Student in the US
29 January 2024

Internships are often considered the pinnacle of career development. As per the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), individuals with internship experience are 20% more likely to receive a job offer, akin to possessing a secret advantage in the competitive job market.

For international students pursuing education in the United States, attaining internships holds significant importance as a crucial pathway to a thriving career. Nevertheless, the journey can be demanding due to visa constraints and a lack of familiarity with the intricacies of the U.S. job market.

Can an international student get an internship in the US?

Enrolling in a U.S. academic program offers international students a distinctive edge in the quest for internships. Universities frequently act as portals to internship openings. Begin your search by accessing your university’s career services office, where you can receive valuable assistance in identifying internships, navigating visa regulations, and preparing for the application process.

Internships for F1 Students and More

The acquisition of internships in the U.S. is significantly influenced by visa regulations, a vital consideration for international students. Depending on your circumstances, you might be required to submit applications for specific visas:

●    F-1 Visa Internships:

Students with an F-1 visa enrolled full-time have the flexibility to apply for both paid and unpaid internships without the need for additional paperwork. However, there is a restriction on working hours, allowing a maximum of 20 hours per week for part-time internships that align with their academic curriculum.

●    J-1 Visa Internships:

Students who are not enrolled full-time in an academic program have the option to pursue a J-1 visa for working in the U.S. as trainees. Under the J-1 visa category, students can engage in academic training for a period of up to 18 months. Individuals who are not enrolled in U.S. programs have the opportunity to apply for a J-1 Intern or Trainee visa.

●    CPT (Curricular Practical Training):

For CPT eligibility, students are required to have successfully concluded their initial year of college, and their internships must be directly related to their degree program.

●    OPT (Optional Practical Training):

Optional Practical Training (OPT) permits you to engage in full-time employment in the U.S. for a duration of up to 12 months. Individuals with a degree in a STEM field have the option to apply for an extension, allowing for an additional two years of OPT.

Ensuring the continuity of your visa status is crucial throughout the internship period, and strict adherence to visa regulations is necessary to prevent legal complications.

Identifying Reliable Resources Internships

In the pursuit of internship opportunities in the U.S., it is vital to pinpoint reputable organizations and reliable websites. Consult with professors, seniors, or university advisors for recommendations to verify the legitimacy of your chosen opportunities. Additionally, prioritize companies familiar with the U.S. visa application process to streamline your journey.

Strong Resume

Crafting a compelling resume customized for the U.S. job market is crucial. Certain U.S. universities provide specialized tools and courses designed to assist international students in developing and maintaining resumes that align with U.S. standards. Leveraging these resources can significantly enhance your ability to stand out among other applicants.

Online Job Portals

A plethora of internship opportunities in the United States can be found on the internet, utilizing well-known job platforms. These platforms provide access to a broad range of internship options. LinkedIn, in particular, stands out as a powerful tool for networking and discovering internships with major corporations.

 Utilize Internship Websites:

Discover dedicated job websites in the USA featuring listings for both paid and unpaid internship programs catering to international students. Some well-known platforms include:

Cultural Vistas:

Provides a range of internship programs, exchange opportunities, and resources designed for international students seeking to acquire work experience in the U.S

Paragon One:

International students get amazing opportunities from reputed brands such as National Geographic, which provides virtual internships (externships).

U.S. Government Exchange Programs:

Look into internship and research opportunities for international students through exchange programs such as the Fulbright Program and the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

International Student Career Center:

Offers a career centre featuring job and internship opportunities for students pursuing studies in the United States.


LinkedIn serves as a prominent professional networking platform, showcasing internship opportunities from top-tier corporations.

This is a great platform for university students. There are millions of internship opportunities available.

This platform lists many valuable resources for applicants, be it internships or jobs for freshers.

University Career Services –

The career services office at your university might offer tailored resources and workshops designed to assist international students in their pursuit of internships and employment opportunities in the United States.

Networking for Success

Building a robust network is vital for securing internships in the United States. Throughout your academic journey, it is imperative to cultivate relationships with peers, professors, and acquaintances. Engage actively in career fairs, conferences, and industry events to expand your professional connections.

Top Tips for International Students Internships

●    Apply early:

It can be a time-consuming process and so, it would be wise if you start your research and application process early.

●    Look for authentic opportunities:

It is easy to fall into the trap of fake sources and opportunities. Ensure that your opportunity comes from thoroughly vetted and reputed sources and organizations.

●    Seek paid internships:

If you have the liberty to choose, choose an internship opportunity that pays for your time and service. It will be highly beneficial in terms of your resume and overall financial security.

●    Meet visa requirements:

This is among the most important visa requirements. Make sure you hold a valid passport, are proficient in the English language, and are registered as a student.

●    Network diligently:

Your peers and fellow professionals can help you secure an internship of your calibre and choice. Focus on building strong connections.

Obtaining an internship in the USA as an international student may appear daunting, but with proper guidance and preparation, it is entirely attainable. Many universities have specialized international student offices that can aid in the search for internships.

Additionally, professors and mentors serve as valuable resources to guide you through the process, ensuring a fulfilling internship experience in the United States. Keep in mind that persistence and thorough preparation are essential elements for turning your internship aspirations into reality. We at Landmark Immigration can help you attain the best internship opportunity in the USA. Contact today!

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