Below is information about opportunities for international students to gain work experience during their studies at CCA.

Such work is limited to 20 hours per week while classes are in session, and up to 40 hours per week during vacation periods, including summer break.

Two students attend an information table session

Campus Employment

International students with F-1 nonimmigrant status may participate in CCA's Student Employment Program, which offers paid positions on campus as well as opportunities to work in local nonprofit organizations that partner with CCA's Center for Art and Public Life.

Work performed on the college's premises for an outside contractor or firm, such as a campus café, is also permitted if the employer provides direct services to students.

Volunteer/Unpaid Work

Students are often interested in potential volunteer opportunities, as it is a good way to give back to the community and meet new people.

However, it is essential that international students understand what counts as volunteering in order to ensure compliance with
immigration regulations.
 

A group of students sit around a desk in a classroom
Two students demonstrate messaging while on the Back Lot of CCA.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT authorizes international students who have completed at least one academic year in F-1 status to participate in employment that is endorsed by a college internship program, required for completion of the degree program, or for which the student is otherwise eligible to receive academic credit.

CPT is authorized by an ISAP advisor during an appointment with the student.
 

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT allows international students who have completed at least one academic year in F-1 status to work outside of the curriculum in positions related to their major or field of study. This work authorization may be granted during a student’s program of study or immediately after graduation.

Most students choose to participate in OPT following graduation since it allows them an additional year of work experience in the United States. OPT is recommended by an ISAP advisor and approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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Although international students' options for lawful employment are varied, specific eligibility criteria and competition for a limited number of positions restrict their participation in these programs.

International students should not plan to rely on income from US employment to meet their costs of attendance.

They should also note that immigration regulations do not allow F-2 dependents (spouses and children of F-1 students) to work.