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Work and Study in the United States as an International Student!

Posted on May 11th, 2018 by Yessica Prato

Students worldwide often consider coming to the United States to study at some of the most prestigious universities around the globe. However, most students will travel here on a tight budget as education costs can be quite steep. For this reason, many schools began to offer employment options to international students like you! It’s important to note, though, not all schools offer work-study programs so you will want to consider asking your admissions counselor about employment options before you apply.

How can you go about finding an employment in a country you hardly even know? Well, let’s start with the basics…


Working while studying?

Work-study is becoming a popular option for US students and international students alike as education costs continues to rise. These programs allow you to hold a job while working on your degree. CPT, or Curricular Practical Training, can be optional or required based on your major. International students specifically have many opportunities design for them:


  • Working part-time (20 hours a week or less) while being enrolled in classes full-time
  • Working full-time (more than 20 hours a week) while enrolled full-time in classes. Some schools allow you to take evening, online, and/or weekend classes
  • On and off campus employment


Required vs Optional CPT

CPT employment must be related to your field of study. Some majors mandate their students to participate in CPT in order to graduate. Optional CPT is work experience related to your degree that is not required. Work-study can be an internship, cooperative education, or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers. The employment must be related to your major. For example, an engineer student may intern at an engineering firm or work in research pertaining to engineering. CPT is also available to both undergraduate and master students.



CPT is not to be confused with OPT (Optional Practical Training). CPT must be completed before graduation as it’s usually an integral part of your major. It allows you to receive course credit for this employment. OPT can be completed before or after graduation, you do not need to earn credit, and is not employer specific.

Note: If you work full-time during your CPT for 12 months, you will not be eligible for OPT in the future. Part-time CPT doesn’t affect your eligibility for OPT. Make sure you plan ahead and work closely with your international student advisor!


So what do you need?

Like anyone working in the US, you will need work authorization and a social security number in order to be employed. In order to apply for CPT, you must have an offer of employment related to your field of study, you must have a valid international student status, and generally schools require you to have completed at least one academic year unless you are applying for required CPT.

If you’re already studying in the US and are interested in your school’s CPT options you will want to consider talking to your admissions office, international student office, or the career help center to inquire about work-study opportunities for international students. They will also be able to direct you and help you process all of the required paperwork to apply for your work permit.

If you’re not yet studying in the US (or plan on switching schools when pursuing a graduate degree) and are searching for a university that will allow you to participate in CPT, you might want to consider a program like HTIR Work-Study USA. HTIR simplifies the process by connecting potential international students in pursuit of a graduate degree with a university that meets their needs.


Working in the US is a great experience. Not only will you be able to earn some money while you work on your degree and be able to cover some of your school expenses, but you will also be exposed to the US workforce as an employee. This could even lead to future permanent employment in the US!

Written by Yessica Prato

Yessica joined the team in 2016. Originally from Colombia, she migrated to the United States in 2005 with her family. While living in Kansas, she attended Kansas State University. Her interest in education and international studies along with her experience in bilingual customer service led her to EIC. She has also had the opportunity to travel to Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. When not in the office, you'll find her immersed in a good book or with her dogs at the beach.

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120 Responses to “Work and Study in the United States as an International Student!”

  1. Anthony Adewole Says:

    I would like to go for my masters program in the US and I won’t mind if I can benefit from your work and study program.

  2. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Anthony,

    That’s great you’re interested in work study. To request more information you can visit here.

  3. Newman Mwagomba Says:

    I am so much interested in joining this helpful programme

  4. Maria Says:

    Hi! My name is maria and I’m studying business administration. It is possible to do CPT with your own company. I’m thinkin about opening an LLC. What are your thoughts on that?

  5. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Maria,

    Thanks for your comment! If you have specific questions for HTIR Work-Study you can contact them directly. Good luck!

  6. Keva Albries Says:

    As an International Student can I work off campus with the CPT?

    How do I get an CPT is this a card?

    Thank You

  7. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Keva,

    It will depend on your situation. If you’re already in the US you will want to start by speaking with your academic advisor. If you’re not yet in the US you might want to check out HTIR Work-Study.

