Definition of Employment and Volunteering
“Employment” is any work performed or services provided in exchange for money, compensation or other benefits.
"Volunteering" is defined as something you do for altruistic pleasure, like helping at a charity event for the afternoon. Learn about current volunteer opportunties from UWB's Community-Based Learning & Research Office
UW Bothell's Career Center (UW1-161) offers students advice and help on:
- How to Find Internships & Jobs
- How to Prepare Your Resumes & Cover Letters
- Practice Interviewing for Internships & Jobs
- What Kind of Career You Can Have with Your Major
As a student on an F1 visa you ARE authorized to work in the U.S. As an international student, you may be worried that you will be asked questions about your immigration status. The Career Center has put together helpful guidelines, so that you can learn about the Legal & Illegal Interview Questions.
Distinctive Skill Sets as an International Student
International Student Services feels that a student's experience studying abroad in the U.S. can contribute to his/her development of skills that are highly sought after by employers, such as:
§ International perspective
§ Tolerance for other opinions
§ Ability to see more than one perspective
§ Greater self-reliance and self-confidence
§ Ability to cope with ambiguous situations
§ Foreign language skills
§ Learn quickly
You are permitted to work on the UW Bothell campus for up to 20 hours/week when school is in session. During annual vacations you may work up to 40 hours/week on campus. You must follow all employment regulations governing your visa status. Types of on-campus employment include:
- Employment for UW Bothell: such as working as a student assistant for Office of Student Life / Writing Center / QSC / Library / Coffee Shop, etc.; or a student teaching or research assistant positon.
- Work performed on-campus for a commercial firm providing direct services to students: such as at the University bookstore or Subway.
Off Campus Employment Options : CPT & OPT
Off-campus employment requires prior authorization from ISS and Immigration Services. You must meet with ISS to discuss in advance your eligibility. In most cases, you must be a full-time student in lawful status for one academic year before you are eligible to apply for authorization. The work must be in the your major(s) field of study.
ISS holds quarterly CPT and OPT Workshops, and can meet with students individually to discuss your employment options.
Contact the Career Center to learn about internship opportunties, how to build your resume, how to search for jobs, and how to prepare for your job interview!
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT provides you authorization during your program of study to engage in temporary employment (such as an internship) to gain practical experience in your major.
What is an internship?
An internship is a short term opportunity (typically 3 weeks to 6 months) to provide practical experience related to your field of study.
UW Career Centers have excellent resources about internships and how to search for an appropriate experience:
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT provides F-1 students with an opportunity for hands-on work experience related to the academic field of study after graduation. Students must apply to USCIS within 90 days before the end date of the quarter in which they anticipate to graduate.
How do I find a job?
ISS encourages you to utilize the resources and services that UW Bothell's Career Center provides to all students, such as creating your resume, how to job hunt online, how to prepare for your interview, and what types of jobs fit your field of study.
What Kinds of Jobs Can I Do While on OPT?
OPT work authorization requires you to gain work expeience related to your field of study. The following are helpful websites provided by UW Career Centers to assist in creating ideas of the types of jobs that you could consider looking for:
Social Security Number
A SSN is used to track an employee’s wages for benefits eligibility and tax-reporting requirements. A Social Security Number is not required to obtain a driver's license, cell phone, credit card, insurance, admission to an academic institution or other "non-work" reasons.
As an F-1 international student, you are eligible to apply for a SSN only after you receive a job offer. It can take approximately 2-4 weeks for the Social Security Administration Office to process your application, so students are encouraged to apply as soon as you receive your job offer.
For more information about how & where to apply, please follow our helpful "How to Apply for My Social Security Number Packet" .
Additional information from the Social Security Administration:
International Students Applying for a Social Security Number