SSP’s international graduates go on to pursue security careers in a variety of sectors. While the opportunities available to international students are often different than those available to U.S. citizens, our international students are generally able to find positions in their field both during and after their time as SSP, just as our U.S.-citizen students are. Georgetown offers several resources for our international students to help them find employment.
Resources at Georgetown
In addition to the resources below, SSP strives to support our international students in every way possible. We host occasional events specifically for international students to learn more about their options, connect with other students, and provide feedback to the SSP administration. Our academic advisors are also well-versed in the requirements for international students and can give current students guidance on what employment can look like during the program.
School of Foreign Service Graduate Career Center
The SFS Graduate Career Center serves current students and alumni of all SFS master’s degree programs, including SSP. Career counselors offer one-on-one consultations, mock interviews and evaluation, information sessions, and employer recruitment on campus. In addition, they assist with cover letter and résumé writing and internship opportunity coordination, and they provide an online job database for all SSP and SFS students to use both for finding positions and posting materials for recruiters’ review.
Office of Global Services
The Office of Global Services (OGS) is the resource hub for all international students during their course of study at Georgetown. Each international student is assigned a knowledgeable International Student and Scholar Advisor (IS Advisors) who assists and guides them through the process of obtaining the correct visas and work authorization during their course of study at Georgetown. Having correct visas and work authorization is the first step to gaining employment as both a student and recent graduate.
Working While in School
There are several types of visas and work permits issued by the U.S. Government, which each present their holders with certain employment rights and restrictions. Individual circumstances may vary, but generally speaking, all international students are eligible to work on campus during their time at SSP, and many are able to work off campus.
Within SSP, students may apply for positions as Research Assistants (RAs), Teaching Assistants (TAs), and Fellows. Other administrative and research positions are also available in departments across campus.
Students are also often able to work off-campus in positions related to the security field. Note that restrictions on off-campus work are much stricter than those for employment within Georgetown. The Office of Global Services (OGS) is the main resource at Georgetown for all visa and work authorization questions and provides detailed information regarding employment for both F-1 and J-1 visa-holders on their website.
Finally, international students may be able to take unpaid internships across Washington D.C. by registering for a 1-credit Internship Tutorial course. Note that this course does incur fees, just as any other SSP course does.
Working After Graduation
Working in the U.S. after graduation
International students have a few options that allow them to continue working in their positions after graduation. The most common temporary worker visa is the H1-B visa, and some students may be able to work for up to a year on their student visa following their graduation. More information on options following graduation can be found on the OGS website. Please be aware that non-U.S. citizens cannot obtain careers as U.S. Federal Government employees or work in positions that require a U.S. Federal Government security clearance.
Because of visa restrictions and job availability, many of our international students pursue positions abroad. Due to their international experience and, in many cases, advanced language fluency, our international students often have an advantage over U.S. students when it comes to security-related positions outside the U.S. government.