On-Campus Employment

International students can work on campus, up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. Many on-campus jobs are work study positions for which international students are not eligible, so on-campus jobs are limited during the academic year. At Viterbo the on-campus jobs available to new students are in the Fine Arts Center and with Aramark Food Service. Aramark hires for the cafeteria, the POD convenience store in the Student Union, Einstein’s Bagels, and catering. International students who will be returning to Viterbo can apply for resident assistant positions with the office of residence life, tour guide positions with Admissions, and to work in the Viterbo bookstore. 

Over the summer on-campus jobs are funded through Viterbo rather than federal work study, so undergraduate international students can apply for any on-campus job. These include part-time administrative assistant positions, staffing the Mathy recreation center, copy center, grounds and cleaning crews. These jobs are advertised through Career Connect/Purple Briefcase on the Career Services website. During the summer international students can work up to 40 hours per week. (International students can also work up to 40 hours per week over breaks, e.g., spring and semester breaks.)

A social security number will be issued if you have obtained an on-campus job. Your supervisor must report to the Office of International Student Services that he or she is holding a job for you. Then you will be given a letter that will allow you to apply for a Social Security card. You may not start working until you get the card. You must have your I-20 endorsed by Kenneth Felts or Vickie Unferth. When you have the appropriate documents, take them to:

Social Security Office (La Crosse)
210 Seventh Street South, Suite 100
La Crosse, WI 54601

Office hours Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Off-campus Employment

International students are not allowed to work off campus unless they are doing curricular practical training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT  must either be required by a major or must provide a student with internship credit. CPT must be approved by Vickie Unferth. You will also need to work with the your faculty adviser, and the Career Services Office to do an internship.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is work experience in the student’s field of study, usually performed off campus. Standard OPT is up to 12 months full time. For a student whose area of study is in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) an additional 24 months is possible. The STEM degree list is available at www.ice.gov/SEVIS/Stemlist.htm.

OPT can be pre-completion OPT or post-completion.  Pre-completion OPT reduces the amount of time available for post-completion. Full-time pre-completion OPT will be  deducted from the 12 months standard. Part-time OPT (less than 20 hours per week) is deducted at one half the rate of full-time OPT. For example, two months of part-time OPT equals one month of full-time OPT.

A student may apply for post-completion OPT up to 90 days before degree completion or 60 days after degree completion. More information is available at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. The current filing fee for OPT is $410.  You will need to meet with the director of International Student Services for help with the required documents, which will be mailed to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).   

Typically, it takes two to three months after the application is received for USCIS approval of an OPT request. It can be denied. The student applying for OPT is not allowed to work until he or she receives the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which will list a start date.