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Jobs on campus for international students in the US

Attending university in the United States can cost a fortune. So, why not make a few bucks while you're at it? There are a few university-affiliated jobs offered to international students with a student F-1 visa. Here are some suggestions for students looking for jobs:

  1. You could become a barista (a person whose job involves preparing and serving different types of coffee) at your school's coffee shop. Becoming a barista will allow you to interact with a lot of people you probably would not have otherwise met. It will allow you to make friends with the American students and give you an open door into American culture all while earning some money. This job may require previous experience, so check with your school’s local coffee shop before applying.
    "LaCimbali-M32-Bistro-DT1". Licensed under CC BY 1.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  2. Lifeguarding at your school’s pool is another great option. You get to sit and relax aside the pool (assuming nobody drowns, of course). This job is great for students who are not so confident in their English skills, as generally, no talking is required aside from the occasional shout of “no running” or "no jumping". An additional lifeguarding course at your school may be required on top of your original certification in your home country.
  3. Working in your school’s library may not be the most exciting job, but it may be the most practical. You will likely be able to study and do homework while doing your job, conveniently paying you to do what you anyways would have been doing. This job does not require any previous experience, although you will most likely need to know the ABC’s backwards and forwards in order to shelve books.
  4. Tutoring other students in an area of your expertise is another great way to make money. This job may require a lot of time depending on how long it takes the other student to absorb the material that you’re trying to teach them; patience is required. Talk to your professor or head of the department you’re considering tutoring in for more information and they will be able to set you up with students who may be interested in a tutor.
  5. Becoming a teacher’s assistant (TA) is a fantastic job! This job is generally not open to undergraduate students so there is less competition for it. In order to obtain a teacher's assistant position you will need to have taken core introductory courses in that subject. You will be asked to prove that your undergraduate degree covered these subjects in depth.
  6. Desk jobs at a store or office at your university are typically available. You should contact the person who runs the office or store for more information about a job application.
  7. You can work in the admissions office of your school as a tour guide for prospective students or helping prospective students when they walk into the office. This job will familiarize you with different policies of the school and since many jobs in the admissions office are run by students, you will be able to make friends with people you may not have met otherwise.
  8. If you’re interested in making more money and having a job that directly relates to what you’re studying, you should contact the international students office at your school to inquire about OPT (optional practical training) or CPT (curricular practical training). These programs will allow you to work off campus at a "real" local job even with F-1 immigration status.
  9. Student’s with an F-1 status are also allowed to work in an internationally recognized organization such as The Red Cross. You must have good academic standing to apply and the work must be within your field of study. Click here for a list of internationally recognized organizations.
  10. You can become a GradTrain coach. On GradTrain you can mentor candidates from your country and advise them on how to make the most of their study abroad experience. 

Also, don’t forget to keep an eye out for those “help wanted” signs on the campus bulletin boards (or online job boards) to know when a job is hiring. Otherwise, you might miss a great job opportunity. Note: these Jobs may only allow you to work part time because of the visa that you hold. Talk to the international students office at your school for more information or talk to GradTrain coaches to hear about their experience working while studying abroad.