10 Hot Internships in USA for International Students in 2018-2019

by Published

Why search for internship opportunities for international students?

If you’re considering internships in USA for international students, you’re in an ambitious group of students hungry for invaluable global experience. Gaining professional experience in the United States will undoubtedly boost your credentials in any field. Studying abroad or isn’t the only way to intimately understand American culture. Internships for international students can provide the same cultural foundation as well as professional development. 

In addition to managing the world’s largest economy, the U.S. controls one third of the world’s media, is home to several notable fashion labels, and runs a massive sports industry that trickles out throughout the world. When you think of some of the biggest hotel chains, American names like Hilton, Marriott, and Wyndham may come to mind. The fact is no matter what field you want to work in, you can find state-of-the-art internships in USA for international students in several world-renowned companies and organizations.

To save you some time on your search we’ve gathered some of the greatest and latest paid, summer, and different types of internships available to non-U.S. residents. Read on to discover 10 hot internships in USA for international students!

Statue of Liberty and clear blue sky, USA.

Wave hello to lady liberty as you embark on your internship in the States.

Understanding internships for F1 students

International students entering the United States with an F1 visa qualify to work legally either during or after their studies if they meet one of many requirements. In addition to proving sufficient financial support, you’ll have to demonstrate your acceptance to an institution or university, and your intent to return home after your studies and internships for international students. Students on the F1 student visa can choose to do an Optional Practical Training to complete an internship. 

Apart from the F1 visa, international students who attend school in their home countries, but still wish to complete an internship in the USA, can apply for a J1 visa through a program sponsor. Many structured programs that provide internship placement and amenities such as housing and insurance, will also offer legal sponsorship. 

[Get matched with internships in the USA for international students]

Other short term internships for international students

Whether you’re looking for U.S. summer internships for international students, or short term opportunities around the calendar, internship programs will match you up with your ideal duration. Independently finding an internship within a few weeks - two month period of time can be incredibly difficult, especially for internship students who have limited ties in the United States. Internship programs help facilitate this process by reaching out to their vast networks to ensure you don’t miss an opportunity!

Read on to finally uncover the the hottest internships in USA for international students in 2018-2019. 

Paid internships for international students

The capitol building and city street in Washington D.C., USA.

Did your mom ever tell you it’s rude to talk politics? Well, in D.C., it’s rude not to talk politics.

ires logo

1. Intern in Hospitality Anywhere in the USA with IRES

International Recruitment Exchange Services, Inc is dedicated to matching interested participants with their ideal placement with guaranteed paid internships for international students. With IRES you can choose to work up to 12 month in hospitality or up to 18 in other industries. Apart from a few requirements on your student status or previous work experience, best suited candidates should be over 18 years old and have a fluent command of English to work in professional settings. Take control over your internship with the power of choice AND a wage! 

Related: View all of IRES’s Programs |

useh logo

2. Intern in Business with USEH International

USEH International covers the broad field of business with paid internships for international students in sales, marketing, human resources, and finance. Expand on your previous experiences in business by gaining knowledge of the inner workings of companies with an American twist. Once USEH International accepts your application, you’ll be hooked up with a position matching your background and future goals. 

Related: View all of USEH International’s programs |

ea ski snowboard logo

3. Intern as a Ski and Snowboard Instructor with EA Ski and Snowboard Training

Interning doesn’t have to be all stress. Sometimes you just want to chill...in the snow, and EA Ski and Snowboard Training let’s you do just that. After going through training, you’ll be able to hit the slopes and get paid for it too. In probably one of the most fun paid internships for international students, you can teach others the art of snow sports on the United States’ famed ski slopes.

Related: View all of EA Ski and Snowboard Training’s programs |

spirit cultural exchange logo

4. Intern in a Variety of Fields with Spirit Cultural Exchange 

Whether you already have a host company in mind or need placement assistance, Spirit Cultural Exchange will arrange for your sponsorship to secure a visa. While you’re free to choose your own field and company, you can also opt to have all the hard work done for you by leaving the placement up to Spirit. With placements in science, engineering, communications, arts, hospitality and beyond, these paid internships for international students will have a wide range in pay depending on the host company. 

