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IT Internship In the US For a Foreigner? 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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IT Internship In the US For a Foreigner?

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  • I'm guessing... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by niceone ( 992278 ) * on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:16PM (#24560449) Journal
    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... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:26PM (#24560583) Journal

      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.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2008 @06:06PM (#24560993)
        I live in California, where there are Millions of undocumented workers. They seem to get along just fine.

        Especially in a sanctuary city [], 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?

        • by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:03PM (#24562939) Journal

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

          I don't know. As a completely legal foreigner I was certainly never exempt from being treated like someone trying to enter the country illegally everytime I crossed the border or dealth with the authorities (although I did once have trouble trying to persuade one idiot NOT to register me for voting when getting a US drivers license!).

          While a certain level of caution is excuseable I used to find that they would regularly deliberately misconstrue whatever you say in the most convoluted and tortuous fashion possible in order to make you sound suspicious e.g. on returning to a visit to Niagara Falls a few months after just arrived in the US on a J1 visa they asked "what do you intend to do when the visa expires?" to which I replied "I don't know, I have not thought that far ahead - I have only just started my job here". Bad idea: apparently this is code for "I plan to remain the US, thumb my nose at your laws and be an evil foreign bastard" - and this was BEFORE the terrorist attacks. Apparently the "correct" response was "I will immediately leave and make no plans to return".

          The sad thing was that at the time that was not at all true...but after several years of being treated as persona non grata US immigration moved me around to their way of "thinking" so to say.

        • by Software ( 179033 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:10PM (#24562993) Homepage Journal
          I'm a manager in a California-based software company, and "Are you legally authorized to work in the United States" has been a standard interview question in the many interviews I've been in (on either side of the desk). The only acceptable answer is "yes". You will be expected^W required to provide supporting documentation when you show up for work on your first day. If you can't provide this, you'll be escorted off the premises (or at least out the door).

          Sure, you can get a job mowing lawns or cleaning houses if you want to work in the US illegally, but don't expect a software company of any reputation to hire you with no paperwork.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by fm6 ( 162816 )

            It's easy enough to buy a fake social security card with a valid number, and that's all the proof employers are required to ask for. Illegals in my neck of the woods (Silicon Valley) often hold down fairly responsible jobs. There was an incident a few months ago in which a child was killed in a traffic accident. The driver's biggest headache was not her liability (not clear that it was her fault) but that she was undocumented. Now, this was not some Spanish-only immigrant driving from a communal flophouse t

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Aazzkkimm ( 465445 )

        The company gets a huge tax break for any worker they bring in for an internship, and they can write off the visa expense.

        It also depends on the country of origin. I'm from Canada, and my visa cost $56

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by linhares ( 1241614 )

          I'm from Canada, and my visa cost $56

          My visa was over USD1000, you insensitive clod! Seriously, I am a professor in Brazil and my visa had expired. I could go to the embassy in Rio, where they would take something like 6 months to interview me. I had a conference I wanted to go, so I jump on a plane and fly across half of Brazil to get a visa in Brasilia, where it takes a day. Total cost, 120USD for tourist and business visa, 900USD for ticket, and 130USD for the hotel stay. Seriously, there are few people who would bother. This thing ha

          • It is the US's fault that the ticket was so expensive how?
          • If I can get back in college, I'm on disability and couldn't afford to stay in college so I dropped out, I want to go to Brazil as part of a study abroad program. Before I can go though I need to take 2 years of Portuguese. I've thought about trying one of those programs like RosettaStone [] but I wonder how well they really are especially with pronunciation and writing.


            • by Dravik ( 699631 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:08PM (#24563401)
              I've found the RossettaStone program to be very useful. Nothing is as good as having a native speaker teacher, be this is about as good as the computer programs come.
              • I've found the RossettaStone program to be very useful

                I asked a RosettaStone employee about prices and he said for Portuguese there were 3 sets. The intro set was $200, as were the other two but if you bought all three at the same tyme they were only $300 or something like that. I thought that it was outrageous to spend that much to see if it works. Taking a class costs more sure but at least you can get help, which because of an injury caused disability I need.


        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          I don't think so. The company gets to deduct the salary and other expenses, just like any other employee, but the companies I have worked for never got anything special for hiring interns that I knew about, and I was in management.

