Whether you’re entering your last year or starting your first year of college, you’ve probably thought about what options you have as an international student in the U.S. after graduation.
We know that many of you enjoy planning ahead and thinking about your future, so here are 3 options for you to consider:
Option 1: Study a master’s in the U.S.
If you loved your first 4 years in the U.S. and are thinking about specializing in your field, studying a master’s in the U.S. is the perfect option for you.
You can choose to stay at your current university or apply to a master’s programs at other universities in the U.S. There are many tools you can use to help research the different types of master’s programs that exist. Study Portals, for example, is a great website that allows you to filter based on your preferences.
But it’s also important to research the admission requirements. Keep in mind that there are general admission requirements, but specific program requirements will be different depending on the university.
If you decide to stay at your current university to get a master’s, find out if your university offers any special programs because you are already a student there. Your university may offer tuition discounts specifically for their own undergraduate students and you may have an advantage for paid internships (Graduate Assistantships) in your university department.
But if you need help finding the perfect master’s program, our University Coordinators here at Epro 360 are always ready to help.
Option 2: Start your professional career in the U.S.
If you want to put everything you’ve learned into practice by getting a job in the U.S., there are actually excellent opportunities for international students.
And if you didn’t already know, you’re about to find out.
The U.S. has a program called OPT (Optional Practical Training), that allows international students to get a temporary job that is directly related to their area of study.
Students who are eligible for this program can start applying up to 12 months before they graduate and up to 12 months after they have finished their degree.
To find your dream job in the U.S. we recommend:
- Going to your university’s career fairs
- Participating in international students events on campus so you can get to know other students who may be in your major
- Creating your professional profile on LinkedIn to connect with different companies
- Getting to know and registering on well-known job platforms (e.g. Glassdoor or Indeed).
Did you know that one of our Epro 360 founders, Francisco Galvez, participated in the OPT program after he graduated? In fact, Francisco and his family are still living in the U.S. today.
Keep reading to find out more about his personal experience.
When I started studying in the U.S. I didn’t know anything about these types of programs. But without a doubt, what caught my attention was the opportunity to add to my CV. In addition to gaining work experience with a good salary in the U.S., I knew that being exposed to different cultures would have a positive effect on my future. – Francisco Galvez, Spanish Cofounder of Epro 360
We also asked Francisco what advice he would give to students who are looking for their first job after graduating.
I always tell students not to limit themselves to only going to class. That they should get off campus and interact with other cultures. That they be proactive students and try to participate in different events to get to know people with similar interests. I remember at that time every time I met someone new I asked them where they worked to see if I could find my next opportunity.
Now you may be wondering how he was able to get his Green Card (U.S. residency) and eventually start Epro 360.
Pay attention because this is the best part of the story!
After having applied for lots of jobs, I had two big offers on the table and I decided to go with a Japanese company that was in the top 50 in the U.S. with an HQ in Missouri. Before ending my year with them, they decided to sponsor me to get my Green Card. I couldn’t believe it. I had the job of my dreams and that’s when the idea to start Epro 360 grew. Without a doubt, I am who I am because of the experience I’ve had in the U.S.
Option 3: Return to your home county to continue studying or working
Are you ready for your American adventure to come to an end? If you’d like to go back to your home country to keep studying or working, you’re not alone. Many international students choose this path.
And we’re going to tell you how to do it.
First of all, if you know you’re going to go back home, make sure that you collect all the documents and paperwork you need (university transcripts, diplomas, awards, certificates, etc.) so that your U.S. accomplishments can be officially recognized in your country.
Don’t forget anything!
Remember that all of your U.S. achievements are going to make a difference and help you stand out from the crowd when you are applying for a master’s or a job.
Did you participate in a research project at your university?
Did you receive Honors recognition in a particular semester?
Were you president of an on-campus club?
Everything adds up!
And you know why? Because people who not only have an international degree but can also show personal and professional growth, double their chances of finding their dream job more quickly.
This is why we want to make sure you collect copies and originals of everything you’ve accomplished in the U.S. Because we know, firsthand, all the positive experiences you will return to your home country with.
Another one of our Epro 360 founders, Jonas Kehrbaum, decided to go back home to Germany right after graduation. And he landed a job in under a month.
In my case, I decided to go back to Germany for two reasons: work and love. After graduating I made the decision to go back immediately and I received an offer from a large international company, despite the fact that I hadn’t studied a master’s. I still remember the words from my old manager: Jonas, your international experience in the U.S. has the same value if not more than a master’s. And the truth is I couldn’t believe it. – Jonas Kehrbaum, German Cofounder of Epro 360
Jonas also emphasized how an international degree makes it easy for you to continue working towards your personal and professional goals once you return to your home country.
Personally, studying in the U.S. completely changed my life. You begin to realize that the person who went to the U.S. and the person who came back are completely different. If it had not been for time studying in the U.S., Epro 360 would never have existed. Because we would never have been able to launch this company from our home countries without having had our own international experience. – Jonas Kehrbaum, German Cofounder of Epro 360
Whatever path you choose, each one has its advantages.
The most important thing is to decide what your goals are, and this will help you make the right choice.
If you’d like to hear more Epro 360 success stories, make sure to follow us on social media!