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IT Internship In the US For a Foreigner?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the foot-in-the-door dept.

Businesses 298

grk writes "I am from Europe, studying Business Informatics. I have plenty of IT-related work experience (from my part-time job and summer jobs) ranging from Project Management and Software Planning to Programming. In the 5th semester my curriculum has scheduled an internship for February 2009 preceding bachelor examinations and bachelor thesis. It will last for about three months. I would like to do my internship in the US, but I do not know how to start. Is it common to send unsolicited applications to companies in the US? Try the big corporations? Should I go for an employment agency? Which ones to choose from? What about the pay? Where I come from it is common to pay only a fraction of what your work is actually worth if it's called an 'internship.' Does this apply to the US as well? Any other recommendations?"

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WHO WAS PHONE? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560445)

Can't you hear that I'm serious?

Re:WHO WAS PHONE? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560531)

Her mom.

Re:WHO WAS PHONE? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560817)

Why so serious?

Re:WHO WAS PHONE? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24561121)

lost pencil

I'm guessing... (4, Insightful)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560449)

But I would have thought the visa hassles would put most companies off doing something as short as a 3 month internship.

Re:I'm guessing... (5, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560583)

But I would have thought the visa hassles would put most companies off doing something as short as a 3 month internship.

Having been through the US visa process myself as a Brit I would have thought the hassle and expense of going through it would put most individuals off doing it and certainly for something as short as 3 months.

Don't bother with the paperwork (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560993)

I live in California, where there are Millions of undocumented workers. They seem to get along just fine.

Especially in a sanctuary city [wikipedia.org] , all of which have plenty of high-tech opportunities.

I am sure a college educated English speaker would be protected from any embarrassing questions about their legal status in those towns, right?

Re:I'm guessing... (5, Informative)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560619)

This advice is specific to silicon valley.

We hire interns as we would any other position (other than lowering the ar on the entry criteria), though we mostly look at Masters students. We expect unsolicited resumes, as we would with any position. We of course support students with the correct student visas (we didn't have a single American citizen apply for an internship last year - no joke), though the transition from intern to full-time employee if things go well can involve a month or two of not working because of said visa hassles.

We pay interns fairly. Not Google/Microsoft well (no one matches them), but our interns are effectively a paygrade lower than new college hires, and being hourly the benefits are minimal. It's the bottom of the payscale, but it's certainly not "work for free" or half pay or anything like that.

Re:I'm guessing... (5, Informative)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560665)

I should add that our interns were foreigners who were studying in America, so they already had student visas. Immigration law for students working is complicated, but any Silly Valley company with an internship program has a legal staff to handle this - you have to, as the pool of American citizens is too small to recruit from here (almost non-existant in Masters programs).

Re:I'm guessing... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560683)

foreigners? BAH shouldn't DHS keep them all out?

Re:I'm guessing... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560707)

I hear this often that no Americans apply for internships, but in reality they are never externally posted domestically, so no US citizens know about them.

Its the usual ploy for more excuses to fire Americans for dirt cheap I-9 labor, when complete outsourcing can't be done in a department.

Re:I'm guessing... (1)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560839)

Ah! I'm falling! Ah well. I guess cause there's no base eh? I IS SAYING BASELESS.

Re:I'm guessing... (4, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560901)

I hear this often that no Americans apply for internships, but in reality they are never externally posted domestically, so no US citizens know about them.

Its the usual ploy for more excuses to fire Americans for dirt cheap I-9 labor, when complete outsourcing can't be done in a department.

I think your tinfoil hat is on too tight. We pay interns the same whether citizens or not, same for new college hires (I don't know about other positions). Our college recruiters go through the normal channels to post jobs. All of our interns came from external postings.

The point of an intership program is to find smart young engineers, not cheap labor. Interns are never worth what you pay them, so they don't count as cheap labor - they're an investment in hiring top talent.

There are certainly companies that focus on H1-B labor, especially on exploiting young workers who don't realize how easy it is to change jobs and how much they're underpaid, but those seriously aren't companies you'd want to work for, even to break into the industry.

Meanwhile, look at the population of CompSci masters students in the California system. I did. It's almost entirely foreigners here on student visas. That's not some conspiracy of evil companies, it's just reality.

Re:I'm guessing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24561089)

You stopped short of naming the company, e.g., giving the HR address for the guy you are trying to shoot down (the American who presumably would be interested in the opportunity).

Your response sort of makes his point for him.

Re:I'm guessing... (4, Informative)

Kristoph (242780) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560673)

I have to agree here. It is going to be tough for you to get a visa to work in the US for such a short period.

