Where do International Students go after they Graduate?

BELINDA CAI

Esther Lee, associate director of OIS. (Belinda Cai/Neon Tommy) Esther Lee, associate director of OIS. (Belinda Cai/Neon Tommy)

USC is renowned for many reasons — its film program, school spirit and movie cameos are just a few. It is also recognized for its astonishing diversity, being somewhat of a microcosm of Los Angeles. As the university with the most international students in the country, those from overseas make up a huge portion of that famous diversity.

There are about 10,000 international students from 115 different countries and 1,000 international scholars here to do research or teach, according to Esther Lee, associate director of the Office of International Services at USC. These individuals are in various stages of their educational careers at the university, but where do they go after they graduate?

“All international students are eligible to apply for work authorization for one year upon graduation,” says Lee. “This is called OPT: Optional Practical Training. They apply through our…

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