Reflecting on my past three years at Denison as an international student, I can definitely understand the challenges that international students have to go through. One of the hardest choices to make for us is what to do over winter and summer break. We want to do something productive and meaningful that will help us prepare for our career, but what should YOU do?
Here are the three pieces of advice for you:
- First, you have to decide where you want to spend the majority of your time. Whether it is Granville, California, or your home country, you should start narrowing your options because it would be easier for you to decide what you want to do in that specific area.
- Once you have a general idea of where you want to be, start looking for opportunities and experiences around that area. It can be an internship, part-time job, summer school, research (on campus with the Lisska Center or independent off campus), volunteer work, winter/summer programming with the Knowlton Center and the Red Frame Lab, fellowships, on campus job opportunities, or even job shadowing! When looking for internships in the US, remember they MUST be related to your majors in order to be in compliance with the CPT/OPT rules. I know a lot of students are stressed out about securing an internship, but internships are NOT the ONLY ways to learn. So don’t overwhelm yourself with the internship searching process! If you do find one, great! But if not, look into other options like job shadowing by talking to Denison alum.
- If you find an internship but it is unpaid, make sure to apply for the stipend through the Knowlton Center! Usually, information on summer stipends are released in December or January, so look out for an announcement from the Knowlton Center. Always, ask around for resources because there is so much Denison can offer that a lot of students are unaware of.
Last but not least, don’t forget we have Rosa Lee, our career coach for international students! And feel free to come talk to me during my peer coaching hours (Monday 9:30-11:00 am, Tuesday 3:00-5:00 pm, Friday 1:30-4:30 pm).
Wishing you the best luck! 🙂