If your lucky, you might be able to get a J-1 visa but that does require sponsorship which your unlikely to get unless you have a 'friend' in a company willing to go through the process.

If you are British I would personally recommend you get a Working Holiday visa and go to Australia, Canada or Japan. The process to get such visa's is trivial.

]{

PS. I did this in reverse (to Europe from Canada) and it was an excellent experience both socially ;-) and professionally.

Re:I'm guessing... (4, Informative)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561219)

There is a trick to this. I presented at a conference in Germany, and was approached by a student about doing something similar to this at my company. Getting any kind of work visa is way to complicated - but a quick talk at the local university with a professor in the subject got him signed up as a "student exchange/internship", which made him eligible for a F1 student visa - and those (at least at the time) were a minimal time/effort thing to get.
My company wrote a "letter of support" to the university, guaranteeing a grad student level stipend, the university send out the I-20, the student took that to the embassy, done.

Re:I'm guessing... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24561235)

Being a foreigner trying to snitch in the USA, you can always apply to our Guantanamo Bay internship programs! Lots of sun, free orange clothes, and besides they will probably last your whole life, without bail or a trial...
Or again by being a foreigner you are eligible to our famous US Internship program: KKK is gonna hang you from the tree! Lot of cross burning, beatings, and you probably won't leave the USA as well, at least not in one piece...
Welcome to our beautiful USA! A land that loves foreigners, when they are not breathing, and their hearts not beating...

Start with getting a visa (3, Informative)

truesaer (135079) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560455)

Unless you're a PhD student with a unique skillset, without authorization to work in the US you will not be able to get anywhere. It takes a lot of time, effort, and money for an employer to sponsor someone and it is highly unlikely any company will do that for a mere intern.

Generally internships with medium to large companies pay well, almost as much as an entry level full time employer. A small company or startup may not be able to afford that.

Re:Start with getting a visa (4, Informative)

jfim (1167051) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560517)

Not really. The J-1 visa [wikipedia.org] is meant for this exact purpose. However, companies are unlikely to actively search for international interns, so having prior contacts within the company is usually a must.

Re:Start with getting a visa (1)

truesaer (135079) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560571)

Of course there are visas available, my point is his first step should be to get one. No company will want to spend any time looking at you if you don't already have work authorization.

Re:Start with getting a visa (5, Informative)

jfim (1167051) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560691)

Of course there are visas available, my point is his first step should be to get one. No company will want to spend any time looking at you if you don't already have work authorization.

Wrong. The J-1 visa requires already having a sponsor, so you cannot get the visa and then try to fish for an internship, you need to have the internship first, then get the visa(which is usually just a formality, although it can take a bit of time).

Because the visa is limited in duration and you have to return to your home country after the visa ends --- although you can travel in the US for 30 days after, IIRC --- the bar to getting one isn't as high as the other types of visas.

Re:Start with getting a visa (1)

truesaer (135079) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561033)

I think we're talking past each other here. If you start blasting out resumes with the idea that someone will sponsor you for a J1, you're highly unlikely to get anywhere. If an employer is willing to do a J1 they will probably be working through a specific exchange program/agency.

There are other visa you can get without prior sponsorship. If you're looking for an internship you almost surely will need to have one of these in hand to pull it off (again assuming you're not going through a dedicated program, but rather searching for internships to apply to).

I really think there are very few companies willing to sponsor J1s except in unusual circumstances for an internship, especially when the person probably wont be authorized to accept a full time position after graduation. You need to get a visa in advance or use a dedicated program for placing J1s.

Re:Start with getting a visa (1)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561035)

No company will want to spend any time looking at you if you don't already have work authorization.

You must be one of those Americans without a mexican that mows the lawn?

Re:Start with getting a visa (4, Informative)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560567)

...without authorization to work in the US...

In my experience (which was the reverse, trying to get an internship in the UK as an American citizen), unless you have an indefinite work visa for the country you are applying for, then forget it. Companies take on interns in order to scout out potential future employees. They are investing in you. Unless you are guaranteed to be able to work for them in the future, there's no reason to choose to invest in you rather than in one of the other dozens of applicants that can work for them in the future without visa hassles.

Re:Start with getting a visa (2, Informative)

Doomie (696580) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560609)

Even as a PhD student with a unique skillset, you need authorization to work in the US :)

The big companies that I have done internships with (Microsoft, soon Google) have official ways of applying online for such jobs. Applications are usually accepted year-round, but there is obviously more interest for summer internships. It's possible that emailing directly will help too: 3 out of 4 internships that I've done so far were obtained this way.

