4 Ways International Students Can Explore Job Opportunities in the USA

  | Kevin Nelson


Despite the common belief that Americans are getting dumber, the USA can boast some of the best higher education institutions in the world. Yale, Stanford, MIT, Georgetown, and many others are all well-known and recognized all over the world! It is no wonder that legions of young, bright minds globally want to get their education here. In response to this demand, American schools open their doors and welcome students from everywhere (even though they don’t provide education in the international students’ home language, like universities in some other countries do).

Of course, in spite of the ever-growing percentage of international students, the world is too big for American schools to be able to accept everyone who wants to study here. So, suppose you were one of the lucky ones who made it and gone through all the hardships of ESL student life in a foreign country. You studied hard, and you wrote every cause and effect essay, every research paper, and everything while maintaining a part-time job to get some sustenance. But what's next? Do you want to go home or do you want to stay in the land of opportunities? Most preferably, you should answer this question in your freshman year or even earlier.

Graduation puts a bunch of challenges in front of all alumni, regardless of their nationality. It is virtually impossible to know about all the challenges that alumni have to face around the world, much less to talk about them in one article. What we can share, however, is some advice about exploring job opportunities in the US for international students:

Apply for OPT

In case it somehow missed your attention, OPT stands for Optional Practical Training. It suggests that a student pays a reasonable fee and gets to be trained and employed at one of the companies that take part in the program. The only drawback here is that the program only gets you to stay a year more, but this year is the time that you can use for seeking your dream job which may just happen to be at the very same company. Even if it doesn’t, you can place this experience in a special place in your CV when looking for your next job. Besides, OPT makes it much easier for a company to hire a non-American (in terms of legal procedures). So, more companies are willing to take part in it.

If you’re interested, you can find more details at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Consider an internship

If you find yourself enjoying staying in the US, the chances are that you actually have these feelings for your school and its hometown. So, when you realize that you want to stay in America, the chances are that you really mean this very place. Therefore, the most logical thing to do is to stay here and find a job at the campus.

The best thing to do here is to seek such opportunities as early as possible. Be encouraged to get yourself involved in the social life of the campus to build connections and network, and – have no doubt – the opportunities will find you themselves!

Consult your career planning office

If you would like to go on exploring this country and its opportunities, as opposed to staying in the same place, you can be sure that you are not the first one with such desires. Your school has probably been teaching international students for quite some time, and many of them had the same question: how do I stay and work in America.

Every school has a career planning office to assist its students with their future careers. So, since your school welcomes international students, its career planning office should be able to give some practical advice regarding job seeking in the US.

Mind geography

The US is a big and diverse country, much more so than most other countries in the world. Clearly, some regions have more jobs to offer than others. Also, some regions are more welcoming to people from other cultures than others, which we cannot deny, regardless of what we may think about it. So, if you are keen on staying in the country, you should look for a place that is equally rich on job positions and open to diverse cultures.

Given this, the most obvious and logical choices here will be bigger cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, and others. The statistics support this guess: the most likely places for an international student to find a job are California, New York, and Texas.

The reason behind this tendency is that bigger international companies tend to gravitate toward larger cities that happen to be located in these states. On the one hand, big international companies are notorious for being devoid of any humanity, but, on the other hand, this very fact also ultimately makes them friendlier to foreign job applicants than, say, a coffee house in Rednecksburg, West Virginia.

Author's Bio: Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over 8 years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & blogging. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, Linkedin & Google+.