I understand this question is not strictly academic, but what I hope to find here is some feedback from someone who already had similar experience.

I live and study Electronics Engineering in Parma, a small town in northern Italy. I'm considering to move in order to get my Master Thesis done. Now, as far as I understand, in USA the masters are somewhat different from what we have here in Europe. To the point that "Master Thesis" is not even a thing there, in fact I'm not able to find proposals online.

That said, I have friends who have done "gradated level" work there and validated it as a thesis back in Europe. So let's just assume I can get a place somewhere and be able to go there.

I immediately understand I will have to pay for my staying and the chances to get a salary are really narrow.

So, as per the title: can I work there (like weekend jobs) while studying?

Any help would be appreciated.

  • 1
    Check your visa...
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 1, 2019 at 21:02

2 Answers 2


Most often, visitors to the US study under an F1 visa.

F1 visas do not permit off-campus work during the first year, and after the first year off-campus work is limited to work related to the degree; on-campus work is allowed but limited to 20 hours per week.

Schools you apply to will be familiar with having international students attending; you should direct questions about employment opportunities to the programs and schools you may apply for; any larger institution likely has a dedicated office for international student needs and questions.


Slight segue, but practical advice. Consider to do a Ph.D. instead. You would get the degree paid for and a stipend (at most competitive schools, large state schools as a floor, MIT as a ceiling). You can always bail part way through with a masters. Or maybe you find you like it and just persist and get the union card.

If time spent is an issue for you (and it SHOULD BE) than do some shopping around to find the departments or advisors that tend to the "old school" 4 year expectation rather than the modern bloat to 7 years. Despite what Anonymous Phys says, there are some available like that if you shop around (I went to one).

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