Once accepted, the company will usually get you the required papers in order to work in the US (typically a DS-2019 in order to get a J-1 'exchange' visa, which you will need unless you're Canadian). Btw, formally, it's not the company that sponsors you, but some other organization, with which the company might have a special relationship (why they're doing things like that in the US is beyond me).

Unlike other countries (Germany, I am looking at you), my impression in that US internships in CS/IT are well paid. MS and Google pay VERY competitive salaries to their interns, on par with what beginning full-time employees get (minus benefits such as health insurance) + moving expenses and stuff like that. I am assuming that similar companies pay similar salaries.

Bottom line: apply early, to at least a few companies, look out for special internship application forms on the website and don't worry too much about the visa unless the company specifically says on their website that they won't bother.

Re:Start with getting a visa (1, Informative)

tkw954 (709413) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560829)

get a J-1 'exchange' visa, which you will need unless you're Canadian

Unless things have changed very recently, Canadians also need a J-1 visa unless you are a professional covered by NAFTA. If you qualify under NAFTA, you're probably not looking for an internship.

Re:Start with getting a visa (1)

Greventls (624360) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560961)

Unless you're a PhD student with a unique skillset, without authorization to work in the US you will not be able to get anywhere. It takes a lot of time, effort, and money for an employer to sponsor someone and it is highly unlikely any company will do that for a mere intern.

Generally internships with medium to large companies pay well, almost as much as an entry level full time employer. A small company or startup may not be able to afford that.

I disagree. It depends on the company. The fortune 500 company I work for accepts foreign students and jumps through the hoops to get them work visas even if they are only undergraduates.

Don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560469)

The trouble you'll have dealing with the bureaucracies of companies and universities is nothing compared to the trouble you'll have dealing with the bureaucracy of ICE. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, formerly known as the INS.)

If you show up at the border and tell the border goon you're here to take an internship, and your paperwork hasn't been approved in advance (and the paperwork can take months, sometimes years), your best-case scenario is that you'll spend a few hours in detention awaiting the next flight out. The next-worst scenario is that, for the rest of your life, you won't even be able to visit for a vacation or a conference without spending. The scenarios get worse from there.

Just... don't.

You're smart. You're talented. Go somewhere where those brains and talents are wanted.

Re:Don't. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560657)

If you do make it into the country, you'll probably get murdered anyway. You really don't want to come here. Stay in Europe, where it's nice.

Internships here in the US... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560471)

Usually come from someone's father or uncle, and are almost always paid peanuts. We also tend to do our internships in the summer, when the students aren't in school.

talk to your university (3, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560479)

In my undergraduate university they had contacts with US companies looking for interns. Go talk to your careers office.

Don't expect high pay, you are a risk, and they'll want to minimise it, and expect to work more then you've ever worked before. That's what you need to do to shine anywhere though.

Student visa checklist: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560481)

be sure to satisfy this checklist before you apply for a visa:

(1): Don't be brown
(2): Don't be stinky - you'd be surprised how many foreigners don't bathe regularly.
(3): Should you decide to remain in the US after your studies, do not use your overseas connections to outsource America's jobs to brown, stinky foreigners.
(4): The United States fully endorses Europe's progressive thinking towards Muslims: getting the muzzies the hell out of our countries!

Hate to say it but unlikely to get very far (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560487)

I would be surprised, especially in the current economic climate, if you can find a company who will be prepared to sponsor your visa application for a short term internship... for the hassle of getting your visa in 3 months how much will you be able to contribute that a student with right to work in the US already granted couldn't do themselves?

I would look closer to home.

Re:Hate to say it but unlikely to get very far (0, Troll)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561107)

Somhow I read:

'Hate to say it but likely you get very fat'

And sorry, but that is often true for Europeans visiting the US.

Subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560497)

I think that I wouldn't hold out for a paid internship if I could get one that looked really good on a résumé (unless you really need the money). And, call it what you will, but with the economy like it is, I certainly wouldn't lean towards giving an internship to a foreigner if I were the boss, even if that person had superior skills. Try to tell me that people in your own country wouldn't look out for their own kind first. I'll believe you, I promise.

Re:Subject (2, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560617)

Do you even work in tech? There are no unpaid internships here, except *maybe* in gaming. Internships in this industry pay better than starting salaries in many fields (teaching comes to mind). While you probably don't want to negotiate hard for better money, you'll always be paid decently as an intern- they want you to come on full time when you graduate.

Re:Subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560853)

I know a guy who just finished a Network Administration Assistant Internship and was not paid.

That being said, the company pretty much got what they paid for.

