If you’re a young person applying to study at a U.S. university, an internship may be in your sights. For most people who choose to study in this country, the long-term goal is to gain working experience here. If this sounds like you, here are a few tips to help you get an internship as an international student.  

Research available options

To be able to work in the U.S. as an intern and international student, you’ll need to make sure to apply for the right visa. Even with your student visa, you’ll need to apply for employment authorization for some types of internships and work training, so make sure to look into things like CPT vs OPT and find out which path is best for your goals. 

Speak to school services

At the end of the day, you’re going to need the help of your university when it comes to your internship, so reach out to your school services office to discuss your desires and job path. You’ll not only be able to find out information you need, but also gain support during the process that can help you achieve your internship goals and, eventually, even your long-term career goals. 

Career counselors at your university can also help guide you as you research options and assist you in weighing the pros and cons of different job services and programs. 

Network during your time in the U.S. 

As you study at your university and live your life in the U.S., you’ll be presented with a variety of opportunities where you can meet new people, both through online networking events and in-person ones. Take advantage of this by networking at every possible opportunity, because you never know who or what opportunity could lead to an internship that can change your life. 

Your school may even have internship fairs and events that uniquely position you to meet people in the industry you hope to break into. Bring a business card to networking events. You never know where your big break will find you! 

Look for loans

You may have financial aid for your studying, but when it comes to an internship, you may not be making enough for your expenses. If your long-term goals matter enough to you, consider getting an international student loan that can help you as you gain valuable experience and position yourself in the industry. This way, you can give your all to your internship while having the peace of mind that your other financial obligations are taken care of.  

Be open to alternative internships

You may be studying a specific career and have your heart set on an internship in that industry. However, being open to an alternative internship could actually help you get a foot in the door of an exciting career path. It may lead you to a lifetime career in the U.S., so as you search for an internship, whether it involves working internationally in fashion or architecture, stay flexible with the options you find. 

As you look for a company or organization to do your internship with, take your time to make sure your core values are aligned with them. As much as you want to be accepted as an intern, it’s wise to vet the company hiring.  

In Conclusion

As you study in the U.S., your goals may include practical training so that you gain the experience that positions you for success in your desired career. These tips above can help you find the right internship options for you while you study abroad!