On-campus jobs and internships

I am an international undergraduate applicant for a CS major. I am sure I will get some scholarship from the universities I applied to. I’ll also work part-time and do paid internships. As I want to take a minimum student loan, how much do you guys think will I be able to cover on my own? I saw online that many companies like Capital One and Uber pay around $7000 per month for three months. And on-campus jobs can pay as high as $12 dollars per hour up to 20 hours per week.

I would recommending contact the office for international students at the schools where you are applying to ask about working on campus during the school year and the restrictions.

$7K/month for a student? That’s seems crazy high and I would say that’s going to be a unicorn salary.

Be aware that many students are struggling right now to find internships and summer jobs because of Covid. Many of my D’s friends don’t have jobs lined up and they are college juniors.

@momofsenior1 Yeah, $7k a month does sound like a fantasy. But could someone get an internship worth like $4k a month if Covid thing was not here cause I’ll be starting college next fall?

My D makes $23/hour at her engineering co-op and the company pays for all her housing and travel. I think if you could land a CS internship you could get to that $4k/yr number.

You may want to look at coop schools where working is built in.

Again though, make sure school is affordable without a high paying job. They are competitive and chances of getting one after freshman year are slim.

Aren’t there limits on how much international students here on student visas can make? I know I had read that somewhere but I’m not an expert on the subject.

I have not heard that, but I’m also not an expert on the subject.

@me29034 I think it’s just the taxes and other stuff but no limit.
Though there is a time limit of 40 hours per week in the summers and 20 hours per week when attending school.

  1. Scholarships in the US, as an international student, are NOT guaranteed. We’re in a pandemic and the schools have lost a LOT of money. On-campus jobs can be difficult to find because many are used for work-study (US students).

  2. Getting into a US university is not your ticket to immigrating and staying in the US. Immigration is a completely different thing. When you graduate, you are expected to return to your country.

As for internships: There is a limit to working because you are NOT a US citizen. When you work your internship, you will be using your OPT (Optional Practical Training for 12 months). If you go on to grad school, they will allow another OPT. After that, any sponsorships to stay in the US will be hard and difficult-it takes time and money on the part of the employer and it is easier for an employer to employ a US candidate. Currently, many CS companies have posted (on their websites) that they are not sponsoring non-US candidates.

You cannot plan on staying in the US because immigration rules are very strict. US companies must target US citizens for employment first. CS majors are popular university majors for US citizens. Many schools are impacted for CS which means, the schools don’t have room for everyone who wants to study this field.

You’re not allowed to work at Uber. Please familiarize yourself with the work restrictions attached to an F1 visa. You would be expected to show upfront how you will fund the first year of your degree to get a visa. If the consular officer is not satisfied with that or thinks you will need to work in violation of your visa conditions you will not be granted a visa.


F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. After the first academic year, F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment:

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)
  • Severe economic hardship

For both F-1 and M-1 students any off-campus training employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official (the person authorized to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)) and USCIS.

@SJ2727 so can I or can I not get a summer CS internship if it is authorised by the responsible department?

As auntbea noted above, yes but it will come out of your OPT allowance. Further info on OPT here: Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students | USCIS

The point that was made about some companies not giving internships to international students currently is something I have seen noted other places too. At this point I think you should be thinking of a paid internship as a bonus rather than relying on it as part of the way to fund yourself in the US.

@SJ2727 thanks for the advise. And by working in Uber I mean working an internship as a software engineer or something. STEM majors do get an extension period on OPT right?
I am not considering interships to fund my education but just as a way to provide me with some support. But my cousin said he and his friends did not have any trouble finding internships. He even interned in Amazon and now works there. Btw he studied in Texas.

You may want to look into whether the colleges you’re applying to allow qualified undergrads to be TAs. It may pay better than other on-campus jobs (and perhaps even many internships). My son earns just over $1k/month for a course as a TA and he spends about 5 hours/week on it. He was even able to do it remotely this past term.

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Unless your cousin was talking about this year in the middle of the pandemic and a multi year high in unemployment, I’m not sure his ease of getting an internship and job is relevant right now. Things have changed swiftly over the past year.

The link I gave you on OPT has details of the extension.