Why? (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560499)

It would probably be a lot easier to do your internship locally and then apply for a job in the US after you graduate.

Hell, if your ultimate goal is to work in the US, your best bet is probably to do your internship in India or China and then market yourself to US employers as an "outsourcing specialist".

Re:Why? (-1, Offtopic)

laughing_badger (628416) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560785)

Oh, for mod points right now. +1 sad but true.

Re:Why? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560903)

would you like to support me and play World of Warcraft on my server: http://bottlenet.pl/ [bottlenet.pl] Thanks in advance

Re:Why? (1)

Bender_ (179208) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561043)

Why would he want to work in the US? Europeans usually want to stay in Europe. Doing an internship abroad is a nice way to understand other business cultures without having any lasting commitment. It's also very easy for US companies to hire european interns on a J-1.

Often the easiest way to find an internship position in the US is to apply locally at a large company that has subsidiaries in both Europe and the US. Good candidates for his field are probably IBM, Intel, IBM, SAP, Oracle...

Contacting an agency is also a good idea. You are going to need one to take care of the J-1 anyhow. The same organizations are often also offering help in finding a position as an intern.

For example here (guessing that OP is German): www.gaccny.com, www.travelworks.com ...

What again!? (1)

x1n933k (966581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560511)

I know this is Slashdot but didn't we go over this with the Australian looking to move to Canada and get IT work?

Didn't every situation involving moving to a different country get discussed in the pool of opinions during that "ask slash" or is our humble questioner looking for an actual job offer within the forum?

[J]

Re:What again!? (3, Insightful)

tkw954 (709413) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560873)

The differences between applying for a temporary working visa for Canada and one for the US are like night and day. I'd say the important question for someone applying for a Canadian visa is "which forms do I fill out?", while the question for someone considering a US visa is "is it possible?" followed by "is the time and expense worth it?"

Re:What again!? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24561229)

An Australian (A commonwealth country) moving to Canada (A commonwealth country) probably falls under slightly different immigration rules, believe it or not. For example as a UK citizen I qualify for a 12 month work visa to countries like Australia or New Zealand, while non-commonwealth citizens may only qualify for a 6 month, or none at all.

The British Empire is still good for a thing or two, you know.

you can (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560515)

go back to your own country and stop trying to steal american jobs.

unless you want to pick tomatoes for us.

My experience (2, Informative)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560535)

My school had mandatory co-ops (paid internships) in order to earn a bachelor's degree. In my experience, most companies paid interns between one half and two thirds the standard full time rate, after factoring in benefits. Without a degree or significant full time work experience, they rarely go higher.

On the other hand, it can be a great foot in the door if you do well; a company that may not have hired you full time under normal circumstances may be more favorably inclined if you demonstrate your skills in an internship. Many smaller companies won't hire new grads without a period of internship; they prefer to get a sense of your ability to contribute before committing to a full time offer.

Re:My experience (1)

friedo (112163) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560871)

Go Tigers! /dropout

Re:My experience (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560921)

I got paid more as an intern during the sandwich year of my BSc from a British science laboratory twenty years ago than interns are paid by US companies these days. That's without factoring in inflation, taxes, the enormous burden of health insurance in the US, the negative impact of American workaholism, etc.

America is a decent place to work - which is one reason I joined the brain drain fron the UK to the US - but not for interns. There are plenty of full-time mid-career jobs in the US where you don't get vacation in the first year and accumulate only dribs and drabs thereafter. Interns? You'd be lucky to see daylight. In comparison, my internship at (what was then) SERC Daresbury Laboratory had 22 paid days off.

Also bear in mind that the US economy (and, for that matter, the British economy) are busy going south. This means there'll be a real crunch on who organizations will hire, and how trustworthy that process will be. There is no job protection in the US and employment in many States is "by will" (ie: they can dismiss you without cause and without notice). An overseas intern is unlikely to be able to afford to complain, or be able to remain in the country long enough after such a dismissal to even make a complaint. Assuming anyone is going to listen to a foreigner during an election year, when jobs for the locals = votes.

I would not trust Britain, because the economy there is tanking and there just aren't that many IT jobs there. Ireland is a maybe - they seem to be doing ok with getting IT businesses in. CERN is getting ready to put the collider online and I imagine they'd want slaves - err, interns. You might also want to look in the southern hemisphere - Australia and New Zealand are no longer agricultural-only economies. Look around. Don't be blind to something worth doing, simply to chase a dream.

Different career? (0, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560539)

Project Management, Software Planning, all useless psuedo-IT skills that make real engineers cringe. Nothing hurts more than being on a project and a nontechy pseudo-geek trying to "manage" you.

