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F-1 International Student in USA - Advice

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rupjmaize

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I have noticed few international (non-USA) members here and there posting individual threads asking other members to comment on their chances of getting accepted into a PhD program or an internship (I know it is harder to get an APA accredited internship as an international student) or a post doc, but I have not yet seen a thread that would provide advice for F-1 international students in general.

As an F-1 international student who has just finished an undergaduate program from a university in USA, and who is applying to Clinical Psychology PhD programs in Fall 2019, I am wondering what should I be prepared for in the future - while applying to programs, during my time studying in a program and after I have graduated.

Hence, I want this thread to function as a space where other membmers who are international students applying for PhD programs, or already in them, or those who have graduated from them, can share their experiences studying Clinical Psychology in US.

For those international students who are already studying in a PhD Clinical Psychology program or who have graduated from it - what are your career goals? What are you planning on doing with your diploma? Did you stay in USA or decide to move to another country?

Also, is it hard becoming licensed psychologist as an international student here in US after you complete your PhD? Has any international student done this? What have been your personal experiences?

Are there any links to videos, articles or books that you can share that give advice for international students studying PhD in Clinicial Psychology?
 

nononora

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There really aren't many of us around, to be honest :) I can respond to some of your questions if that can be helpful...

(I know it is harder to get an APA accredited internship as an international student)

I don't get the sense that this is the case. F-1 students get to use CPT for their internship (and then OPT for post-doc), and both require no additional work on behalf of the internship or post-doc site. All we are restricted from doing are the VA sites (although I believe some have been able to do a practicum there) and other federal facilities.

What are you planning on doing with your diploma?

I did my post-doc at a college counseling center, got employment for 2 years at another college counseling center, and am now in full-time private practice.

Did you stay in USA or decide to move to another country?

I stayed in the USA and married a citizen, so I was lucky and able to get a green card that way. If you want to leave the USA, I'd recommend obtaining licensure prior to leaving for the sake of legitimacy.

Also, is it hard becoming licensed psychologist as an international student here in US after you complete your PhD?

No, not any harder than the average clinical psych graduate student. Most of the difficulty lies in the timing of the test (and is also dependent on what state you're in), because if you do not have a way to stay in the US, you'd have to essentially take the EPPP during your post-doc year.
 
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rupjmaize

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@nononora this is so helpful! Thank you! Were you able to do just one year of OPT for your post-doc? Was that time sufficient enough for you to finish the post-doc?
Also, did you persoanlly take the EPPP during your post-doc year or have you heard of someone doing that? Is it possible to get all the supervised hours done in that one OPT year to be eligible to do the EPPP?
 

nononora

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Were you able to do just one year of OPT for your post-doc? Was that time sufficient enough for you to finish the post-doc?

Yes, although this would vary between states. I was in PA which required 1750 hours - definitely doable in a year-long full-time post-doc.

Also, did you persoanlly take the EPPP during your post-doc year or have you heard of someone doing that?

I took the EPPP several months after my post-doc. I do know of other peers and colleagues who took the EPPP during their post-doc year so it is definitely possible.

Is it possible to get all the supervised hours done in that one OPT year to be eligible to do the EPPP?

This would again be dependent on what state you are in. You'd have to first look at the state's licensing application and then apply to get an "Authorization to Test", which essentially means that the state board reviews your application and approves you to be eligible to take the test. Only with this authorization can you pay for the EPPP fees and schedule the test. PA requires that people applying for the authorization to have completed an APA-accredited (or equivalent) pre-doctoral internship, so applicants can pass the EPPP during their post-doc and then be awarded licensure after the post-doc is completed and all other requirements are verified by the state board.

If you're still in the grad school application phase, I would say that you are thinking a little too far ahead. There are so many more hoops to jump through, and by the time you get to licensure, you'll likely be a much better hoop-jumper.
 

rupjmaize

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@nononora Thank you once again for the advice.

If you're still in the grad school application phase, I would say that you are thinking a little too far ahead. There are so many more hoops to jump through, and by the time you get to licensure, you'll likely be a much better hoop-jumper.
I guess you are right. There are so many "what if's" at this point that it is somewhat superfluous to think of all these things now.
I am releived that I am not the only one going through this process as an international student. :)
 

trialanderror

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Hi Nononora,

I’m an F1 student completing my PhD this year. Your responses in this thread were super helpful! I was wondering, do you know any ways to navigate post doctoral fellowships that have a start date after the 60 day grace period of the OPT? I’ll graduate in May, but a lot of post doctoral fellowships at university counseling centers etc. that I’m looking at start in August or September, so I wouldn’t be able to finish the 12 months within the 14 months OPT cut off that I have after my graduation date. Do you know if fellowships are amenable to an earlier start date, or any other ways around this problem?



Also, do you know what places are more likely to be able to sponsor an H1B following a post doc?



Thanks so much!
 
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