How International Students Can Get an Internship in the U.S.

Internships are a great way to experience not only the (real) working world, but also give students the opportunity to see what it is like to be working in the industry of their choice.  Being an international student, internships in the United States will provide you with an understanding of what the working culture is like over here, compared to back home.

We at Flywire have come up with an overview of how to get an internship in the U.S.

Internship in USA

To answer the first obvious question, YES, international students can intern in the United States.  The best way to start the process is to talk to your international student coordinator at your school to make sure you follow all the right steps.

If you are currently enrolled in a US school on a F-1 visa, you are allowed to intern 9 months after entering the country. Again, the process varies from college to college, but here are a few general steps:

1. Talk to your international students coordinator to see if you are eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). The CPT allows you to even have a paid internship after 9 months of entering the U.S.  The CPT requires that your internship is related to your major and that you receive academic credit for your internship.

2. Once you know you qualify for an internship, you need to start looking for them: You can check out newspapers, online job banks, internship centers, companies and organizations that interest you, etc. Then send your resume to your internships coordinator at your school, who is in charge of co-op and internship programs and apply to the positions you are interested in.

International Student Coordinator

3. After you accept the offer for your internship, you will have to fill out the CPT form at your international student office and get it approved. Your employer and your internship dates will be recorded on your I-20.

If you are looking for an internship after you graduate, Optional Practical Training (OPT) is what you would be looking for. You will have to apply to US department of Immigration for approval to work in OPT. You will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that lets you legally work in the US for usually 12 months.

The rules keep on changing so it is useful to check the governmental website when applying for an internship.

For more information, read these helpful articles about CPT and OPT written by immigration lawyer, Vincent Lau.

102 Responses to How International Students Can Get an Internship in the U.S.

  1. Aniekan Smart Ubom says:

    I am an international student from Nigeria reading forensic psychology at m.sc. level in Walden University, my graduation date is 2014. I would like to work in a correctional setting in US, how can this be attained?

  2. vanessa says:

    I am an international student studying criminal justice at Darton State college and I’m looking for an internship for the summer. I’m looking for any opportunities that could help me get experience in the field, however I do want to specialise in the secret service area.

  3. Richard Csorba says:

    Hi! I am also an international student from Hungary I learn chemical engineering in Pannon university and my graduation date is 2014, and looking for an internship in the US.

  4. Lerato Mokoena says:

    Hi, I am a media graduate in South Africa and I would love some advice on where I can apply to intern at successful radio stations in the US because I took Radio Broadcasting as my major because of the passion I have for it.

    Kind Regards

  5. NAFTALEE ABDUL says:

    am an international student in GHANA and i want to intern in the USA…..Please i need help…….

  6. Cherinet Kebede says:

    Hi my dear sir,
    How are you doing over there, hope you are ok. How was your day over there? When, mine is cold here in Ethiopia. I have come to tell you everything about me.
    I am Graduate of MBA from IICM Inc. Florida USA.
    I am needing internship opportunity to sharpen my skill and knowledge. How could I attain this?
    I would appreciate if you support me.
    With great passion and respect, I look ahead to listen from you.
    Best regards,
    Cherinet

  7. carole k says:

    How can i find an intership in finance/accounting i have english as a second language

  8. eva says:

    Hello, I am student from Valencian university in Spain at the law faculty. I am graduating in 2014 and I would like to get experience as an intern in USA in there’ll of criminal law

  9. Adrian Hernandez says:

    Hello there I’m a international student from Venezuela , I study Mechanical Engineering at The University of Los Andes , my graduation date is 2014. I’d Like to work in any manufacturing enterprise in US, Could anyone help me with this?

  10. sneha says:

    Hi
    I am doing my MS in CS on F1 visa. I started my MS in Spring 2013 in Computer Engineering, but due to some reasons, I couldn’t study well, resulted in GPA of 2.0. Now, I started my MS in CS as a new student as my credits dint get transferred. I am expect good grades this time. I wanted to do a internship to gain some experience.
    Can I do and internship?? Will I be considered as my last semester grades are bad??

