As an international student, you were granted a visa for the primary purpose of study. Therefore, your employment opportunities may be limited.
You are permitted to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week. During official school breaks (summer, fall, winter, and spring breaks, but not regular weekends), students may work on campus up to 40 hours per week. All on-campus work requires prior authorization by the International Office.
Off-campus employment is allowed in three specific circumstances. You must speak with the International Office before assuming that you qualify for any of the three options listed below.
Curriculum-Related Training (CPT or AT)
In some cases, you may qualify for an off-campus work experience in your field of study. Degree-seeking students must complete one academic year in F-1 status before being eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), and meet North Park's requirements for participating in a credit-bearing internship. Exchange students on J-1 visas may be eligible for Academic Training (AT) based on the terms of their exchange program.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
If you are completing a bachelor's or master's degree at North Park and have been in F-1 status for one academic year, you may apply for OPT between 90 days before and 60 days after your program end date (graduation). OPT gives you permission to look for employment and work in your major field of studies for one year after your graduation. In certain circumstances, you may be eligible for pre-completion OPT. Application for OPT costs $380 and must be done in SEVIS with the help of International Office staff.
Severe Economic Hardship
If your financial circumstances have changed dramatically since the processing of your initial I-20 or DS-2019, you may be eligible to apply for Severe Economic Hardship Work Permission if the cause of the financial difficulty was out of your control. Application for Severe Economic Hardship Work Permission costs $380 and must be done in SEVIS with the help of the International Office.
We encourage you to get involved in a volunteer activity while you're studying at North Park. Volunteering is a great way to meet new friends and learn more about U.S. culture. If you are engaged in an on-going volunteer position (for instance, through University Ministries) that is related to your field of study, please contact the International Office to see if the volunteer work needs to be registered as CPT or AT.