Summer job shortage dire for some international students

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While most Macalester students already have summer lodging and employment squared away, some international students are finding themselves without the assurance of an on-campus job for the summer months. According to Aaron Colhapp, the Director of Macalester’s International Center, over 15 percent of rising sophomore and junior international students planning to stay on campus this summer and looking for full-time jobs don’t yet have on-campus employment, and are struggling to find jobs with all on-campus positions already full.

Because of federal employment regulations for non-citizens, the international students have limited job options if they choose to stay in the U.S. for the summer. International students can either work at the college, or at a paid internship that relates directly to their major.

“International students can’t just go and get jobs at Dunn Bros. or McDonalds,” Colhapp said.

About half of Macalester’s international student population stays on campus over the summer, as it can be an economic hardship for students to travel to their home countries. In some cases, students have to remain on campus because a visa to return to the United States in the fall is not always guaranteed.

“Students from countries with internal conflict like Angola, Palestine and Sudan might not make it back to Macalester if they head home for the summer,” Colhapp said.

Colhapp said that most international students who stay on campus or sublet in St. Paul over the summer typically take advantage of the opportunity to network and develop ties with an organization in their field of study through internships. The connections established during these summer internships often lead to full-time employment following graduation.