      • Is a visa necessary if you have an unpaid internship?
    • Re:I'm guessing... (Score:5, Informative)

      by lgw ( 121541 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:30PM (#24560619) Journal

      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... (Score:5, Informative)

        by lgw ( 121541 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:34PM (#24560665) Journal

        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: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Eskarel ( 565631 )
          Of course it's almost non existent in Masters programs, very few jobs require a Master's in CS and an awful lot of jobs will view you as overqualified if you get one. Not to mention the extra debt and time.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by lgw ( 121541 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:57PM (#24560901) Journal

          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... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by story645 ( 1278106 ) * <> on Monday August 11, 2008 @08:00PM (#24562051) Journal

            Our college recruiters go through the normal channels to post jobs. All of our interns came from external postings.

            That's your problem right there, college recruiters. If they're like the ones at my uni, they're ignored 'cause they blend into all the other recruiters.

            Seriously though, I understand where the gp is coming from. I know that there are lots of internships available 'cause I actively seek 'em out or scan the piles of letters/emails/posters that advertise 'em, but I know that most of my classmates are utterly clueless about what's available 'cause it's just so badly handled in my school.

            Internships are either announced in emails (which would be useful 'cept the person in charge can't seem to figure out how to use groups and filters, so she constantly sends out positions in a specific engineering discipline to the entire school, rendering all her emails spam to most everybody) or posted on a wall nobody visits. Oh, and occasionally the career center gets word of something or there's a job fair, but those are few and far between.

            What I'm trying to say is that I can imagine that many other schools ('specially others ones without insane budgets) would be having the same problems, so often even if it seems like you're getting the word out, your target audience may not be getting the message. Though yeah, your target audience probably will be foreigners anyway 'cause yeah that's most of the people in the average comp sci. program.

            • by lgw ( 121541 )

              I hope we run ads in the college papers as well - at least that's what they tell me.

              • Nobody reads the school paper 'cept the kids who write it. Occasionally, when I've got nothing to read, I'll pick it up if it's the only thing in an office while I'm waiting, but honestly it's something people are vaguely aware of, not a way to get the message out. I'm at a commuter school, so don't know it could be different at a school where the campus is more important to student life or something.
                I figure the best bet for actually getting the message to students is to talk to 'em, through professors, ac

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pla ( 258480 )
        we mostly look at Masters students [...] we didn't have a single American citizen apply for an internship last year

        Ah, I think I see your problem.

        You want to hire, as interns, people who have already gotten their BS and have the option of taking a "real" job with most other companies (at least, most companies outside Silicon Valley).

        But don't worry, absurd expectation or not, it will still look good when you have to justify using all H1Bs.

        Now, you didn't mention what your company does... If you sp
    • Re:I'm guessing... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kristoph ( 242780 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:35PM (#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... (Score:5, Informative)

      by mapsjanhere ( 1130359 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @06:30PM (#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.
    • it depends on the type of visa he is seeking. An F1 or J1 visa would suffice for most internships, especially short term internships. Of course, he still has to get an internship/fellowship with an institution that sponsors F1/J1 visa.

      the main problem comes when you're attempting to get an H1 visa - those are hard to get. You need a company to sponsor you, and they need to show that they can't find an American to do the job - that's really hard for an internship. in the past we were able to have interns, es

  • by truesaer ( 135079 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:16PM (#24560455) Homepage

    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.

    • by jfim ( 1167051 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:22PM (#24560517)
      Not really. The J-1 visa [] 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.
      • 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.

        • by jfim ( 1167051 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:37PM (#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.

          • 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 progra

            • by jfim ( 1167051 )

              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.

              I agree. Unless you have a contact within the company you're aiming for or they are actively looking for international interns, they're unlikely to accept.

    • by anaesthetica ( 596507 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:25PM (#24560567) Homepage Journal

      ...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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Doomie ( 696580 )

      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 paper

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by tkw954 ( 709413 )

        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: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Doomie ( 696580 )

          Canadians do not need a J-1 visa, just a 'J-1 visa status'. Basically, you need to get a DS-2019 (+some other documents) at the port of entry and you'll get the J-1 visa status automatically, without ever having to go to a US consulate to get a visa stamped. Everybody else does the latter.

