We have internships open and have had a few candidates apply with F-1 visas. We currently do not sponsor H1 - B visas but I think these are different.
F-1 visa holders are students. Their visas allow them to attend an accredited school in the U.S. There are very strict rules regarding (paid) employment by F-1 visa holders. The student would need an employment authorization card to work off of campus. You should discuss the situation with the International Student office at the students' school. Or, contact a qualified immigration lawyer in your area. You can find a qualified immigration lawyer at www.ailalawyer.com.
You are correct that you do not have to sponsor international students like H1b workers, just as you would for any other student, you would have to check F-1's authorization to work before you could employ them on internship.
Employment of international students remains strictly regulated during semester, in summer and also after course completion even after rules are relaxed regarding F1 student employment. Best Wishes!
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