Courses for International Students


English 100 – Writing Essentials (1 unit)

An introduction to the basics of college writing, with special attention to word and sentence fundamentals. Emphasizes generating ideas for writing, imagining words that match ideas, and learning/practicing writing (and revising) grammatically and structurally sound papers, in a variety of styles and genres. Must be taken for a numerical grade.

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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)


Yes, international students with ALL MAJORS are eligible to do internships in the U.S.!   Albion international students are wise to consider a semester at Albion College's Philadelphia Center to gain valuable work experience in the United States while sometimes even earning a salary.  See the Career and Internship Center for details.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a benefit of F-1 non-immigrant student status, and provides temporary employment authorization for off-campus training that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major field of study.  Albion College students typically request part-time CPT (up to 20 hours a week) for spring and fall semesters, and full-time CPT (20 hours or more) during the summer term.  F-1 students cannot engage in volunteering, training, or working until CPT is authorized and the start date of CPT has been reached.  CIE will only authorize CPT for a semester at a time.  There is no set limit to the amount of time a student may engage in CPT. However, if a student engages in full time CPT for 12 months or more, the student becomes ineligible for post-completion OPT.  Engaging in part-time CPT (20 hours or less) does not affect eligibility for post-completion OPT.

Eligibility.  To be eligible for CPT, F-1 students must:
  • Be in valid F-1 immigration status and have been enrolled as a full-time student for at least one full academic year. 
  • Continue to meet full-time enrollment requirements while engaging in CPT, whether full or part-time.   Note: CPT authorized for summer requires enrollment only in the internship coursework.
  • Work only for the specific dates of employment authorized on the I-20, and for the specific employer authorized.  They must not begin before the start date or continue working after the end date, or change employers, without receiving a new authorization.  This would be a violation of the F-1 immigration status terms, and could result in a loss of immigration status and/or deportation.
  • Have additional courses to complete for their Albion College degree. They must not have completed all program requirements, regardless of graduation status.
Training/ Employment Requirements
  • CPT training (and employment associated with the training) must be "an integral part of an established curriculum" and "directly related to the student's major area of study.”
  • For-credit CPT may be mandatory or elective. The training program must be listed in the school's course catalog with the assigned number of credits and the name of the faculty member teaching the course clearly indicated. There should also be a description of the course with the course objectives clearly defined. Students enrolled in such a course may work out the details of their specific projects within the established course objectives under the supervision of the instructor.
  • CPT employment may be unpaid or paid, and F-1 students engaging in off-campus non-paid internships require CPT authorization.   Federal and state labor and wage/hour laws do still apply.
CPT Process Overview
  • Follow Albion College Career and Internship Center (CIC) procedures to find an internship, practicum, or other position in your academic major.  Gain a job offer letter for the position, on the organization’s letterhead, that includes the following information:
    • Job title.
    • Employment start date and end date.
    • Number of hours per week to be worked.
    • Employer name, address, and phone number.
    • Description of work.
  • Gain signatures on the CPT request form by the CIC and your department chair. 
  • Register for the course on your CPT request form.
  • Submit the CPT request form to the Center for International Education, Vulgamore 306.
  • Schedule a meeting with the CIE Director for 1-2 days after submitting the form.  At that meeting, you will receive a new I-20 with your CPT work authorization, and/or be notified of additional information required.
  • Only AFTER receiving the I-20 with CPT work authorization, report to work.


Optional Practical Training (OPT)


Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit of F-1 non-immigrant student status that permits up to 12 months of off-campus employment, typically after graduation, for the purpose of gaining independent practical experience that is related to your major field of study.  Types of OPT:  

1. Post-Completion OPT provides for up to one year of practical training authorization after completion of studies.  Most Albion students choose to apply for post-completion OPT in their graduating semester.

2. 24 Month STEM OPT Extension allows students who have received a degree and OPT related to specific STEM degrees to apply for a 24-month STEM OPT extension after completion of post-completion OPT.  See CIE for details.

3. Pre-completion OPT is available on a part-time basis while a student is working on their degree.  Pre-completion OPT allows work during school sessions (20 hours per week or less) or on a full-time basis during school breaks (over 20 hours per week). Part-time OPT will be deducted from the 12 months of available OPT at one-half the full-time rate.  Important Note:  CPT is often a better option for international students than pre-completion OPT.

Information for Spring 2018 Albion Graduates:

Students can apply up to 90 days before and up to 60 days after program completion.  USCIS adjudicates the OPT application, and the process takes several months-  apply early, and no later than the completion date of the final semester.  In addition, the Form I-765 must be received by USCIS no later than 30 days after CIE submits your OPT recommendation to SEVIS. 

Earliest date to request OPT I-20 from CIE February 2, 2018
Earliest date to submit OPT application to USCIS February 6, 2018
Latest date to submit OPT application to USCIS July 6, 2018
Earliest date to request as "start date" May 5, 2018
Latest date to request as "start date" July 6, 2018

 Reporting Requirements while on OPT 

Students on OPT whose employment information is not complete, or reflects more than 90 days of unemployment, will have their SEVIS record automatically terminated. 

All F-1 Students on OPT – Within 10 days of the start of your period of OPT work authorization and within 10 days of any subsequent change, you are required to report the following:

  • Employment Status.  Use this form to report to CIE
  • Current U.S. address
  • Change of your official name
  • Start or end of employment
  • Change of your employer’s address
  • Change of your employer’s name

All Students with an OPT STEM Extension – You are required to report all the above, plus the following:

  • Employment status, 6 months after your extension start date, even if your information has not changed.
  • Employment status, 12 months after your extension start date, even if your information has not changed.

Updates to the following information will result in CIE issuing an updated I-20:

  • Change of your official name
  • Start or end of employment
  • Change of your employer’s address
  • Change of your employer’s name

Severe Economic Hardship

Severe Economic Hardship is for F-1 students who experience severe changes in funding that are unforeseen and uncontrollable:

  • Provides one year of off-campus work authorization before completion of studies.
  • Authorizes work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, 21 or more hours during school breaks.
  • Student must maintain full-time enrollment.


  • Lawfully enrolled full-time in a U.S. university for at least one academic year (two long semesters).
  • Valid F-1 status.
  • Good academic standing.
  • Since arriving in the U.S. something unexpected happened to your funding, such as a sponsor dies or unexpected medical bills.
  • You have looked for an on-campus job and have been unable to find sufficient work.

Application Process

  • Set an appointment to speak with the CIE Director to review requirements and required documents.
  • Submit the required documents to obtain an economic hardship I-20.
  • Pick up the I-20 and mailing instructions.
  • Send the required documents to USCIS. USCIS processing usually takes about three months.
  • If approved, USCIS will send you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) authorizing off-campus employment.

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