In the series of posts about international students working in the US, we explained generally how difficult it is to work while in the US. You can see those 5 posts here:
But there are exceptions to every rule, and this one is no different. There are a few well-structured internship programs in the US, that allow graduate international students to earn a significant amount of money while studying. Some students earn enough to pay their entire tuition plus living expenses!
Because the internship is integrated with the academic program, and a required part of the coursework, the internship qualifies as Curricular Practical Training (CPT), from the very beginning of the program, and the employment is permitted by USCIS. Two such internships programs, the HTIR program and Schiller International University’s program, are highlighted below. With both of these programs, students can work full-time from their first day on campus!
HTIR is a private organization that refers international students to United States colleges and universities that offer paid internship employment to qualified Master degree students in Business (MBA), Management and Information Technology.
With the HTIR program, either part time or full time employment is allowed. All of the internship positions are with off-campus US-based companies in the vicinity of the university. Wages are paid at the same rate as for domestic workers in similar employment and vary from minimum wage for entry level CPT applicants and higher wages for those with more skills and work experience. Classes are offered during daytime, evening and week-ends to accommodate the students’ employment schedules. All wages paid can be kept by the students and used for their tuition and fees, living and personal expenses.
Schiller International University, located in Largo, Florida offers a similar program for its international MBA candidates in one of the following concentrations: Hotel and Tourism Management, International Business or Information Technology.
All co-op applicants will be required to be employed in CPT working with an American company in the Clearwater-Tampa-St.Petersburg metropolitan area. Under the Schiller program, Internship jobs can be part-time (about 20 hours per week)or full-time (40 hours per week), as the student may choose. Classes are offered on week days, evenings and week-ends to accommodate the various work schedules of the students.
Both of these programs offer the international graduate student the unique ability to begin working and paying for their education immediately — flexibility and earning ability that is not easy to find for an international student in the US.
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