International Student Employment

Can you work? Yes. Where can you work?

  • On-campus only.
  • No more than 20 hours a week while school is in session.
  • During school breaks such as between Fall and Spring semesters students can work 40 hours a week.

If you work, you will have to pay taxes. Taxes will be automatically taken out of your checks: FICA, Federal Tax, Michigan Tax and Big Rapids Tax. 

There are four types of employment:

  • On-campus Employment
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Severe Economic Hardship

On-Campus Employment

  • Limited to 20 hours per week while class is in session; 40 hours during official school breaks
  • Must work On-Campus
  • Can find a job through Student Employment Website
  • Cannot work at jobs near campus: McDonald's, Rite Aid, etc.these are not considered on-campus
  • After offered a job you can apply for a Social Security Number

Curricular Practical Training

  • Internship, clerkship, or clinical rotation for academic credit
  • Great for professional future
  • Must have been a student in the U.S. for at least 1 academic year
  • Must have an internship secured
  • Come to OIE for application procedure or they may be available online.
  • Apply before semester begins
  • OIE will have CPT Workshop during the semester

Optional Practical Training

  • Pre-Completion OPT:
    • Work before graduating
    • Can be full time or part time
    • Need authorization from USCIS
    • Plan ahead & apply early
  • Post-Completion:
    • Work authorization for after graduating
    • Apply before you graduate
    • Full time work authorization   
    • Must complete your degree
    • Workshops throughout semester

Severe Economic Hardship

  • Off-campus employment that the government authorizes
  • Must prove to government that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond student's control
  • $340 fee to apply 
  • Must have been in U.S. for 1 full year

Do not accept unauthorized employment. Although the money may be enticing, students who accept unauthorized employment can be deported.