    You can also learn more on CPT in the US.

  8. eshraq almaquali Says:

    I am so much interested in joining this helpful programme

  9. Gift Soko Says:

    To study and work in the USA has always been my dream up to date. This means that, the programme is very exciting and helpful to me. I can be very glad if I can have this opportunity and I am ready to move to the USA if this opportunity can be available to me.

  10. Chibuike michael Says:

    Good day,am currently a final year UNN pharmacy student about starting my internship in Nigeria,please i have a great passion to study msc clinical pharmacy in united states,is the HTIR work study program available for my field,please I need a reply, Godbless you???

  11. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Chibuike,

    For the most accurate information you will want to contact HTIR work-study directly. Good luck!

  12. Olubunmi Akinboboye Says:

    This is wonderful, i have been praying and hoping to have this opportunity someday. God bless you, am ready to utilize this chance to the fullness. Thanks

  13. Obi Kelvin Says:

    I want to apply nd study

  14. Luis Montoya Says:

    Me llamo luis fernando montoya, soy estudiante internacional en NEW YORK, En la escuela TCS INTERNATIONAL, alli no me permiten trabajar, quisiera buscar una opcion de practicar mis estudios de lenguaje trabajando, lei el articulo sobre su universidad, me podria contar mas de ella, que estudios tiene, si es dificil ingresar, gracias.

  15. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Thank you for visiting Luis.

    You will want to contact HTIR work-study directly for more information. Good luck!

  16. Blessing Makadho Says:

    I would like to go for a medicine program in USA please

  17. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Blessing,

    You can get started by searching for schools in the US. Good luck!

  18. toure mohamed boncana Says:

    thank you i m a refugees

  19. Fakorede ayowole Says:

    Good day, this is grate opptinity for me, I would like to know how to apply. Thanks

  20. Queen Says:

    I have filled the forms for HTIR work study program. I got a mail with some suggested universities but NOT the course I wanted. I also wanted to ask about arrangements for kids while I study. How do I go about this?

  21. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Queen,

    We’ll send you an email with how you can contact HTIR Work Study directly with your questions!

  22. Epnara Says:

    I dream to come to United States and get study. Could you please tell me what schools are offers work-study program? Could you give me a link of schools. Thank you in advance..

  23. Emmanuel Anyebe Edward Says:

    Thank you.
    This is a great way to help people. God will reward you all

  24. Kamila Islamova Says:

    What about the programs for getting a bachelor degree?

  25. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Kamila,

    Unfortunately the HTIR Work Study program is for those who already have a bachelor’s degree. If you need a bachelor’s degree you can find a school to attend in our school search.


    I’m young man with full of energy critical thinking ability, brilliant hardworking and determined to win everything that comes my way about all God fearing. I’m looking for Admission through scholarship to study aboard. I will be very grateful to hear from you. Thanks

  27. Thomas Matthews Says:

    I need the help of full scholarship if possible I need go for degree in abroad.

  28. Akomolafe tosin Says:

    I want to study in US and work

  29. JASPER MEEN Says:

    I’m interested to study in usa for the continuation of my Future career.

  30. Peter Chisambiro Says:

    I want to study and work at the same how do I get into this brilliant programme?

  31. Andrew Ojiezel Says:

    Good day Sir
    I just rediscovered your address and I feel like applying for support and sponsored- ship to enable me start and complete my ongoing Doctor of Ministry here in Nigeria. And if it your desire for me to come over to US for the course I will equally be grateful to you. As things are now, I started this course purely by faith without having any fund which is N1.7 million (one million, seven hundred thousand naira) to start and to complete the course.
    I just discovered my first application written to you in 2008 for your support. By God’ grace I have completed my Masters, though it was stressful because of lack of fund, but, I am grateful to God for seeing me through.
    I am very grateful that I found an address like yours to help me fulfill my dream
    Please I will be very grateful if you can consider my case and make me one of your beneficials of your laudable fellowship.
    Thank you very much for your prompt reply
    Andrew Ojiezel

  32. raymond edward Says:

    i want to go in to farming

  33. Tim Says:

    I’m Zimbabwean have a S.A accredited bachelor’s in Accounting degree and would like to know how to apply for this work study program and as I wanna do CPA