Pick something else. plenty of real techie jobs.

Subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560545)

You may have trouble with Visa issues, but it's not completely unheard of for foreigners to get internships in the United States. I had an internship at Microsoft last summer, and there were several interns there from Europe and Asia. I can't imagine that smaller companies will go through the trouble of hiring foreigners, though.

As for applying, yes, it is normal to send out unsolicited applications. If a company is looking to hire interns, they will have a webpage up about the position. And most big companies pay their interns well. Some internships do not pay their interns at all, but I've found this usually isn't the case in the software industry.

check out IAESTE (5, Informative)

ZwedishPzycho (1165859) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560549)

you could try to get an internship through an international organization called IAESTE. They have organizations set up in over 80 countries around the world to do internships abroad. Go to www.iaeste.org (or more specifically http://www.iaeste.org/network/index.html [iaeste.org] ) and choose your country of residence to see if your country has a chapter. If they do, you should be able to provide you with the necessary information about applying for an internship through them. You can also get information thru the IAESTE-US website: http://www.iaesteunitedstates.org/ [iaesteunitedstates.org]

Re:check out IAESTE (4, Informative)

ZwedishPzycho (1165859) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560615)

A couple things I forgot to mention: 1) IAESTE does international internships for all technical majors (engineering, IT, biology, etc.) 2) IAESTE takes care of a visa, so any company participating thru this would not need to worry about that aspect (also, if you find your own internship, but need help getting a visa, IAESTE can help with that as well). 3) IAESTE also helps with finding housing, social events, etc.

Re:check out IAESTE (2, Informative)

ghoti (60903) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560761)

IAESTE is the way to go. Talk to your international students office or similar, there are people there who know how these things work, what kind of support you might be able to get to cover your costs, etc.

Companies won't want to go through the hassle of getting the visa for you for an internship, they only do that for people they hire in fixed positions (and then only for people who are worth it). People are beating down their doors for internships, there is not shortage of potential interns.

Re:check out IAESTE (3, Informative)

angahar (579961) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560777)

A summer IT internship in the USA may be far easier to accomplish than many of the responses have indicated. Our organization (Agile programming shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan) invites 4-10 interns a year through IAESTE and have been doing this for about five years now. Some come for only three months, others for a year. Pay is not spectacular - but it's Michigan in the 21st century so nobody is making a lot around these parts. Interns have come from about 17 different countries so far, and all seem to have had a good experience. All have also indicated that the support and services offered by IAESTE were extremely valuable in making the experience possible and successful. The interns who got the most benefit within our organization were those with good English skills and a willingness to learn new things. It has added a lot of value to have people with such different backgrounds and perspectives as part of our organization, and we plan to continue for the forseeable future.

Re:check out IAESTE (2, Informative)

tkw954 (709413) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560779)

I second IAESTE. I've used their internships and they are very well organized, with arranged visas, housing and social programs. Another option I've used in the US is the SWAP (Student Work Abroad Program) which makes it possible to get a US visa, although I've heard that it recently became a LOT harder.

Sorry, (-1, Flamebait)

pottymouth (61296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560577)

The United States is busy at this time. Please try again later... (much later...)

But seriously, what the hells wrong with your own damn country! We have enough diversity here to last us at least 10,000 years. Please stay where you are and make your part of the world a better place rather than coming here. Don't need ya, don't want ya. Sorry....

Re:Sorry, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560699)

I wish your ancestors would follow your advice. However, it's still not to late for you to GTFO and stop hurting America.

Re:Sorry, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560709)

But seriously, what the hells wrong with your own damn country! We have enough diversity here to last us at least 10,000 years. Please stay where you are and make your part of the world a better place rather than coming here. Don't need ya, don't want ya. Sorry....

As an American citizen trying to make my part of the world a better place, I don't want or need you. Any chance you can work out an exchange? You can leave, and the other guy can come in?

Re:Sorry, (1)

pluther (647209) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560737)

Speak for yourself.

Here's a guy with a proven attitude of wanting to learn. Undergrad student, but already has work experience in relevant fields.

He's willing to work hard, step outside his comfort zone, take a risk trying something different, and experience a new culture all at the same time.

I'd much rather have him here than you.

That said, though, check out the J-1 Visa. I have no idea how to actually go about getting one, but it's far, far easier to do than a H1B. It's specifically geared for international student workers/internships and thus focused on short term workers. Contacting the local US Embassy can get you started on what the requirements and expectations will be.

As for trying to find an actual job over here, try contacting the companies directly. Explain what you want and see if they have anything to offer. You might also try any international companies that have offices both in the U.S. and in your local area.

