International Students in the US Face A Difficult Job Search
November 17th, 2013 by Jennifer Frankel

capandcoins123965661Due to the increasingly competitive nature of admissions, getting accepted to a college or university in the United States can be a challenging task for even the best-equipped international student. As daunting as getting to higher education in the US may be, though, many of these jetsetters still believe that the first stage of this journey is a lot simpler than the last: landing a job. Indeed, despite the fact that many international students represent the best of the best from their respective countries, many believe that the odds are stacked against them when it comes to finding work after graduation. Indeed, a number of factors limit the job search prospects of international students.

It All Starts With The Visa
The problem for international students starts with the fact that they come to the US with student visas and, because of these, are subject to certain work restrictions which limit their access to the kind of hand-on experience that employers crave.  As it is, student visa holders have two options when it comes to gaining work experience: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT).  The two sound similar but differ with regard to their timing: CPT allows international students to pursue internships while completing their undergraduate studies while OPT allows international students to pursue work-study options in the US normally for a year after graduation without getting a new visa. Though CPT and OPT offer international students some option, these pale in comparison to those afforded to their domestic peers.

Brought To You By Our Sponsors
Plus, even if an international student can get their foot in the door in this way, these are short-term opportunities by definition. When these opportunities end students either have to leave the US or get sponsored by a U.S. company. Such sponsorship is much easier to obtain in theory than in practice, however. In the first place, it is quite expensive for a US company to sponsor someone and, at the same time, it can be extremely difficult to justify such sponsorships to the US government.  Thus US companies are reluctant to sponsor all but the best international candidates.

Planning Promotes Performance
Despite the odds, however, thousands of international students succeed each year. The secret? Hard work. Many successful international students attribute their success to proper planning. To them the knowledge that the odds are long triggers resilience, not resignation, and they devote themselves to their goal. This, then, is what sets them apart – after all, for the talented and focused there are always opportunities.

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