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Recently, we have detailed how international students on F1 and J1 visas can be employed while studying abroad in the United States. A common employment opportunity that international students on both F1 and J1 visas can explore is on campus employment. Receiving on campus employment is arguably the easiest path an international student can go in terms of employment opportunities. There are three requirements in order to receive on campus employment:

  • The employment must not displace a United States Citizen,
  • An international student can only work a maximum of twenty hours per week while classes are in session, but may work full time while classes are not in session or while the school is on a vacation or break period.
  • An international student must report their work to a designated school official and have a certification letter to show to the Social Security Administration in order to receive Social Security Number.

A few other important things to note about on-campus employment is that the employment must, with no exceptions, be affiliated with the institution or university that you are attending and must provide service(s) to the students attending that university or institution. In some cases, working for an educationally affiliated institution is allowed, such as working at a research lab.

If you receive on-campus employment, that employment can begin up to thirty days prior to the start of the program that you are enrolled in.

  • For example, if your program were to start on August 31st, then the earliest you could start your potential on campus employment would be August 1st.
  • On-campus employment can be performed as long as you are enrolled in a program, or even if you have a pending application for a reinstatement or a change of status.
  • However, it is important to note that prior to your performance of any work, the designated school official must be notified.

A designated school official updates and maintains records for international students for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. They also help international students avoid problems and solve them when they come up. An example of this is helping international students work legally while on their visa in the United States.

Some examples of on-campus work include, but are not limited to:

  • Teaching assistant,
  • Research assistant,
  • Library student worker,
  • Campus bookstore worker,
  • Cafeteria worker.

Again, these are just examples of what on-campus jobs would look like. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

A great place to start to look for is at the DSO office, or office of the designated school official.

  • Not only might they be able to point you in the direction of areas that need staffing, but they will help you make sure that any work your perform or employment you receive does not violate the rules of the current visa you are on.
  • It is extremely important that you follow the guidelines of employment for the specific visa you are on so you do not violate the rules and put your visa status in jeopardy.

While seeking on-campus employment, there are a few tips to help you land a job.

  • First off, have confidence!
  • If you are confident, that will show your interviewer that you are confident in yourself and will be confident in your work.
  • Another tip is to approach a prospective employer, don’t wait for them to come to you.
  • It is always suggested that you reach out in order to express your interest in the position.
  • Finally, it is suggested that you practice some common interview questions. This will help prepare you for the real thing.

Although any type of on-campus employment may seem enticing (everyone likes a little extra money!) there are a few suggested things to look for in your prospective on-campus employment.

  • You should look to make sure that the pay equals the amount of work that you are expected to perform.
  • For example, one job might seem to pay less, but at that job you would have more down time in order to do school work while at work.
  • It is also suggested that you look for a job that will boost your resume in some way.
  • For example, a job that entails computer work if you are seeking a job in the computer science field or a related field can help give your resume a boost.
  • Finally, it is also suggested to look for a job that can lead to a promotion, or better job.

Having a job on campus can be a way to help pay for your expenses while studying in the U.S. If you need help finding other international student loan options to fund your studies please visit us at We’d be happy to help you search and compare options for education loans or study loans, too. Please send us an email at if you have any questions! We are happy to help.





John Romanucci

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