International students who wish to undertake an unpaid internship require either OPT or CPT to participate, and the internship must be directly related to your field of study. J-1 students must obtain Academic Training authorization to engage in an unpaid internship. Please see the U.S. Department of Labor’s definition of an unpaid internship.
International students and dependents may engage in community service volunteer opportunities. “Individuals who volunteer or donate their services, usually on a part-time basis, for public service, religious or humanitarian objectives, not as employees and without contemplation of pay, are not considered employees o f the religious, charitable or similar non-profit organizations that receive their service”. – U.S. Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor
ISSS recommends that international students who wish to volunteer do so through established volunteer opportunities and/or organizations.
UConn Community Outreach at Storrs campus provides students the opportunity to volunteer in the community through a variety of programs. If you are unsure whether you may appropriately engage in a volunteer opportunity, you may check with your ISSS advisor.