Resources for International Students
Washington & Lee's Career and Professional Development office welcomes you!
International students face unique challenges when it comes to career and professional development. If you are planning to pursue employment in the U.S., you may encounter visa, and job search issues.
Explore options early. During your first year, schedule appointments with:
- the International Student and Scholar Advisor, Hunter Swanson (firstname.lastname@example.org), to understand the visa application and process
- Career and Professional Development Advisors to begin your career exploration, research industries, interests, and careers (Handshake)
- Attend International Student Career Day
Understand the immigration process and visa categories. Visit with International Student and Scholar Advisor, Hunter Swanson (email@example.com), for assistance.
- Student visa: You are at W&L on a student visa (F-1 or J-1), not a work visa. Depending on each company's policy, you may or may not be eligible for internships, research positions, or other employment opportunities. All postings on Handshake disclose whether or not the company will sponsor you. However, it is extremely important that you have a full understanding of your visa status for success in your job search.
- OPT/CPT: Under the F-1 visa, students have what is called Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) for employment off-campus. For internship opportunities while you are still a student at Washington and Lee, you may use your:
OPT can be also used for employment authorization post-graduation. Students are given 12 months and up to an additional 24 months if majoring in the STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
Click here to learn more about the changes to the OPT/CPT guidelines.
- Work visa: After graduation, your employer may have the option to petition to sponsor you for an H1-B visa. The process of acquiring an H1-B visa is based on a lottery system andis very complex. It is strongly suggested that you schedule an appointment with the International Student and Scholar Advisor, Hunter Swanson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more.
Understand the questions employers can and cannot require you to answer. Most applications will include the following questions:
- Are you now or in the future going to require Visa sponsorship?
- What is your race?
- What is your ethnicity?
So, which of these questions are you required to answer? The answer is only the first one. Your response would be "Yes." Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin. This means that you can choose to simply say "Prefer not to answer" when asked about any of these traits.
Turn obstacles into opportunities. Don't let your status as an international student hold you back from opportunities. Take the time to think about what unique qualities you can bring to the table as an international student, and practice how to articulate to employers why hiring you would be an asset to the company. Here are some general qualities to help get you started:
- Multi-lingual abilities
- Multicultural mindset
At the end of the day, if a company believes that you are their perfect candidate, they will hire you regardless of your status.
Explore global resources. There are plenty of fantastic opportunities outside the United States. You can do research on a fellowship/scholarship, work at an international office of a U.S.-based company, or work for an international company in a different country! Make sure to always check eligibility, and feel free to schedule an appointment with the Career and Professional Development Office if you need assistance. Below are some resources to help you begin your search.
We’re ready to help you get started.
- American Association of University Women - International Fellowship - For full-time study or research for non-US citizens or permanent resident women (Graduate and postgraduate study)
- Institute for International Education - Scholarship and fellowship search for US and non-US students looking to study in- or outside the United States
- International Financial Aid - Financial aid, college scholarship, and grant information for US and international students (study abroad)
- International Financial Aid and College Scholarship Search - Scholarship and fellowship search for US and non-US students looking to study in- or outside the United States
- International Student - Search for graduate schools that accept international students
- Korean American Scholarship Foundation - For students with a Korean heritage (Undergraduate and graduate study)
- P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund - Various scholarships for women for graduate study in the United States and Canada
W&L has its own database that allows students to search for fellowships, internships, scholarships, opportunities for research and travel, and more. Go on the W&L Fellowships and Opportunities page and simply make sure to specify "Non-US Citizens" under Class Year and Other Eligibility Restrictions.
- Fleishman Hillard: China Masters Exchange Program - Work at a FleishmanHillard U.S. office for up to one year after graduation, and then, relocate to a FleishmanHillard China office.
- IASTE - The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience is open to degree level science, engineering, technology and applied arts students in the second year of study and above
- LatPro - A website for with job listings for Latino professionals or bilingual Spanish-speakers
- MyVisaJobs.com - Find employers that hire international employees and alumni. Search for employers by industry or location who have sponsored H-1B visas (Located in the 'Search Visa Solution' section)
- NASA International Internship Program - Work within NASA in Trinidad & Tobago or Mexico
- The International Student City Career Center - Provides comprehensive career advice which addresses the unique concerns that international students face as they look for employment in the United States
- Saludos - A site for Hispanic students; search for the employer of your choice, post your resume, and apply
- Princeton in Africa - Open to US and international students; matches college graduates with organizations working across Africa for yearlong service placements
- Princeton in Asia - Open to US and International students; matches college graduates with organizations working across Africa for yearlong service placements. The program arranges yearlong fellowships and internships
- International Alumni Job Network - helps international students connect with employers across Asia
One of the best ways to explore careers and find job opportunities is to network with professionals. Below are alumni who have experience in the field and have volunteered to be a resource to you. Not sure how to begin networking? Stop by our office to get started.
"My name is Hang Nguyen and I'm currently a Risk Assurance Senior Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. I graduated from W&L in 2013 where I double majored in Accounting & Business Administration and East Asian Language and Literature. I interned at PwC during the summer of 2012 and started as a full-time employee in the following summer. I am a CPA and currently working on obtaining my Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification."
- International Student - Provides career resources and tips along with a student job search center
- H1 Base - Tips on how to find work in US and options for employment
- Going Global - Look for job opportunities around the world; contains H1-B data
- Multicultural Student Organizations - List of all student organizations that celebrate different cultures and identities
For further information, see the Washington and Lee current international students page.
The Office of Career and Professional Development at Washington and Lee University has not vetted any of the international internship and volunteer opportunity listings on this page and makes no representations or guarantees regarding any of the listed opportunities. It is the responsibility of students and alumni to do their own due diligence when applying for and accepting any of these opportunities.