  11. Nokukanya Songwaxa says:

    helo I am Nokukanya Songwaxa,i have Bachelor of Administration in Public Affairs from Walter Sisulu Universsity in South Africa. I would like to get internship related to my career. I describe myself as a hardworking individual,dedicated and willing to learn with the aim of embracing all challenges.

  12. Radko says:

    I would like to get intnernship in USA, especially in Florida, I have a fiance there. I Graduated City University of Seattle – Knowledge Management.

  13. Alejandro says:

    Hello
    I am an international student from Venezuela. I study electronic engineering at Simon Bolivar University. I’m getting credits for the internship to graduate and I would like to find a paid internship on the US to gain some experience and be able to pay for my own expenses. my graduation date is planned to be on early 2015.

  14. carol says:

    iam a graduate from india..I luk for an opportunity of short term internship in us. my major was biochemistry..

  15. Arrondell says:

    Hi, I am an International student from France and I would like to know how can I get in internship in the US.
    I will appreciate your help

  16. Diego says:

    Hello,
    I graduated last July from a business degree. I’m From Chile and i also have worked in the work and travel programs for 6 consecutive seasons as a Ski Cashier sales supervisor at Wintergreen Resort located in Virginia. now i would appreciate some help to try to get an internship from 6 to 12 months related to my field studies. thanks!!

  17. Soukaina Barakat says:

    Hello,
    My name is Soukaina and I am and international student from Morocco. I am graduating this coming May (2014) with a Mechanical Engineering degree from Temple University. Most companies that hire engineering students for either internships or part/full time jobs require a citizenship status. It would be fully appreciated if I could get some help finding an internship for ASAP
    Thank you

  18. Mohannad Sarhan says:

    hello ,
    I study Telecommuincation engineering in Applied Science University , I will graduate this summer 2014 .
    I am from Jordan , 23 years old .
    I hope to find an internship in the US in my field .
    thanks !

  19. Zhanara says:

    Hello!

    I’m a student from Kazakhstan. My major is Automation and Control. I’ll graduate at June. I’ve been twice in USA and hope to come back as an Intern. I’m looking for Internship from 6-18 month in Engineering area. If you have any information, I’ll be thankful.

    Thank You!

    Sincerely Yours Zhanara Muftiyeva

  20. tom says:

    hi i am tom completed b.tech (mechanical engineering) in india. i am looking for internship in US for 6 months

  21. Rukmini says:

    hello I am doing my masters in Psychological methods in the UK and will finish my course work by august…I am looking for a paid internship in the United States for a year or so…Can someone help me in finding something? Would be really grateful. Thank you.

  22. grace says:

    Hi,I’m a 4th year medical student intending to do a summer internship program in the US.Any help or idea on how to go about it would be appreciated.

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  24. eric ansah says:

    hi, i am a third year student of the university for development studies,Ghana.tamale[wa campus],i would be very grateful if i am given the opportunity to do an internship in the united state to broaden my knowledge and also learn something new from the new environment. i offered integrated development studies of which i specialized in environment and resource studies.

  25. If your university has a career center, be sure to check and see if they offer career-services for international students. Often, the staff there has expertise in helping international students get internships/jobs in the US.

    http://missouriglobal.org/2014/05/01/international-student-perspective-how-to-find-an-internship-in-the-us/

  26. soorya says:

    I m an enginnering student from India,how do i get a internship in the united states?

    • admin says:

      Hi Soorya,
      Please refer to our “tips and tricks” above for a basic overview. We recommend you contact your school’s career services center as a good first step!

  27. kim says:

    Hello! I am currently in my third year of study for a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration major in Human Resource Management. I am from the Philippines and I am looking for an internship program for the time I reach 4th year. Can anyone please help? Any help will be greatly appreciated, Thank You!

  28. harshita says:

    hello

    I am an international student from INDIA. I am doing my MBA here from CSUP i already have an MBA in finance degree. I am looking for an internship opportunity. I would be done with the MBA in 2015. So far I have a GPA of 4.0

  29. Joseph Kent says:

    If you are studying in the United States, you can apply to join our summer career development and internship program in Chicago through InternshipDesk. Please email me or see the website for details. We specialize in international student internship placement and career development.

    http://www.internshipdesk.com/

  30. Joe says:

    CPT and internships are critical for international students because most students are judged on past internship experiences when selecting for interviews and job offers. Most international students also receive full-time offers from companies they interned with that secures their employment upon graduation. Students need to take full advantage of their on-campus career resources to find an internship.

