A strong understanding of career resources is important to help with your job or internship search. As an international student, you will also need to be familiar with how your visa status plays a role in your career search. Find timelines and answers to common questions that can help you through the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a list of internships or jobs that are open to international students on LionSHARE?

  • Review positions that are posted on LionSHARE
  • GoingGlobal offers lists of employers who have sponsored visas in the past. Use your UNI and password to log in.  Once logged in, go to the “H1B Info” tab at the top for the list of employers.
  • Uniworld provides a directory of US firms in foreign countries and foreign firms in the US

What should I take into consideration when looking for a job or internship?

Connect with the Columbia International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO.)   

What is OPT (Optional Practical Training)?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit of F-1 student status that allows students to gain experience in their field of study by applying for off-campus work authorization. For more information regarding OPT, please review the Columbia International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) webpage, consider attending ISSO workshops, and/or meet with a representative at the ISSO. 

I would prefer to use all of my OPT after I graduate.  What are other ways I can develop skills or gain experience in the meantime?

There are a variety of ways to expand your skillset.  

How do I learn more about my visa status?

 Check with the Columbia International Students & Scholars Office to learn about your visa status before starting your job search.  

 What if my internship requires that I get credit instead of compensation?

 Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Columbia School of General Studies, do not provide credit for internships. We have posted some helpful information regarding unpaid internships.

 How do I find an on-campus job?

See our On-Campus Jobs Tip Sheet and visit CCE to discuss your job search strategy with a career counselor.  Note that full time F-1 and J-1 students are eligible for “casual” employment on campus, which means you are paid by Columbia University. 

How do I find an off-campus job?

Review our resources, including the Find an Internship or Job webpage.  Connect with Columbia International Students & Scholars Office to review work authorization requirements.  

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