International Students

The Center for Career & Professional Development at Sacred Heart University takes a Global Job Search approach to provide international students with the tools and resources needed to be successful throughout their professional endeavors – both domestically and internationally. The center provides various workshops, presentations and resources to help navigate experiential learning while at SHU, and post commencement.   

Introducing: INTERSTRIDE

Your road to success in the U.S starts here!
Interstride is an integrated platform that supports international students throughout their experience in the U.S and beyond. It’s the #1 way international students find jobs, immigration support, and networking opportunities. Review the materials below for more information on how you can utilize Interstride as a student and alum!

Get started at the Interstride website:


To maintain your competitive edge in the US job market, a diverse set of skill-set is highly valued by employers. Excellent communication skills, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively on a team are also required to be competitive in the US job market. You must be able to listen, write, verbalize, conduct presentations, facilitate discussions, and share knowledge effectively in English. Sometimes, the skills that US employers require may differ from the required skills in your home countries, therefore it is more important to develop career readiness skills, have a strong academic record, and technical knowledge relevant to your career interest in order to stay competitive.

International students always want to know when the best time is to reveal that they require H1B visa sponsorship. The most important thing is to always be up front and honest when you are asked about your work visa status because it helps to establish trust.  When you are asked, please state that you require visa sponsorship for full-time employment. If you are not asked about your status, you are not obligated to share your status until you are being seriously considered for the position which will be about the time of the second round of interviews.

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

The Immigration Service defines “curricular practical training” as employment which is an integral or important part of your curriculum, including: “…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.” At the Sacred Heart University, the terms “co-op”, “internship”, and “field experience” are used to describe opportunities for Curricular Practical Training.

Do I qualify for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

  • Are you a graduate student, and
  • maintaining lawful F-1 status, and
  • the proposed employment is a required part of your studies, and
  • you meet all academic criteria set by your academic department

You may apply for permission to engage in Curricular Practical Training whenever your program requires your participation, even if it is immediately upon beginning your studies. Undergraduate students must have completed two semesters of full-time study in order to be eligible for any form of Curricular Practical Training.

For more information about Curricular Practical Training (CPT) visit: Immigration & Support Services – CPT

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

Optional Practical Training is designed to provide you with an opportunity to gain actual employment experience in your current major field of study for a maximum of one year during per higher degree level (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate) in your F-1 status. The purpose is to “round off” or complement your academic work.

 Do I qualify for Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

The work must be directly related to your current major field of study and it must be appropriate for someone having your level of education. The work may be full time or part time during vacations and after you finish your degree or part time during the academic year. The work may occur anywhere in the United States. In order for you to be eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training, you (1) must have been in lawful F-1 student status for at least one full academic year and (2) must submit your application in a timely fashion (see next section). Students enrolled in English language training programs are not eligible for practical training.

For more information about Optional Practical Training (OPT) visit: Immigration & Support Services-OPT

Tips & Resources for searching on Job Boards:
*Setup Job Alerts!

LevelUp: Find jobs & internships ONLY from companies with a past record of H1B Sponsorship


GoinGlobal, consider keywords such as…

  • “Green Card Sponsorship” and location “Stamford, CT” Sample
  • “Visa Sponsorship Available” and location “Stamford, CT” Sample
  • “Foreign Visa Sponsorship” and location “Fairfield, CT” Sample

Zip Recruiter, consider keywords such as…

Simply Hired, consider keywords such as…

  • “H1-B Visa Sponsorship” and location “Connecticut” Sample
  • “Visa Sponsorship Green Card” and location “Connecticut” Sample

 OPT Nation (Trending Jobs)

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Contact & Location

(203) 371-7971

Linda E. McMahon Student Commons
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield, CT 06825

Center Hours

Monday 8:30am-5:00pm
Tuesday 8:30am-5:00pm
Wednesday 8:30am-5:00pm
Thursday 8:30am-5:00pm
Friday 8:30am-5:00pm