How to Get a Job on Campus as an International Student

The idea of getting a job might sound intimidating, but it isn’t as difficult as you might think, you just have to put work into finding positions that interest you and applying to them. If you do want to pursue an on-campus job opportunity, here’s everything you need to know about on-campus jobs as an international student!

What is an on-campus job?

As the name implies, an on-campus job is simply a job that supports the university’s operations. Unlike an off-campus job, which takes place outside of the university, on-campus work is based on your university’s campus. On-campus jobs can either be paid or voluntary work and you can only work part-time, meaning that you can work a maximum of 20 hours per week, while you are taking classes. However, you can work full-time, 40 hour per week, during breaks when you are not taking classes. 

Why should you get an on-campus job?

Students get a job on campus for many reasons. Whether it be to help with tuition bills or to have some extra money to spend or save, an on-campus job is a great opportunity to get work experience. On-campus jobs are also typically more flexible in terms of scheduling as well, so it might be a good option during the semester as it won’t get in the way of your school work and activities. 

What are on-campus jobs like?

This depends on what kind of job you are looking for. The scope of on-campus work can range from administrative to research to cooking, so it really depends on what you want to do as well as what your university offers. You can choose to apply for a job in a specific university department or skill area.


Most schools will have their own career search system or job bulletin that students can access. If you are uncertain about where to find on-campus jobs, you can also ask your advisor or the career office for proper guidance. In addition to that, you can also talk to older students about on-campus jobs to see if they have any advice for you.

Apply to as many jobs as possible

You should have your resume ready so that you can quickly apply to as many jobs as you can. Not only is it important for you to apply to as many jobs as possible, you should also apply early, even before you step on campus. This is because job positions commonly open up before the beginning of the school year, so if you apply later then there will be less positions available. So, do yourself a favor and start early!

Preparing for the interview

You should do your research and try to prepare as much as you can by reading through the job descriptions and requirements. Moreover, you should practice answering common behavioral interview questions as well as explaining past leadership and work experiences because on-campus hiring managers often focus on them. If you are applying for a campus leadership, research, or teaching position then the hiring manager will most likely go through your resume and academic records to see whether or not your background and interests align with the job. They might even ask for a professor recommendation, so definitely discuss with the referral professor before giving their contact information to the hiring manager. 

What do you have to do afterwards?

If you succeeded in obtaining an on-campus job then congratulations! You should definitely thank your interviewer and follow up with them on the next steps. If you secured a paid job then you might have to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), depending on the university’s policy, but you can find out more about CPT here!

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