Co-op for International Students

Welcome to Cooperative Education! As part of your educational experience here at Pace, you are eligible to gain study related, practical work experience through our program. The following guidelines should provide you with adequate information to begin your search. While the Co-op program cannot guarantee employment, our goal is to assist you in every way we can. Your Co-op Counselor and International Student Advisor will work together with you during this process.
   

ELIGIBILITY FOR CO-OP INTERNSHIPS

International Students are eligible to work off campus in study related positions only with authorization from Cooperative Education and the office of International Students & Scholars. Students are responsible for completing all the necessary documentation prior to employment. Your I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) and passport must be updated. Do not let them expire. Written proof of authorization to work must be shown to an employer prior to beginning employment.

 Students must be fully matriculated in a degree program as a full time student (12 credits for Bachelor candidates, 9 credits for Master candidates).
    
 Students must be in F-1 status for 2 consecutive academic semesters before they are eligible to work off campus.
    
 J-1 Visa holders: Eligibility and authorization are determined by different criteria. The International Student Advisor can provide this information.

In order to begin working in a Co-op position; visit the International Students and Scholars Office to fully understand your eligibility to work in the US.

 Complete the Co-op Employment Eligibility Memo and have it signed by the International Student Advisor. Keep a copy for yourself.
    
 Once your documentation has been returned to the Co-op office, you've met with a Co-op Counselor and had your resume approved and attended a workshop, you may begin to view Co-op Jobs Online and select those for which you qualify and are interested.

 

EMPLOYMENT OPTIONS

 

Students may work in a Co-op position:

 Part-time (maximum 20 hours weekly) during the academic year.
    
 Full-time for the school breaks (when school is not in session).

Students working on-campus in a Graduate Assistantship (10 or 20 hours weekly) cannot work during the academic year in a Co-op position off-campus but may do so for the summer.

Students may work on campus without authorization from the International Student Advisor.

 

FINDING YOUR OWN CO-OP

You may contact potential employers on your own and accept off campus employment as long as the position meets the Co-op criteria as approved by your Co-op Counselor. The position must be directly related to your field of study.

If you are offered employment, see a Co-op Counselor immediately to discuss the specifics of the position and if it meets the criteria.

Once your Counselor approves the Co-op placement, you will need to obtain employment authorization from the International Student Advisor (see next section) and a letter from the employer stating the following:

 Job responsibilities, job title, name & address of employer
 Number of hours working per week
 Hourly wage
 The length of assignment (must be at least 8 weeks)
 Signature, name and phone number of a company official

 

AUTHORIZATION TO WORK
 

Congratulations! You've been hired! Our goal is to support you throughout your Co-op placement. To make the most of your work experience, stay in touch with your Counselor, keep your work authorization up to date and notify us if there are any changes in your work assignment. After 3 months we will ask you to complete an evaluation of your Co-op assignment and ask the employer to evaluate your performance. This information will be shared with you.

In order for F-1 Visa holders to start working:

 

When you are offered an internship and would like to accept the position, you must meet with your career counselor to process the required Practical Training Confirmation Form.  Once completed by your career counselor, you must bring the Practical Training Confirmation Form to the International Student Office with the specifics of your internship.  
ISSO will use information from the Practical Training Confirmation Form to issue a new Form I-20 for the CPT, whether paid or unpaid. The new Form I-20 is your employment authorization. It is your responsibility to follow up with ISSO to pick up the new Form I-20 which must be shown to your internship supervisor.  Allow 2-3 business days for the new I-20 to be issued before committing to a start date.

This is your legal proof of authorization to work and must be shown to your employer.

    
 

The International Student Advisor will send a copy of your new I-20 to the Career Services office confirming your approval to intern. Once the Career Services office receives a copy of your new I-20 with CPT authorization, a confirmation letter is sent to your internship supervisor.

You will only be authorized for one semester (or school break) at a time. If you plan on working into the next semester, you must obtain a NEW Practical Training Confirmation Form from your career counselor and obtain a new Form I-20. The extension of the practical training authorization should be completed prior to the expiration date of the existing authorization (new Form I-20 will be issued). Failure to obtain authorization on time and working in an internship without an updated I-20 (even for continuing in an internship) is a violation of your status.

In order to work you will need a Social Security Card and number. You may start work but cannot be paid by your employer until you have one. Consult with your International Student office for the closest US Social Security location.

 

Good Luck with the Co-op Program!