  34. festus njata Says:

    mainly, if there’s a scholarship I’d be grateful if I get a chance

  35. Umezuruike Emmanuel Says:

    Hello, I am from Nigeria ,and i really want to study in United States of America not minding if i will have profit from the work, my educational level is high school certificate, and i have financial difficulties, i don’t have money to further my education ,please i need a scholarship, i have a working experience,
    My father is a welder ,so i have an experience on welding work

  36. Bradley Karl Says:

    It seems nice seeing students working at the same time and studying at same time. It will be easier for them to save up for their fees to study for the next year. Congregation to those students.

  37. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Thanks for the reply!

  38. Daniel Gudeya Gamu Says:

    Still i have a great interest to get this chance i have BSc degree in nurse with 1 year of experience from recognized Hospital i will went to farther education of masters degree.

  39. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello. First you’ll want to begin by searching for schools that would be of interest to you that carry the degree you wish to earn. You can begin that search here:

    After you choose a school you can seek scholarships that may be available to you.

    Thank you for writing and we wish you the best.

  40. ahmed saeed ahmed sarhan Says:

    ahmed saeed egypation hope to continue study and work in united state

  41. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello, Ahmed! Thank you for reaching out. For more information on schools in the United States that accept International Students, please visit our school search here:

  42. Harry Awongo Opubo Says:

    I will be grateful if this opportunity is given to study abroad with the course of instrumentation and Control engineering course in any of your available scholarship universities. Thank you

  43. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! For more information on schools that accept international students, visit our school search here and filter the search by field of study ‘engineering’. Best of luck!

  44. Julien Says:

    I like to work and study in USA

  45. Phu Nguyen Says:

    As a first step, you can visit our USA school search here for more information on what schools are out there!

  46. Deborah ntula Says:

    J’aimerai étudier et travailler aux USA .
    Help me with a schoolarship

  47. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! Bonjour! For more information about scholarships, please visit our scholarship search to help find ways to fund your studies.

  48. Julien Says:

    Hello,i need a financial aid. Please help me because i want to study and work in USA

  49. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! Visit our scholarship search to find ways to help fund your studies:
    You can also find more information on International Financial Aid here:

  50. Nyamukiza diamant Says:

    I am interested to student in u.S.a

  51. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! To start, you can visit our USA school search to begin looking into what school is best for you and your schools.

  52. Orishaba Florence Says:

    I would like to study and work in the USA what can I do and am living in uganda a Ugandan by nationality.

  53. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! To start you can visit our school search to see what schools meet your goals here:

  54. Edmore Says:

    HI. I’m Edmore from Zimbabwe.I would like to study whilst I’m can you help me

  55. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! You can visit our Work-Study page for more information on this:

  56. Selome Says:

    I’m interested please help me

  57. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! For more information about working and studying in the US as an international student, please visit our page here:

  58. Michael Says:

    I want to further my education in USA as a computer science student
    Please help, will waiting for a reply

  59. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! To see schools in the USA that accept international students with a computer science program, visit our page here:

  60. jesus Says:

    Hello, im from mexico, i want to do a PhD in the united states, do you know if i can do an OPT with a J1 visa?, because the fundationts in mexico who support internationals students, says that you have to go back to mexico after graduaton and live 2 years, in order to go back to the US and search for a work. would appreciate your answer, thank very much for the information.

  61. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! OPT requires a F1 visa. For more information on working on a visa, visit our page here:

  62. Judith Says:

    Hi, I’m Judith from Nigeria, I’ve acquired NCE in Building Technology and a BBC in Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering. How can I apply for a scholarship to study for my MSc under a work-study condition…

  63. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! To see what scholarships can help you find your studies, visit our page here:

  64. Abigail Love weedor Says:

    I’m Abigail Love weedor I am a undergraduate student and I’m ready interested in this scolorship I’m from Liberia

  65. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! We have a variety of resources for those looking to study internationally. To begin, you can visit our school search to see which school best fits your goals:
    From there, you can visit our resource page about funding your studies:

