Imagine Kickstart Kit: International Students Edition

This week’s Imagine Kickstart Kit is for international students at JHU to help you get started with your life design journey this semester. We are sure that you have many questions about making the transition to Hopkins. The following page provides information for all incoming international students.

Office of International Services

The Office of International Services (OIS) is the sole unit at Johns Hopkins dedicated to providing consistent, exceptional immigration services and international programming support for all Johns Hopkins divisions and their international students, scholars, faculty, researchers, and staff in the United States.

The OIS at Johns Hopkins University is comprised of several service locations that are responsible for supporting the institution’s international population.

Harbor East – students in the Carey Business School
Homewood – Undergraduate Programs, Advanced Academic Programs, Graduate students in the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Education, Students in Summer programs, Center for Talented Youth and ESL programs
Medical Institutions – All students, scholars and employees in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Medicine and School of Nursing.  Limited services to Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Health System and Kennedy Krieger Institute
Peabody – students in the Peabody Institute
Washington DC – Nitze School of Advanced International Students, DC Programs for Carey Business School and Advanced Academic Programs.

Plan Ahead and Remember OIS Processing Times

Individuals whose immigration status, employment authorization, or employment authorization documents expire, should file the necessary application or petition sufficiently in advance to ensure that they maintain a continuous immigration status, employment authorization or valid employment authorization documents. For more information about this please visit our webpage.

Stay Informed and Stay Connected

The OIS is committed to keeping our students, faculty and staff informed about updates or changes in immigration, as well as changes in institutional policies or practices.  From our latest blog post, to presentations, the OIS will continue to update the News and Events section with pertinent information and announcements. Be sure to visit the following pages regularly to stay in the know!


The premiere one-stop shop for all things career-focused and answering all questions about the journey and process of life design. Imagine is the united effort of every school’s career department as well as the offices of Undergraduate Research, University Experiential Learning, Study Abroad, Hire Hopkins and Hopkins Connect (minds behind JHU’s mentoring platform, OneHop). The Imagine website seeks to serve all students at any point in their life design process. From undergraduate to postdocs to alumni, the website is the premiere platform to gain insight and contact information students need to move forward with their goals and pursuits outside of JHU. In addition to career department contact information and JHU-specific platforms and resources, the student section is divided into 4 sections that serve as key components in life design, Get Curious, Talk to People, Take Action and Show Your Work.

On Imagine, you can find a lot of useful advice on your professional journey, here in the U.S. or internationally. Here are some examples:

We publish new content on Imagine every day, so feel free to visit us regularly!

Life Design Lab and JHU Career Centers

The Life Design Approach helps you explore, experiment, and develop experiences over your time at Johns Hopkins to identify and pursue your ideal post-graduate opportunities like internships, research opportunities, mentoring and many more. You can start by browsing Imagine, which is built around the idea of life design approach. Then you can connect with one of our Life Design Educators, you can learn more about it following this link:

If you are not on the Homewood campus, there are other career centers at your campus. You can find all of them on the Life Design Lab page or at the bottom of every Imagine page.

Working in the U.S.

Build authentic professional relationships, engage with top talents and university partners, and explore the future of human potential, work, and innovation through these work opportunities and internships:

  • GoinGlobal: An international, country-specific, online system to support relocation, career transition, global job searches & career development as well as alternative opportunities for Johns Hopkins University students.
  • Future Fest: Provides employers the opportunity to identify and recruit top talent from JHU using virtual chats and instant messaging during our career-fair-style trade show floor, and there are additional networking and workshop events to join as well

International students are allowed to work and study for up to 20 hours a week. Student employment and paid campus internships are some of the most valuable experiences of college life. For on-campus opportunities, visit Hopkins SMILE – the University Experiential Learning platform that connects current students to paid campus internships and employment opportunities across JHU.

