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Employment as an International Student

International students can take advantage of a variety of employment opportunities, but they must work closely with International Student Services to ensure that they always comply with US Department of Homeland Security regulations. Failure to follow these important rules can lead to serious consequences, such as fines, ineligibility for future visas or deportation. All employment must always be approved in advance by International Student Services staff before students begin any internship or employment (even if the student will not be paid or will only receive academic credit for the internship).

current students

Working on campus

International students in F-1 Degree-seeking or J-1 Exchange status are eligible to work up to 20 hours per week on DePauw’s campus when classes are in session, even as early as the first semester on campus. During official break periods, students are allowed to work full-time (40 hours per week) on campus. Students should discuss any new on-campus employment opportunities with International Student Services to ensure that all work is authorized.

Common on-campus employment opportunities include: Academic Resource Center tutor positions, departmental tutor positions, International Student Ambassadors, First Year Mentors, Resident Assistants (RAs), Intercultural Conversation Facilitators (ICCF), Modern Languages tutors, DePauw School of Music, Dining Services, DePauw's Bookstore "Eli's Books", the Phonathon, the Information Technology Associates (ITAP) Program, and DePauw's HelpDesk.

Please note: Students are not permitted to work at Starbucks, The Inn at DePauw, The Fluttering Duck or 2 West Bistro, as these do not count as "on-campus" employers. International students are not authorized to work at local establishments in Greencastle, such as restaurants or shops, as these experiences do not provide training in their field of study.

We suggest that students apply for skills-based or student leader positions in their first or second year at DePauw in order to gain valuable professional and leadership experience.

Working off-campus: Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

F-1 degree-seeking students can be eligible to engage in internships or employment outside DePauw's campus by applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) after completing one academic year. All off-campus employment must be reviewed and pre-authorized by International Student Services. CPT is required when either academic credit, pay or other forms of compensation are provided in exchange for work, including during the semester and during official break periods. Working off-campus without pre-authorized CPT can result in serious consequences, such as termination of the academic program and immediate return to the home country. Review the ISS CPT Application (available at the ISS Forms and Documents website) for full details about eligibility and the application process.

working in the us after graduation

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a post-graduate opportunity for F-1 Students to put theory into practice, develop professional skills and build their networks in the United States. OPT is initially granted for a period of 12 months and allows students to work in one or more positions related to their major field of study.  OPT also serves as a valuable gap year when students can transition to graduate school or to an H-1B work visa. Visit our OPT webpage to learn more about OPT and how to apply.

DePauw graduates currently on initial 12-month OPT should use the Report OPT Updates online form to notify International Student Services within 10 days of any change in employment, address or contact information. (Coming soon.)

OPT STEM Extension

Students with qualifying Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) majors may be eligible to extend the initial period of Optional Practical Training (OPT).  The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently expanded OPT regulations to provide the opportunity for STEM students to apply for up to two, 24-month STEM extensions per lifetime.  This new rule takes effect on May 10, 2016. Visit our OPT STEM Extension webpage to learn more about eligibility and application requirements. 

DePauw graduates currently on OPT STEM Extension should use the Report OPT Updates online form to notify International Student Services within 10 days of any change in employment, address or contact information. (Coming soon.)