Using the International Student Career Work Experience, Mesa Community College offers international students work on campus.The ISCWE provides offices and academic departments with financial and logistical support so that they can hire international students with F-1 visas.
To participate in the ISCWE, F-1 students must have studied at least one semester at a Maricopa Community College, participated in mandatory orientations, and have a GPA of 3.0.
“There are always 10 to 20 students on the waitlist at any given time,” said Emi Kawasaki, an adviser in the International Education Office.
Therefore, students have to wait about a year to hear back from the office after submitting their application.
After being accepted, F-1 students must go through procedures such as applying for Social Security and attending a job interview. Then, they can work up to 20 hours per week.
“The payment is not the most important thing,” said Xiaoyang Zhang, a management major. He is a student from China and works in the Business Department. Zhang considers several things to be more important than a paycheck.
“As I interact with people, my English improves,” Zhang said. “Also, I get to know the professors and form good relationships with them.”
That’s the purpose of the ISCWE. It’s not about finance because F-1 students don’t get paid a lot. Instead, ISCWE focuses on improving students’ responsibility, self-discipline, and time management.
According to Zhang, working teaches him how to interact with people by answering phone calls and helping students.
“It also helps me learn about my major and my future,” Zhang said.
The fact is it does take time before an F-1 student can work on campus due to all the procedures they have to go through.
“Sometimes students get dropped because they don’t respond to our notification,” Kawasaki said, “or they simply don’t go through the procedures.