  • by thermian ( 1267986 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:18PM (#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.

    • Mod parent up (Score:3, Informative)

      by cparker15 ( 779546 )

      My employer has direct contact with several of the universities in the area (Boston). I recently (~two months ago) interviewed a handful of candidates and ended up hiring two. We only go through universities for finding candidates for our internship programs; we don't accept unsolicited résumés.

      After working closely with one of these interns, I completed an evaluation for consideration as a full-time employee.

  • 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.

  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by eln ( 21727 )

    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".

    • by Bender_ ( 179208 )

      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 agenc

    • Actually, an internship is the best way to get a job after. Your employer already knows you and what he is paying for, and wont mind extending your J-1 visa for a while until you get an H-1 and maybe later on a green card.

      Internship is the best way to recruit junior engineers. Its the only way I would do it.

  • My experience (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:23PM (#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.

    • by friedo ( 112163 )

      Go Tigers! /dropout

    • by jd ( 1658 )

      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

  • check out IAESTE (Score:5, Informative)

    by ZwedishPzycho ( 1165859 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:24PM (#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 (or more specifically [] ) 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: []
    • Re:check out IAESTE (Score:4, Informative)

      by ZwedishPzycho ( 1165859 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:29PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ghoti ( 60903 )

      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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by angahar ( 579961 )
      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 h
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tkw954 ( 709413 )
      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.
    • by kninja ( 121603 )

      I was waiting for someone to mention this. There is also a social network of students to show you around and it's pretty fun.

      Another option for business students (like the poster) is AIESECC.

  • Craigslist (Score:3, Insightful)

    by l0ungeb0y ( 442022 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:28PM (#24560595) Homepage Journal

    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 (Score:3, Informative)

    by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:28PM (#24560599) Homepage

    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.

  • Obtaining a Visa (Score:2, Informative)

    If you are not getting a work visa thru your school program, you might want to check out the Council on International Educational Exchange []

    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.

  • Canada (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gehrehmee ( 16338 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:32PM (#24560639) Homepage
    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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      My mom went to the US on a Fulbright fellowship for nine months, doing research on nanotechnology. Before going to her visa interview, the US-government-funded agency liasing with her specifically asked her to state that her field was something trivial, like physics or biology or something.

      Fulbright is the premiere research grant that you can get in US universities, and has a very very high rate of return (meaning, most Fulbrighters don't continue staying in the US unlike F1/J1 folks, mostly coz they're in

  • by pseudorand ( 603231 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:33PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pimpimpim ( 811140 ) []

      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.

  • 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.

  • apparently they are inventing new 'fields' like chickens laying eggs everyday to attract students ?
    • by rob1980 ( 941751 ) []

      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. Busin
      • 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.
  • My Experience (Score:3, Informative)

    by BaverBud ( 610218 ) <baver@thebeeve r . c om> on Monday August 11, 2008 @05:49PM (#24560819) Homepage Journal

    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 [], 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)

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

  • "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.

  • 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.

  • Backwards? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fishbowl ( 7759 )

    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?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tehcyder ( 746570 )

      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?

      "Girls in bikini bottoms with machine guns" is a phrase that springs immediately to mind.

  • 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.
  • If you're applying from Europe, you may find it easier to get a Canadian work Visa (especially if you are a student) than a US Work Visa.

    We have many of the same large employers (Microsoft in Vancouver, EA near Vancouver, IBM in Toronto/Victoria/Vancouver, SAP/Business Objects in Vancouver... don't think we have Oracle though). The tech sector in Vancouver is amicable to interesting startups and smaller shops. The sector in Toronto has a lot of business related IT. There are some interesting companies in Vi

    • Also, a co-op term in Canada (co-op is Canadian for Intern) will definitely pay

      Though it's rarely heard of the US has co-ops too. Here, in the US, from what I've been told by career counselors the biggest difference between them is that you will get paid with a co-op whereas you may or may not be paid as an intern.


