Job seeking for international students leave them frustrated

Itzzy Leon International Reporter

International students come to study in the U.S. but with living expenses, they need to find jobs on campus.

“I see a variety of complaints from all student employees,” Ami Hollis, Associate Director of Career Services said, “We have had an influx of international students over the last couple of years and I think more and more do need to work and they experience frustration because there are some that don’t find a job on campus.”

International students are some of the many students that look for jobs on campus said Hollis.

According to Hollis, there are 6,000 students working 8,000 jobs on campus. Of the 6,000 students, almost 11% are international students and 89% are not. There are about 3,000 international students enrolled at Kent State.

“Since May of 2015, we (Kent State) have employed nearly 650 (international students) in over 800 jobs,” Hollis said. “That’s approximately 21% of (the total of) international students that have jobs on all eight campuses.”

“Students are not guaranteed jobs and prior to coming to campus, international students must show that they have the financial means to pay for school and living expenses,” Hollis said, “So, in essence, these students should have the money to live and go to school without needing a job.”

“They need that income in order to stay in the country,” Hollis said.

International students experience frustration not being able to find jobs on campus because they are not allowed to apply off campus.

“We’re not supposed to apply off campus. The U.S. government doesn’t allow us to apply off campus,” Ranjitt Reddy Chennam, an international student from India said.

According to the U.S. and Customs Enforcement, there are three main employment-related guidelines for international students. The first two are: international students “may work at any qualifying on-campus job that does not displace (take a job away from) a U.S. citizen or LPR,” and they “may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session (full-time during those periods when school is not in session or during the annual vacation).”

Amati is aware of all the students who are looking for jobs but it hasn’t discouraged her.

“I came many times and asked for many managers for an on-campus job and I didn’t get any reply from them,” graduate student Sahitya Amati said.

It is Amati’s second semester and she continues on looking for a job.

“I need a job for my living expenses. The living expenses (in Kent) are very high,” Amati said.

Sanjeeva Sai Sandeep Ananthabhotla Venkata Subrahmanya said it took him a semester to find a job.

“I kept applying and I got a call in the middle of December and I started in January,” he said.

Ananthabhotla Venkata Subrahmanya said he applied 15-20 times for a job but he didn’t give up because he needed it for living expenses.

“I didn’t want to become a burden for my parents,” he said.

Some students feel discouraged by the long process of trying to find a job.

Abhilash Thota, who is studying technology, said he’s planning to apply but he has no hopes in receiving a call back from employers.

Although some international students have applied as many as 20 times in a semester, Hollis from Career Services said the students might not be receiving job offers because they tend to overlook the “qualification section” on applications.

“International students apply for all jobs posted not being careful about the descriptions and restrictions,” Hollis said.

Hollis encourages international students to stop by at the Career Services Center and take advantage of the Expert Career Coaching program.