Many international students may be looking to return home after graduating from Penn in the next few years.
Between the economic downturn and the limited availability of H-1B visas - which allow international students to work in the U.S. after graduation - U.S. job offers seem less attractive than they would in normal years.
"For many international students, it is often easier for them to find employment abroad due to less challenging visa restrictions or no visa regulations if they decide to return to their home country," said Kelly Cleary, senior associate director at Career Services.
Typically, the demand for H-1B visas vastly outstrips the supply.
"I applied to international firms because I felt that there was a higher chance of getting hired in India or Asia, as firms are growing their practices there," said Wharton senior Sanket Korgaonkar.
Although Korgaonkar recently accepted an offer to work in New York after graduation, he said he only plans to stay in the U.S. for a few years and then move back home to India.
"The potential reward of living in the U.S. in terms of quality and amount of work does not outweigh the rigorous visa process, or at least not as much as it used to," he said.
Wharton senior Martin Yu said he was more concerned about the economy, but visas did factor into his decision.
"I was a little less concerned [about getting a visa] because I'm Canadian, but I've heard that even that isn't enough anymore," he said.
There were some things U.S. jobs didn't offer that jobs abroad did, said Yu, who accepted an offer to work at Credit Suisse HK in Hong Kong.
"One of the main factors I was looking for in getting a job was security and I felt that recent changes in the U.S. economic climate made job security a real issue," he said.
College junior Tanvi Misra is also planning on staying in the U.S. after graduation to go to law school, though she may look abroad for jobs after that.
"The present situation . does incline me to lean toward looking for jobs elsewhere, perhaps Europe or Africa," she said.
But despite anecdotal evidence from students, representatives from Career Services haven't seen a particular trend in students looking abroad for opportunities.
"There hasn't been a noticeable increase in the number of international students coming to Career Services in search of post-graduate opportunities abroad for reasons directly related to the current economy," said Cleary.
But she added that in economic downturns her office encourages students to expand their job search to different geographic regions.Comments powered by Disqus
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