Resources for International Students
Washington & Lee's Career and Professional Development office welcomes you!
International students face unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to career and professional development. If you are planning to pursue employment in the US, you may encounter visa, culture, and jobs search differences. Here are a few suggestions to help you navigate potential challenges.
1. Begin your explorations early. During your first year, schedule appointments with:
- the International Student and Scholar Advisor to understand the visa application and process
- Career and Professional Development Advisors to begin your career exploration, research industries, interests, and careers (LexLink). Utilize W&L's 4-year plan
2. Become involved on campus. By participating in student clubs, volunteering activities, internships, and working, you will begin to develop your professional interests and skills. Take advantage of workshops provided by Career and Professional Development to learn how to develop your personal brand and present your unique accomplishments to potential employers.
3. Learn about, and practice job search skills which in the US may be different, even uncomfortable for you, including the following steps:
- Exploring Career Options
- Creating your personal, unique brand to achieve your professional vision
- Refining your professional documents: resumes, cover letters
- Interview preparation
4. Optimize your communication skills. If you are a non-native English speaker, take advantage of all of the opportunities W&L offers to strengthen your writing and speaking skills, using language to successfully transmit your ideas. Learn to promote your unique skills including your multi-lingual abilities, flexibility, cultural understanding, adaptability, and problem-solving - skills that employers are seeking.
5. Explore your home country resources. Contact your embassy for contacts for employment. Research employers who may have offices or connections in your home country.
6. Understand the immigration process and visa categories. Visit with International Student and Scholar Advisor, Hunter Swanson at email@example.com, for assistance.
- Student visa: You are here on a student visa (F-1. J-1), not a work visa. You may be eligible for internships, research positions, or other employment opportunities under certain conditions related to your studies. Many employers may not understand the constraints of student visas. You should be able to describe your visa status with employers.
- Work visa: You may find that some employers are confused and reluctant to hire international students due to visa restrictions. After graduation, you will be eligible for 12-months of practical training (and an additional extension of up to 24-months for those in certain majors in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, STEM).
We’re ready to help you get started.
- American Association of University Women - International Fellowship - For full-time study or research for non-US citizens or permanent resident women. Graduate and postgraduate study at an accredited institution is supported.
- Ford Foundation - International Fellowship Program - Provides opportunities for advanced study to exceptional individuals who will use this education to become leaders in their respective fields, furthering development in their own countries and greater economic and social justice worldwide
- Institute for International Education - Links to scholarship, academic, and fellowship opportunities
- International Financial Aid - Premier resource for financial aid, college scholarship, and grant information for US and international students
- International Financial Aid and College Scholarship Search - Scholarship search for students from all different countries to study in America
- International Student - Provides resources for international students to do research on different institutions as well as access to scholarships and other resources.
- Korean American Scholarship Foundation - Undergraduate and graduate students with a Korean heritage studying in the United States regardless of citizenship status.
- Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund - A nonprofit, public charity founded in 1981, which awards education grants to exceptional women from developing countries, who are at least 25 years old, and enrolled at universities in the US, Canada, and select universities in South Africa and Latin America
- P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund - Provides scholarships for selected women from other countries for graduate study in the United States and Canada
- Fleishman Hillard: China Masters Exchange Program - Work at a FleishmanHillard U.S. office for up to one year after graduation and then relocate to a FleishmanHillard China office. Consideration will be given to students in all areas of study who possess well-developed research, writing, and communication skills. The training program and on-the-job experience will develop your writing, presentation, communication, and client service skills
- IASTE - The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience is open to degree level science, engineering, technology and applied arts students in the second year of study and above
- LatPro - A website for with job listings for Latino professionals or bilingual Spanish-speakers
- MyVisaJobs.com - Find employers that hire international employees and alumni. Search for employers by industry or location who have sponsored H-1B visas (Located in the 'Search Visa Solution' section)
- NASA International Internship Program - Work within NASA in Trinidad & Tobago or Mexico
- The International Student City Career Center - provides comprehensive career advice which addresses the unique concerns that international students face as they look for employment in the United States
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: Young Professionals Program - Provides ten recent college graduates and young professionals under the age of 30 with the opportunity to start a career in an international public service organization. *It is open only to candidates from under-represented countries*
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization: The Junior Professional Officers/Associate Experts Program - Focusing on poverty reduction, trade capacity-building, energy, and the environment. The JPO/AE Program is only open to nationals of participating countries. These include: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Russian Federation, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Work in the field of international cooperation activities, thereby giving them an opportunity to gain experience in the field of international cooperation activities by means of a structured learning approach
- Saludos - A site for Hispanic students: search for the employer of your choice, post your resume, and apply
- Princeton in Africa - Matches talented and passionate college graduates with organizations working across Africa for yearlong service placements. Fellows have helped improve education and public health, source fresh water and alternative energy, increase family incomes, and more. Open to US and International students
- Princeton in Asia - Provides service-oriented experiences and works to serve the needs of Asia as determined by its host institutions and Asian partners. The program arranges yearlong fellowships and internships with Asian host organizations in the fields of education, health, international development, environmental advocacy, journalism, engineering, technology, law and business. Open to US and International students
Alumni to Know
One of the best ways to explore careers and find job opportunities is to network with professionals. Below are alumni who have experience in the field and have volunteered to be a resource to you. Not sure how to begin networking? Stop by our office to get started.
Sofía received her BA in Psychology and minor in Philosophy from Washington and Lee University in 2015. After graduation, Sofía worked as a Paralegal at Legal Services NYC, a non-profit organization that provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people in New York City. In 2016, Sofía began her studies at New York Law School, where she serves as a Junior Staff Editor of the New York Law School Law Review, a Harlan Scholar affiliated with the Center for Business and Financial Law, the Academic Chair of the Latin American Law Student Association, the Secretary of the Immigration Law Student Association, and a member of the Dean's Leadership Council. During her first law school summer, Sofía participated in a study abroad program in London where she studied International Corporate and Financial Services Law and International Trade Law. During this summer, she also completed an externship program as a Financial Services Academic Intern at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.
My name is Hang Nguyen and I'm currently a Risk Assurance Senior Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. I graduated from W&L in 2013 where I double majored in Accounting & Business Administration and East Asian Language and Literature. I interned at PwC during the summer of 2012 and started as a full-time employee in the following summer. I am a CPA and currently working on obtaining my Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification.
- RedBus2Us - H1-B Visa Company sponsorship search
- VisaSquare - H1-B and Green Card sponsorship reports for 2015 and previous years
- NOLO - how to find a cap exempt H1B job
- Multicultural Student Organizations - List of all student organizations that celebrate different cultures and identities
For further information, see the Washington and Lee current international students page.
The Office of Career and Professional Development at Washington and Lee University has not vetted any of the international internship and volunteer opportunity listings on this page and makes no representations or guarantees regarding any of the listed opportunities. It is the responsibility of students and alumni to do their own due diligence when applying for and accepting any of these opportunities.