One of the biggest factors that separate successful students in the job search and those who struggle to find employment after completing their bachelor’s degree is the completion of an internship while studying at university. For many international students, this is a very important aspect of their career development. In the United States, there are restrictions on the quantity and type of work that an F-1 visa holder can perform. In particular, F-1 students are limited to working for only 20 hours a week with an employer, aside from contributing other kinds of work on campus for their university. Fortunately, there is a special visa exception called Curricular Practical Training (CPT), available to students while they complete the coursework for their bachelor’s degree.
CPT allows approved students to participate in an off-campus internship with a company or employer related to their field of study. The length and compensation (paid or unpaid) for these internships vary per student, but the experience gained is invaluable. Many CPT internships lead directly to job offers, even for students still in their 3rd year of study. Most bachelor’s degrees in the U.S. take four years to complete. It is important to note, however, that a student can only take the CPT if the internship is required by the university curriculum or is integral to the student’s program of study.
For most bachelor’s degrees at US universities, internships are not required and are not an essential part of the four-year curriculum. This means that gaining approval for the CPT can be generally difficult for international students studying in the US.
Some schools, however, require off-campus internships for students completing their bachelor’s degrees. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, for example, offers its bachelor’s degree-level international students exciting off-campus work opportunities as part of student formation. It also prides itself on the exceptional quality, affordability, and reputation of its degree programs.
The list of CPT-eligible bachelor’s degrees at Nebraska includes:
- Software Engineering
- Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management
- Animal Science
- Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design
- Landscape Architecture
- Interior Design
Interested students and university applicants may email Brent Schmoker at [email protected] for more information about the programs listed above.