Internship Basics – I’m an international student, can I intern in the United States?

UPDATED – Yes international students can intern in the United States; you must check with your international student coordinator to ensure that you follow the correct process. If you want to intern in the US, you typically have two options: Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Most international students prefer to use CPT when interning because it allows them to save up all of their OPT in order to use it to work for one full year after graduation. CPT requires that your internship is related to your major and that you receive academic credit for your internship. Again, it is vital that you connect with your campus’ international student coordinator. It is also recommended that you connect with your campus’ internship coordinator to set up a learning agreement.

Internship Basics is a series of articles that answers some of the fundamental questions college students ask about interning.

In the next Internship Basics post, we’ll answer the question, When should I intern?

2 comments on “Internship Basics – I’m an international student, can I intern in the United States?”

  1. Joe Reply

    Even unpaid internships require F-1 students to apply for OPT/CPT. I don’t believe a F-1 student can work unpaid without OPT/CPT as that violates their status. Working unpaid is still considered working. You should modify your advice.

    • Sweet - aka Grace Kutney Reply

      Thank you for the information. We’ve updated the information on this page accordingly.

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