International Students Career Planning Resources

As an international student, you have a lot to offer an employer. Your unique experiences and knowledge are valuable to employers. Even so, you should expect the job market to be competitive after you graduate. Consider being flexible when creating your career plan; you may not end up with a job in the first country you choose.


Take advantage of as many opportunities as possible to network. Networking is not only an opportunity for you to meet peers and mentors; it also gives you a chance to practice language and communication skills and learn about cultures in different countries. Use the Networking activity in the Find a Job section of this workbook to help create your plan. Consider the list below when creating your networking plan.

  • International program or student services at your school often host mixers that are valuable for networking.
  • The Multi-cultural center at your campus offers the opportunity to meet students from different countries.
  • Find out if your school provides networking opportunities with international alumni.
  • Professional international student associations related to your area of study can help you network globally. An example is NAFSA, an association of international educators. Talk to your faculty or counselors to find associations that will fit your career goals.

Gain Experience While You Are Studying

If your student visa allows you to gain experience while you are in school, take advantage of that. In the United States, some of the most common ways of gaining experience are:

Improve Your Language and Communication Skills

Your campus will have resources to help you learn English and improve your communication skills. The community organizations and schools listed below also offer resources for English Language Learners and others wishing to improve their communication skills.

  • Literacy Minnesota 
    Find Free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for adults.
  • Toastmasters International 
    Toastmasters teaches public speaking and leadership skills. Visit the Toastmaster website to find toastmaster clubs in a city near you. Many clubs offer online meetings.

Applying for a Job

Resume styles, interviewing, and communication vary by country. The resources below can help you understand those differences.

  • Writing a US Style Resume
    University of Maryland Feller Center
    Visit this site to find an easy to understand table showing what’s included and excluded from a US style resume.
  • Cultural Differences in the Job Search
    University of Minnesota
    This 2-page handout contrasts common U.S. employer cultural job search expectations with those common in other countries. Understanding the differences will help you better prepare for your job interview.
  • Goin Global Blog 
    Follow or search this blog to find career news, including CV/resume and interview tips and information about cultural etiquette for more than 25 different countries. Remember, cultural norms for applying for a job differ from country to country. Researching the etiquette for the countries where you plan to apply for a job will help you avoid mistakes.

If you are looking for a job, start with your university’s career center or international services to learn about employers that they know about who have previously hired international students. Also, use the job boards below to find U.S. employers who have previously sponsored H1B visas or green cards and search for jobs worldwide. You will also find links to help you detect employment scams that target college students.
Search this database to find employers in the U.S. and worldwide who have previously hired international students. In addition to employer information, you will find information about applying for a green card or temporary work visa.

AISEC is a global organization of students and recent graduates who are interested in world issues, leadership, and management. Find volunteer, internships, and teaching opportunities around the world.

Uniworld Online 
Use the Uniworld Online search to find contact information for multinational companies.

World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO)
Search for non-governmental organizations worldwide.

International job boards
Visit these international job boards to find jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities worldwide.

Get Help

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