On Campus Employment & Volunteering

International students on F-1 visas may only work on or off campus within the employment rules authorized by their visas.  

Any off-campus employment, internship, or training requires prior authorization through Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Working without authorization is a serious violation of your status and may result in your loss of eligibility for benefits normally granted to F-1 students.

On Campus Employment

As an international student on an F-1 visa, you are allowed to work on campus without any special authorization from OISA. There are, however, specific rules and guidelines that must be followed when working on campus on an F-1 visa: 

  • During the regular semester (fall/spring), you may work only up to 20 hours per week. You may work more than 20 hours during official vacation periods (summer/winter break/spring break) when classes are not in session. If, however, you will take classes during an official break period, you will be subject to the 20-hour-per-week rule. 
  • Campus employment refers to jobs that are paid through Wesleyan payroll. If you are uncertain whether a job is considered “on-campus,” please check with OISA before starting the position. 
  • If you will work on campus, you are required to apply for a Social Security number
  • If you will work on campus, you will be required to file a tax return


Wesleyan Student Employment Office  - Find a job on campus

Social Security Information - How to apply for a social security number   

Tax Information - U.S. tax information


While in the U.S. on an F-1 student visa, any internship or training experience requires prior authorization (CPT or OPT) even if unpaid. Please refer to the U.S. Department of Labor’s definition of an unpaid internship for more information.

International students may, however, take part in community service volunteer opportunities without needed any authorization. Per the U.S. Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor, “Individuals who volunteer or donate their services, usually on a part-time basis, for public service, religious or humanitarian objectives, not as employees and without contemplation of pay, are not considered employees of the religious, charitable or similar non-profit organizations that receive their service.”

Wesleyan offers numerous volunteer opportunities within the community through the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships. If you are unsure of whether a specific opportunity is appropriate for volunteering or if it requires prior approval, please consult with an OISA advisor before taking part.