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Student bikes outside campus building.

Former Students Launch the FreeBike Project

October 18, 2013

While studying at the University of Southern California, two international students launched the FreeBike Project to encourage all students to ride bicycles more often and promote some “positive change in the world.” According to Forbes, Danish students Johan Bender and Kim Sanderhoff came up with the idea during an entrepreneurship class and officially launched the idea as a business to help others through a “green, healthy and free means of transportation for college students, while providing a better youth-marketing alternative for brands and businesses.” The FreeBike Project leases bikes to students in the United States to use around their campus. For every bicycle a student leases, the project will donate “one bike to a student living in poverty overseas.”

Are you interested in starting a new business or charitable organization while you are an F student? Entrepreneurship is employment, so you must follow the relevant employment regulations. This means you must have authorization for optional practical training. For more specific guidelines, visit our International Students and Entrepreneurship page.

Perhaps you would like to make a positive impact on your community but are not interested in or eligible for employment. You may find volunteer opportunities. An F or M student is eligible to volunteer while studying the United States if the volunteer opportunity meets two specific criteria:

  • You do not receive taxable income
  • You are not volunteering for a position for which the organization would typically hire an employee

Both of these are employment and would require authorization. If you have questions, talk to your designated school official.

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