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  32. Joe says:

    Students need to fully leverage their university’s career services. Participate in on-campus recruiting for internship as other American students. Keep in mind the recruiting schedule is very early. Jan/Feb for the summer internships. Don’t advertise that you are on CPT/OPT for internships as the employer does NOT have to provide anything except a written offer letter. The only requirement on the student to maintain status is to show the DSO at the school the offer letter and a new I-20 with employment details will be given to the student to fully maintain F-1 status. If you open the interview with “I am on CPT/OPT is this ok”, employers may not know what that is and just not consider you. Internships are critical to get a full time job later after graduation.

  33. Cris says:

    I work for a small non-profit in Pasadena CA, American International Education Foundation. We specialize in facilitating international student recruitment fairs as well as publishing our magazine UScampus Guide.
    UScampus Guide features useful articles and information to help students succeed in their journey to study in the United States. Thousands of copies are distributed free of charge each year via AIEF Education Fairs throughout Asia as well as at advising centers and other locations in 15 countries.
    I was contacting you to request permission to reprint the article “How International Students can get an Internship in the U.S.” in our magazine as I believe it can really give students insight into studying in the United States. We would give recognition to the author(s) of the article should we be given permission to reprint. Thank you.

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  35. Ravi kiran says:

    I am an international student from INDIA. I transferred from a university but my credits were not transferred. So, I do not have any credits as of now. Can I apply for internships for this summer? If no then I want to know how many credits are needed to apply for an internship.

  36. Katherien says:

    Hi , I’m Katheirne.I come from China. I want to find an internship related to hospitality industry in US in 2015. What can I do ? Does anyone know if there is some public website or international organizations which provide chances for foreginers ?Thank you

  37. Ann says:

    Hi I’m Anita, I’m currently studying economics in Ukraine and im in my first year. However i would like to be considered for internship in the US during summer 2015. Can you help me please? Your help will be much appreciated. Thank you.

  38. Sean says:

    Hello,
    I was wondering if you know if there is any “Summer practise” program for Medical Student (From Poland) in USA/Canada/ etc.- particulary from Orthopedic?
    Thank You for any answer

  39. Nkuly Lebogang says:

    Hi. I am a first year analytical chemistry student in South Africa. I would love to get an internship outside South Africa. Please help me find out how to do that.
    Thank you.

  40. Aayush Gandhi says:

    Hi Lisa,
    i am aayush gandhi pursuing my MBA in Management information System from Avila University, Kansas City, Missouri and actively looking for an internship in IT company. I tried applying from various portals but no positive reply yet from anyone. Can you please guide me where am i going wrong in my application or can you help me out as to where should i apply for an internship? This is my second Master’s degree and i’ll be graduating by December’ 2015.
    Waiting to hear from you.

  41. saideep nakka says:

    hi i am saideep
    I am pursuing my masters in MECHANICAL ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY with Thesis on Corrosion.
    I have a solid background in Mechanical field.
    i am actively looking for an internship in USA
    Expected graduation date is Dec 2015.
    Thank you

  42. Pusparaj Thapa says:

    I wonder if i could know if there are any Banks in United States Of America that facilitates international students do internship in?

  43. Malik Faisal says:

    hi i am international student in BA hons from Forman christian college lahore pakistan . i want fre viza and piad intrnshp pls hlp me

  44. Dan guid says:

    Unbelievable …you guys need to work and make your own countries proud ..American Experience is ok who live here and may contradict where u coming from because of our complicated legal system so don’t wast your time and money .

  45. Lara says:

    Hi,

    I am currently studying in Australia but have been accepted to a US college for a semester this fall. I would also like to get an internship whilst I am studying there but I can’t find any information on whether it is possible to get a visa which allows BOTH study and internships. I know the J1 – Exchange visa is appropriate for either but I dont know if it will allow me to do both. Can anyone help me?

