Why Companies Should Hire International Students

Despite language barriers and visa applications, international students are a valuable investment for employers in the communications industry. Their comprehensive understanding of the world is an invaluable tool for organizations seeking to target diverse publics. 

International students bring a global perspective and diversity of thought. As more and more companies become international corporations, people with experiences outside the U.S. are crucial for accurate and inclusive company messaging. Having communications professionals with different backgrounds will bring a well-rounded perspective to campaign strategy with fresh ideas, creativity and innovation

With almost eight billion people in the world, organizations need to reach far and wide for talent; they need to bring in the best of the best. Students who have experience living in other countries understand the variety of nuances in human communication, crucial to reaching a wide audience. For instance, in the Spanish language, what may mean one thing in Argentina may mean something completely different in Chile due to the regional differences in dialect and colloquialisms. It’s important to have someone who understands how this affects messaging in the United States, especially when trying to target the Latino market. 

Because of the limited availability of jobs for international students, you can expect high loyalty and high performance. In the current U.S. job market, many young adults are constantly switching jobs, industries or positions. These young adults are also hungry for promotions every few years. For most international students, the limited availability of jobs will result in long term stays at companies and strong investment into the company culture. International students also want to continuously prove their investment. Their performance will likely be high due to the high investment from the company to bring them or keep them in the country. 

OPT permits allow someone to stay in the U.S. for one year on a student visa while working. Educating international students benefits our economy, and statistics show that a larger number of OPT workers in the country correlates with a lower unemployment rate. Researchers think this correlation might be because international students are driving the kind of innovation that creates jobs. In 2018, international students contributed $45 billion to the US economy. 

Reasons Companies May Be Hesitant

The H1-B visa allows companies and other employers in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in professional positions. The application costs $1,500 for the H1-B visa USCIS “Education and Training Fee.” If an employer has fewer than 25 full-time employees, it costs $750 for the H1-B Visa. Compared to the complete cost of hiring a new employee, the application fees are low. 

In 2018–2019, there were 170,098 H1-B visa petitions approved and 65,000 were allocated for the visa cap. This means there is a 38% chance of being selected, chances being higher for students with a master’s and doctorate’s degree . Due to this, employers may be concerned that students they hire can only work one year or during their OPT period. However, can a company guarantee any new hire will stay more than one year? Especially with the rapid movement in the job market, it’s almost impossible to guarantee any new hire will stay long term. 

International students are a valuable investment for any company, especially within the marketing, public relations and communications industries. Their global expertise brings new vantage points to companies seeking to target diverse publics. International students are just one way more companies can bring diverse perspectives to the table. 


Rayna van Beuzekom is a third-year public relations student at the University of Florida with a minor in women’s studies. She serves as the 2021–2022 vice president of diversity and inclusion for the PRSSA National Committee. Follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.

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