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Issues regarding CPT and volunteering

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thedailystruggler

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Hey, international student here.

Do all international pre-med students need CPT just to volunteer in a hospital off-campus? I talked to my school's international students' office a few weeks ago and all they told me was that CPT was unnecessary if I plan to volunteer strictly as community service. That means I can't put down my volunteering/clinical experience anywhere, not even on a med school application or resumé. However, if I do want to put my clinical experience anywhere, I need CPT. And get this: CPT requires that my volunteering have something to do with my curriculum and major, which is impossible since my major is Psychology, and there's no pre-med major at my school. I'm already a sophomore with zero to no clinical experience, and in desperate need of some.

How do you guys do it?

Sincerely,
Charlie
 

mellie0

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They’re being unnecessarily difficult. I never had that problem in my school. You’re not getting paid as a volunteer so I don’t know why it would have to count as CPT. And if you are part of an experience, I don’t know how they’re going to preclude you from putting it on your resume. Your resume isn’t some sort of federal document. It’s a personal piece of paper immigration people have no business looking at. It all sounds so bs to me. Sorry you’re dealing with that.
 
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thedailystruggler

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They’re being unnecessarily difficult. I never had that problem in my school. You’re not getting paid as a volunteer so I don’t know why it would have to count as CPT. And if you are part of an experience, I don’t know how they’re going to preclude you from putting it on your resume. Your resume isn’t some sort of federal document. It’s a personal piece of paper immigration people have no business looking at. It all sounds so bs to me. Sorry you’re dealing with that.

The only experience that I can gain without filing for a CPT is if I shadow. I explained to them how it's ridiculous to need CPT to shadow when I'm only gonna be there to observe the doctor throughout his day. Fortunately, they met with some higher-ups and said that it was fine. But even if I have 500+ hours of shadowing, nothing beats having volunteering experience.

About volunteering, I don't know why but that's the way it is, at least in their terms. According to them, the only way I can file for a CPT is if the volunteering has something to do with my curriculum, which is total BS. They also told me if I want it to be a part of my curriculum, I need to set up an independent study with my department. But then I can't do that anymore since the damn registration date has passed so I have to wait till next semester D:

I've scheduled an appointment with my pre-med advisor, for the 3rd time, to further discuss this issue.
 
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