Working on Campus

Most international students work on campus to cover some of the tuition cost, personal expenses or to just benefit from the learning experience that having job responsibilities provides. F-1 visa (student visa) holders are ONLY allowed to work on campus up to 20 hours a week during the school year and up to 40 hours during breaks. For more information on working at the College, check these two websites, Student Employment and Student Work Opportunities for International Students FAQ.

You will receive information about employment during Odyssey, the orientation for international students.

On-Campus Employment Options

Work on the Connecticut College campus is possible as soon as you are a full-time enrolled student here. Employment can be found in the libraries, in dining services, theater services, administrative offices, at the IT Service Desk, etc. You can search for jobs on HandShake.

Employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session, but may be full-time during the College's vacation periods.

Off-Campus Employment

Employment is defined as any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit. Caution: Do not assume that you are automatically eligible to work in the US. The USCIS considers unauthorized employment to be the most serious violation of your F-1 status. Please consult the international student adviser before accepting any employment.


Employment, as defined by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), is any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money or other compensation. In securing a visa, you proved to the satisfaction of Connecticut College and the U.S. Embassy that the primary purpose of your stay in the U.S is to study. The F1 visa has restrictive employment rules. Be sure to check with the International Student Adviser before accepting any employment offers.

There are two ways that F1 students can be authorized to work off-campus, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT). In both cases the employment needs to be related to the student’s major field of study and the student needs to have been enrolled for one academic year before being eligible for it.

1. Curricular Practical Training

To be eligible for this category you must have had F-1 student status for one academic year (nine months). A job offer is required to be eligible to apply for curricular practical training. While there is no limit to the length of time you may be employed in curricular practical training, any student who works for twelve months or more in full-time curricular practical training automatically loses the eligibility of any optional practical training after completion of studies. Curricular practical training is defined as:

  • Non-credit training that is required for ALL students in the degree program as part of the established curriculum (e.g. required internships as published in the school catalog).
  • Training programs taken for academic credit which are an integral part of the established curriculum, but are not required (e.g. field study courses as published in the school catalog).

2. Optional Practical Training (OPT)

To be eligible for this category you must have been in F-1 Student status for one academic year (nine months). A job offer is not required to be eligible to apply for optional practical training. You are eligible for a total of twelve months of full-time optional practice training per degree level. You may apply for periods of practical training before completion of your studies. Any time of OPT used before graduation is deducted from this 12-month period.

3. 24-Month Extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students with a STEM Degree

To be eligible for an OPT extension, an F-1 nonimmigrant student must:

  • Currently be participating in a 12-month period of approved post-completion OPT;
  • Have successfully completed a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) included in the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List from a college or university certified by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Student and Exchange Visitor Program;
  • Be working for a U.S. employer in a job directly related to the student's major area of study;
  • Be working for, or accepted employment with, an employer enrolled in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' E-Verify program. E-Verify is a free, internet-based system operated in partnership with the Social Security Administration that helps employers to determine the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees; and
  • Properly maintain F-1 status.