International students have to pay non-resident tuition for the whole time we’re on school. We are not eligible for any kind of financial aid. Moreover, we are very restricted if we want to get a job.
As I shared before, I’m from Peru. I’ve been working since I’m 17 years old. I never liked the idea of asking money to my parents to go out with my friends or any other social activity. I was already used to work and study at the same time.
When I was in Peru, I worked as a part-time and I was able to cover some of my own expenses. I was getting paid the minimum wage but I have enough money to go out with my friends, buy my own stuff and take my family out to dinner.
Once I got to Salt Lake City, I found out that I wasn’t able to work!!!
During the first year, international students are only allowed to work on campus. Since my student visa was still on process, I couldn’t apply to anything until I received the approval for my visa.
It took me almost a whole semester to find a job. I applied for every single job I found. The best places to find more about job openings is through the website of each school. They should have an employment tab or a job board.
At the beginning, I applied only for the jobs I was qualify for. Since I didn’t get any response, I ended up applying to all the jobs on campus. I found out that you won’t lose anything if you try to go out of your comfort zone.
My first job on campus came out of nowhere. My friend Roberto was walking on campus and saw a hiring sign. He called me and we both applied for it. If you are looking for a job, you should also pay attention to what’s around on campus.
I started working for a Thailand restaurant at my school and I really liked the experience. For some reasons, I was forced to look for another job.
There is a third option for people who is looking for a job. There is an employment office at schools. I went there at the beginning of the semester and they gave me four different job options. I applied to all of them and within the next two days I had an interview for those positions.
I ended up accepting the job that called me first. It was the most challenging and I felt I was the perfect fit for me.
If you, my dear international friend, haven’t work previously on USA, don’t worry about it. You will be told to get an authorization to get your Social Security Number (SSN).
The first step is to apply to every single job on campus and to get a position with one of them. Once you get a position, you will have to ask your new boss for an employment letter. This letter will provide your information, the information of your new employer and it will specify that you have just been accepted in there.
You will take this letter to the international office and they will let you know where can you go to get your SSN. It will take a few weeks to receive it but you will instantly get an authorization to work.
An important reminder to all international students who want to work: You can only work 20 hours during the semester. Otherwise, you will be failing to your visa status.