For visas and other technical assistance, be sure to check on all your immigration documents and other visa and work-related information with the help of OIS:

  • JHU Office of International Services (OIS): OIS can help students figure out options for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for internships and Optional Practical Training (OPT) post-grad, and about student and staff visas for work in the U.S.
  • H1-B Visa Salary Database: Find information on H1-B Visa base salaries, employment start dates, and case statuses.

Need assistance with research ideas, career pitches, or resumes? JHU’s career services and research offices can help you navigate life in college and beyond:

For more information, specific to international students visit the Life Design Lab webpage here:

Prepare Your Application Documents

It is essential to craft a perfect application before you start responding to job opportunities. Life Design Lab or individual school’s career centers (you can find all of them at the bottom of any Imagine page) can help you identify your strengths that you should highlight in your resume but finalizing every piece of it can be daunting. Luckily, there is a perfect tool that is available for every Hopkins student, and that is VMock.

VMock allows you to upload a copy of your resume and the system will show how you can improve it to get a higher chance of attracting recruiters’ attention. It takes a couple of tries to reach a perfect score but the entire process is easy and straightforward.

When you are done with creating your perfect resume, you might want to get acquainted with a specific industry that you are eager to join. Vault Guides will help you do that. These are reports on many different industries on the job market that highlight how does it feel to work in it, or a specific company, what skills does this industry value in a potential employee and more! Vault Guides are available on Imagine or on the Vault Guides website (login with Hopkins ID.)


Shortly after your graduation, you can stay in the United States for another 1-3 years (depending on your program) and get the work authorization to work in a position that is closely connected to your program. To facilitate the job search process, Johns Hopkins has partnered with Handshake – an extremely useful platform for your career goals. On Handshake, you can look for positions that were provided by recruiters of the top U.S. companies for Johns Hopkins University students and alumni, find more resources on how to craft your job application documents, search different companies and read, what other Hopkins students, who worked in these companies wrote about their experience and more! Handshake is also your destination if you want to book an appointment with your school’s career advisor.

Hint: while searching for jobs on Handshake, you can filter jobs that will accept your CPT/OPT or even agree to sponsor a work visa.

Engage in Research

Studying at Johns Hopkins allows you to do more than just visiting classes or working. As a part of your academic experience, you can also engage in research activities that professors and other faculty conduct on a regular basis. Johns Hopkins University is proud to be one of the leading research institutes in the United States, and transferring knowledge about research methods and process is essential. There are several opportunities to join the research at Johns Hopkins. If you’re interested, we suggest you start with these resources:

Hopkins Office of Undergraduate Research (HOUR): a great opportunity for undergraduate students to gain experience and become a part of the undergraduate research community at JHU. HOUR allows you to learn more about how to find and join the research project at JHU and how you can use this experience in the future. HOUR also hosts PURA – Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award.

ForagerOne: an all-in-one platform to find a research project when you feel ready to search for opportunities. ForagerOne allows you to search faculty members and their research projects, bookmark them and, finally, apply to participate in a project. Log into ForagerOne with your Hopkins account and start looking for your perfect project. Maybe future Hopkins students will study your research paper someday!

Connect with Hopkins Alumni

One of the goals of Imagine is that every Hopkins student should have at least one solid mentorship experience. Luckily, our alumni are happy to respond to this call and glad to connect with current students to share some advice and assist you on your path to a perfect career. Creating meaningful connections can be hard, especially for people from different cultures, some of which don’t even have a concept of networking. You can find a lot of useful advice on networking on Handshake or here on Imagine, but there has never been an easier way to start building your professional network than OneHop.

In a nutshell, OneHop is a social network for Hopkins affiliates. You can engage in discussions or just groups for your program of study or interests. But most importantly, OneHop gives you the opportunity to connect to many Hopkins alumni all around the world and in every career sector. Even if you hesitate, it’s important to remember – if they’ve registered there, they are waiting when you reach out to them!

Do You Have Any Questions?

We will be glad to hear from you and answer the questions that you have left after reading this post. Please email us at!

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