International Student FAQ

International Student FAQs

Assembled by: Inssia A.

Q: When does CS recruiting start in the US?

A: Recruiting for big tech internships (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc) starts VERY early: think August to September. You really want to hit the ground running if you’re interested in these – make sure to reach out to OCS or contact DSAC for more resources. However, hiring continues with smaller companies and startups well into winter and sometimes even spring. Research internships tend to have deadlines around spring.

Q: Am I allowed to do an internship in the US as an F-1 student?

A: Yes… and no. The F-1 visa itself doesn’t have work authorization, but you can apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) or CPT (Curricular Practical Training). Resources for this tend to go out around early spring, but if you’re worried make sure to reach out to OISS or read the info on their website.

The gist of this is that you will be able to complete internships all 3 summers if you so choose, provided that you file the forms correctly.

Q: Many tech internships have online applications which ask if we will need employer sponsorship to work in the US. Anecdotally, it seems it’s much harder to get through screening when you say ‘yes’. As F-1 students, do we require sponsorship?

A: That’s a little tricky. The great thing about OPT/CPT (see above) is that it’s sponsored by the school (in our case, Yale). This means that the employer has nothing to do with the authorization process, and therefore you don’t currently need sponsorship to work in the US – that’s a problem for your future H-1B self.

However, if this is an internship that converts/may convert to a full-time role, you should let your employer know that your OPT will eventually run out, at which point you will require sponsorship. Whatever you say on the form, make sure to follow-up and clarify once the recruiter reaches out.

P.S. The question “are you legally allowed to work in the US” can be answered with a simple ‘Yes’.