Enhancing Employability

Internship Opportunities and Outcomes for International Students


  • Anita Gopal American University


In an increasingly competitive labor market, the popularity of internships as a way to foster career readiness among college students is a growing imperative within higher education. However, there exist barriers to internship participation among international students, due to a misalignment between students’ needs and the career services offered to them. This qualitative study involved in-depth interviews with fifteen international students to explore access to internship opportunities and outcomes of their internship participation at a U.S. higher education institution, drawing upon intersectionality in higher education to examine the interview data. Findings show that career services, visa regulations, and students’ internship opportunities influence their employability. The chapter concludes with policy recommendations that better serve international students’ career paths.

How to cite in APA:

Gopal, A. (2022). Enhancing employability: Internship opportunities and outcomes for international students. In X. Zhao, M. Kung, K. Bista, & Y. Ma (eds), Home and abroad: International student experiences and graduate employability (pp. 77-94). STAR Scholars.

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Author Biography

Anita Gopal, American University

Anita Gopal is a higher education policy expert. Her research focuses on higher education access and success among underrepresented and international student populations; U.S. immigration policies and workforce pathways; institutional responses to the internationalization of higher education; and policy development and implementation from a racial equity perspective, in both access to and outcomes of higher education. Dr. Gopal has presented her research nationally and internationally. Her work has appeared in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning; International Higher Education; Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education; AERA Open; and University World News