International Students

Western Washington University’s Career Services Center provides a full range of tools and resources to assist students and alumni in any stage of the career planning process. The first step in any career search is to reflect on what is most important to you. ​

​We provide a supportive and nonjudgmental environment where all students and alumni can ask questions and have conversations about their next steps in the career development process. We offer individual appointments and workshops on a range of career topics. ​

Group of international students smiling for the camera and giving the peace sign

Ways the Career Services Center supports international students

  • Explore your interests and goals, including how academic majors connect to different career options.​
  • Make a plan for how you will gain important skills inside and outside the classroom. Many American employers value extracurricular involvement, such as internships, volunteering, and participation in campus clubs. ​
  • Create strong application materials, such as resumes and cover letters​
  • Understand job/internship search strategies, including how to navigate key online resources, networking, and career fairs​
  • Learn about American interviewing norms and practice responding to common questions ​
  • Get free professional attire from our Career Closet ​
  • Learn about graduate school opportunities and application processes by connecting with a Graduate School Advisor.

Frequently Asked Questions

We encourage international students to connect with the Career Services Center early in your time at Western so we can help you plan and make the most of your time on campus!

F-1 students are eligible for on-campus employment opportunities. After one full academic year of study in the U.S., students may be eligible to complete internships through Curricular Practical Training (CPT).  Students who want to gain hands-on work experience in the U.S. after graduation can pursue Optional Practical Training (OPT).  Learn more about these employment options.

J-1 students are eligible for on-campus employment opportunities.  Students can also pursue work related to their field of study (paid or unpaid) through Academic Training. Academic Training can begin during your studies or within 30 days after completing studies in the U.S. Learn more about these employment options.​

Finding a job/internship in the U.S. can take time. If you are interested in pursuing Academic Training, we recommend starting your search at least 1-2 months before you complete your studies at Western. 

Volunteering, working on campus, getting involved in campus clubs and leadership activities, and participating in undergraduate research are all great ways to gain career experience. Many of these opportunities are available to you throughout your time at Western, including during your first year. 

Visit the Student Employment Center website to view current on-campus job openings. Connect with the Career Services Center if you’d like help creating your resume and cover letter or preparing for your interview

Handshake is WWU’s main resource for connecting students to job and internship opportunities.  ​

When searching for jobs, you can filter by jobs that do not require U.S. work authorization, jobs that are open to candidates with CPT or OPT, and jobs that are eligible for US visa sponsorship. To add these filters, go to the Jobs page in Handshake, navigate to “All filters,” and scroll to the work authorization section.​

In addition to finding jobs and internships, you can use Handshake to:​

  • Connect with employers​
  • Attend virtual events and virtual career fairs​
  • Schedule appointments with WWU’s career counselors and health professions/graduate school advisors​

Want additional tips from other international students who use Handshake? Check out this Handshake student blog post!

Networking is the process of establishing valuable connections with professionals, peers, and alumni. Building a professional network means you can get advice, referrals, and inside information from experts in your field. In addition, employers often prefer to hire people they know— or who have connections to people they know. ​

Visit our Networking page to learn more and get tips for building your own professional network! 

OPT/CPT: The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign publishes a list of companies and organizations that have hired international undergraduate students on OPT/CPT status. It is updated three times per year.

H-1B Sponsorship: GoinGlobal has a directory of employers that have previously applied for H-1B visas to hire international talent.
 

OPT/CPT: The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign publishes a list of companies and organizations that have hired international graduate students on OPT/CPT status. It is updated three times per year.

H-1B Sponsorship: GoinGlobal has a directory of employers that have previously applied for H-1B visas to hire international talent.

Schedule an appointment to have a conversation about your specific questions, goals, and next steps!

Job and Internship Search Resources

Find jobs and internships in Handshake! This platform has the most opportunities for current students and recent grads. Add work authorization filters to streamline your search.​

A resource for your job search in the U.S and/or internationally. You can use GoinGlobal to identify U.S. employers who have hired students with OPT and sponsored H1B candidates and more!​

Complete a micro-Internship—short-term, paid, professional projects available to international students with approved Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training (OPT), or other work authorization.

You will need to confirm your eligibility to work before you apply to projects. Contact WWU’s International Student & Scholar Services regarding information on your work authorization to ensure compliance with internship requirements and USCIS regulations.​

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Can't find what you're looking for?

Please let us know what resources and information would be helpful to support you in your career planning and preparation by completing this form.

Interested in a tailored presentation or workshop?​

A member of the Career Services Center team can provide a workshop or presentation for your student club!​ Complete this Presentation Request Form to find out more! ​