International Students Working On Campus

March 19th, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

Did you know that if you are an international student in the US, you are allowed to work on campus up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session? The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services also allow international students to work up to 40 hours per week during summer, winter, and spring breaks (when classes are not in session). While this will probably not cover all of your costs, it can be helpful to cover many of your personal expenses.

According to the US Department of Homeland Security, on-campus employment is “work that takes place either at your school or at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with your school. This work could be for an on-campus commercial business, like a bookstore or cafeteria, as long as the work directly provides services for students.”

In order to work on campus you will need to maintain a legal F-1 status and be currently enrolled in a full-time class load. You can begin working as early as 30 days before classes begins until your graduation (exceptions may apply if you will be enrolling in another program at your school).

While your work does not need to be related to your field of study, many international students look for a position where they can gain transferable skills that will prove useful upon graduation. Many of the positions on campus start at minimum wage (which is currently at $7.25 per hour for the national standard); however depending on your experience and position you may be able to find a higher paying position. On campus jobs include working at your school’s:

  • Cafeteria/dining facilities
  • Bookstore
  • Library
  • Health Club
  • Administrative offices

Or, students can find other opportunities as a:

  • Teaching or research assistant
  • Resident Assistant (RA) after your first year in an on-campus dormitory – free accommodations, sometimes salary or meal plan

Not only does working on campus acts as a secondary source of financial aid, but it also enhances your overall experience in the US. By working on campus, international students will gain meaningful work experience as well as organization and time management skills that will be a valuable asset to your future employer. By working on campus, you will have the opportunity to meet friends and develop contacts who can serve as a reference during your job search.

If you are an international student working on campus, don’t forget that you will be required to pay and report your earnings. Depending on your country, you may be eligible for tax exemptions depending on if your home country has tax treaty.


  1. Weopjoh Eric Qimlak says:

    I am really interested in studying in USA but i don’t have the maens so i really need help.


    hello there.
    I want to study in USA and i would also like to have a jpb there for paying my blessed

    • blindblom says:

      Thank you for your comments,

      If you are interested in working on-campus you would need to contact your college or university to see what job options they have for international students that qualify.

      If you need further financial assistance, another outlet for aid is to apply for an international student loan.

  3. peprah mark says:


    • blindblom says:

      Hi Peprah,

      Thank you for your inquiry. I have sent you an email with further information on our international student loans. If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

  4. Zinash haile says:


  5. franklinkeme says:

    please am applying for international students loans,what are the necessary steps i need to take

    • blindblom says:

      Hi Frank,

      Thank you for your interest. I have sent you an email with more information on international student loans.

      Please let me know if you have any further questions.

  6. Courage says:

    Hi there, I really want to study in the US but the problem is that I am not financially stable. Could you please advise me on the steps I need to take so as to have access to financial aid and the colleges that offer such assistance.

    • blindblom says:

      Hi Courage,

      Not a problem! I sent you an email with the information request regarding financial aid. Please feel to reply with any questions you might have.

  7. fatima says:

    Hi there, i am really interested in studying in US but the problem is i am not financially stable could you please advise me some steps so i can get through this problem as i want to go and finance my studies by doing campus job or any other job. can i get any other assistance like scholarship and so on
    please guide me through it

    • Bryanna Lindblom says:

      Hi Fatima,

      Thanks for your question. For more information on scholarships you can browse awards here. If you are interested in working while you are an international student, you will need to contact your school directly for any avaliable opportunities. I hope you find the aid you are looking for.

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