An Exploration of Factors Influencing the Success of International Students’ Practicum/Job Searches in the United States


The School for International Training's (SIT) graduate Program in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management (PIM) is unique in its requirement of a professional practicum for the completion of its degrees. While all of SIT's students face challenges in finding and securing suitable practicum assignments, SIT's international students face unique challenges in their attempts to secure suitable practicum assignments in the United States.

This research surveyed 23 of SIT's PIM international students from the academic years 1997-2002, who were enrolled at SIT under F-1 student visas for the purpose of exploring the helping/hindering factors that influence their success rates in securing practicums in the U.S. The helping/hindering factors investigated included motivation for wanting a practicum in the U.S., age, years of prior professional experience, English language proficiency, cultural differences, motivation and intensity of job search. The success rates of international students who obtained their practicums within the World Learning organization and outside of the World Learning were compared to each other.

The research revealed that SIT is not meeting the needs of a large segment of its population in terms of a significant degree requirement. If SIT is going to continue to recruit a large international student population and to promote its diverse international student population as an attractive feature of the institution, it is imperative that the special needs of this population are addressed soon. It is hoped that the information contained in this research will help various offices at SIT address these needs in its recruitment and counseling of international students.


International and Comparative Education | Work, Economy and Organizations

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