International undergrad students tend to pay themselves. Grad students, especially in tech, tend to have grad school grants. Until recently they expected to go home first before reapplying for jobs. Or hope to find an employer that would pay the $30K or so for bypass paperwork. But recently a small number of visas are for immediate graduates. Tech companies want any such limit removed.
You have some incorrect information here.
International students indeed pay themselves. They always pay out-of-state rate and cannot qualify for state resident status no matter how many years they lived there. Some have grants or scholarships or TA/GA positions in grad school, just like any other grad student.
Some students come here on J-1 visas and they are required to go back home for certain time before coming back.
Most students come on a regular F-1 visa. They are not required to go back to be able to change their status.
Not entirely sure about J-1 students, but F-1 students are not allowed to work outside of campus. They are allowed to work on campus for 20 hours per week. Usually it is a minimum wage job.
All of the foreign students get about year and half of OPT (Optional Practical Training), which basically allows them to work to gain some experience.After OPT, J-1 students go home and F-1 students try to get a job and H1-B visa to continue working. H1-B is issued for 2-3 years and can be renewed up to maximum of 6 years. Before H1-B expires, students (now workers) try to apply for Green Card. It is a lengthy process - could be several years. None of the experience gained on the current job can be used to justify Green Card application.