Internship is a form of employment for students. As a F-1 student,
you are eligible for internship after you have been a full-time
student in the US for at least 9 months.
Many companies have internship programs. Some government agencies
also have it (for international students the World Bank is
Contact people in your area, or even the career center of your
school for internship opportunities.
For F-1 students, internship has to be in the form of a practical
training. You have two practical training: curricular practical
training (CPT) and optional practical training (OPT). You have a
total of 12 months for each. The best strategy is for you to take
OPT after your graduate and before you get a work visa (H1), considering
that fact that it may up to five month for you to get H1 visa. OPT
cannot start over two months after your graduation. Therefore you
should use your CPT quota for internship first.
For you to be approved for internship with CPT, you need to get
approval from your program or your advisor, showing that the internship
is related to your program. Then you need to go to the international
students office to get their approval. They will put something on
your I-20 form showing that you are authorized to work at
that place for that period of time (as shown on your offer letter).
You will also need to register for a class for at least 1 credit
for this internship, which means you need to pay tuition for it.