International students in the US can choose from many job options, whether your goal is to generate income during college or to gain experience that will help your resume stand out (or both!).
Prior to your job search, reflect upon the kind of work you find rewarding and the career path you’re aspiring to. Also, make sure that you understand the employment restrictions of your student visa.
Depending on your visa, you may be able to take on a job while you study in the US. For many international students, the most convenient jobs are on campus.
You’re able to quickly travel from classes to work, and if you live on or near campus, you won’t need to worry about transportation.
Note that most student visas allow international students to work at their school, though there are some restrictions you should research before you apply anywhere.
If you’ve confirmed you’re eligible to work at your school, or if you have a work-study stipend, you will find a range of on-campus jobs that appeal to many international students in the US.
Think about all the amenities at your college, including the library, coffee kiosk and student bookstore. These all need employees, and many of the jobs require minimal prior work experience – perfect for students.
Also, if you have a flare for business, you might just consider starting your own restaurant, like one international student did.
Other on-campus jobs that may be right for you include positions that involve your field of study. For example, the student newspaper may offer jobs for international students who are interested in writing and editing.
You can also ask your professors if they need a research assistant or an employee to help with any administrative duties.
Part-Time, Off-Campus Jobs
If you cannot find an on-campus job, you may still be able to make some extra income with part-time work. International students are uniquely qualified for a range of jobs.
For example, your linguistic abilities are a valuable asset: If there’s a market for tutors in your native language, teaching one-on-one may be a great way to bring in some extra income.
You can also tutor students in other subjects you excel at. You can often find classified ads asking for tutors in the campus newspaper or websites that serve your area – or you can take the initiative and promote your services on bulletin boards around campus.
You may even find that tutoring strengthens your own knowledge of the subject, which is an added benefit of this common job for international students.
Another job option is babysitting for families near your school. You can even expand your services to include pet sitting, house sitting and dog walking.
Such jobs are often ideal for international students since they do not tend to require proof of citizenship or the eligibility to legally work in this country.
If your decision to look for a job is motivated by a desire to gain experience, rather than a need for money, volunteer work may be a better option. Volunteering will allow you to gain experience in your field of choice without infringing upon the work limitations of your visa.
Organizations that rely on volunteer support would welcome the help of international students eager to make a difference.
For example, if you’re interested in politics, working on a campaign may be a great way to get some knowledge about this field.
Check local newspapers for opportunities to volunteer your time. With every position you take on, you get to add volunteer experience to your resume.
If you thoroughly research your job options, it should be possible to find a position that offers money, valuable work experience, or both. It’s time to start exploring the many rewarding job opportunities available to international college students.