International students can receive permission to work both on and off campus. Please read below for more details.
On Campus Work
International students are permitted to work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. Note that international students are not eligible for work study positions, as those are partially or fully funded by the U.S. government.
International students may work up to 40 hours per week during the summer provided that s/he is not taking classes. For example, if an international student is taking a class during the first half of summer, she cannot work full time until the second half of summer when the course has ended.
Off Campus Work
Internships and Volunteering
International students must receive permission, in the form of CPT (Curricular Practical Training), from the director of international students & programs prior to any work performed. This applies to both paid and unpaid positions. It is a violation of the F-1 visa status for a student to work without permission, and the director may terminate their SEVIS record if the student is found to be working without authorization.
Note that the Department of Homeland Security does not consider any unpaid work performed off campus that is related to the student’s program to be ‘volunteering’. This type of work does require approval for immigration purposes.
A student can receive CPT approval if they have been in F-1 status at Brenau for at least one academic year and one of the following conditions is met:
1) An internship is a requirement of the program, or an alternate requirement. This would need to be in the Brenau Catalog. The student must have their academic advisor provide confirmation that the internship is required. Or,
2) The student must register for an internship, independent study, or related course.
These are the only ways we can show that the experience is ‘curricular’. The director of international students & programs can provide the authorization for this type of work permission, and generally it takes one to two business days to complete. The student must have a job offer letter, which must be related to their program of study, in order to receive approval for CPT.
Optional Practical Training
Another type of work authorization is OPT, or optional practical training. OPT does not require permission from the academic department, nor does it require a job offer. OPT is a 12 month work authorization that students generally pursue after graduation in order to gain one year of full time work experience. This authorization must be approved by the Department of Homeland Security, takes between one to three months to process, and currently costs $380.
If a student cannot get CPT but still wishes to work off campus in a job that is related to their program of study, s/he can apply for OPT but first needs to speak with the director of international students & programs prior to making plans.