Training and Work

The primary purpose of the F or J visa for international students at Brooklyn College is to pursue a full-time degree or specific program of study. There are opportunities to engage in work-related activities to enhance the learning experience that range from internships, training as part of a degree program (CPT or AT), on-campus employment, and optional practical training (OPT) after completing your degree. Below are several options that may be of interest to international students. Remember that you must meet with an international student adviser before working and that unauthorized work-related activity is a violation of F-1 or J-1 student status.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Graduating international students that are interested in requesting OPT should read the OPT packet. Complete the packet and meet with an international student adviser that will assist you with the process. Make an appointment with a DSO to discuss OPT options.

STEM Extension

Students that are pursuing a degree in an approved science, technology, engineering, and mathematics field can qualify for an additional 24 months of employment. For more information, review the STEM handout (PDF). Brooklyn College is approved for the following STEM majors:

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT must be an integral part of your program of study and must be approved prior to beginning an assignment whether it is paid or unpaid. Most often CPT is an internship or activities such as field hours. Make an appointment with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services to discuss CPT options.

On-campus/CUNY-wide Work

On-campus employment is competitive, and students are encouraged to not work in their first year. All international students are restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours per week. A student must get approval to work from the International Student and Scholar Services Office. International students can take part in on-campus employment on any of CUNY’s 24 institutions.

While a number of campus offices hire international students, below are a few areas you may want to consider.

Note: These areas do not necessarily have openings now, but may in the future.

  • BC Navigators
  • Recreation
  • Student Center
  • Whitman Theater

Academic Training (AT)

Academic Training (AT) is employment directly related to your field of study. AT is a good way for students to augment and enhance their academic studies with professional training while in the United States to study. Your J-1 program sponsor approves Academic Training. The information below is directed to students who are on Brooklyn College’s J-1 exchange program (P-1-02084). To discuss AT, make an appointment with Alison Guerin.

Social Security Card

Many international students are interested in learning how to obtain a Social Security number (SSN). Read the Social Security packet (PDF) carefully. If you have any questions, e-mail us.

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