International Students

Students like you come from around the world to earn their Suffolk University degrees. No matter where you come from, the Center for Career Equity, Development & Success helps you secure professional experience during your time in the United States.

Two Suffolk students listen to a presenter during a client visit.

International students contribute invaluable cross-cultural insights to the classroom—and to the employers they work with. Our staff works with these students to identify and land career-related opportunities that complement their academic knowledge.  

Boston is known for its global population, and its leading organizations are equally international. Our center will help you connect with employers who prize interns and new hires with diverse experiences and perspectives.  

Get in touch to see how we can put you in touch with a world of professional opportunities.  

Resources

ISSO is the main resource for help with immigration matters. It offers important information regarding CPT, OPT, H1B visas, Social Security cards, and other important matters regarding employment in the United States. ISSO’s team also provides support in the following areas:

  • Maintaining visa status
  • Immigration and document services
  • Obtaining U.S. employment authorization 
  • Programs, workshops, and resources related to your visa and job search
  • Advisors to discuss your status maintenance–related questions

The Career Center provides relevant services and support in the ways listed below.

As you build your career competencies for the workforce, we encourage you to get connected in the following ways:

  • Engage in experiential learning by building relationships with our Career Communities
  • Build your network through the job shadowing program and connect with alumni from multiple communities
  • Connect with a mentor through the RAMP program
  • Learn about internship opportunities and job openings via Handshake
  • Learn about fellowships on campus
  • Build your resume by highlighting the projects you complete through your coursework, student clubs, and community programs
  • Apply for on-campus work-study and non–work study jobs (tutor, resident assistant, orientation leader, career ambassador, etc.)
  • It is always best to ask an ISSO advisor clarifying questions when your visa, work authorization, and status come up to avoid complications.

  • Explore career opportunities and resources to understand your employment options
  • Develop a career plan for your job and internship search strategy 
  • Find ‘international-friendly’ employers
  • Understand work authorization and how it applies to your job search
  • Understanding U.S. job offers and negotiating
  • Explore the details on student employment/funding

Job searching in the U.S. comes with restrictions for international students with F-1 and J-1 status.

Therefore, do not accept or engage in paid or unpaid off-campus employment, internships, fellowships, or other training without prior authorization from the International Student Services Office.

This resource can also provide information about work authorizations, including Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Academic Training (AT).

International students can use these resources to expand their knowledge of career exploration and the job search process:

Top 200 Employers

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security captures data from SEVP-certified schools and active international students to create lists of the top 200 employers who hired pre- and post-completion OPT students (PDF), STEM OPT students (PDF), and CPT students in 2019.

It is possible to find ‘international-friendly employers offering full-time opportunities upon graduation. Although it is frustrating and time-consuming to identify employers who are open and willing to hire graduates with international student status, GoinGlobal has a database of organizations that have applied for H-1B visas on behalf of previous candidates, along with U.S. city guides and international country guides. In addition, MyVisaJobs has a searchable H-1B visa database with a job board that posts international student–friendly job openings.

Should I list my immigration status on my resume?

No, it is not required or necessary for you to list your status on your resume. Your resume should reflect and highlight your qualifications, work history, education, and career competencies, among other items. See the resume guide for further details on building a career-ready resume.

Am I required to reveal that I am an international student?

It is advised that students wait for employers to ask before bringing up the issue. When asked, be honest about your status. While some employers have policies in place that prevent them from hiring foreign nationals, some employers do not and are open to it.  If you are asked to travel for an interview, it is okay to ask if the company is willing to petition for an H1-B since you currently hold an F-1 status.  For an additional perspective on this question, read this excerpt from a presentation [PDF] by Adrienne Nussbaum, assistant dean for international student services at Boston College.

What kinds of questions can an employer ask to determine my status?

It is legal for an employer to ask, “Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?” “Will you now or in the future require sponsorship for an employment visa?” or “Which languages do you read, speak, or write?” (provided that foreign language skills are job-related)

Employers are not, however, permitted to ask, “What is your visa type?” or ask questions about your nationality, place of birth, or citizenship.

I am in F-1 status. What should I say when an employer asks about my work authorization?

Employers have the legal right to ask about work authorization. Explain that you have the legal right to work in the U.S. for up to twelve months using Optional Practical Training (OPT) following graduation. In addition, let the employer know that they do not need to do anything for this to happen. If you are graduating with a degree in STEM (sciences, technology, engineering, and math fields) you also want to inform the employer that you are eligible for a 24-month STEM extension of your OPT. If you do not have a degree in a STEM field or if you’ve completed your STEM extension, you should explain that your work authorization may be authorized for another three-to-six years with H-1B status. If the employer asks for more information, you should be able to clearly explain the H-1B process.

We acknowledge that while this process is delicate and complicated, the Career Center, in collaboration with ISSO, is here to guide you.

Additional Resources