A pile of passports.


NYU is the perfect place for an international student. I can vouch for that because I was an NYU international student once upon a time! I was very nervous about what to expect when I moved from the UK to New York City for college. Especially when it came to what internship and job opportunities I’d be able to pursue in the United States.

Luckily, NYU has the Office of Global Services (OGS). OGS assists students with all things international. They provided me with numerous helpful tips and resources after I accepted my admission offer to NYU.

If you’re wondering about the application process or how to write the perfect US college essay, my Meet NYU colleagues have you covered. The wonderful Meet NYU team curated an entire page of articles and links specifically for international students

If you’re wondering how working while studying occurs at NYU, you’re in the right place! In fact, I have some good news: there are multiple ways to work as an NYU international student.

So let’s first answer some common questions and define key US terms you might have encountered. 

The Basics: Common Questions and Terms

Can NYU International Students Get the Internships and Jobs They Want?

This is a question I get asked a lot working in admissions! The answer is…yes! I got my dream internship at Morgan Stanley, a top bank, during my time at NYU. This led to a full-time job offer after graduation, which meant I was able to stay in the United States. I am now pursuing my master’s degree while working as the assistant director of NYU Undergraduate Admissions, which I love!

My experience is by no means unique. The NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development surveyed the graduating Class of 2020 this past year and 81 percent of the 92.9 percent of international graduates who are employed stayed in the United States!

What Is a Social Security Number (SSN)?

All international students will need to get a US Social Security number (SSN) to work in the United States, whether working on or off campus.

An SSN is a nine-digit number that all individuals working in the United States use for taxpayer identification and income reporting. The number issued is unique to you and valid for a lifetime. It is highly important that you do not lose track of your SSN card, which has the number listed on it!

You may need to provide your SSN occasionally. But you should very rarely need to present the SSN card itself. If an organization or individual requests your SSN card, you should do your due diligence before providing it. Only provide it as needed to US government agencies or credible financial institutions.

NYU F-1 and J-1 students authorized for employment can apply for an SSN. NYU’s Office of Global Services will assist these students in applying for and obtaining an SSN and the accompanying card.

What Are F-1 and J-1 Student Visas?

F-1 status is the most common visa status held by international students in the United States. F-1 students are eligible to work on campus at NYU without using their Optional Practical Training year (which we cover later).

To apply for an F-1 visa, a student must first receive the I-20 document from NYU. This happens after the offer of admission. The student must then apply for an F-1 at a consulate outside the United States. For example, I went to the United States Consulate in London to apply for my F-1 after admission to NYU.

J-1 status is far less common than F-1 status for international students. It is typically granted to students in specific educational exchange programs (such as the Fulbright Program). It is also sometimes granted to students receiving the majority of their financial support from outside sources (that is, not personal funds).

To apply for a J-1 visa, a student must first receive the DS-2019 document from NYU. This happens after the admission offer. The student must then apply for a J-1 at a consulate outside the United States.

Requirements for an F-1 Student to Work On Campus:

  • Full-time student status in an NYU degree or certificate program
  • A valid, unexpired I-20 from NYU
  • A valid, unexpired passport
  • An I-94 record indicating they are in F-1 status

Requirements for a J-1 Student to Work On Campus:

  • A valid, unexpired DS-2019 from NYU 
  • Full-time student status
  • A valid, unexpired passport
  • An I-94 record that indicates they are in J-1 status
  • A letter from their on-campus employer stating certain information about the job and what it will entail

Reminder: A working international student, F-1 or J-1, also requires a Social Security number. Otherwise, they can’t get paid!

Do International Students Have to File US Taxes?

Yes! All international students, whether working or unemployed, must file US taxes every year (boring, we know!). Even if a student were present in the United States for just one day during a calendar year, they will need to complete this process. 

Even though reporting your presence via this process is legally required, you will not necessarily need to pay taxes. That will depend on your specific situation.

NYU helps all students through this process. Our students have free access to GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP). This is an online service that helps students fulfill their tax obligations. The system will ask a series of questions and will fill in all necessary forms. It will also inform the student of any tax benefits that may apply to them.


Working On Campus as an International Student

NYU has numerous on-campus job opportunities available to our domestic and international students. On-campus options range from office assistant roles and IT positions to newspaper reporters and lifeguards. As an international student, I had two on-campus jobs. I was a college leader at the College of Arts and Science and an NYU Admissions Ambassador.

There are three main ways to find these on-campus employment opportunities:

  1. Handshake is an online job and internship database for NYU students and alumni. It’s an amazing resource for finding on-campus student employment or off-campus part-time jobs and internships. Alumni can use it to find off-campus full-time jobs for after graduation as well.
  2. WayUp is another career database you can search to find short-term, temporary, and part-time student positions at NYU.
  3. Ask around! There are numerous opportunities at NYU that you can hear about via your professors, schools/departments, friends, and the like. Even OGS has job opportunities if you’re interested in helping other international students transition to NYU!
Working Off Campus as an International Student

OGS and the Wasserman Center for Career Development are always there to assist you during the off-campus internship or job search.

Using Optional Practical Training (OPT) is the most common way to work off campus. OPT is a temporary form of employment that relates to a field of study. So, for example, as a student studying mathematics at NYU, I was able to work for one year at Morgan Stanley in wealth management.

A student can get a maximum of 12 months of OPT for each degree level they complete. If the student is studying within certain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, they may be eligible for a STEM OPT extension. This allows for 24 additional months of employment if the student has a job or offer from an eligible employer. Students can check out the NYU website for a full list of NYU STEM–designated programs for F-1 students.

There are two types of OPT available to our international student population:

  1. Pre-Completion OPT: current international NYU students use this to pursue a part-time internship/job before finishing their related program of study.
  2. Post-Completion OPT: former international NYU students use this to pursue full- or part-time employment postgraduation.


A student meeting with a career coach.

So, as you know now, there are so many employment options available to our international students here at NYU! We hope you learned a little more about some of the options here. You can contact our Office of Global Services and the Wasserman Center for Career Development for more information.

We encourage you to check out the International Students resource page on the Meet NYU website too. There, you’ll find articles written by our wonderful counselors, international students, and the like on all things NYU.

Kat Jennings is a Harry Styles impersonator, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at NYU, and an NYU alum. She studied Philosophy and Mathematics for her undergrad. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at Oxford University in the UK where she is from. Prior to returning to NYU as an employee, she worked in finance at Morgan Stanley for several years.