International Students

Career Connection & International Students

For International Students, employment in the US is different than for US citizens. 
Regarding your major in Economics or Economics & Accounting, Career Connection is here to help you explore your career interests, advise on the CPA exam and licensure, and edit and review your resumes and cover letters for your industry. You are always welcome to come in and discuss your future career prospects, but there are some questions you might have that other departments are better suited to answer.

We've created this page to try and make the transition from student to professional a little easier for you. 

Where to Start

First, UCSB Career Services has put together this general guide for International Students looking for work in the US after graduation. We highly recommend reading this when you start thinking about any sort of employment in the US, including Internships, On-Campus ​employment, and Professional Careers.

International Students Career Guide

What can I do to make myself more marketable to employers?

Unfortunately, just like with any student, there is no way to ensure that you'll have a job after graduation, let alone one in the US. That being said, there are some things you can do to make yourself more marketable to employers that ​are able to hire international students.

Below are some examples of ways to improve your resume:

1) Proficiency in the English language both in writing in speaking. This does not mean that you have to be perfect, but it is important for employers to know that you can communicate effectively in what may not be your first language.

2) Maintain a high GPA. Most employers will not consider hiring an international student unless they really impress them; a high GPA (above a 3.5) is an excellent signal to future employers.

3) Additional coursework in related subjects. An excellent way to differentiate yourself from other students is to pick up another major or a minor. Double majors in Mathematics, Statistics, Financial Mathematics & Statistics, or minors in Mathematics, Statistics, or Professional Business Writing are all excellent examples of additional relevant coursework.

4) Get involved in extracurricular activities. By getting involved in extracurriculars, you are showcasing your initiative, your ability to work in a team, and exemplifying your interests in a way that can build your resume.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) & Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Steps to be eligible for CPT - Internship Work Authorization

  1. Receive an official internship offer.
  2. Bring a printed copy of the official offer letter and job description, the ECON 193 application form (see requirements here), and the CPT form (see requirements here) to Career Connection in 2119 North Hall. Filling out the form takes about 15 minutes so please allow enough time for you to do so.
    • Please note: The internship MUST be related to your major. The Department will not approve your ECON 193 application if the internship is not related to the major. This is both a department policy and guidelines that have been set out by the United States government.
  3. If approved, Career Connection will provide you with an enrollment code and add code for the course. Once received, you should enroll immediately.
  4. Career Connection will make copies of the paperwork, and once completed, you will be required to take the originals to OISS for further instruction.

OPT STEM Extension

Both the Economics and Economics & Accounting degrees are classified as STEM majors by the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Office of International Students & Scholars has produced memos highlighting the specific classifications.

OISS STEM Extension_Economics

OISS STEM Extension_Economics & Accounting

For more information on OPT, please visit this OISS page.

UCSB Office Of International Students & Scholars
Student Resource Building, Room 3130

OISS Website


For more Information or advising regarding Visas, please visit:

UCSB Office Of International Students & Scholars
Student Resource Building, Room 3130

OISS Website

General Career Guidance

For general Career Information please visit:

UCSB Career Services
Building 599
Advising Hours
Monday - Friday; 8:30am - 4:30pm


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