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- There are limited internship opportunities available to international students, but they do exist and are well worth pursuing because they pay better than RA/TAship and also improve your overall profile. The reason for writing this point was to make sure that students are aware of the limitations and not take rejection from a few employers as a sign of unemployability. Make sure to target employers that hire international students.
- Opting to pursue an internship, while being very worthwhile for your overall career, may possibly (not necessarily) slow you down in your research because you are using your time to pursue something outside of your research plan. Just something to be aware of.
- The best internships are the ones where the advisor’s research interests also align and you can make them part of your research thesis or accomplish publication-worthy work with your employer and your advisor.
- International students are not allowed to work beyond 20hr/week.
- To go beyond the 20hr/week limit, students can choose to get approved for CPT. (Details about CPT on dhs.gov website).
- Students can get a total of 12 months worth of CPT hours for the duration of their studies (This could be 2-2.5 yrs of MS or 3-6yrs of PhD)
- You can use your CPT hours to work for 40hr/week in the summer full-time
- If you wish, you can supplement your 20hr/week RA/TAship during your regular semester with another job through the CPT hours.
- This will all depend on the relationship you have with your advisor.
- Internships can lead to jobs after graduation or even during studies where the employers asks you to be employed part-time. This is a great opportunity to enmesh yourself in the company culture if the company goals/culture align with yours.
- Look beyond your assigned tasks for smaller tasks in the group/company that you could pursue as an intern but full-time employees have no time for, and that will place you in the limelight.