  • 1. You have studied mostly things applicable to the management. Who in his right mind places an intern into a management position???
    3. If someone is crazy enough to hire a "guest manager" for three months, why deal with massive amount of bureaucracy with immigration process when there are plenty of educated foreigners right under his nose in American universities?
    3. Why are you so eager to have internship in US? It's three months, nothing important can be done in three months anyway. Also take into account

  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @08:47PM (#24562433) Homepage Journal

    The US does not want you.

    They will make a pain for you to get a visa and if you have a funny sounding name you will be put in all kind of sinister lists and your laptop may be confiscated on arrival for no reason whatsoever.

    If you are from an EU country you can apply to companies in other EU countries (most big US companies have big offices in the EU) for internshios, since guess what? You are legally entitled to do so.

    I ignore which reasons you may have for thinking going to the US now is such a good idea, from the professional point of view you can achieve the same or better development by applying to companies in the EU. If you really must go to the US you can join an US company with the view to be relocated there eventually, or perhaps to travel there as part of your duties in a regular job.

  • by $criptah ( 467422 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:18PM (#24563043) Homepage
    Why do you want to work in the U.S.? I have to ask this question because unless you come from a piss poor country, there is no reason to move here. In your situation, you'll be much better of in Europe anyway.

    Work in the U.S. sucks. In many cases companies will offer you 2-3 weeks off on start. That's it. Yeah, they may attract you with a flashy salary, but then you'll have to pay for benefits, insurance, etc. and you're an at-will employee. Means that an employer can dismiss your ass w/o any reason. There is no such thing as taking 3 weeks of vacation at a time and then having 2 more weeks left over. Oh, and judging by the latest stats our European friends are just as productive as us, so I really doubt that you'll benefit from knowing how Americans do it here.

    Silicon Valley may be a flashy name, but you must check your brains before moving there (trust me, I am a local). As a young person you probably want to meet young interesting people in nice social settings. Well, this is definitely not the place. The area is too expensive to live if you're young and there are not too many colleges around. Meeting chicks, especially the ones who are ready to party (if you know what I mean), is hard. So if you want to have some fun, SF area is not for you. Try Boston, Seattle or something more hip and less Indian than the Valley. Sorry if I offended anybody, but that's the truth. Also, every metro area is going to be expensive for somebody who is an intern. You must find roommates and have some stash of cash just to move in (first + last month of rent and a security deposit). You may try something in North Carolina's scientific triangle. It is more affordable and I hear that the quality of life is awesome compared to Silicon Valley.

    If I were you, I would forget about moving to the U.S. Try to find a company that employes people who are passionate about technology and you'll learn a lot more than by working for a large company (in the U.S.) where your intern position will be one step above bean counting (if you are lucky). European countries are heavy on the next big things like eco technology, alternative sources of fuels, etc. This is where you would like to be. Just because you have a degree in IT, it does not mean that you can start working in a different industry. Judging by the articles that I read, places like Norway kick butt when it comes to leaping into the future. Finally, if you want to do something totally outrageous, see if you can go to a place like India to work there. As a Westerner who has worked in South Asia in the past, I can tell you that it is nothing like you have experienced in the past. Good luck.

  • The American middle class is crumbling. if the jobs aren't being moved off shore, foreign contractors are being shipped here from some east asian hell hole to work at 1/3 or 1/2 the prevailing wage.

    Emigration? I have no problem letting people in. If people want to move here, live here, be citizens, hell yea! Let them in!!

    The H1B visa program is a club INS gives to corporations to beat down the middle class.

    If you want to intern, intern in your own damn country and leave opportunities in the U.S.A. for full

  • Consider Ireland (Score:3, Informative)

    by eaman ( 710548 ) on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:30PM (#24563543) Homepage

    If I was you I would consider Ireland: no problems with immigration, real possibility of getting a job there with a good pay.
    There you could practice your english and make a foreign experience while holding all of your "citizen status", you could stay there as long as you want and you can move back and forward in case.

    An other option would be Spain, which is growing fast and is a nice place as well for young people.

  • Respected sir, I am having 30 years of experience in software programming and data entry. Please give me job sir. I will B obligated 2 U 4 my HOLE life. I am only 29 but dont let age fool U dear respected sir. I am having so much expereience that UR cumpany will benefit so much bcoz of me.

    kind heartedly sincerely regards

    software engineer from XYZ

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard