International students at the UO demonstrate tremendous ambition, drive, and curiosity. As an employer, hiring international students can seem like a daunting task when you aren’t sure of all the facts. Read on for quick tips, myth-busters, and benefits of hiring international students.

There are over 3,000 international students currently study at the UO—the majority of which are four-year degree students. This unique population brings a well-rounded, global perspective to Eugene and beyond, providing a lasting cross-cultural impact in their US communities. International enrollment at the UO has increased by 133% since 2003. As the international population grows twofold, employers will find increasing benefits in hiring international students who bring valuable foreign language skills and the ability to navigate cultural nuances.

The Facts

  • Most international students have immigration visa benefits which allow them to engage in off-campus internships during their studies and work for up to 12 months in the US upon completion of their studies.
  • Internships during studies are referred to as Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Post-study work is referred to as Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 visa holders, and Academic Training (AT) for J-1 visa holders.
  • OPT and AT are fantastic opportunities for employers to bring in the skills of international students; they are the only means for a US employer to hire a foreign citizen with no cost and little to no extra effort.

Common Misperceptions of Hiring International Students

  • Hiring international students involves complicated immigration paperwork.
    Wrong: Hiring an international student for an internship during their studies or for post-program work is simple and free. The UO International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office will walk students through the process, with little to no effort required on the part of the employer beyond what is normally required to hire a US citizen.
  • It’s difficult for international students to adapt to American companies.
    Wrong: International students tend to be highly adaptable and flexible. Coming to the US for higher education is a significant learning experience in assimilation and instills cross-cultural interpersonal skills in students.
  • Employers must prove that there are no eligible American citizens.
    Wrong: An international student is equal to a domestic student during the hiring process, and a company has no burden of proving that an eligible American citizen was not available.
  • International students are only available for short-term employment.
    Wrong: International students may work part-time during the term and full-time on break throughout their studies as part of an off-campus internship. While post-study work is generally limited to 12 months, companies may apply to hire the student full-time on an H1B visa.

Hiring an International Student as CPT, OPT, or AT

  • International students can be hired just like a domestic student.
  • While there is some paperwork involved, it is completed by the student and the UO International Student and Scholar Services office.
  • The only item which an international student requires from their employer is an offer letter stating the company’s name and location, the start date and duration of the position, and pay information.

The UO Career Center helps all students to succeed during their college career. Make sure to drop in or make an appointment in our office. If you are an international student and have questions please call us at 541-346-3235.