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In general, not being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident adds a level of difficulty to a job search, but there are employers who are willing to hire foreign nationals. It will depend on the industry and the employer. Practical Training work authorization offers students who have studied in the U.S. on F-1 visas the opportunity to work for up to twelve months in a field related to their studies; J-1 students may apply for Academic Training.
If you hope to remain in the U.S. for longer than the period of your Training, it is especially important to plan ahead with ISSS. Understand the bases on which you may stay long term and be prepared to explain them to an employer. For reasons beyond your control, an employer must sponsor you for an H-1 visa in order to hire you after your Training period expires, and thus you will impose more paperwork and slightly more expense on an employer than will a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Career Services can help you in your job search both in America or overseas. We work closely with International Student & Scholar Services and Penn Global in serving our international students.
We know that there are a lot of questions facing international students when it comes to the job search. From disclosing visa status to subtle cultural differences in the US job search, it can feel overwhelming. Career Services has compiled some of the most frequently asked questions we get to help you start your job search.
Work closely with Penn Global’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). Staff at ISSS are the campus experts on work permission and immigration regulations. Don’t assume that because you spoke with an advisor in ISSS a year ago, you know what you need to know now. Regulations change constantly, and ISSS can acquaint you with current requirements and help you avoid being offered a job but having no legal basis upon which to accept it.
Networking can help you learn about different types of jobs/industries, find mentors to ask advice of, and can even sometimes make you aware of job leads. Even with all of its benefits, networking can feel intimidating at first! Consider reaching out to alumni from your home country on MyPenn, LinkedIn, or through international Penn alumni clubs. Once you’ve found people you want to network with, check out our guide to help you conduct effective informational interviews.
On this page, we’ve compiled many resources to help you prepare for a career in the life or physical sciences. Of particular interest should be our industry specific job boards, as well as various scientific professional organizations.
Hertha Maria Torre Gallego, COL ’24, Madrid, Spain
Introspective, wistful, and intense — that is how I remember the months I spent working on my college applications. Yet, as an international student from Spain, I also found the process difficult and …
Joao Estaca, COL ’24, Lisbon, Portugal
This summer I worked as an intern at the Portuguese Embassy in Washington DC. This was my first experience working in a government job, especially tied to my home country. I had thought of …
Guilherme de Macedo Feitosa, COL ’24, Feira de Santana, Bahia, Brazil
I honestly never saw myself working in a brewery until the summer of 2021, but it took just one email to change my mind. At the time, I was …
Before you land a job, you might spend hours learning a particular set of skills to thrive in that industry and role. Once you start your first day, however, your learning should be far from over. Upskilling is when you …
As you start thinking about medical school admissions, you will repeatedly hear that the MCAT is a marathon, not a sprint. This means that the endurance and stamina required to master this exam – physical, mental, and emotional – must be built …