Work-Study (CPT) Overview
The purpose of a Work-study or Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program is to integrate real-life employment training with a student's education.
Immigration Service regulations allow international master study students who are enrolled in an "internship" (also known as a Work-study, CPT, Cooperative Education, Curricular Practical Training, or Co-op program) to work in internship positions for as many months as the duration of the program will allow. Through the work study program, international students may work up to 40+ hours per week.
This CPT option is designed to give students practical work experience in curriculum-related employment with local US based corporations and businesses. For those who select the work-study option, paid internship employment is mandatory, beginning in the first semester of the first academic year of the student's program. Along with the mandatory internship employment, students will need to take a total of 15 to 18 courses, depending on the enrolled program.
The option of Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is for international students enrolled in any Plus Work and Master Degree participating school's master degree programs. CPT is authorized by the U.S. Homeland Security Department for F-1 international students and is equivalent to the CPT option for U.S. students.
F-1 students wishing to participate in an off-campus training program that is “an integral part of an established curriculum” must first obtain work authorization for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). The training, which must be directly related to the student’s major field of study, is defined as ”alternate work-study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum, which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school” (Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 214.2 (f)(10).
Plus Work and Master Degree/ Work-Study Program is Unique
The US organization work study programs have the curriculum set up so that the internships jobs are mandatory and therefore a student must begin his/her curricular training immediately upon registration and securing his/her social security number
The US organization Work-Study Programs students can begin working in their first semester of study. This is very different than CPT programs at most universities where the applicant can not start the CPT employment until he/she has been in school for at least one academic year (nine months). Also, most universities do not have a unique program designed specifically for the International applicant. The US organization, in alliance with the schools, has created a unique program that helps International candidates be successful in the United States workforce. The international candidate will learn about resume building, interviewing etiquette, and U.S. customs. By the time the candidate graduates from the The US organization work-study program he/she will be a prime candidate for an H-1b or a high level job in his/her home country.
Gain Practical Skills
The practical training that students receive by working in a U.S. based company gives them skills and experience that cannot be obtained in a normal classroom-only education format, thus giving an advantage in achieving life goals after graduation.
Earn US Dollars
The wages that are paid to the students for their CPT employment are equal to the wages paid to U.S. employees. Net earnings are retained by the students and used for their personal or educational needs.
The following is each enrolled intern's responsibility:
·Have excellent spoken English
For U.S. based companies, time is money. Whenever a new employee is hired it is imperative that the new person has excellent language skills. Because the companies are paying their managers so much to train new employees, they have zero tolerance for an employee who cannot understand what is being said by the managers, or who speaks to the managers and cannot be understood clearly.
·Proficiency in skills claimed by the student
It is also necessary that our candidates have the skills needed by the companies who want to hire them. We have discovered that it is not enough for the students to state that they have experience in certain skills--rather, they must demonstrate a high degree of proficiency in those skills.
As with the need for good English skills (as explained above), there is need for new employees to have business or computer skills so that the high level managers do not also have to spend so much time in training them for their tasks. Thus, a company that agrees to an interview with one of our students may test him/her by extensive questioning during a personal interview and by use of a computer-generated test. Those who do not show high proficiency may not be hired.
•Pay for your own personal expenses
•Pay for your own housing
•Pay for all tuition and fees
•Participate in locating and obtaining an internship job position
•Maintain satisfactory performance during the Master program and internship employment
•Provide truthful and accurate information on your resume
•Present yourself and perform in a professional, business-like manner while on the job and on campus
•Notify your employer immediately if you are unable to report to work because of sickness or emergency
•Pay for your own airfare to and from the USA and pay for any vacation travel expenses