Working and studying in the US and UK as an international student can be a rewarding experience, but it comes with its challenges. Here is an overview of the best ways to pursue work and study opportunities in these countries:
Study and work in the United States of America:
1_ F-1 Visa: If you plan to study in the USA, you will usually need an F-1 student visa. While you have an F-1 visa, you are allowed to work on campus during your program and off campus under specific circumstances such as Optional Practical Training (OPT) after you complete your program. OPT allows you to work in your field of study for up to 12 months (24 months for some STEM fields).
2_ On-Campus Employment: Most F-1 visa holders can work on campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during school breaks.
3_ Curriculum Practical Training (CPT): CPT is another form of off-campus employment for F-1 students, which allows you to work off-campus as part of your academic program if it is related to your field of study.
4_ Optional Practical Training (OPT): Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a post-completion work permit that allows F-1 students to work in their field of study in the USA after graduation.
5_ H-1B visa: After completing your studies and gaining work experience, you may be eligible for an H-1B visa, which is an employment-based visa for specialized occupations. You are allowed to work in the United States of America for an American employer.
Study and work in the United Kingdom:
1_ Tier 4 (General) Student Visa: If you plan to study in the UK, you will usually need a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa. While you have this visa, you can work while you study, but the rules vary depending on your level of study:
– Full-time degree at a higher education institution: You can work up to 20 hours per week during the semester and full-time during vacations.
– Below degree level (e.g. English courses): You can work up to 10 hours per week.
2_ Post-Study Work Visa: In the UK, there is a post-study work option called the “Graduate Pathway” which allows you to work, look for work or start a business in the UK for up to 2 years (or 3 years if you have completed a doctoral degree).
3_ Tier 2 (General) Work Visa: If you get a job in the UK after your studies, your employer may sponsor you for a Tier 2 (General) Work visa, which is a skilled worker visa. This visa allows you to work for a specific employer in a specific role.
To work and study in either country, it is necessary to research specific requirements, restrictions and application processes for visas and work permits. In addition, universities and colleges in both the USA and UK often have international student offices that can provide guidance and support regarding visas, work options and other aspects of studying abroad.