Related: View all Spirit Cultural Exchange’s programs |

usa internships

5. Intern in the Position of Your Choice with USA Internships

Instead of waiting blind while someone else chooses your paid internships for international students for you, you can instead choose and compare hundreds of positions yourself. USA Internships is unique in the industry, because it grants you access to a whole database of updated internship opportunities for international students. Work directly with your future employer to find an internship that’s perfect for you!

Related: View all USA Internships' programs|

Downtown Los Angeles skyline at night, USA.

I got my hands up, they’re playing my song, and your internship will be okay—it’s a party in the USA.

Summer internships for international students in USA

ies internships logo

6. Intern in a Variety of Fields in NYC with IES Internships

The Concrete Jungle of New York City is easily on most people’s list for must-see places, and also a sought-after destination for US summer internships for international students. IES Internships guarantees placement in this bustling city, provides university credit, and gives participants intense professional training to make sure CVs and professional demeanor are at 100%. IES isn’t messing around, and they will make sure you receive an incredibly well-rounded, supported experience as you gain professional experience in the US.

Related: View all IES Internships' programs |

music industry internships logo

7. Intern in the Music Industry in Los Angeles

La-La Land is more than just a Hollywood musical hit, it’s one of many nicknames of Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world. Music Industry Internships has start dates around the calendar, so you have the flexibility to take on summer internships for international students in USA or short-term internships some other time. Get your feet wet in the music industry, or deepen your understanding of how this massive field works in the best city to do it!

Related: View all Music Industry Internships' programs |

world internships logo

8. Intern in Marketing and Entrepreneurship in NYC with World Internships

From the time you start applying until after your program, World Internships provides comprehensive assistance and support to keep your American experience running smoothly. More than just US summer internships for international students, these programs combine cultural excursions with workshops and networking. Explore companies through site visits and learn top business practices through leadership meetings. 

Related: View all World Internships’ programs |

bu logo

9. Intern in Washington DC and Earn Credit with Boston University

This program through Boston University blends coursework with a professional internship, so that you’re receiving credit on top of professional experience in the workplace. For one summer, you can live, learn, and work in America’s capital city to experience politics, public policy, and leadership firsthand. Because this program is open to American and international students alike, you can mingle with people from all over the world and make lifelong American friends. 

Related: View all Boston University’s internship programs |

camp america logo

10. Intern at a Summer Camp in the USA

Summer camp is a staple of American culture. Every year children are sent off to (give their parents some peace) summer camps to socialize, learn nature, and have a few weeks of independence. Intern as a counsellor or camp staff to make sure the camp is running smoothly. With Camp America, you’ll be placed in a summer camp anywhere in the USA, will work with other young people from around the world, and will get to participate in one of America’s greatest traditions through a child’s eyes. This program will be more fun than actual work compared to other summer internships for international students in USA.

Related: Read more Camp America |

Boston city skyline at sunset, USA.

The sun never sets on the Sox, don’t worry, you’ll understand after interning in Boston.

Most popular types of USA internships for international students

1. Business

Internships are a staple for any business student looking to network and secure a fabulous job after graduation. Industries like finance, management, and marketing depending largely on workplace experience over coursework, so your chances at solid employment may be riding on how much you learn through an internship. You’ll also have an advantage working for firms in the USA that do business with your home country, because your language and cultural skills are invaluable! 

2. Media

Whether it’s in sports, the news, entertainment, or radio, the media industry is HUGE for internships for international students. The US exports media around the world, making it an incredibly international field with loads of opportunity to show off your global background. You can expect to find positions available for music companies, film, and TV.

[Save & compare your top internship picks with MyGoAbroad]

3. Hospitality

Hotels are a basic foundation of the travel industry around the world, which means that many of the same concepts and expectations are similar to what you might be used to at home. Working in hospitality will increase your knowledge of how hotels operate, customer service, and correct language. 

4. Politics

The United States’ political environment is closely monitored and talked in quite possibly every country. In a globalized world, the countries that control the strongest economies and military power undoubtedly have massive influence over other countries. As a result, it’s important to know how other countries’ policies and governmental organizations operate. International students interested in politics will surely learn tons international relations and politics interning in the USA.