    Many thanks
    Lara

  46. Jam M Awais says:

    I am Msc Mass Communication I want to apply for Internship. Is there any company or way u have for me I am living in Islamabad Pakistan.

  47. Ming Han Soh says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I am an international student (civil engineering, undergraduate-4th year) at Texas A&M University. I am looking for a internship this summer(2015).

  48. Renan says:

    I am a Brazilian student looking for an internship in Environmental/ Civil Engineering Area, currently studying Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (Undergraduate Program). Does someone can help me?

    I’ll get graduated at the end of 2015

  49. sambidha wagle says:

    hello
    i am a international student from Nepal. i have finished my bachelor level in journalism.i am seeking internship oppurtinity in US. i am engaging in different non- profit organization so can you help me. hope for the positive response. Thank you

  50. desika says:

    Hi I’m desika I’m from India doing my third year biotechnology can u help me out on how to apply for an intern in biotech companies in United states ?

  51. Carlene Toa says:

    My name is Carlene Toa and I am an Engineering major and an international student and am looking for internships here in Virginia, U.S. If someone can help me with this.

  52. Marnix says:

    Dear all,

    I’m Marnix and I’m a BA International Business and Languages student. However, I am not doing my study in the US, but still in Holland. I’m looking for an internship from Holland as well and I have to say, it’s really tough to find one. So far, I had no luck.
    Is anyone of you able to help me out maybe?

    Thanks in advance!

  53. Khalil Foulani says:

    Hi,
    I’m a college graduate, I have graduated in 2014 (English literature).
    Do I have a chance to continue my studies in america or find a job there?

  54. Cuneyt says:

    Hi This is Cuneyt 🙂

    I am student of Hacettepe University in Turkey and i’m graduating end of this year.
    I was wondering to know about your internship company. Please give me details about that
    thank you so much . . .

  55. monika4ka says:

    Hello,I am a media and communication student and next summer (2016) I would like to make an internship maybe in New York in the field of PR and advertising,can someone give me a little bit more information,can I find a place with low rent,does someone have some experience?

    Thank you in advance

  56. Bekzat says:

    Can you help me find any jobs and send j1 visa. Thank you!

  57. Qurat-ul-Ain says:

    My name is Qurat-ul-Ain Mumtaz.I am 27 years female from Pakistan and I have done MBA (1.5 years) after doing BBA (H).I also have Higher Education Commision of Pakistan’s Equivalency letter of 18 years of schooling.Besides that I have completed my course work of MS and wish to engage in US internship programm relating to my field of study. Can you find me an opportunity,if yes email me at [email protected]
    I’ll be grateful to you.

  58. Dr. says:

    HI
    ‘m graduated from college of pharmacy in Egypt & intended to take FPGEE & NAPLEX exam for equivalence, in this program i should complete 1200 hrs as internship
    so which visa suitable to my case ? and what should i do ?????

  59. Raymond says:

    Hi, am a Civil Engineer graduate from Ghana. i completed in 2013 and i am interested to have an internship in the USA. I need help to how to proceed and to be able to achieve it.

  60. linda says:

    hello my name is Linda I am a biology major at Towson University and I was looking for an internship for the next academic year do you have in mind some companies I can consider to apply to.
    Thank you.

  61. Dinesh says:

    Hi, I am currently doing an internship on a CPT program. My question is can I work 40 hours+ a week?

  62. Hatim Haroon says:

    Hello,

    I just graduated from the University of Nottingham Malaysia campus with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology and Business Management studies. I would like to intern in the field of human resources, specifically human developement. I have been an exchange student in Atlanta and Florida in my senior as a high school student and It has a great experience. Thus, I would like to gain professional work experiences. Please contact me in this email [email protected] for paid/non-paid internship opportunities in the U.S.

    Many Thanks,

  63. Vincenzo Miale says:

    Hi,

    I’m in my last year of electronics engineering in the Universidad Simón Bolívar (University Simon Bolivar) Venezuela, and I would like to intern in the USA. I have been an exchange student in Texas in my senior year as a high school student. Please contact me.

    Thank you.

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