Good luck!

Scheduled an internship? (1)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560579)

When people go to school during downturns, wouldn't this be a problem? Here in the US, I happened to get an internship, but the school eventually dropped the requirement for any of the graduate degrees in the electrical/computer engineering department. I didn't even use the internship as it turned out I'd just have to pay the same price without much instruction.

A way around Visa requirements ... (1)

trampel (464001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560585)

would be to be hired as an intern by the local office of a US tech company, and negotiate to spend time of it on a "business trip" in their home office.

Assuming your home country participates in the Visa waiver program and my memory is correct, you should be able to stay for 3 months.

Re:A way around Visa requirements ... (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561177)

Your memory is far from correct. You're actually advocating breaking immigration law. The Visa Waiver Program explicitly requires that you do not "seek nor engage in work".

Craigslist (2, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560595)

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/

Here in the SF Bay Area, most IT recruiters are always reading Craigslist looking for candidates, and many tech companies regularly post ads seeking interns. If you post your resume regularly and reply to open intern positions, I'm sure someone will take interest. Also, make sure your visa is in order BEFORE you begin talking with the company, otherwise they'll just consider you a waste of time.

Microsoft (2, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560599)

Microsoft is known to hire many interns every year and plenty of them are not US nationals... in fact I know a couple in Redmond right now who do not hold a us passport.

Re:Microsoft (2, Funny)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560889)

Yeah but is it worth the risk of being abused by with a flying chair?

woo (0, Troll)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560603)

You're in luck, because after a steady 20-year smear campaign by lobbyists, business book writers, and various alarmists, managers in the US have now been convinced that foreign workers are naturally better educated and more intelligent than oafish domestics. You have an advantage, my friend.

Re:woo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24561261)

Mod parent up. Insightful.

Obtaining a Visa (2, Informative)

Snowblindeye (1085701) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560607)

If you are not getting a work visa thru your school program, you might want to check out the Council on International Educational Exchange http://www.ciee.org/ [ciee.org]

They have different programs that can get you a J Visa that you can work on for an internship. They also have a 'Work and Travel' program, which gives you more freedom in the jobs you can choose, but is limited to the summer.

Too short (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560621)

The problem is that 3 months is too short for most companies unless you are very very very talented. Also, the bureaucracy you'd put up with here would take even more time.

backwards? (1)

namoom (926916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560631)

don't we usually out source for funny english from here to another country?

Canada (2, Interesting)

gehrehmee (16338) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560639)

We seem to have lots of room for foreign workers around here. At the University of Alberta we've seen a noticeable increase in foreign researchers for the past several years, especially as the US tightens its borders and makes it harder and harder for people to be trusted with a visa. I wonder if coming into the US with "bioinformatics" would raise eyebrows...

Re:Canada (-1, Flamebait)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560919)

That's all well in good but why get a job in America Jr. when you can get one in America?

Re:Canada (4, Informative)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561147)

Because we have cheap universal health care, a strong economy, a low crime rate, everyone isn't armed to the teeth or carrying a concealed weapon, we aren't the perceived and hated enemy of most of the third world, our dollar is worth more than yours (although only marginally so), and generally we are a very likable and polite society? Because while we have an asshole in power at the moment (Prime Minister Stephen Harper) at least he isn't a complete criminal who should be impeached for violating his country's laws and his inauguration oath (as I see a lot of people claiming of GB Jr south of the border)? Because we don't have a DHS that is absolutely paranoid and prone to abuse its authority when you pass through the airport? Because in a National Geographic survey of the best and worst places to live (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/11/photogalleries/country-pictures/index.html?email=Places14Dec07) we ranked 4th in the world after Iceland, Norway, Australia, and the US ranked 12th(having dropped from 8th place in 2006)?

As well its worth noting we are our own independent country, and quite proud of it even if we don't shout it out loud the way many US citizens seem to do, so calling us "America Jr" is a shallow and meaningless insult. Canadians are very aware of how distinct we are from the US, and quite conscious of how pervading an influence US culture can be in overwhelming what makes us Canadian, but few if any consider that influence to be a good thing. The US has nothing to offer us that we don't already have.

Plan a longer stay or do a tour of Europe (1)

bre_dnd (686663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560641)

Given all the hassle that the US gives foreigners over passports, visa, workpermits and what have you, why not try a hop over the border in Europe?

From your e-mail address I am guessing you are German, you speak/write English -- so you could probably take your pick from at least Austria, Holland, Germany, Swiss, Norway, Sweden, Finland, UK, Ireland or Belgium without running into great language difficulties.

