Careers for International Students

Resources at Georgetown

School of Foreign Service Career Development Center

The Graduate Career Development Center serves current students and alumni of the eight SFS master's degree programs. 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 International Programs

The Office of International Programs (OIP) 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 in the United States as an International Student

Working in the United States as a non-U.S. citizen is a realistic possibility for most international students. 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. It is essential that all international students are aware of their individual visa status at all times. 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.

The Office of International Programs (OIP) at Georgetown University is the main resource at Georgetown for all visa and work authorization questions. Students who are interested in learning more about obtaining work authorization in the US should make an appointment with their International Student and Scholar Advisor.

A breakdown of the different types of visas available to international students can be found here on OIP’s website.

J-1 Scholar Options:

F-1 Student Options:

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. More information on these options can be found here on OIP’s website: http://oip.georgetown.edu/isss/working.htm

Please note that legal representation and Federal Government fees are required for the H1-B visa approval process and other temporary worker visas.

Working Abroad

Because of visa restrictions and job availability, many of our international students pursue positions abroad. Due to their international experience and in some cases advanced language fluency, these students have a better inside track to security related positions outside U.S. government than do our US students.

Below is a sampling of positions held by international SSP grads abroad:

  • Acer Inc., Taiwan, Business Strategist
  • Fuji Dynamics, Ltd., Hong Kong, Marketing Executive
  • Government of Brazil, Ministry of Defense, Assistant to the Minister
  • Government of France, Military Officer
  • Government of Mexico, Policy Analyst
  • Government of New Zealand, Military Officer
  • Government of Norway, Department of Commerce, Advisor
  • Government of the Philippines, Embassy Spokesperson
  • Government of Sweden
  • Neue Zeurcher Zeitung, Zurich, Switzerland, Journalist

Common Career Sectors for International Students

Intergovernmental and Transnational Organizations

Working at intergovernmental and transnational organizations is a popular career path for international students and graduates in the SSP. With an emphasis on the international nature of security, the SSP curriculum prepares students for security-related careers at organizations such as:

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Non-Profit Organizations

As NGOs venture into more dangerous conflict zones, they often need enhanced security strategies and protocols to protect work forces. Below is a sampling of NGOs that could be of interest to Security professionals:

International students pursue internships and careers at non-profit organizations both in the US and abroad. Washington DC has hundreds of non-profit organizations for current Georgetown students to explore and take advantage of.

Journalism and Research

Many international students and graduates of the SSP gravitate towards careers in research and journalism. Within these fields, SSP grads might find the following interesting:

Journalism

Research

Private Sector Security Companies

While non-U.S. citizens are unable to gain employment in the U.S. Federal Government due to visa and immigration restrictions, it is possible for them to find temporary employment in one of the many private sector security companies in the United States. Note that international students cannot be hired for a private sector position that requires a U.S. security clearance.

Temporary worker visas typically last 6 years and more information can be found on the OIP website.

The following are only a few of many private sector security companies: