As an international student, you most likely have an F1 visa to come and study in the US. Because of restrictions on this visa, the easiest place for you to try to work will be on campus. Thankfully, American college campuses, especially the larger ones, have many jobs that need to be filled by students. You can work in an on-campus facility such as the pool or dining hall, you can work for one of the administrative offices, or you can try to find a teaching assistant opportunity with one of your professors.
Most college professors will have one or more teaching assistants that work with them each semester. Some lecture hall at large universities can hold over 1,000 students, so the professor will likely lecture and then divide the class into smaller discussion groups to be led by a student teaching assistant. You will then hold one or two classes per week with your assigned students where you can review the lecture and go over homework. In order to find a teaching assistant opportunity, you will need to be a top student in the subject you are pursuing. You should also contact professors that you are interested in working with as soon as you find out when and where you will be studying. Get your name on the professor’s radar because they will most likely already have their teaching staff assigned by the time you show up for class.
Each university differs, but if you are fortunate enough to earn a teaching assistant opportunity, you can be compensated. This is a great way to study in the US but come out the other side with a smaller bill to pay. To pursue different teaching assistant opportunities, check your department of interest within the universities you are considering. It’s never too early to start planning your time as an international student in the US.