The United States attracts Brazilians with STEM courses and job opportunities

The United States attracts Brazilians with STEM courses and job opportunities

Students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (abbreviated by the acronym STEM) can request more time to work legally in the United States than students in other areas of knowledge.

With the world’s largest economy and home to renowned universities, the United States is the destination for many Brazilians seeking undergraduate or Master of Business Administration (MBA, a type of postgraduate) courses.

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For those who work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (abbreviated by the acronym STEM in English), there is a difference: the possibility of working legally in the country for about five years.

As Alessandra Crisanto, CEO of Study and Work USA, explains, earning a degree or MBA in one of these fields not only provides a chance for a high-quality education, but also opens the door to new professional opportunities and rich life experiences. The company where she serves as CEO specializes in providing consultation to Brazilians wishing to study in the United States.

Crisanto says there are different types of work authorizations possible for a student with an F1 visa. One of these is Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which allows students to gain practical experience in internships or jobs while still enrolled.

The second option is called Optional Practical Training (OPT). It allows students to work in their field after successful completion of the academic program. The maximum duration is 12 months.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics students are eligible for OPT STEM. This is an extension of a regular OPT, with a maximum total duration of 36 months (i.e., longer than the traditional authorization).

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“Students can have work experience during classes and since the courses are STEM, the government allows them to stay for up to 3 years after finishing work,” says Crisanto.

However, she gives a caveat. If the student takes CPT for more than 12 months full-time (more than 20 hours of work per week), they lose the right to OPT. To avoid this, the interested party must complete 12 months full-time, as well as eight months of part-time CPT (20 hours per week or less) and, thus, be able to take advantage of OPT STEM for the next three years, a total of 56 months (four years and eight months).

“First of all, the college allows you to work, as long as the opportunity is an integral part of the course. After completion, the student is advised to apply for direct immigration, which will also allow the person to set up their own startup”, adds the expert.

STEM Curriculum

It is common for many people to doubt which courses are included in the definition of STEM. To do this, the interested party should consult Complete Relationship Which is available on the official website of the United States Department of Homeland Security.

The list includes courses like Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Agricultural Science, Veterinary Medicine, Digital Communication, Artificial Intelligence.

According to Crisanto, the first step when planning your studies in the United States is to find universities and programs that suit personal goals and interests, then find out about admission options, visas, possible scholarships, and daily life in the chosen city.

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About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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