5. Culinary Arts

The fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Cook your way into Americans’ heart through an internship in the culinary arts. It’s often said that food is the core of any culture and for Americans that’s no exception. With an incredibly diverse food scene stemming from centuries of immigrant influence, you’ll never have a tasteless day!

[How to Make Any Internship Abroad an AWESOME Experience]

Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco, USA.

Internships abroad in the Bay area? More like BAE area.

Most popular USA cities with internships for international students

1. New York City

Perhaps boasting one of the grandest reputations of all cities in the US, the Big Apple has drawn millions of ambitious workers from around world for as long as the city has existed. A hub for diversity and economic prosperity, New York City continues to be a global city of opportunity with countless positions in finance, marketing, management, and the whole business sector. Just a look over to the Statue of Liberty might remind international students of why millions of immigrants that helped build the country arrived on the city’s shores.

2. Los Angeles

The City of Angels is synonymous with bumper-to-bumper traffic, Hollywood, and colorful neighborhoods that have formed over decades of immigrant growth and diversity. Hollywood is responsible for cranking out most of the big budget Blockbusters throughout the world’s history of film. As the second largest city by population in the US, Los Angeles attracts international students looking for internships in entertainment especially, but also in hospitality, culinary arts, business, and more. 

3. Washington D.C. 

The nation’s capital is a no-brainer for internships in the USA for international students relating to any legal, political, or governmental field. To really get the full experience in American politics, D.C. is definitely the place to be. Of course, another benefit of interning in the White House’s shadow is that you won’t ever run out of museums, monuments, and buildings to learn the country’s history.

[How to Get an Internship Abroad]

4. Chicago

Stunning architecture, a portly population, and a tantalizing, glittering lake that’s always too cold to dip in, Chi-Town has a very particular personality unmatched by even its bigger brother, NYC. International students will find a cozy urban jungle with a touch of sophistication living in Chicago, where there are internships abound in its top-notch hotels, global companies, and nonprofit organizations. 

5. San Francisco

Thanks to its close proximity to Silicon Valley, internships for international students in San Francisco and the surrounding areas will have unparalleled opportunities to work in tech, start-ups, and global firms. Companies like Google, Adobe, and Facebook are headquartered here, which means you have all the bigshots in one place. The City of San Francisco itself is an international student favorite for its world-famous sloping streets, red trolleys, and the Golden Gate Bridge, the icon of the West Coast. 

How to find internships for international students in the USA

New York City from Rockefeller center, USA.

Get in a New York state of mind as an intern in the U.S.

  • Step 1: What kind of position do you want? The most important aspect of completing an internship should be… the internship! Focus on your career goals, past experience, and the skills you want to learn before filtering through internship opportunities for international students. 
  • Step 2: Location isn’t everything. While your internship location will factor into your experience, your biggest consideration should be your host company. Research the company’s reputation, other employees’ experiences, and the internship’s responsibilities to determine a company or program. You could live in the best city imaginable, but if your fulltime job is drab, it will put a damper on the whole experience. 
  • Step 3: Search programs by job type. With Steps 1 and 2 in mind, it’ll be super easy narrowing down the options. GoAbroad’s special page for internships in USA for international students and our Online Advisor are great places to start!
  • Step 4: Compare what’s included. The next best thing after the position itself is the package. Check to see if programs include legal sponsorships, are paid or unpaid, and have other perks like cultural excursion. 
  • Step 5: Weigh your options. Read past participant reviews and reach out directly to programs with specific questions. A deciding factor could be something like hearing great testimonials. Save programs to compare side by side with MyGoAbroad.
  • Step 6: Pack your bags and leave! Wahoo!

[LOL: 10 People You’ll Meet While Interning Abroad]

Get after these HOT internship opportunities for international students!

Whether you’re after paid internships for international students or US summer internships for international students, this guide has some pretty powerful tips and resources to get your work party in the USA started. Working in the American economy can benefit you down the road, especially if you plan on joining a multinational company or organization. 

Get the best of both worlds by combining cultural exchange in the United States with professional experience! 

Find internships in the USA now