  66. bilal awan Says:

    i wnat job and work in canada or america

  67. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! To learn more about working while studying as an international student, you can visit our page here:

  68. Adoneek Says:

    Heyy, i’m living in Jamaica and would like to pursue my studies overseas

  69. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! You can use our school search to find which school best fits your goals:

  70. paul musyoka Says:

    i wish to work and study in the USA and looking forward to get more information from you


  71. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! We have a variety of resources for those studying abroad in the US. To begin, you can visit our school search to see which school best fits your goals:

  72. fredrick ochire Says:

    please i want to work and study as well

  73. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! We have a variety of resources for those looking to study internationally. To begin, you can visit our school search to see which school best fits your goals:
    From there, you can visit our resource page about working in the USA on a student visa:

  74. modou jallow Says:

    I will love to study and at the same time work in the US because my family background is not strong enough to support my education fully

  75. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! We have a variety of resources for those looking to study internationally. To begin, you can visit our school search to see which school best fits your goals:
    From there, you can visit our resource page about working in the USA on a student visa:

  76. karim Says:

    interested in working and studying in California in the future.
    would want some more advices on how too do it!

  77. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! To start, you can use our school search to see what school best fits your needs. I have set the search to California and you can change this as well as your field of study and type of degree:
    We also have several resource for those working during their studies:

  78. gifted peter Says:

    I studied Economics in my undergraduate studies and I would like to have my masters in business management in USA, please, how can you help me

  79. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! You can begin by finding a school that best fits your goals. You can search for Masters in Business Management programs in the USA here:

  80. John badung Says:

    I just finished from air force military school Jos and I wanna continue my studies in us but no funds so I’ll like to start working while schooling so I could raise money for my funds

  81. Phu Nguyen Says:

    Hello! We have a few resources that might be helpful for you. We have financial aid options here:

    We also have a page about working and studying in the USA as an international student here:

  82. Peace Eboigbe Says:

    How can I write the exams

  83. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Peace! Visit our Test Prep Center for information on exams.

  84. Peace Eboigbe Says:

    If I pass my exams so from next year I can go but how can I get to the airport

  85. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Peace! Visit our International Student Travel Center for information on travel.

  86. kudzaishe makuvaza Says:

    I wish to study for a PhD in philosophy and work in order to help fund my education.

  87. Bryanna Davis Says:

    Hi Kudzaishe,

    You can learn more about philosophy here. Best of luck to you!

  88. Ma. Rizelle S. Mondero Says:

    Hi! I am now prepared to take Master’s Degree for Business and I was also graduated as a working student when I was in College. I’ve earned a lot of experiences in different field of business to prepare myself in taking Master’s Degree onwards. I would like to take the opportunity to have the scholarship in your helping hand! Hoping for a positive response! Thank you!

  89. Connor Blay Says:

    Hello! Congratulations on taking the next steps in your education! If you would like to find scholarships that could be available to you please use our international financial aid resource. Best wishes!

  90. Anasa Says:

    I would love to study in usa

  91. Connor Blay Says:

    Hello Anasa!

    So glad you are interested in studying in the USA. You can use our USA School Search resource to find a school that will fit your needs.

  92. Maker tong Says:

    I’m delighted to go and study in USA,
    I’m interesting to join.

  93. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Maker! We’re glad to see that you’re interested in a US work-study. You can learn more here!

  94. Armstrong Says:

    It has always been a dream to study in the us please let me in

  95. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Armstrong! We would love to help. You can start by finding a school to study at using the USA School Search tool. Best wishes!

  96. Richard Alfred Chisale Says:

    I would like to study criminology/international relations/private investigator/ human rights in united states needs support to achieve my dream

  97. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Richard! Please use our USA School Search tool to find a school in the US that will fit your needs.

  98. Adeyemi Daniel Says:

    Am presently working in a public sector here in Nigeria and would like to pursue Master programme in Monitoring and Evaluation in the US under work and study scheme.

  99. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Adeyemi! We’re glad to see that you’re interested in studying in the US. You can use our USA School Search to find a school with Master’s degree programs in monitoring and evaluation. Best wishes!

