A number of on- and off-campus employment and internship opportunities are available to international students during their years of study at Drew University. Students requiring a visa to study in the United States, however, must obtain special authorization in order to participate in off-campus employment and internships.
The Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) programs allow F-1 students to pursue part-time or full-time employment, respectively, in a field related to the student’s primary course of study. J-1 students may pursue off-campus work opportunities through the Academic Training (AT) program.
Consult the information below as you contemplate the best options to complement your course of study.
All Drew University students are eligible to apply for on-campus student employment. Many students from the U.S. and abroad hold positions in various university offices and academic departments. While they are ineligible for federal work-study positions, students requiring a visa to study in the U.S. may work in other positions on campus without special authorization, part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during the academic year, and full-time during breaks and the summer months.
Work positions open to students are frequently advertised through the Student Employment page maintained by the Center for Internships and Career Development. International students interested in employment in a particular office or academic department should contact the appropriate manager or administrator to inquire about the possibility of non-work-study employment. When hired or offered a position, your hiring supervisor must complete a New Hire Form so ISSS can create a letter for the Social Security Office.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is off-campus work authorization issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for work experience in your field of study. Students must be in F-1 status for an academic year to be eligible for OPT. Both pre-completion (to be used before graduation) and post-completion OPT may be available. However, students are eligible to apply for one year of OPT per degree level (with an exception for students in the STEM fields). If 12 months of OPT are used before graduation, post-completion OPT will not be available.
For further information, consult the USCIS guidelines for OPT.
Students who have been in F-1 status for one academic year are eligible to apply for pre-completion OPT as early as 90 days before the employment start date. For Post-completion OPT, students may apply up to 90 days before the program end date (graduation or completion of studies for graduate students).
The following activities are considered allowable employment on both pre-completion and standard post-completion OPT, provided that the job is directly related to the student’s program of study.
While Drew University cannot evaluate, recommend, or endorse any specific health insurance company or policy, here are a few options:
All documents required for the OPT application are listed below. Once the I-20 for OPT is created, students are responsible for mailing the completed application to USCIS.
Make a copy of the entire application for your records.
General Instructions: Answer all questions fully and accurately. If a question does not apply to you (for example, if you have never been married and the question asks, “Provide the name of your current spouse”), type or print “N/A” unless otherwise directed. If your answer to a question which requires a numeric response is zero or none (for example, “How many children do you have” or “How many times have you departed the United States”), type or print “None” unless otherwise directed.
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Academic Training allows J-1 students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. The work authorization may be part-time or full-time, depending on the student’s academic program.
Download the AT Application Form (PDF)
If a student is eligible for an extension of the academic training, please contact International Student Services at least one month prior to the expiration date of the training authorization.
If you are graduating and plan to travel outside the U.S. before you begin academic training, you must apply for the work authorization before you leave the country. You will not be allowed to re-enter the United States in J-1 status after graduation without the academic training endorsement on the DS-2019. A valid visa stamp and a signature for travel are also required to return to the U.S.
Students on approved OPT / STEM OPT are responsible for providing the school a description of how their practical training opportunity relates to their major area of study.