International Student Support
Often the job search experience for international students presents unique and unexpected career and employment challenges. Career Services assists in seeking part-time opportunities, internships, Curricular or Optional Practical Training, or employment, within the U.S. immigration and labor regulations. Through our programs and services, international students can identify their career interests and build career and employment skills to succeed in the U.S. marketplace or in their home country.
International Student Community Ambassadors (ISCA)
The ISCAs are international students who are committed to improving the student life experience of all GW international students by providing peer assistance services to facilitate mentorship, acculturation, engagement, and professional development. Services include:
- Peer mentorship and career advising
- resume and cover letter assistance
- workshops on professional topics such as interviewing and networking
Part-time Student Employment at GW
The Student Employment section provides information regarding part-time employment in campus departments within the university.
GW Career Connect (GWCC) Pathways
Pathways are step-by-step guided learning paths students can follow to learn about a career topic or gain a career development skill. Pathways are made up of short videos, tutorials, guided questions, and concrete action steps to help students create a plan. In partnership with the Center for Career Services and the International Services Office, international students can access two on-demand pathways:
- Harnessing GW networks to build mentoring/networking relations
- How to find employers of interest and frame international experience for the US job market.
Each pathway guides you through a few short videos with questions and next steps for practice. They are self-paced and can be completed 100% virtually.
Resources for International Students
- International Services Office
The International Services Office is the first stop for the GW international community and will help eliminate administrative challenges when studying in the US. ISO Advisors host a variety of special events that highlight our diverse international student population. At GW, we are finding new ways to build an inclusive culture.
- Career Events for International Students
To access the most current information on upcoming career events, industry-specific and university-wide career and internship fairs, and workshops related to international students, go to the Events & Programs section of the ISO website or search the events section in Handshake.
Programs have included Working on Campus, Prepare for the Career Fair, The Job Search Process, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Workshop, Optional Practical Training (CPT) Workshop, OPT, STEM, H1B, and Beyond, Etiquette Dinner, J-1 Employment Workshop, All About Networking, and the International Student-Alumni Networking Night.
- Career & Employment in the United States
Engage in the Life of the University
- Engage in university social, academic, networking, and career events
- Practice your English at every opportunity
- Join a student organization, fraternity, or sorority, and engage in co-curricular activities
- Excel in your academics, participate in class, ask questions
Learn about the U.S. Workplace
- To learn about the U.S. workplace, meet and engage with Americans
- Pursue an on-campus job to experience the U.S. workplace firsthand
- Develop English proficiency to succeed in the workplace, practice at every opportunity
- Learn about the U.S. workplace through reading, networking, and internships
Learn about American Culture
- Volunteer in the community and attend DC activities
- Plan to meet new people, ask questions
- Reflect on your experiences
Focus Early on Careers and Job Search Preparation
- Visit the GW Center for Career Services and your school-based career services center as appropriate to explore self-assessment, research career/job options, learn about the job search process, and engage in networking.
- Attend CCS career workshops, industry events, fairs, and special international student programs
- Schedule an appointment with a Career Coach
- Identify specialized career resources for international students Identify how 80% of Americans find jobs (Hint: Visit the Center for the answer).
Learn and Understand U.S. Visa Restrictions
- Maintain your visa status via the International Services Office and learn about Curricular Practical Training
- Learn the legal and employment restrictions associated with your visa status and the impact on your pre- and post-graduation employment options
- Prepare to explain your visa guidelines to potential employers
- Plan ahead and follow the required deadlines for any government and employment applications
- Be realistic about options for U.S. employment and develop an alternate employment plan
F-1 STEM OPT Extension & E-Verify
- An international student who received a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM (PDF)) from GW, an accredited Student and Exchange Visitor Program-certified school (PDF), may apply for an extension of their OPT while in a period of post-completion OPT.
- STEM OPT students must work for an employer that is enrolled and in good standing with E-Verify.
- While a STEM OPT student may change employers, the new employer must be enrolled and in good standing with E-Verify before the student begins STEM OPT employment. EADs issued to F-1 STEM OPT students state “STU: STEM OPT ONLY.”
- Global Job and Internship Opportunities & Resources
These resources will help you explore career opportunities around the world. You will also find guidance, strategies, and tools to help in your international jobs and internships search.
- Additional Campus Resources
Information about academic resources for international students at the university is available via the GW Libraries Guide system.
Check out the international friendship portal, presented by the GW Student Association, to help you connect with other international students on campus.