  100. Habibatu Jalloh Says:

    Hi am living in Sierra Leone I want to further my education in the US and am interested in the work and study program if am granted the scholarship to go for my degree

  101. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Habibatu! We’re glad to see that you are interested in a work-study. If you need more information, please check out our Work-Study in the USA page where you can submit your information to HTIR. Also, you can use our scholarship search tool to find scholarships that are available to you. Best wishes!

  102. Bih Emmanuella Says:

    Hi, am a Cameroonian willing to study and work in US

  103. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Bih! Please visit our Work-Study in the USA page for more information on work-studies and to find out if you are eligible.

  104. Ngemita valere nkwatefor Says:

    Greetings sir /madam I saw your program and indeed is the best the world could offer it will be a great pleasure for me to work and study so that I will be able to study hard so as to come back one day and contribute to the development of my continent and the world in general
    Thanks very much as i await a reply

  105. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Ngemita! Please visit our Work-Study in the USA page for more information on work-studies and to find out if you are eligible.

  106. Elie Jouni Says:

    hello.. my dream is to visit the united state city and take my masters degree over there. hope everything be good and my application become true.

  107. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Elie! You can use our USA School Search tool to find a school that will fit your needs. Our US Study Center is also an excellent resource to help you prepare for your international student journey. Best wishes!

  108. Nikki Says:

    Hi i’m niki omidvar i’m 15 and i’m in 9th grade i’m from iran l’m study in iran too so i was just passed in IMC2018 when i was 7th grade and then i did keep going till i passed in lot of another world championship like EMC1,EMC2,IMC2020,HKIMO,TIMO,MATH DUEL,BMmT,kahkeshani test and …
    Till now i have 2 medals, 5 scolarship cards and also i’m a member of Elite club of tehran mathhome ,i have scolarship from tehran mathhome and i’ve lot of letter of commendation . I dm all of them to the ucla collage but they didn’t see DMs i send them all the pictures of my medals & cards … so i just wanna come to LA and study there 4 my 10th grade & i wanna full scolarship to can live there

    Hope u ganna give me a full scolarship

  109. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Niki! Unfortunately, we’re unable to provide financial assistance but you can use our International Financial Aid search tools to find loans and scholarships that are available to you.

  110. John blessing Says:

    Hi my name is blessing, please I need your help to forward my education

  111. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Blessing! Thank you for reading. Unfortunately, we can’t provide personalized assistance but we can provide you with some of the resources you need to start your education as an international student. You should start by finding a school that fits your needs with our USA School Search tool.

  112. Geebee Education Says:

    Thanks for sharing , really helpful.

  113. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Geebee! Thank you for reading our blog. We’re glad you find this information helpful and feel free to share it with anyone else who might find it helpful. 🙂

  114. Geebee Education Says:

    Thanks for your information and keep posting.
    study abroad consultants

  115. Purity kitili Says:

    I am a Kenyan citizen.. I have been accepted in three US Universities, however I cannot be admitted, because am unable to afford the tuition fee.Please I would appreciate your help in work-study program in the US. Thank you for considering my request.

  116. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Purity! Thanks for reading our blog. If you register for a free account, you can use our scholarship tool to find scholarships. Best wishes!

  117. ShweWin Says:

    Hello guys.
    I`m from Yangon,Myanmar most of people know Burma as Myanmar.
    My English skill is really poor and i also afraid to come US as an international student.I dont know anything about US but i really wanted to be international student.its just like my dream or my goals.Can someone give me some advice to grab a chance to be an international student in US or UK.

  118. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi there, Shwewin! Thanks for reading. We aren’t able to give personalized advice but you can read more about English Proficiency tests here. Best wishes!

  119. Adebanjo Says:

    Good day am interested in having my master programs in US but can have school that test of English does not compulsory

  120. Connor Blay Says:

    Hi Adebanjo! Thanks for reading our blog. Some colleges and universities may not require an English proficiency test, however, it is a requirement to show proof of English proficiency in order to get a US student visa so we recommend looking into TOEFL or IELTS. We also recommend using our USA School Search tool to explore colleges and universities in the US that accept international students.

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