What You Should Know if You Want to Work On-Campus as an International Student

July 31st, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

If you are an international student getting ready to spend time studying in the US, you will likely apply for an F1 visa. The F1 is for people who are not looking to immigrate to the US and who will be studying at a university or taking a language program temporarily.

While you may require financial aid in order to complete your study abroad experience, there are some things you should know if you want to work on-campus as an international student. You will be required to prove that you can financially support yourself before traveling to your program. This is because employment opportunities for F1 visa holders are very limited. However, your best opportunity for work will be on-campus. As a student, you are permitted to apply for part-time work on-campus during your course of study, and you should be able to find assistance with figuring out how to work on-campus as an international student through the International Student Office or the Office for On-Campus Employment. Be sure to check with the individual campus as each will have limits on hours you can work as a full-time student and other requirements for employment.

While you likely want to work on-campus as an international student in a particular academic area, be aware that you may not be able to find employment in your field of study. You might be able to get a job as a teaching or research assistant for a class that you are well-versed in, but more than likely your work might not relate to the subject at hand. You could work in an on-campus dining hall, as a lifeguard, or at the front desk of a residence hall, to name a few options. You will not earn enough money to pay for your tuition, food, and housing, but you will be able to help offset some costs for extras or save the money so you can go home at the end of your time with less of a bill to pay.

If you want to work on-campus as an international student, make sure that you are aware that it will only be supplemental to your finances. But, you will walk away with more than a paycheck; you will likely meet other students that you otherwise would not have gotten the chance to know. And, isn’t that the whole point of studying abroad?


  1. Magaya Fredrick says:

    I am very much interested to work in USA while studying. My major aim is to attain my degree – come back home and serve my people.

  2. Francis Diocado says:

    I am very interested to work in the U.S. while attaining my post graduate study in architecture while I work.

    • Bryanna Lindblom says:

      Hi Francis,

      That is great! If you would like to work in the US while you study as an international student, you will want to contact your school as soon as possible about any work options you might have.

      Good luck!

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