Current Student


Eirik Kolstaad

MA in Communication


I came to Hawaii in Fall 2008 as a graduate student. I decided to study communication in its broad aspect as it’s such a multifaceted field that studying the bigger picture of communication would give me much more fundamental knowledge and tools necessary for my career in media-related fields. In the new work force we need to be able to multitask.


Employment Opportunities

As an international student, working outside of your home country may pose unique opportunities and challenges. This section is dedicated to assisting you in navigating through the sometimes confusing world of employment where the rules, the culture, and the expectations in the work environment can be quite different from what you are accustomed.

Your visa status determines if you can work in the U.S. and in what types of situations. International students generally hold either an F-1 or J-1 visa.  For students with other visa types, contact International Student Services for more details about the specifics of your employment authorization.

Employment Type F-1 Student J-1 Student
On Campus Yes No
Off Campus

Economic Hardship

Academic Training


On Campus Employment

Eligible Students: Degree Seeking (F-1) Students

Students studying at HPU on an F-1 visa are allowed to work on-campus without seeking approval from an International Student Advisor as long as they are registered full-time for the current semester (except over regularly scheduled breaks) and are in good academic standing (minimum 2.0 GPA for undergraduate students, 3.0 GPA for graduate students).

Students are allowed to work up to twenty (20) hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, and employment can be full-time (any amount exceeding twenty (20) hours) over summer and winter breaks.  Full-time on-campus employment is dependent upon availability at Hawai‛i Pacific University.

Students can go to the Career Services Center, access the on-line job bulletin or go to the individual departments to find the current listings of on-campus positions available. It is recommended that students have a curriculum vitae (CV) and be prepared to complete a Hawai‘i Pacific University application form. For assistance with writing their CV, students can make an appointment to see a Career Counselor at the Career Services Center.

Those students who are changing programs or institutions may work on-campus during the interim period between programs/schools if they were eligible for employment prior to the change and have been issued an I-20 for the new program/school.

Off Campus Employment

There are many types of off-campus employment available to students on various visa types and with various needs.  In all situations, however, work off campus must be authorized by International Student Services.  If you are looking to work off campus, you should contact the ISS Office to schedule an appointment.  Students wishing to seek work authorization will need to clear any holds (financial, medical, library) on their accounts before their appointment with an International Student Advisor.

There are different requirements that the student must meet before being eligible for the different types of work authorization. Students who work more than the allowable number of hours or without proper authorization face potential deportation.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Eligible Students: Degree-Seeking (F-1) Students

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment authorization granted to currently enrolled students studying on an F-1 visa, allowing students to work off-campus in positions which give them practical training in their major field of study.  To learn more, click here.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Eligible Students: Degree-Seeking (F-1) Students

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a twelve-month period of employment, typically post-graduation, when university graduates are able to work in the United States in a position which directly relates to their academic degree while remaining on their student F-1 visa. To learn more, click here.

Academic Training

Eligible Students: Exchange (J-1) Students

Academic training is designed to allow students studying on a J-1 visa an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. Academic training can be paid or unpaid, and can be used before or after the completion of the academic program.  To learn more, click here.

Economic Hardship

Eligible Students: Degree-Seeking (F-1) Students

This type of employment authorization is only available to students who demonstrate and prove that they have encountered unforeseen circumstances, making employment necessary to avoid severe economic hardship.

To be eligible, you must:

    • Have been enrolled full-time in F-1 status for one full academic year;
    • Be in good academic standing, NOT on academic probation;
    • Be unable to find sufficient employment through on-campus employment options.

An information packet can be picked up at the front desk of the International Student Services office.

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) requires a high level of documentation for employment based on economic hardship. Students who think that they meet all of these requirements should make an appointment to see an International Student Advisor to discuss their situation and get details on the application process.

Effective November 23, 2010, the application fee for economic hardship increases from $340 to $380.