A good university would have a placement officer that can help you out and would already have some contacts in place. Start early, ask around, keep asking.

If you are looking for the sexy internet companies like Google or the like -- most of them have european offices that also do interesting things down here.

Good luck!

foreign student work exchange programs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560645)

You might look into various foreign student work exchange programs such as BUNAC . They can help you get temporary work visas, etc. I worked for an environmental contracting firm in England for 6 months, and can highly recommend them as a US student working oversees.

Slow news day? (2, Funny)

pseudorand (603231) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560651)

WTF? It must be a slow news day. But I guess if slashdot is becoming a classifieds site, why not just go with the flow:

I'm an IT professional with U.S. Citizenship and 10+ years in the field. I have experience with both Linux and Windows administration, programming in C/C++/Fortran/Java/Ruby/PHP. I'm looking for a 6-figure salary anywhere in the US or $80K+ in Colorado. References available upon request.

Someone please let me know when slashdot opens up to personals too, as I've got a much more interesting ad for that one.

Re:Slow news day? (2, Informative)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560781)

http://jobs.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]

as for the personals. Just pretend to be a girl and you'll get mail all by itself. From the 1% that isn't too shy to mail a girl, that is.

on-topic: just talk to your favorite professors. It's the most likely way to succeed, especially when they already have contacts to US companies. If you want to figure it out all by yourself, then, well, good luck with that.

Why risk being treated like a criminal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560697)

Are you sure that what you're trying to learn can't be explained in the very least way as gaining information for terrism? Personally I wouldn't even bother of taking the risk in being treated like a criminal. If you want high-tech I'd suggest Germany or India myself.

pay's not the problem, visa is... (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560713)

What about the pay? Where I come from it is common to pay only a fraction of what your work is actually worth if it's called an 'internship.' Does this apply to the US as well?

In the US, this varies widely by the professional field. Some fields, internships typically do not pay anything at all. However in IT they tend to pay pretty well, especially with the larger companies.

You real problems will be visa related. You cannot just come here and get a job; you have to be admitted under an appropriate visa.

What the hell is 'Business informatics' ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560739)

apparently they are inventing new 'fields' like chickens laying eggs everyday to attract students ?

Re:What the hell is 'Business informatics' ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560809)

it's a mistranslation.

"informatik" in german and maybe some other languages around here means computer science.

Re:What the hell is 'Business informatics' ? (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560833)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_informatics [wikipedia.org]

Business Informatics (BI) shows numerous similarities to the discipline of Information Systems (IS) which can mainly be found in English speaking parts of the world. Nevertheless there are a few major differences that make Business Informatics very attractive for employers:
1. Business Informatics includes information technology, like the relevant portions of applied computer science, to a much larger extent compared to Information Systems.
2. Business Informatics has significant constructive features meaning that a major focus is on the development of solutions for business problems rather than simply describing them.

Re:What the hell is 'Business informatics' ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561019)

seems like total load of bullshit to me. especially those two you mentioned are found basically in maybe 1/4 of the disciplines out there now.

what it looks like they are making use of a buzzword - adding 'business' in front of a hip, new word, 'informatics' (that is related to information tech apparently) and making it sound much more business-like.

Re:What the hell is 'Business informatics' ? (1)

trampel (464001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561075)

I thought it just was being an imprecise translation ... computer science being called "informatique" in french and "Informatik" in German ...

Not worth it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24560805)

Depending on how good the university you are studying at is, your comment about pay is not true. If you go into the technology side of banking in the UK, you will be on £35k pro-rata. If you go to a purely software firm you will be on around £15-25k. You will not get this much in the USA for a job requiring the same skills. Additionally, if you are getting turned down from the high paying internships in the UK, you are not going to be offered the equivalent job in the USA. A lot of people think it is a great idea getting a short-term job overseas, when really it is far more difficult and much more hassle than sticking to one in the UK.

My Experience (3, Informative)

BaverBud (610218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560819)

I'm a Canadian going to a university in Canada which routinely sends 100+ students per term (4 months) to the US for internships/co-ops. I'm returning for my 3rd term with a US company in just under two weeks actually.

Disclaimer: things might be different from where you are due to agreements between countries.

Basically, the process for me has gone as follows: 1) Apply to US company intern positions 2) Get an offer after an interview 3) Start visa application process (J-1 visa).

The visa application can't start until you already have a job offer, and requires your company to submit a training plan to the visa sponsor (CDS International [cdsintl.org] , for example) in order to issue the DS-2019 form. The visa sponsor is chosen by the host company. Since I'm Canadian, I bring this form to the border/airport with me, answer a few questions in immigration, and get my visa stamped in my passport.

