Are you an international student looking for internship opportunities in the United States? Congratulations! You are in a pool of enterprising young students aspiring to gain invaluable global working experience. Obtaining professional experience in the United States will undoubtedly give your resume an incredible boost regardless of your field.
If you are looking to fully understand or embrace American culture, attending college or becoming an au pair isn’t the only way to do it. International student internships offer the same opportunity to build a cultural foundation, as well as develop professionally.
The United States manages one of the world’s largest economies, dominates the world’s media, and is home to a lot of high fashion labels and a sports industry that is a major influence globally. The undeniable fact is that regardless of your field, there are world-class internships in several renowned American companies and organizations for international students. There is a strong interest from students all over the world to intern in the United States, and the numbers are increasing daily.
US Visa Requirements for Internship
Getting into the United States with the F1 visa that qualifies you to work legally as an international student during or after your studies is not exactly a walk in the park. However, it is something you can achieve with a go-getter attitude.
You will have to prove that you have adequate financial support, show your acceptance into a University and your willingness to go back home after your education and internships. Alternatively, if you have the F1 student visa, you could decide to do an Optional Practical Training as a way of completing an internship.
The F1 visa isn’t the only way to get an internship in USA as an international student, though. If you attend school in your home country and you wish to complete an internship in the United States, you have the option of applying for a J1 visa through a program sponsor. There are a lot of structured programs that provide legal sponsorship for internship placements and help with things like housing and insurance.
How to Secure an Internship in USA for International Students
- Decide what position you want. Before surfing through the internship opportunities for international students, you will need to be sure of what kind of skills you want to learn. Your career goals and past experience will point you in the right direction. You’ll want to make sure that whatever your final decision is, it’ll be an internship that’ll be highly valuable to you.
- Location shouldn’t be your top priority. Your internship location will no doubt influence your overall experience; however, your greatest consideration should be the company hosting you as an intern. Gather information about the company’s reputation, experiences from their employees, and the intern’s job description and this will help you decide on a company. You might secure an internship in the city of your dreams, but if you dread going to work every day, the whole experience might be ruined.
- Compare internship packages and make a decision. When you eventually decide on what position you want for the internship, you’ll need to look at different packages and weigh your options. Some internship programs offer legal sponsorships, they could be paid or unpaid and could have other features like cultural excursion. Do your research, read reviews from past participants or reach out to programs and ask them specific questions. You want to avoid programs with negative reviews.
- Secure the internship. There’s no point navigating through the sea of internship programs if you don’t put in the effort to get the internship in the end. Companies will go through your resume regardless of where in the world you’re applying from. Send your application on time and ensure you do not leave out important details like when you plan to travel to the US.
Send in applications for as many internships as you can and ensure you are aware of the visa process. It is important that you know what you will need to do to get into the United States before scheduling an interview with the internship coordinator.
- Start processing your visa early. Securing an international student visa requires a lot of dedication and patience; ergo you’ll have to start early if you want to meet your deadline. There’ll be a lot of documents to be prepared and you’ll have to try and make this process hassle-free.
- Stay on top of your timeframe. Keep in mind that international student visas will usually not be approved or denied until 120 days or less before your internship start date. You also will not be allowed to enter the United Stays until 30 days or less prior to the start date of your internship. Ensure you keep these time frames in mind when making your travel plans. Although the whole process may seem tedious and unending, remain calm and ensure you do all that is in your power to make things work.
- Stay Confident. Lastly, stay in touch with your internship coordinator and be honest with them. Let them know when they should be expecting you and where you’re coming from. You want to build trust with them and not give them any reason to think of replacing you. A lot of students enter the United States every year to intern, it’s not impossible. Believe that you will get it done, work hard to get it done, and you will.
Hot Internship Opportunities for International Students in USA in 2018/2019
Whatever internship package you’re looking for, paid or unpaid, summer internships or short-term opportunities around the calendar, you’re bound to find opportunities that match your needs. Here are some of the hottest internships in the United States for international students in 2018-2019:
Google Information Technology Internship for summer in USA, 2019
Interns must participate in a full-time academic degree program in any off the following departments: Information Systems, Information Technology, System Administration, Applied networking, or others with applicable experience. This is a paid internship open to international students.
- Facebook Research Scientist, News Feed, Ph.D. Internship/Co-op in USA, 2018
This is an unpaid internship open to interns enrolled in a Ph.D. program in CS or any related technical field and must be going back to school for at least one semester after the internship. Open to international students.
- The Washington Post Newsroom Summer Paid Internship for Young Professionals, 2019
Interns must be undergraduates or postgraduates enrolled in a degree program by Oct. 12, 2018. Interns must have had at least one professional news media job or internship. Foreign students are eligible to apply.
- Disney Graphic Design Internship for International Students in USA, 2018
Interns must be enrolled in an accredited college or university and participating in the Disney Professional Internship Program, Disney College Program or Disney Culinary Program or taking at least one class. International students are eligible to apply.
- Microsoft Internship Opportunities for Ph.D. Students & Recent Graduates in USA, 2018
This is open to Ph.D. students and fresh graduates in Software Engineering and Program Management. Interns must be pursuing a degree in engineering, computer science or any related field with the intention of going back to complete their program after internship
- Google Software Engineering Internship, MS, winter in USA, 2019
Open to interns currently enrolled in full-time Bachelors or Master’s Degree programs in Computer Science or related technical field, and returning to or enrolling in a full-time Master’s degree after completion.
- CBS Television Stations Digital Journalism Internship for Fall in USA, 2018
This is a paid internship program available to college students interested in a career in journalism or broadcasting.
- 2019 Internship Program for International Students at UNFPA Headquarters, USA
This is an unpaid internship program available for international students. It is open to students with practical experience in various aspects of UNFPA work.
- Facebook Product Data Operations MBA Internship in USA, 2018
Interns must be pursuing an MBA with graduation dates between Dec. 2019 and Aug. 2020. Unpaid internship open to international students.
- Google Software Engineering Internship, BS, winter in USA, 2019
Open to interns currently enrolled in full-time Bachelor’s degree programs in Computer Science or related technical field, and returning to complete the degree after completion of the internship.