International Students

Welcome to Career Development. We can help you.

  • Make sense of the American internship and job search process
  • Learn to identify your skills, find job postings and match your skills to postings
  • Prepare materials including an American style resume and cover letter
  • Build a network and effectively use networking contacts
  • Prepare for interviews and follow up
  • Learn cultural differences that can help you to succeed in securing professional employment opportunities

An American internship, co-op or even a credible volunteer experience in your field is extremely important if you wish to find after-graduation employment in the U.S. You will have to search for and compete for these opportunities, although your department will help with a co-op search. If co-op is included in your program or curriculum, and you are interested in participating, please meet with your co-op advisor first. For general information about co-op, please see the following:

Top Ten Tips for International Students Seeking Internships, Co-ops or Jobs

  1. Check out the Career Development website. It offers resources on every aspect of the American job search process. Carefully review guides on resumes, interviewing, job search and networking. Read these BEFORE you make an appointment to make the best use of your time.
  2. Attend an International Student Small Group Job Search BEFORE you make an appointment with a counselor. We offer a number of sessions regularly. Please check the Career Development calendar for specific dates and times. Look for workshops designated INTL (for international students) on the calendar. In addition, attend other Career Development workshops of interest.
  3. Utilize Career Development resources including:
    • HuskyCareerLink: Start here to find internship and job opportunities. Account Log-In information can be found on the bottom of the login screen.
    • Going Global: Use Going Global's country and city guides for the US and overseas, job and internship listings, H-1B employers, and an employer directory featuring 400,000 plus companies in many countries including the U.S. Gain access by logging into HuskyCareerLink and then scroll down the page to the icon.
    • InterviewStream:  Utilize this to practice interviewing at your convenience, BEFORE you make an interview practice appointment. Northeastern University e-mail required for log-in.
    • MyVisaJobs.com: MyVisaJobs.com quickly allows you to learn which employers have utilized H-1B visas for a three year period and also provides other excellent resources.
    • USCIS H-1B Cap. Use this to monitor the USCIS H-1B visa cap. USCIS will allow you to monitor the number of available H-1B visas and provides helpful information.
    • WASP free program for speech analysis provided by University College London. When an American speaks, their voice goes up and down in inflection/pitch. Use this resource to record yourself. Practice until you mirror the pitch/inflection of an American speaker.
    • Dreambridge Partners: Check out the blog and resource library to connect with other international students and professionals. Receive advice on navigating both the job search and American culture (create a free account).
    • Career and Job Search Guides and other career resources are also available on the Career Development website.
  4. Attend Career Fairs. Review the Step by Step Guide to Career Fair Success for International Students. Be sure to check out the Career Fair FAQ's for more information on how to prepare and make the most of Career Fairs. Interested in the companies coming to the Career Fair? Visit the Career Fair Page to get a full list of the participating companies. Make sure to attend Career Fair Prep for International Students and review all relevant PowerPoints including: International Student Career Fair Prep and H-1B Visas Presentation. Be sure to know and be able to clearly explain your visa status.
  5. See Resources for Improving Your American English. The most successful international students are communicators with strong verbal and non-verbal communication and interpersonal abilities. Understanding American social interaction and culture can be an important success factor in interviewing and being competitive for positions within the U.S.
  6. Practice your English with American English speakers to polish your English language and your American social skills. Joining organizations will provide you with the opportunity to practice English language and social behaviors. Join at least one organization which has American student members. For a list of organizations, please click Campus Activities - Northeastern University.
  7. Build a network and learn to connect. Networking is the number 1 way people find positions. Be sure to utilize your existing network and gain connections here in the U.S. Learn about resources that make networking easier such as LinkedIn, Professional Associations, and alumni networks such as HuskyNation (for juniors, seniors, graduate students, and alumni). Join our Northeastern University Career Development Group and  Northeastern University International Students and Alumni Group on LinkedIn. Please see our LinkedIn for Job Search page and attend LinkedIn 101, LinkedIn for Networking, and additional networking workshops and events.
  8. Search widely and apply for jobs selectively. You will dramatically increase your success if you match your skills to the positions you are considering. We recommend that you have a strong match between your skills, experience, and abilities and the positions for which you apply. Applying for positions for which the match is not strong generally does not yield successful results.
  9. Understand and abide by the rules of your visa.Are you hoping to do OPT after graduation?  Wish you could estimate how much CPT you have/or will have completed?  Use the CPT calculator to estimate how much CPT you have or will use (for F-1 students who engage in a U.S. co-op). To use the CPT usage calculator:
    • Scroll down toward the bottom of the page where the calculator appears
    • Select "F-1" from the dropdown box. Then select “Authorization for opportunities INSIDE the United States” in the dropdown box.
    • NOTE: The CPT calculator is a tool to estimate how much CPT a student has or will use; it is NOT an exact count of CPT usage or indication of eligibility for post-completion Optional Practical Training. Each student is responsible for tracking his/her CPT usage at his/her current degree level. Contact the ISSI to verify your eligibility for employment and learn the process for applying for OPT. International Student and Scholar Institute - Northeastern University.
    • If you would like to learn a more exact total of when you were authorized for CPT, please email Tim Sroka, t.sroka@neu.edu . Remember, this CPT calculator is just an estimate.
  10. Conduct a Two Country Job Search. Apply for positions in both the U.S. and in your home country. Create a Plan B (a second option post-graduation). Evaluate where your best post-graduate employment opportunity exists.

Career Development is here to help you learn the skills to be successful in an internship or job search. Use our resources!

Getting Started

  • Learn the basics of the American style job search. Read the guides to resumes, cover letters, job search and interviewing on the home page.
  • Register for an International Student Small Group Job Search session. They are offered several times throughout the semester.
  • For additional help, walk-in hours are Monday-Friday from 1:30-3:30 pm. If you are working on your first American resume, a 10 minute walk-in is not enough time. You should plan ahead and make an appointment instead.

Resources specific to international students include

International Alumni Success Panel: Part 1 and Part 2
Introduction to Job Search for International Students

Interviewing American Style
International Student Career Fair Prep and Step by Step Guide
Resume Writing
Employment Visas for International Students
The Art of American Small Talk
Improving Your American English