Most large corporations will have done this before, and it's just another part of the routine.

The application process itself is relatively simple, with online forms that you need to fill out plus scanning some information. You will probably need to meet with a representative from your visa sponsor for an interview as well.

Visas are relatively inexpensive compared to salary. Companies that want to recruit the best employees in the world will pay the extra visa money, especially for an internship. It's not very expensive ($650 + a couple hundred in fees IIRC)

Easy, just post an ad (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560863)

On monster, dice etc. "Willing to in IT work for no pay". That should get an employer's attention.

Start here... (0, Troll)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560881)

I am ... studying Business Informatics ... I would like to do my internship in the US, but I do not know how to start.

Practice saying, "Would you like fries with that?" :-)

Re:Start here... (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561139)

It's an idiomatic translation for what would be understood outside the US as "Business Computer Information Systems", and probably what you would simply call "IT".

Suggestion (1)

dashesy (1294654) | more than 6 years ago | (#24560981)

Try a company from your country with a base in the US. something like BMW or Mitsubishi or Lufthansa or ... Many European countries (like Germany) have special deals with US when it comes to working abroad.

I am curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24561025)

Why does every Hindu H1-B wear 1) A polo shirt 2) Dockers or jeans 3) sandals Are you guys born with them attached to your bodies or something?

What he means: Informatics == Computer Science (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561027)

"Informatik" is the German term for "Computer Science". I presume, as it has a more academic sound to it, that Informatics is becoming the generic english term for CompSci in Europe, but I'm not sure.
He's doing CompSci with an emphasis on business. Dunno watcha call that in the US nowadays, but just so you get the picture.

Good luck with the pay part... (3, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561055)

Where I come from it is common to pay only a fraction of what your work is actually worth if it's called an 'internship.' Does this apply to the US as well?

Here in the states, its not uncommon for interns (especially if they are still working on their undergraduate degree) to get paid nothing. And considering how difficult it can be to hire someone who isn't a US citizen, you may want to be ready to work for "the experience" (ie, no pay) just in order to have something to put on your CV.

And then when you're done being abused here, you'll realize how much better the rest of the industrialized world treats its inhabitants.

Re:Good luck with the pay part... (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561171)

>Here in the states, its not uncommon for interns (especially if they are still working on their undergraduate
>degree) to get paid nothing.

It's extremely uncommon, that is, unheard of, that they literally volunteer.

Either you are getting university credit for your internship, your internship is someplace *really* sexy, or you're getting paid.

Nobody has time for that.

Re:Good luck with the pay part... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561209)

It's extremely uncommon, that is, unheard of, that they literally volunteer.

Either you are getting university credit for your internship, your internship is someplace *really* sexy, or you're getting paid.

Nobody has time for that.

I worked for the student newspaper where I did my undergrad. We had numerous student interns that were paid nothing. We weren't a very sexy place to work. And the interns were doing marketing, finance, or even IT stuff depending on which department hired them.

So we certainly found people who had time for unpaid internships. The only thing they got from it was work experience. No college credit or any other sort of secondary benefits.

Doctor, There's Some Odd Reddening Around My Neck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24561071)

They took ur jerbs!

Why pick the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24561073)

As an American living and working in Europe (100% telecommuting working for Americans), I'm always amazed by Europeans' desire for work experience in the US. To be more precise, I'm always amazed that Europeans are always looking for jobs, and at that, looking for positions with little to no chance for personal growth.

Do you want work experience in the US? *Start a business*. It costs 100 bucks if you pay a lawyer and less on your own. You can sponsor yourself. You'll learn more. You'll make more money.

If you really want to work *for* somebody, why on earth would you want to do it in the US? You can get paid more to work in a more dynamic environment in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Hanoi, or Taiwan. In some cases, getting hired is as easy as stepping off the plane and speaking English, and paperwork comes later. Americans are not competitive for these jobs because we are taxed while abroad, thus requiring higher salaries for parity. Europeans are living it up across the world working for western companies.

The US is on its way down. If you have to do an 'internship' for some degree (hint: in Asia, if you are competent, *you do not need one*), why would you want to do it in a country on the decline? Go to Hong Kong and learn a smattering of Chinese. You'll be better off for it.

Backwards? (2, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561199)

Wait.. Why would someone who has an education and presumably a future, choose to leave the paradise that is Europe in order to go *to* the US?

Paying a fraction of what interns are worth? (1)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561203)

If zero is a fraction, then yes, companies WILL pay you just a fraction of what you are worth Interns = Free Labor in many (But not all) organizations.
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