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“One in a Million” Chance for Study Abroad Students in the U.S. to Get Jobs

“One in a Million” Chance for Study Abroad Students in the U.S. to Get Jobs

Posted January. 17, 2005 22:21,   


Susana Hwang, female, is in her second year at Ohio State’s Fisher School of Business in the United States. Having worked in a consulting firm for five years with a 3.9 G.P.A., she speaks fluent English and Chinese. Despite her qualifications that seem to guarantee any position in U.S. companies, she failed in all of her six job interviews.

Born in Slovakia, Michaela Jacoba, female, is a senior majoring in political science at Princeton University. She had internships during every summer vacation in several countries around the world and speaks four different languages. However, the majority of the companies she had applied for did not even call her for an interview.

The New York Times reported on January 16 that foreign students have a “one in a million chance” to get jobs in the U.S. because of strict work visa regulations, sluggish economy, and prejudice against foreigners.

The biggest obstacle for foreign students studying in the U.S. is the significant drop in the issued numbers of work visas. The number of issued work visas in the fiscal year 2004 (October 2003 to September 2004) stood at 65,000, no more than one-third of the previous year.

When the job market is tight, U.S. companies feel uncomfortable with hiring foreign job seekers before their U.S.-born counterparts. The interested company must become a sponsor for foreign students to get work visas, but not many companies are willing to undergo this bothersome paperwork.

“U.S. undergraduates spend two to six months to get a job, whereas foreign students have to struggle for at least 10 months,” said Trudy Steinfeld, the director of the Office of Career Services at NYU.